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Using a portfolio approach to evaluate a company's online engagement with consumers and stakeholders

Use a portfolio approach (visuals and written commentary) to critically evaluate how the company:

  • Has used at least four of the seven marketing mix elements in their UK operations, to reinforce its positioning within the last three years. 
  • Take pictures or use screen shots to evidence your findings. 
  • Reflect on the company and how they are positioned. You can categorise them using Porter’s Generic Strategies.
  • Research all of the seven marketing mix elements that are visible to the public and consider how they are used to reinforce/ underpin the company’s positioning. Choose four that you will write about and support with visual evidence.
  • Here are some questions you can ask yourself under each of the marketing mix categorises:
  • Promotional Mix and Activity. This will likely be the most visible marketing mix element, and it is advised you include it in your assessment. Remember this is the only marketing mix tool with its own sub group
  • Advertising (where and how do they advertise? what are the messages/ target audience/positioning/ brand signals etc.)
  • Public Relations and Publicity (what are others saying about the company in the mainstream and industry press and third party media channels? What press releases has the company issued?)
  • Sales Promotion (what sales promotion tactics is the company using i.e. discounts/ loyalty schemes, flash sales, etc.)
  • Events and experiences- (What activities and programmes does the company sponsor? is the company undertaking any CSR? / are they sponsoring community groups/ events? why do you think they do this?)
  • Personal Selling (How are staff members used to promote the company)
  • Direct Marketing (sign up to their newsletters/ mailing lists- what promotions do they send you?)
  • Interactive Marketing. Note this differs from online marketing in the sense that it has an emphasis on online interactivity between the company, its consumers and other stakeholders.

(What is happening online through owned, paid and earned channels to engage with consumers and other stakeholders?)

  • Word of Mouth Marketing (Is there evidence of testimonies? What are others saying about the company? There is some crossover with earned channels from 2.7, above so avoid duplication)
  • Social Media Marketing- (How is the company utilising social media? What types of messaging/ conversations are taking place and how does this reflect/ reinforce positioning and brand personality?)
  • Product- What are their products? How are they displayed? How is branding used in the packaging? Is there evidence of the product life cycle or appeal to Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation segments?
  • Place- Where are the products/ services accessed (i.e. online, brick and mortar, via a third party)? What delivery options do they have? How does this reflect strategy?
  • Price – What pricing strategies are they applying? How does this reflect their generic strategy?
  • People- How are staff used in the business? What efforts do they make to create a community amongst customers?
  • Physical evidence- How does the company demonstrate its existence? This is more relevant to service based companies so bear that in mind. Areas such as logo, website, branding will be key here.
  • Process- How many steps to contact/ purchase/ complaints are there? Is the process more complex than competitors, or less so?
  • Reflects strategic decisions and relevant taught theories in its marketing efforts. (30 marks)
  • Your findings must not merely rely on description. To increase marks you need to show how they reflect taught theory/ strategy and models.
  • The best way to do this is to:

a) Describe what you find.

b) Analyse your findings (why have they done this and/ or what is the likely impact?).

c) Link your findings to taught theory/ strategy/ models.

  • Does/ can evaluate the effectiveness of its marketing efforts. (20 marks)
  • How does/ can the company measure effectiveness? (i.e. company KPI data/ social media comments, likes, shares).

The content of your portfolio must display academic skill and integrity, appropriate to level five studies. (10 marks)

  • Here you need to apply robust referencing, good grammar and good layout.
  • This will include labelling images with numbers that are referenced in your written content (i.e. “Fig. 1 shows X”), creative layout of images, no watermarks on images, Harvard referencing of images and written content, a good array of reference sources.

You must make reference to taught theories/ models/ strategies throughout your work

See above and remember to:

a) Describe what you find

b) Analyse your findings (why have they done this and/ or what is the likely impact?)

c) Link your findings to taught theory/ strategy/ models.

Here is a suggestion as to how you can structure your portfolio

  1. Introduction

Brief company introduction and purpose of the portfolio.

  1. Positioning of company X

What is the company positioning? (i.e. cost leadership, differentiation)

  1. How four of the marketing mix P’s are used to reinforce positioning
  2. How does/can company X evaluate the effectiveness of its marketing efforts?

Give evidence of KPI’s/ website and social media analytics/ use of technology (i.e. sensors which count customers who enter stores, to monitor sales conversions).

  • Knowledge of relevant literature that would permit an understanding of affective marketing mix solutions. This will take the form of strategies and tactical plans that are supported by a sound information base.
  • Depth of research and analysis skills that consistently draw on taught theory, models and strategy.
  • The ability to identify creative marketing skills and knowledge in a practical and applied situation. The work should demonstrate intellectual originality and imagination.
  • Academic skills appropriate to level five studies. This will include grammar, layout and referencing.

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