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(solution) Case Briefs - Example and Tips Joe Cannon, Professor of

Appreciate if you can provide the case brief on the Metabical Case. The supporting spreadsheet is also attached and the required template. 

The rubric and a sample brief on Cannon is also attached.

Case Briefs ? Example and Tips Joe Cannon, Professor of Marketing BUS 656 ? Marketing Strategy and Planning You will notice that this class makes heavy use of cases ? and for grading purposes the writing up of cases in a very specific format. In this document I want to explain why we use the specific format for writing up cases ? and to give you an example with some tips. Why do you have this detailed case brief format? You will notice that I have a very particular format for the case briefs. There is a rationale ? besides my obsessive-­?compulsive tendencies. Research on managerial decision-­?making has identified common and serious errors and traps that cause managers to make suboptimal choices (see Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa, Smart Choices): ? Working on the wrong problem ? so we use this format to explicitly state a problem. ? Failing to identify key objectives or desired outcomes. These should be explicit in your Company analysis. ? Failing to develop a range of good, creative alternatives. A documented bias in managerial decision-­?making is the tendency to jump right into the first reasonable solution. The format is designed to train you to step back and seriously evaluate and consider multiple options. ? Giving inadequate consideration to tradeoffs and future implications of decisions. The format requires pros and cons for alternatives and a recommendation. The Mason-­?Mitroff conclusion forces you to recognize the most important assumptions and facts driving your evaluation. The implementation section must include details on the resources and timing required for the recommendation. ? Confirmation bias ? refers to a tendency of people to pay more attention to information that supports beliefs or ideas they already hold. Resarch shows that managers often suffer from this and favor information that confirms previously held ideas. This also biases managers? search for information ? focusing on sources that reinforce their thinking. The format for the case briefs requires you to consider the pros AND cons for non-­?selected alternatives and your ultimate recommendation. In my experience, when managers honestly evaluate and identify ?cons? for a recommended course of action ? they are much more likely to develop implementation plans that acknowledge and minimize the downsides of the ?cons.? The case brief format is ultimately designed to foster and develop critical thinking skills that will help you become a better manager and business decision maker. ?Can you give us a sample case brief?? Over the years students have found it helpful to have a ?sample case brief.? I started doing this and later added annotations ? the blue italicized type ? to explain the brief. I think this will give you some real insight into what we are looking for in the case briefs. So I started with a high quality case brief written for the Population Services International case (written by former student of mine ? Karen Payne and adapted through the years as my format has changed). We have discussed the Population Services case in class ? so the example is familiar to you. Instructions: Please make sure to put your name on the brief so that you can get credit for your work. No name, no credit. DO NOT include a cover page and together we can help reduce waste and save a tree. The case is restricted to four pages or less of text, plus up to two pages of ?Appendices?. Assume that the reader has all the case data. Case briefs that meet standards in all areas earn about 90%. You need to go beyond my standard to earn more points ? you need to do something ?remarkable?. The case brief must have the following six sections (each should be clearly defined by a heading): 1. Problem Statement 2. Situation Analysis (probably with subheadings for each of the Four C?s) 3. Alternatives (With subheadings for each alternative) 4. Recommendation 5. Implementation 6. List of Extras (at least one of which must be a spreadsheet) Note: Appendices include valuable sources of information that complement case analyses. By including exhibits, figures, or tables you can provide more information and organize it in an easy to read manner. That should be a goal that enhances readability. Resist the temptation to provide a table that simply reproduces data already included in the case or which shows us something obvious. For example, a table (or chart) that reproduced the data from the Population Services case exhibit 8 provides little information that we do not already know. On the other hand, creating a table that shows a pro forma income statement or that takes data already in the case and transforms it to generate new insights ? that is a great ?extra!? Joe Cannon Case Brief #1: Population Services October 21, 2014 DSC: Laura Powers [Help us by always putting your name, case brief #, date, and SC name. The case brief number is YOUR number. It should reflect whether this is the first, second, or third case you have submitted.] 1. Problem Statement: PSI must develop a marketing strategy and plan to increase the penetration of birth control pills in Bangladesh. [Note that alternative problem statements could also be developed. One might have focused more broadly on the penetration of birth control in the Bangladesh market. That problem statement would assumed that PSI?s goals were to increase the couple year?s planning in the country ? and leaves open the possibility of no longer selling birth control pills. When evaluating cases we look for the rest of the case brief to be focused on the problem statement identified. Also, be sure the problem statement identifies a specific problem and is not too broad.] 2. Situation Analysis: The facts below and others are also summarized in a SWOT analysis in Exhibit 1. Company (PSI) ? Operates on very limited resources ? Highly dependent upon support from Bangladesh government and USAID ? Raja sales had increased steadily ? the brand now had 59% of the condom market ? Maya sales were slowly declining had only 8% of the birth control pill market ? PSI did not involve itself with marketing clinical birth control methods ? PSI had previously had good success in Sri Lanka especially with condoms ? PSI?s main role was to devise and implement marketing strategies ? PSI had a good relationship with the Bangladeshi government ? There are only limited funds available for marketing Collaborators [Note: in this case the ?collaborators? (outside organizations that can facilitate or constrain a marketing strategy) are explicitly noted because they are particularly important to strategy design and implementation. Collaborators that are not always relevant to the analysis.] ? The Bangladeshi government is an important partner and we cannot work without their support. The Bangladeshi government is an important partner whose support is critical. ? The government?s objective is to maximize couple years planning. The government will provide more support if current business strategy focuses on non-­?birth control users adopting birth control as opposed to growing market share by shifting consumers from other birth control products to PSI?s products. The government also has social workers that might be available to help us with any of our plans. The government has social workers that might be able to provide assistance. ? USAID provides financial support for our efforts. They are concerned with the efficiency of our efforts. USAID provide financial support to program and are concerned with efficient of efforts. ? RMP (Rural medial practitioners) ? we need to understand this group better, but they appear to be influential. ? Our channels of distribution make a good return on investment for Raja but less so for Maya (See Exhibit 2). Customers ? Associate condoms with sex, but perceive pill as a powerful drug ? Very poor country ? average per capita income of $120 ? Most of the population is rural ? only 9% urban ? While 85% of the population was Muslim (which opposed birth control) only 6% of those surveyed cited religion as a reason for not using birth control ? 80% of couples do not use birth control Competitors ? The government?s free condom (Tahiti) had 29% of the market ? In the Pill market the government?s free brand had 38% of the market & more expensive brands ? Ovastat, Lyndiol, Ovral, and Nordette had 52% share. ? A new regional brand of pill (Santi) showed success with a ?100% guarantee? ? Maybe the biggest competitor is ?no birth control? ? Context: ? The country would be unlikely to divert professional medical personnel to birth control ? given their limited numbers and more pressing health concerns. ? There appears to be a growing concern in the country and the world about population growth. Tips for conducting a strong Situation Analysis section. (I think you should be consistent in where you put your tips. The problem statement had the example and then your comment. Here we have your comment and then the examples. I would be consistent) ?


