Sample Marketing Coursework Assignment on A Strategy Case Study for a Manufacturer

Review the case study which is on pages 2-4 of this document. Using
the matrix at the end of the case study as a guide, write a 5-7 page
a paper summarizing the case and discussing all your findings as well
as your recommendations.
Papers are to be double-spaced, 12 points, in Times New Roman font.
Include a cover page and a reference page listing all sources utilized.
This case study is from The Practical Marketing Workbook (2017,
2nd edition) by Geoff Fripp. It is open source for instructors’ use.
A Strategy Case Study for a Manufacturer
Read the following case study on a manufacturer. They are faced with
several strategic choices (based on their marketing manager’s and
various consultants’ recommendations”). Which one would you
recommend and why?
Note: At the end of the case a simple worksheet has been provided to
assist you with this strategy selection task.)
The Little Italy Pasta Company
Clive was not happy. While sales were up on last year, profits were
well down. This is the fault of the new marketing manager, Mitchell,
which he hired last year. Mitchell’s plan was to dramatically increase
market share, which he argued would lead to cost efficiencies and
increased overall profits.
While market share did increase somewhat, there was a dramatic
increase in marketing expenses that wasn’t offset by the gain in

revenue. So profits fell. Clive now wished that he hadn’t fired the
previous marketing manager, Geoff. But, at the time, Clive thought
that Geoff was too conservative in his decisions as he was always
talking about “long-term” growth and development.
Martin and Jane, his two accountants, had previously warned him
about the “overspend” in the marketing expenses, but Mitchell kept
assuring Clive that his plan would work.
The financial figures are as follows:
2014 2015
2015 2016
Sales ($m’s) 7.4 8.2 10.8
Market share 6.1% 6.5% 8.2%
COGS ($m’s) 2.2 2.5 3.2
Marketing ($m’s) 1.4 1.5 3.5
Fixed Costs ($m’s) 2.6 2.7 2.9
Pre-tax profit ($m’s) 1.2 1.5 1.2
Brand awareness 16% 17% 25%
In recent months, Clive had commissioned three different marketing
consultants to produce a report on what the firm should do now. The
The only problem is that they are saying to implement different strategies.
That’s why he needs your help!!!
Consultant 1 – Jasmine
“After reviewing the operations of the Little Italy Pasta Company, it is
clear that the major problem facing the firm is the lack of access to
major supermarket chains. This is limiting your sales expansion and
the ability to truly build your brand.”
“However, you need a suitable entry strategy into this particularly
competitive channel. Therefore, it is recommended that you introduce
a range of novel pasta shapes and flavors. This will both create social
media attention and give your sales team a ‘real shot’ at getting

mainstream distribution.”
“In terms of your major objectives, I would suggest that sales growth,
channel expansion and product development goals are set.”
Consultant 2 – Grace
“Little Italy has a number of strengths. It has a good distribution base
(outside the major retailers), it has growing customer loyalty and had
good consistent quality and flavor.”
“To target increased growth, however, will be quite difficult – it would
require a move to the main supermarket channels, which I would
strongly advise against it. You do not have the production or
distribution capacities to provide the required volumes, plus it would
weaken your positioning.”
“Therefore, I would recommend that you enhance your position as a
gourmet pasta provider. Stick to your existing channels (of smaller
supermarkets and delicatessens and slowly introduce more up-market
versions. This will ensure slow steady growth, while greatly enhancing
“In terms of your major objectives, I would suggest that profitability,
market positioning and new products are the priorities.”
Consultant 3 – Neville
“People want easy-to-prepare meals that are great value. It’s that
simple. Your products are a little too ‘gourmet-ish’ (too up-market).
That means that they take longer to prepare and are considered a bit
expensive. Your previous market research has highlighted these
“That’s why the major supermarket chains won’t stock your products –
your positioning doesn’t fit with their ‘mainstream’ target market. What
you need to do is to go downmarket. More pre-cooked pasta choices

and can be cooked in 5 minutes – not 12. And cut out some of the
fancy ingredients to get the costs down.”
“I would recommend that you set an objective for major products
redesigns in order to
achieve a much lower COGS (cost of goods sold) ratio, as your gross
margin is too low.”
Marketing Manager – Mitchell
“We’re in the middle of a growth market. People are looking for better
quality meals that they can easily prepare at home. There are plenty of
low-cost/low-quality meals available. That’s a tough market to be in –
very crowded and very competitive.”
“What we need to do is to stay ‘gourmet’ and we need to keep building
a strong brand. That’s what I’ve been working on. That’s the key to our
financial future.”
“Sure, with increased production, our average costs will fall a bit, but
not enough to cover our investment in brand building. So this means
we will decrease profitability for a while -but it’s a long-term
investment!!! Our objectives should clearly be improved market share,
brand awareness, and a clear product offering – nothing else is
important at this stage.”
Key Points of Jasmine’s Plan Key Points of Grace’s Plan
Key Points of Neville’s Plan Key Points of Mitchell’s Plan
Review of the
A good fit to
the strengths
and skills of
the firm?
A match to
Can provide
better or
different from
Sustainain the lonterm?

Jennifer’s Plan
Grace’s Plan
Neville’s Plan
Mitchell’s Plan
Your decision would be
Main reasons for your