Sample Marketing Essays on Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google 2018

Preparation Questions:

  1. Define the contested boundaries among the four firms.
  2. For each boundary, how is the contest likely to play out?
  3. Consider FB and APPL as platforms, are they the same kind of platforms?
  4. What recommendations would you make to each as it relates to which boundaries they should focus on contesting/defending, and how may they further do so?

Instructions

  • Access and thoroughly read the case study
  • The case study poses questions for your consideration. The role of the discussion questions is to highlight some of the key aspects of the case. Use them as a springboard for your analysis. Do not provide answers on a question-by-question basis, but ultimately your analysis should address all questions posed.
    • Define the contested boundaries among the four firms.
    • For each boundary, how is the contest likely to play out?
    • Consider FB and APPL as platforms, are they the same kind of platforms?
    • What skills will be under-supplied in the future of the digital distribution infrastructure that you envisage?
  • Identify the major issues in the case and focus on those in your analysis. Keep in mind that issues relevant to the situation at hand may not be explicitly listed in the case, but you should discuss all identified key relevant factors in your analysis.
  • In analyzing and writing up the case, adopt the perspective of a consultant who has been hired by one of the companies to advise it on the problem at hand. Stitch together the arguments in a smooth way in your write-up. Make sure you evaluate alternative strategies before arriving at your recommendation.
  • Be sure to use the data in the case when appropriate, including footnotes and exhibits. Write-ups that ignore relevant data are incomplete. However, note that just because some data is presented in the case, that does not necessarily mean that the data is crucial or relevant to the solution you propose. Use the data wisely. Good managers know what data to use and how that data must be used.
  • Your analysis should begin with an executive summary that highlights the key issues in the case and clearly states your recommendation(s) based on your thorough analysis. This should be one short paragraph. The remainder of the case write-up should present in greater detail the analyses which support your conclusions.
  • You are encouraged to attach exhibits to support your write-up, no more than 4 additional pages (beyond your 3-page analysis). Read the following exhibit guidelines:
    • Exhibits are not required for a high grade; however, they are generally helpful to organize ideas, evaluate options, provide supporting evidence for recommendations, etc.
    • All exhibits should be clearly referenced in the write-up. Don’t include material that is not specifically referenced or discussed in your narrative.
    • Although, you are allowed an additional 4 pages of exhibits, less is better. Exhibits should not be used simply as an extension of textual material. Only include exhibits if you think they contribute something above and beyond the write-up.

Tips for Success

  • The business world is most often about quality over quantity. Do not use space to summarize information already given to you in the case.
  • Provide a coherent, well-organized analysis, not simply a set of notes pieced together. Redraft and proofread the report.
  • Be concise. Keep the sections short and provide a strong logical flow for your recommendations. Cut all the fat from your paper: for every sentence, ask yourself “does this specific phrase advance my argument?” If the answer is no, remove it. Write crisply and avoid details of the case that are not relevant to your recommendations. Do not simply restate data from the case. The CEO is already familiar with the business. On the other hand, take every opportunity to support your arguments with case data.
  • State assumptions explicitly, whenever necessary.
  • Provide recommendations that are cost-effective and appropriate to the marketing challenge and timing (short-term or long-term) of the problem at hand.
  • Identify appropriate trade-offs when formulating your recommendation.
  • Tie your exhibits to the text of the report by explicit reference (“see Exhibit X”).

Deliverable

Your final deliverable will be no more than 3 single-spaced pages (11.5 font or larger and 1” margins) reflecting your analysis of the case, with no more than 4 pages of exhibits attached. Your paper is due prior to the start time of this week’s live session.

Individual Case Analysis Assignments:

The purpose of the case analysis assignments is for you to critically examine the key issues in the case and recommend a course of action.  The deliverable is not more than FOUR pages that reflect your analysis of the case.  The real world is about quality over quantity so please don’t spend time writing a summary of information already given to you in the case.  You are encouraged to attach exhibits to support your write-up, and you are allowed additional pages for these.

Exhibits are not required for a high grade; however, they are generally helpful to organize ideas, evaluate options, provide supporting evidence for recommendations, etc.  All exhibits should be clearly referenced in the write-up (don’t include material that is not specifically referenced or discussed in your narrative).  You are allowed an additional FOUR pages of exhibits. Less is often more. Keep in mind that exhibits should not be used simply as an extension of textual material.  Only include exhibits if you think they contribute something above and beyond the write-up.

Format for Individual Case Write-Up Assignment

  1. Your case write-up should begin with an executive summary that highlights the major issues in the case and clearly states your recommendation(s) based on your thorough analysis the aforementioned key issues (this should be one short paragraph).  The remainder of the case write-up should present in greater detail the analyses which support your conclusions.
  2. The role of the discussion questions is to highlight some of the key aspects of the case, which you should address.  You can also identify other factors that you feel are relevant to the situation at hand that may not be explicitly listed in the case and be prepared to include or discuss those factors in your analysis.
  3. The questions are designed to get you to think about certain issues.  The issues that you identify as the major issues in the case are the ones that you should focus on in your write-up. So, don’t answer the questions on a question-by-question basis. Rather, in analyzing and writing up the case, adopt the perspective of a consultant who has been hired by the company to advise it on the problem at hand. Stitch together the arguments in a smooth way in your write-up. Make sure you evaluate alternative strategies before arriving at your recommendation.
  4. Be sure to use the data in the case when appropriate, including footnotes and exhibits. Write-ups which ignore relevant data are incomplete. However, note that just because some data is presented in the case, it does not necessarily mean that the data is crucial or relevant to the solution you propose. Good managers know what data to use, and how that data must be used.

Effective, highly rewarded case write-ups will:

  1. Provide a coherent, well-organized analysis, not simply a set of notes pieced together. Redraft and proofread the report.
  2. Be concise. Keep the sections short, and provide a strong logical flow for your recommendations. Cut all the fat from your paper: for every sentence, ask yourself “does this specific phrase advance my argument?” If the answer is no, remove it. Write crisply and avoid details of the case that are not relevant to your recommendations. Do not simply restate data from the case. The CEO is already familiar with the business! On the other hand, take every opportunity to support your arguments with case data.
  3. State assumptions explicitly, whenever necessary.
  4. Provide recommendations that are cost-effective and appropriate to the marketing challenge and timing (short-term or long-term) of the problem at hand.
  5. Identify appropriate trade-offs when formulating your recommendation. For example, it is not acceptable to recommend that a company should attempt to have the: 1) highest quality, 2) lowest price, and 3) highest service. (e.g., Tesla for $10,000 and free lifetime battery service)
  6. Tie your exhibits to the text of the report by explicit reference (“see Exhibit X”).