In developing your situation analysis, you may start with a longer list of relevant factors ? and then trim them down to those most relevant to your problem statement, alternatives, recommendation and implementation plan. A frequent weakness in the situation analysis is the presentation of facts and information from the case that are only tangential to the problem statement. ?


Note that this case brief also organizes the key information from the situation analysis into a SWOT analysis in Exhibit 1. This can be an effective strategy that allows you to include more information. It also shows the application of a tool you may have learned elsewhere in your business studies. It should be listed as an ?Extra? in Section 7.. ?


Almost all cases will include the 4 C?s and there may also be other factors to consider. ?


Finally, notice the writing style. The use of bullets makes it easier for a manager (or someone grading ? we both have the same objective to quickly determine the validity of ? a proposal) to see the key points. Also, many of the bulleted statements are not complete sentences. The writing style is very straightforward and focuses on factual issues from the case. 3. Alternatives: Option One: Mass Consumer Education Program for Maya This program emphasizes marketing communications targeted at the women. Mass communication methods (advertising primarily) would be used. We would do mass advertising primarily on the radio because of the low literacy of the female target market. The product, channels, and pricing would remain the same as currently used. [Note that the problem statement indicated that a marketing strategy (four Ps and target market = marketing strategy) is needed for Maya. It helps with your alternative to have a short description following it. A bit more detail helps the reader understand some of the details related to this option. Bullets can be used, too.] PROS CONS ?


