Strategic marketing and planning


The assessment of this module is a written marketing plan. Each student is asked to develop a strategic marketing plan for a company, and one of its products in particular, of his or her choice.

  • The company may sell goods, services or both. It can be from any part of the world. It could be a not-for-profit organisation provided it has products that are sold to individuals or other organisations, e.g. a charity selling goods to raise money for the charity’s work.
  • You are encouraged to obtain secondary data on the company, its market and its competition. This can be supplemented by your own examination of its products, target markets, and communications, insofar as you can observe them from outside.
  • A template plan is attached. The plan deals with an existing product (or service) of the company, which you can choose.
  • The plan should contain no more than 2,500 words with judicious use of any appendices. Everything that is crucial for understanding needs to be in the main text.
  • Please note that the word limit is strict. Anything that goes beyond the allowed 2,500 word for the core content will not be marked.
  • A reference list must be included. This reference list should show, for example, the source of any secondary data you have used. The reference list does not count towards the page length.



The plan will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Use of tools (40%): Appropriate application and plausible interpretation of tools and techniques covered in the module
  • Use of data (20%): Informing the plan with secondary data where available or the student’s own observation where possible
  • Commercial awareness (20%): Using mature judgement as to what actions will deliver the best commercial returns
  • Integration and presentation (20%): Presenting professionally and integrating the sections of the plan so that it makes a coherent and persuasive argument.


Reading list

Marketing plans: how to prepare them, how to profit from them

Book by Malcolm McDonald; Hugh Wilson 2016


Recommended Reading for consumer behavior

I highly recommend Consumer Behavior & Marketing Strategy by J. Paul Peter and Jerry C. Olson. It is by far the most coherent textbook on consumer behaviour and one of the few to consistently link how an understanding of consumer behaviour can and should inform marketing strategy.

Get whatever copy you can get most easily get your hand on, but ideally the most recent one that you can. There are multiple versions in the market (US version, Global version), the only difference of which is what examples are used to illustrate the points.

Unfortunately the book has recently gone out of print, but it is still available (to buy as well as through the Cranfield library).


Additional Reading

Another worthwhile textbook is Consumer Behavior by Michael R. Solomon (and colleagues for some editions). It takes a slightly different approach to the one by Peter and Olson, and while there is a fair amount of overlap between the two, they also cover some distinct areas. Having both therefore makes for a fairly comprehensive overview of the discipline. There isn’t too much difference between the most recent editions, so if you get a relatively up-to-date one that is alright.

Again, there are multiple versions (US Edition, European Edition) which cover examples from different parts of the world.