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Analysis of the Marketing and Business Development Activities used to Gain and Sustain Competitive A

Introduction/Summary of Brief

General Instructions:

This assignment is designed to cover all the Learning Outcomes stated in the Module Descriptor BSM834 Business Development, Marketing & Sales. Each student should produce One final document which should be uploaded to the Assessment drop box on the Moodle area by 9 December 2021 @ 0800 hrs. 

The work is to be carried out individually. You are required to produce a typed document, using an appropriate business font/size e.g. Verdana or Calibri 12, of 2750 words (with a 10% additional tolerance). As stated above, the word count excludes: the title page; contents page; executive summary; reference list; and no more than six pages of relevant appendices.

Your report should apply relevant theory, models, frameworks, issues using business management vocabulary and draw upon your own secondary research. Throughout this assignment, students should demonstrate their skills, knowledge and expertise in applying their learning.

Coursework Title: Analysis of the Marketing and Business Development Activities used to Gain and Sustain Competitive Advantage for Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB).

Coursework Aim: The objective of this assignment is to allow students to demonstrate understanding of the main concepts related to marketing theory and models, specifically inviting them to undertake marketing analysis and then examine the development of a marketing plan in a practical context.


Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB) is a tech-enabled business critical services group providing audit and accounting, tax, payroll and HR, outsourcing and advisory solutions globally from offices in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, UK.  The firm helps clients to manage critical elements of the business – its people and its finances – by providing resources and technology that ensure things run smoothly. 

AAB has been in business for more than 30 years, where the majority of this time was spent growing up in a dominant oil & gas sector.  Whilst this sector gave AAB access to a large international client base and network, for most of this time the firm operated from a single office in Aberdeen.  In 2018, the firm moved away from a single office business to open offices in Edinburgh and London.  In 2021, AAB merged with a smaller accountancy firm (Hardie Caldwell) based in Glasgow and acquired the Edinburgh based HR specialist, Purpose HR. Headcount across the group today is around 350.

AAB has a depth of capability, experience and resource to work with clients through every phase of business from start-up to exit, providing services including cloud accounting, audit & assurance, tax, corporate finance and global payroll and employment taxes expertise.  Their virtual finance function offers a new approach to outsourcing from CFO-level support to processing to replace or supplement the client’s resources. 

Explanation of Theoretical Concepts Related to Market Analysis and New Business Development

AAB group companies include AAB Consulting who help organisations with the challenge of change, and AAB Wealth, chartered financial planners who help give their clients confidence in their financial future.

AAB teams are comprised of experienced industry professionals who specialise in delivering services to clients across many key economic sectors including, but not restricted to, energy, technology, food and drink, business services, public sector and not-for-profit, industrial and family businesses.

AAB works with multinational clients in 140+ countries so the company has expertise in the global arena.  AAB is a member of Accelerate, an alliance member of top accounting network Crowe Global, and is the Scottish member firm of The International Accounting Group (TIAG).

Ultimately, the business focuses on providing the services that clients need, when they need them, to help them grow and improve their business.  Further information about the business, and full details of the range of products and services on offer, can be found on the company’s website, located at where, significantly, they state ‘It’s not about us – it’s about you.

Coursework Objectives

Students will be expected to:

1. Explain theoretical concepts related to market analysis and new business development.
2. Identify and evaluate (through research and marketplace understanding) the influence of internal and external forces (local, national and global) on how to create and sustain competitive advantage. 
3. Identify and evaluate current sales and marketing activities and future business development initiatives that align with the organisation’s principal business objectives. 
4. Draw upon academic theory and integrate this theory within the business context. 

Answers that are entirely theoretical or purely anecdotal will inevitably be restricted in terms of the marks they will achieve. The key is to undertake appropriate research with the aim of delivering a well written, well presented and well edited summary of the AAB business practice and potential in relation to relevant theory.

Assessment Brief

The assessment requires you to address the following tasks, in 4 clearly defined sections, each with its own (numbered) sub-headings and each related to the topics covered by the module:

1. What steps does AAB need to take to ensure that it adheres to the marketing concept?  Briefly outline research measures that could be used to assess customer opinions and behaviour.

2. Undertake an analysis of the AAB service marketing mix (other than promotion) considering how the service nature of the company makes management of operations more complex, and identifying those criteria that potential buyers will use in their purchase decisions.

3. In terms of the services the company might offer in future, review the new product development process and relate this to market segmentation and business development planning activity in respect of the AAB future business model (a video, with voiceover, is required, highlighting your business development proposals for AAB with an accompanying PowerPoint or Prezi presentation).

4. Using information obtained from research, undertake a critical analysis of the current AAB marketing communications mix (including personal selling) focusing on how these can help to establish and maintain customer relationships.

In short, what could or should AAB be doing better or differently, to grow the business? And why?

Proposed Outline 
Executive Summary

Table of Contents

1. Introduction/Summary of Brief (200 words)
2. Answer to Q1 (750 words) split between (a) Marketing Concept and (b) Research
3. Answer to Q2 (750 words) split between (a) Service mix analysis and (b) Complexities and purchase criteria
4. Answer to Q3 (550 words) split between (a) New product development process and (b) segmentation, targeting and positioning.
5. Answer to Q4 (750 words) split between (a) Marketing communications mix analysis and (b) customer relationship issues.
6. Conclusion(s) (200 words)



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