Leverages Maya?s public brand awareness, ? Fails to segment market, mass marketing promotes positive public image has been previously ineffective ?


Direct channel to consumer, drives ?


Ignores medical channel influence, fails to preference from purchasers elevate brand image in medical ?


Easy to sell to USAID and Bangladesh community government, similar mass market strategy ? Does not consider customer?s inability to diverts funds to consumer education select product off shelf ?


Requires little pricing or distribution ?


Provides no measurable proof of concept, realignment in terms of zero population growth or increased sales potential ?


Does not solve pricing/distribution issues ?


Mass radio advertising may not be able to convey enough information about the pill Conclusion: [The conclusion should provide a final evaluation of the alternative. It should use the Mason-­?Mitroff format that we describe in class ? including 1) Summary claim, 2) data that supports the claim, 3) warrant, and 4) rebuttal.] [Claim] This alternative assumes the failures of Maya are due primarily to a misperception that women have with the product. Women do not rely on advertising as a valid source of information about birth control pills. [Data] Because this product is so intimate, complex, and [Warrant] given that each woman responds differently to birth control pills, she needs personal information sources to gather the unique information that reflects her individual concerns. [Rebuttal] Unless an advertising campaign could effectively communicate this complex message to women, this strategy will not work. Option Two: Renaming, Repricing and Distribution Realignment This approach would still target the female customer but emphasizes changes to product, price, and place. We would ?Start from scratch,? by reexamining and developing an enhanced value proposition, renaming the product with an English sounding name and repositioning it in the market by emphasizing quality. We would increase pricing and utilize direct sales force to target key channel influencers. PROS CONS ?


Ability to start with a clean slate, refocus ?


Very expensive and time consuming marketing efforts in a new direction ?


Requires product repackaging effort ?


Direct channel to medical community, ?


Lose public brand awareness drives preference from influencers to ?


Very difficult sell to USAID and Bangladesh consumer government, no solid proof of enhanced ?


Alleviates image problems in medical performance against goals community ?


Requires sales force re-­?education, or ?


Increased price allows for greater margins, possibly new hires, long ramp-­?up time may make distribution more attractive ?


May alienate existing wholesaler network ?


Does not consider existing pharmacy/ pharmaceutical arrangements ?


Consumers may be price sensitive Conclusion: Under this option we build a new birth control pill brand from scratch. A new pill allows for creating a new brand image. [Claim] The cost and effort required to develop a new brand name and build awareness is too high. [Data] Because of the high cost and [Warrant] given that the case indicates it took a number of years and significant advertising (PSI as second largest advertiser in the country) to build the awareness of Raja and Maya and because funding is limited ? this strategy is prohibitive. [Rebuttal] Unless the cost of building a new brand image can be lower than efforts to repair the current brand (and we see no evidence of such efficiency), this strategy should not be pursued. [In the Alternatives section, you outline TWO UNCHOSEN alternatives (that is in addition to the recommendation ? which is different from these two). List the pros and cons of each alternative. Our evaluation of this section focuses on the following: ? The depth of your analysis (demonstrated in your pros and cons and conclusion for each alternative) provides a strong indication of the quality of your analysis. Better case briefs include more detail and insight in this analytical stage. ? The pros and cons should be analytical ? they should EVALUATE the alternative. They should not DESCRIBE the alternative. ? Be sure that your description of your alternative is detailed enough so it can be understood. The examples here are concise, but clear to a reader of the case. ? Be sure to include the Mason-­?Mitroff conclusion. ? We also look for alternatives to address the problem statement. So for example, with the problem statement used in this brief, it would be an inappropriate alternative to increase promotional spending on condoms (the problem statement is to develop a strategy to increase sales of birth control pills)]. Note that because THIS problem statement focuses on a ?marketing strategy? that an alternative should not deal with a single element of the marketing mix (1 P ? but probably should mention all four as well as the target market.). 4. Recommendation After review of the market dynamics, competitive landscape and core product/company competencies, I recommend the following strategy: ?


Maintain existing brand name and packaging ?


Shift consumer advertising strategy to a segmented information approach that targets rural users ?


