marketing managers must often make tough decisions based B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e
Questions to consider:
- What is the “image” of the Coleman Museum of Art? Why is image important for a museum?
- How would you rate the overall performance of the Coleman Museum of Art?
- What are the roles and financial expectations for a museum’s auxiliary activities and how are these activities performing?
- What recommendations should Ms. Mercer and Mr. Pate make to the Coleman museum’s Board of Trustee. Why?
Financial things to consider:
- What are the contribution margins of each category of membership? Is the $50 membership profitable to the museum? (obtained through direct mail)
- Should the museum charge $2 admission fee? Why or why not?
- Should they eliminating the 15% member discount for the gift shop? Why or why not
There are no right or wrong answers to a case, but you must use acceptable methods and provide adequate justification based on the case data and marketing principles.You will be evaluated on your ability to analyze information and to justify a solution with marketing tools and concepts from the lectures and the text.Do not try to guess at a “right” answer or to come closest to what the firm may have actually done.The firm’s actual behavior was not necessarily the best solution. Remember, the process of arriving at an answer is more important than the answer itself.
Specific information pertaining to guidelines to be used for each specific case may be downloaded from the course web site. It is important that you follow these guidelines carefully. Grading will be based, in part, on the extent to which you follow the required format and guidelines for the case. In addition, students should read every chapter in the textbook.Text chapters contain important information pertaining to the cases in the corresponding sections.Student preparation of cases will be aided by reading these chapters.
The text portion of the report should be no longer than four (4) pages in length, excluding tables and other support materials.Text running longer than four pages will not be graded. Use tables and graphs as appropriate.Place support materials at the end of the report and refer to them in the body of the report (e.g., see Table 1).Use the page limit carefully.Think quality of thought, not quantity.Do NOT waste time summarizing the case, restating the case background information, and do not write a research proposal.Use the case text materials to support your analysis of the case information and your arguments for and against the alternatives open to the company.
Proper spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, paragraphing, etc., are requisites for an acceptable case analysis.Cases MUST be typed in their entirety and double-spaced, with one inch margins (no more, no less—be sure to check) all around.Print font size should be 12.Any tables, charts, or graphs used should be typed.Financial and other calculations must be shown in table format not in calculation format. Please do not use any folders or binders; simply staple your pages together.
It may be helpful to use Chapter 3 of the textbook as background in helping you with your case analysis.
- One Page Executive Summary: Write this summary AFTER you finished the case analysis; summarize your findings and analysis with a clear recommendation.Using key factors only.
- Statement of the Main Issue/Main Problem. Identify the specific issues and problems that are impacting the firm at the time of the case.You must provide a clear set of arguments describing why the issue arose or why the issue is important to the firm at the time the case was written. Keep in mind that the main issue could be an opportunity or a threat to the company.Do not confuse symptoms with problems. Keep asking “why” to get to the root of the problem. After articulating the broad main issue, articulate the specific decision issue—what must be decided. Finally, identify the criteria indicating a successful solution to the main problems.
- Situation Analysis. You must assess the current situation with respect to the industry, customers, competitors, and the company to determine what variables, either at the firm level or from the external environment, will impact or constrain the decision-making process. Focus only on the relevant case data. Do not rehash or restate case material.Your job is to interpret and analyze, not summarize the material presented in the case.
- Evaluation of Alternative Courses of Action. Each alternative must be evaluated.You should list the pros and cons of each alternative.To properly consider the alternatives, you must present the anticipated outcomes of each alternative in qualitative and quantitative terms.Each alternative must be evaluated in terms of the situation.
- Recommendation. You must choose your recommended plan of action from your list of alternatives.You must provide a complete justification for your choice.Do not hedge on your decision.Make it clear that your decision represents the best of the set of alternative options.
Notes For All Cases:
- Where the case presents quantitative data, use it to justify your decision–You must be able to show that the decision makes good financial sense.
- Your decision should be congruent with the situation and corporate objectives. Make sure that support for your decision is logically consistent with your appraisal of the situation.
- Do not rehash case material!!Restating the material in the case is not necessary.You are presenting a plan of action, not a summary.Not all of the information in the case is relevant to the problem at hand.If data do not address the problem, do not spend time trying to incorporate it into your analysis.
- You may be tempted to recommend that the firm simply “gather more data.”This is never an acceptable alternative.The reality is that marketing managers must often make tough decisions based on information that is currently available.You must do the same.
- All information for the case write-ups is contained in the case—you may not conduct additional research, such as the internet, to find supplemental information about the case, the company or the analysis.
- Grammar and spelling are extremely important in your written analysis of the cases.There is no way a paper can be considered well written if it contains numerous grammatical and typographical errors.As a result, every typographical and grammatical error will result in a one-point reduction in your final score (maximum of 20 point deduction).Please edit your work!
Common grammatical errors:
- Do not use contractions
- There, their
- Affect, effect
- Regard, not regards unless writing a letter
You should, when you turn in your report, be able to say without any reservation that this effort is 100% your own work and thought.See the syllabus for a discussion of issues of plagiarism on written assignments.