E/she who fails to plan, plans to fail.

Guidelines for Individual Written Assignment (30%)

The individual assignment requires you to write 1500 words (excluding references), and quote a minimum of 5 journal references. A list of journals that you may wish to consider will be posted on the 1003MKT LearningGU site. Five sources are presented in this document to get you started, though these should not be the only ones used. To achieve higher marks you should refer to at least some of the suggested readings and find some of your own from a Data Base and/or Library Catalogue search. You must read these sources and apply the information to address the statement:

1. He/ she who fails to plan, plans to fail.

Your task is to critically evaluate this statement with reference to marketing planning.


Your essay should consist of four sections, but unlike a report, it should not have sub-headings. Major headings are allowed (they should not be numbered). Your essay should have the following components:

Introduction
Body
2a. Background & definitions
2b. Analysis & informed judgement
Conclusion
Reference List

1. Introduction
As with essay introductions generally, your introduction to this essay should clearly and succinctly answer the following questions:
What is the topic or central issue in this essay? (1-2 sentences)
Why is it important? (1 sentence)
What will I focus on and how will I organise my essay? This is what we sometimes refer to as a roadmap for your reader. (1-2 sentences)
What is my argument? (1 sentence)

Your introduction should be very brief one paragraph only (150-200 words in total).

2. Body
As a general rule, the body of the essay has two main parts: a short summary of important background information and definitions, followed by a much longer section, which critically evaluates the statement and develops your own argument. You should only provide enough background information and definitions for your reader to follow and understand your argument (i.e., 1-2 paragraphs).

2a. Background and definitions: In the body of this essay, you should provide a brief definition of marketing planning, its dimensions, and provide a brief summary of the debate surrounding your topic. If there is an alternate viewpoint, you should identify it (eg. consider monopolies, B2B firms, evidence of successful companies that do not engage in formal marketing planning, strategic vision vs opportunism).

Although we want you to present a strong case for your own position on this issue, it is important to show the reader that your position is not the only one. You can do this by giving an overview of the debate (i.e., briefly identify the different positions taken in relation to the question) before you begin to develop your own position.

2b. Analysis: The most important part of the body is where you develop and support your position (informed judgement or argument) on the statement. You should organise this part of the essay according to themes (or main ideas/concerns or key points), which you will find in the books and articles you read on this topic. Think of each theme as your justification for why marketing planning is important/ not important/ or sometimes important to prevent failure. You will identify a number of themes and should support your discussion of each theme with references  in text (Author, year). Remember, you must provide in text references (Author, year) each time you quote, paraphrase or use any material (ideas, arguments or evidence) that is the work of any researcher. These in-text references must also be listed in full in your reference list.

We recommend that you focus on two or three themes only. In academic writing, it is far better to evaluate a few key ideas thoroughly than try to cover too many at a superficial level. You should find two or three different responses to your  because statement. With each theme you should aim to refer to more than one relevant source.

3. Conclusion: a checklist
A conclusion in an essay is substantially different from the recommendations section in a report. A conclusion in an essay should:
Show how your understanding of the problem has been developed through your research
Restate your overall argument
Restate your key points (the 2-3 themes you have discussed in the essay).

4. Referencing
You may use any referencing format you like in this course at Nathan (APA or Harvard). You will find the style guide for each of these on the course website.

For this essay, you should include only those texts that you cite in your essay; i.e., do not include texts you have read but not cited. Your Reference List should appear last, on a separate page, with a heading.



Essay Sources

Allred, A., Addams, H.L., and Chakraborty, G. (2007),  Is informal planning the key to success of the inc. 500? Journal of Small Business Strategy, Vol. 18, Iss. 1, pp. 95-104.

Davids, M., and Newcomb, K. (2006),  Planning for marketing success: Turning the  Wheel, Debt 3, Vol. 21, Iss. 4, pp. 22-25.

Isenberg, D.J. (1987),  The tactics of strategic opportunism, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 65, Iss. 2, pp. 92-97.

McDonald, M.H.B. (1992),  Ten barriers to marketing planning, The journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, Vol. 7, Iss. 1, pp. 5-18.

Simkin, L. (2002),  Barriers impeding effective implementation of marketing plans a training agenda, The Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, Vol. 17, Iss. 1, pp. 8-22.

To Get You Started:
Drafting the introduction Essential questions

Your introduction needs to provide the structure for the rest of your essay. It needs to address four questions very clearly (identified above). In a short essay, such as this one, it also needs to be very short (one paragraph, of about 150-200 words). If you address all of these questions you will have covered all of the information required for this section.

What is your topic or central issue? (Here you need to re-phrase the essay topic to tell the reader what the essay is broadly about) 1-2 sentences
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Why is this essay question important? (Why does it matter? To whom does it matter? What are the implications of not addressing the topic question?) 1 sentence
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What will the essay focus on; i.e., the themes you will discuss, and in what order? (This will be your  road map for your reader) 1-2 sentences
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What is your argument? For example,  This essay argues that marketing planning is important to prevent failure . 1 sentence
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Please note: You can choose to place the road map before or after the argument in your introduction.
Writing the introduction: A checklist


Does your introduction&
Y/N Comments
1. State what the topic or central issue is (Does it re-phrase the essay topic?) 1-2 sentences




2. Explain why this essay question is important (Why does it matter? To whom does it matter? What are the implications of not addressing the question of marketers responsibility?) 1 sentence


3. Pro