Writing Assignment Marketing

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Before developing a marketing plan, marketers need to conduct situation analysis and subsequently SWOT analysis of the company.  Information about the internal and external environment of the company can be found in general audience magazines and newspapers, as well as in publications for more specific audiences, and databases such as census.gov, SimplyMap, and Hoover’s.  This exercise will help students learn how to research, read, and make use of a variety of secondary resources in analyzing the environments of the company, and provide us with a starting point for talking about types of secondary sources and how and why to access them.



Samadi, N. (2012), Single Location Full-Service Restaurants in the U.S. Santa Monica, CA: IBISWorld

Hoover’s on Restaurant

SimplyMap data on Reading

Census.gov data on Reading and Berks County

Reading Eagle article on new restaurant


In this semester, imagine you are hired as an account executive of ABC Consulting Company to advise Mr. Smart, the owner of single-location independently owned (not part of a restaurant chain) full-service (not fast food) restaurant in the Greater Reading area.


Read and critically use all the secondary sources listed above, plus TWO other secondary resources you search on your (5 points – remember to include all of secondary resources in the situation analysis write-up, in-text citation, and reference section).  Then write an executive summary to Mr. Smart that reflects your honest thoughts about the business environments faced by him, as ABC is going to help him develop a marketing campaign for his restaurant in the Greater Reading area after conducting situation and SWOT analyses.  The maximum allowable length of this paper is two pages (1.5-line or double spaced).


  1. Write an executive summary of the situation analysis, that is, the business environments faced by Mr. Smart’s restaurant in the Greater Reading area (you can choose any established independently owned restaurant).  The situation analysis should address ALL the key elements in both the internal and external environments.


  1. Internal environment includes information such as:
  2. Restaurant name
  3. Type of cuisine

iii.    Type of restaurant (e.g. upscale, diner, Italian, Chinese, etc.)

  1. Proposed location in the Greater Reading area, and other operation issues (e.g. pricing, advertisement, suppliers)

Please make up the internal environment yourself, as long as the restaurant concept is realistic.  Use one paragraph to discuss the internal environment (10 points).

  1. External environment includes:
  2. Technological (use IBISWorld and/or Hoovers and/or Minitab)
  3. Economic (use IBISWorld and/or Hoovers and/or Minitab)

iii.    Competitive (use Hoovers: input zipcode and look for list and number of competitors)

  1. Customer environments (use SimplyMap and/or census.gov)

Please use one paragraph to discuss each external environment, four paragraphs altogether (40 points, 10 points for each external environmental factor).

  1. Conduct SWOT analysis (using a 2 X 2 grid) by sorting the environmental factors into favorable and unfavorable.  Explain why the factors are placed in each cell in one paragraph (10 points).
  2. Suggest and describe in details two strategic alternatives that Mr. Smart should adopt that build on its strengths, and/or take advantage of the opportunities, and/or mitigate its weaknesses, and/or be ready to take on the challenges presented by the threats (20 points).
  3. Lastly, insert in-text citations and also a reference section at the end of the paper.  The reference section will not be counted towards the two-page limit (5 points).


Note on writing: You are NOT to copy and paste text from the secondary sources to your paper.  You need to use APA style for your citations, paraphrase the text, critically analyze the cited information, and demonstrate that the cited sources support (or not support) your arguments.  The website for APA style: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/lls/students/apa_citation.html (Links to an external site.)


Written communication skills (typos, wrong choice of words <e.g. using “you” in formal writing, wrong usage of then/than, too/two, their/there, etc.>, incomplete sentences, convoluted sentences, grammatical errors) are worth 10 points.  Please use appropriate sub-headings to identity various environmental factors.  You may use bullet point format, but use complete sentences in body text.

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