Case Study

Core Task:
Basing your arguments on the academic literature that you have studied in the first six topics of this
unit, write a report on the ways two different organisations have been able to compete in their
markets. Your report should discuss the following points about each of the two organisations:
1. Evidence that the organisation has a gain a competitive advantage from their marketing
2. Theoretical analysis of the reasons for the achievement of this advantage.
Your discussion is to be based on two suitable published case studies. This means case studies
published in the academic literature – for example, the series of case studies in a textbook, or
published in journals etc. Case studies and short articles in newspapers, magazines, website opinion
pages and the like are definitely not acceptable, although such materials may be used to supplement
the published case study and your analysis. All sources must be properly referenced. If in any doubt
about the suitability of a case study, seek an early ruling from your tutor.
This is a substantial piece of scholarly work and will require extensive engagement with both unit
theory and at least two detailed case studies.
1. Choose your two cases. They all need to be published cases in academic sources (e.g.
textbooks, journal articles). It is obviously important that each case represents an instance of
a company achieving a clear success in terms of their marketing function.
2. Analyse and locate evidence. Begin to analyse each case in terms of the two questions –
particularly question one listed previous. It is vital that you respond to both questions, but
the evidence successful marketing practice is more likely to be in the case material itself. It is
in this part of the process that you might bring in supplemental material from company
documents/websites, media analysis and so on. Be sure to reference all sources properly.
You need to try and show clear and where possible objective evidence of sustained
competitive advantage.
3. Analyse and explain. You need to move from the presentation of evidence to explaining how
the company/organisation was able to achieve its success through its strategies. This part of
the assignment requires you to consider any aspect of the marketing strategy process and/or
any aspect of the organisations’ marketing-based strategising that you think has enabled
them to sustain their competitive advantage. You will need to show that you understand
relevant theories and concepts from the course and that you can apply them to an analysis
and assessment of different companies’ marketing actions and performance. Consider using
relevant models and theoretical perspectives to make your analysis. For example, you might
find that one successful organisation has executed its marketing strategy by applying Ansoff’s
Matrix in a disciplined manner, whereas another successful organisation has executed a
successful marketing strategy by consistently exploiting some interesting form of customer
segmentation. You may find an opportunity to critique various concepts and theoretical
positions through seeing how they apply or don’t apply to your case organisations. Evidence
that you understand and can use tools discussed in the early topics of the unit will add value.
4. Write up. On completing your analysis, you obviously need to write it up. You should respond
to this task in report format, with headings and subheadings used to help readers understand
the structure of your paper. A possible structure might be:
a. An introduction which both sets up the task and the rest of the paper, and introduces
the core concepts that the task is designed to deal with. You might also take this
chance to scope the work – for example the time frame that will be used to assess the
marketing success for the case organisations.
b. Description of the two cases. Describe each case, each organisation and the sources of
your information.
c. Evidence of Marketing-related success (leading through to a competitive advantage for
the firm). Marshal all the evidence that you can that you think reveals that each
organisation has well and truly found success in the marketing realm.
d. Analysis and Explanation. Provide a detailed analysis of how each organisation
achieved its success in marketing terms.
e. Conclusion. Summarise the key points and what can be learnt from the overall analysis.