Reposition Maya in medical community to clearly emphasize value and quality ? Deploy educational campaign to key market influencers (RMPs and doctors) ? Deploy inside sales hotline to answer medical questions ? Provide financial incentives to RMPs for recommending and distributing product ?


Raise price to increase margins in wholesale, retail and medical networks, yet maintain a lower price than competitive products and keeping within reach of public ?


See Exhibit 3 for a detailed strategy justification. PROS CONS ?


Preserves many core strengths of existing ? Must overcome preconceived notions to market strategy: reposition product in market ? Public brand recognition and identity ? Product quality documentation and consumer education is required ? Widespread availability ?


Must overcome internal bias against RMPs ? Distribution network must overcome preconceived notions in ? Continued public communications medical community ?


Alleviates image problems in medical ?


Consumer may be price sensitive, but this community and drives preference is not indicated in assessment of ?


Rewards RMPs for distribution competitive pricing ?


Increased price allows for greater margins, ?


Increased sales will result in increased may make retail distribution more losses (because of subsidization) ? we will attractive need more funding from USAID ?


Supports USAID and Bangladesh ?


Requires proof of concept to sell government?s financial goals and zero organizations (Exhibit 3 Strategy population strategy Justification) Summary: [Claim] Maya is viewed as a low quality product and has a bad reputation [Data] because the low price signals low quality to consumers and medical professionals, they are not well informed about the product. [Warrant] This is true because products priced up to 10x greater have larger market share than Maya and RMPs incorrectly identify the government product as Maya and falsely blame it for women?s health problems. [Rebuttal] This claim and the strategy designed to offset it will work unless we are unable to raise prices due to objections from members of the Social Marketing Council or if we cannot devise an effective method for educating RMPs. [The recommendation should be explained in greater detail than the alternatives. The description provided here meets expectations, but you could provide even more detail. The evaluation of pros and cons and Mason-­?Mitroff conclusion are still needed. Evaluation of the recommendation follows the same criteria as the alternatives ? with a bit higher expectations.] 5. Implementation Plan The following details the implementation strategy, budget, timeline and performance metrics: Target Audience/Goal Strategy Elements Budget Timeline Metrics Project Council/ 1. Conceptual and N/A Complete ? Agreement to USAID/Bangladesh Financial Justification -­? ramp up begin ramp up Government (see Exhibit 2) to take 3 process in Q1 2. Need additional months ? Strategy Acceptance funding from USAID ? Increased investment Medical Community 1. Clinical Case Studies $25,000 Q1-­?Q2 ? 5% increase in 2. Product Brochure $20,000 ? Education product referral 3. Product Hotline/Sales $30,000 ? Preference ? 90% customer Training retention rate ? 50% increase in Q2 Maya sales Rural Consumer 1. Clinical Case Studies N/A Q3-­?Q4 ? 75% increase in 2. Public Relations $10,000 ? Education Q3-­?Q4 sales 3. Radio Messaging $40,000 ? Preference ? 25% growth years 4. Rural Seminars, (field $45,000 2-­?5 workers and volunteer organizations 5. Point of Purchase $30,000 Our goal is to first ramp up internally, educating the sales force and internal support teams in Q1. We will follow this with an educational campaign in Q2 aimed at the medical community and volunteer organizations to increase acceptance of the product in this channel. And finally, we will go after the end consumer to exert some backward pressure on the medical community. The implementation plan shown here includes all the elements necessary for basic credit in this section ? we expect to see: a) implementation plan, b) cost data, c) timeline data. All case briefs should include this ? even if you have to make some assumptions. I like how this brief includes specific performance metrics and outlines the different audiences ? there are extras that may differ depending upon the recommendations. Where possible, the implementation plan should try to explicitly address or at least reduce the impact of some of the ?Cons? with the recommendation. For