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How To Write A Case Analysis

3627 words - 15 pages

Overview of the Process The best way to deal with cases is to read through the case material (or the relevant documentation that has been collected) several times, doing slightly different tasks on each additional pass. In the first reading go through the information quickly and keep an open mind. Avoid locking in on any particular facts until you really have the outline of the case data in your mind. During your second reading start underlining and making notations on the various parts of the case. Do not try to fill in a framework just yet. The third step is to isolate key variables and make a few numerical calculations. Once you have done this, ...view middle of the document...


This document is a version edited and revised by Dr Les Melamed. It is based on a version originally developed by Dr Judith Madill. Thanks to her for developing the original document. The original version by Dr Madill was developed with the aid of several sources, including Hardy, K. et al Canadian Marketing Text and Cases. Toronto: Allyn and Bacon.


The analysis must take into consideration not only the strong points of each argument presented but the weaknesses of each as well. The analysis of one set of factors will indicate one course of action. The analysis of others may indicate a different solution. Analyze existing data and make assumptions about the gaps. First, discover everything possible about the “Five Cs” {That is: (I) The Customer, e.g. the target market, the customer segment of relevance, how customer’s behave, and what they want, (ii) Company Skills: e.g. company capabilities, manufacturing capacity and capability, finances, organization, image, brand name, (iii) Collaborators: Suppliers, partners and distributors, retailers and upstream suppliers, (iv) Competition, e.g. names, size, capabilities, likely courses of action, and (v) Context: e.g. economic conditions, technology, culture and social norms, demographics, politics.} Next evaluate the “4 Ps” {That is, the controllable marketing mix: (a) Product, (b) Place [channels of distribution], (c) Promotion, and (d) Price.} However, there are gaps in case data just as there are numerous gaps in data about any problem in real life. In order to proceed with the analysis, be prepared to make assumptions in the absence of hard facts. There is a natural reluctance to make these assumptions, both in case analysis and in real-life situations. Sometimes executives do not even realize that they need to make assumptions, but more importantly, they are reluctant to take the chance of being wrong. In a working situation, you have the opportunity to verify those assumptions with some form of marketing research. For your case analyses, you will often need to make an effort to collect additional information. Use should then be made of the secondary sources available on the Internet, in the library or elsewhere, or of your own primary research. Where you need to make assumptions, they should be logical and set forth clearly so that the reader can follow your trail of logic. Do not make unnecessary assumptions or assumptions which are contrary to facts already given in the case. Think before you assemble. If you try to plug in the pieces of data, assumptions, and analyses into a framework before you have had a chance to calculate and think you will end up with a mechanistic fill-in-the-blanks chart, which is often worse than having no framework at all. This is one of the reasons why many marketing professors are cautious about providing frameworks until you have had an opportunity to grapple with marketing problems and to develop some feel for the variables. Develop three...

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