example, Exhibit 3 is used to offset concerns about proving the concept. This implementation plan might have also included a plan to monitor price sensitivity early on during adoption to offset that ?con.? Please note that one weakness of this case brief is a lack of detail in the Implementation Plan. It could be dinged a point (9/10). As noted in the Summary following the recommendation, the implementation plan should address selling the proposal to the Bangladeshi government and the medical community. I would like to see a bit more detail. I am not sure that I like this format best ? you could use it if you think it works, but don?t hesitate to try to improve on it. 6. Extras List of Extras: ? Exhibit 1: SWOT Analysis ? Exhibit 2: Return on Investment for Channel Partners (spreadsheets) ? Exhibit 3: Strategy justification [To make sure you get credit for all your ?extras? be sure you list them and note which is a spreadsheet ? at least one spreadsheet is required in your analysis. This is especially important if your ?extra? appears in a different section ? not at the end of the paper. They should reflect something above and beyond ? and usually are best represented in a graphic/figure or table. These exhibits supplement the situation analysis (exhibits 1 and 2) and the recommendation (exhibit 3).] Exhibit 1: SWOT Analysis Strengths: Weaknesses: ? Strong Brand Recognition ? Unaccepted in Medical Community ? Positive Brand Identity ? No Ties to Influencers (RMPs/Doctors) ? Affordable Pricing ? No Strong Retail Alliances ? Widespread Availability ? Low Margins for Wholesalers and Retailers ? Product Quality (2X strength of ? Undifferentiated Product competition) ? Unproven Value Proposition (not ? USAID Subsidy communicated) ? Inability for Consumer to Actively Select Product ? Lack of Market Segmentation ? Speed Impeded by Disjointed PSI Management Opportunities: Threats: ? Change Perception in Medical Community ? Down-­?Market Version of ?Name Brand? products ? Open Distribution Channel through RMPs ? Competitive Alliance in Retail Channels ? Distribution Channel Incentives ? Competition Moves Broadly into Rural ? Channel Education/Prove Value Areas Proposition ? Pharmacy/Pricing Arrangements ? Product Pricing Excellence Exhibit 2: Return on Investment for Channel Partners [Note: this is a concept the student learned in another class.] Distribution Channels: Margins for Raja Channel Cost (Tk) Margin (Tk) Selling Price (Tk) -­? Wholesaler .29* .02 .31 -­? Stockist .31 .02 .33 -­? Retailer .33 .07 .40** *SMP selling price **Price to consumer Channel Margin (%) Average Inventory turns -­? Wholesaler 6.5 11 -­? Stockist 6.1 11 -­? Retailer 17.5 7 Note that ROI = margin % x inventory turns (from p. 8 of case) Distribution Channels: Margins for Maya Channel Cost (Tk) Margin (Tk) Selling Price (Tk) -­? Wholesaler .45* .04 .49 -­? Stockist .49 .04 .53 -­? Retailer .53 .17 .70** *SMP selling price **Price to consumer Channel Margin (%) Average Inventory turns -­? Wholesaler 8.2 5.5 -­? Stockist 7.5 5.5 -­? Retailer 24.3 3.5 Note that ROI = margin % x inventory turns (from p. 8 of case) Margin (%) 6.5 6.1 17.5 ROI % 71 67 122 Margin (%) 8.2 7.5 24.3 ROI % 45 41 85 Exhibit 3: Strategy Justification [Note that this goes above and beyond the typical analysis for a recommendation ? so the student claimed it as an ?Extra?] Target Audience: 91% of Fertile Population or 18.2 Million Couples Primary Source of Contraception: Pan Stores, Small General Stores, RMPs Pricing Excellence Current Price: Tk. 0.70 Suggested Price: Tk. 1.30 Increased Margin: Tk. 0.50 ? Applied directly to doctors, RMPs, semi-­?wholesalers and rural retailers to drive penetration in rural markets Price Comparison to Competitive Offerings: Ovastat Tk. 4.50 Lindol, Ovral, Nordette Tk. 2.25-­?3.15 Expected Increase in RMP Referrals Due to Pricing Excellence: 5% or 910,000 Referrals 20% Converted Sales Produces Net Sales Increase: 182,000 Cycles Product Margin Unchanged @ Tk.0.45 Produces Increased Revenue of Tk. 81,900.00 Consumer Education Increase in revenue helps fund long-­?range consumer education programs that support zero population growth. By setting up networks to further educate rural consumers about birth control through field workers, RMPs and volunteer organizations, we combat the #1 reason why fertile couples do not use birth control. Product Pro...


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Sep 13, 2020





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