Case studies are an essential learning strategy in business classes as they provide an opportunity for you to critically analyze events that have taken place in real-life businesses. This develops your critical thinking and research skills as you research the competition and industry in which your business resides in order to formulate a recommendation for the challenges faced by the company.
For this unit, review the “Marketing Excellence: Microsoft” case study on pp. 94–95 of your textbook. This assignment will be comprised of two parts; one part will ask you to respond to questions, and the other will require you to complete a case analysis.
Evaluate this case and respond to each of the following questions using both theory and practical managerial thinking.
Evaluate Microsoft’s product and marketing evolution over the years. What has the company done well, and where did it falter?
Evaluate Microsoft’s recent expansion into areas such as search engines and smartphones. Do you think these are good areas of growth for Microsoft? Why, or why not?
Review the potential ethical implications of Microsoft’s situation. How might they revise their strategies to align with good ethical practices?
Your Part 1 response must be at least two pages in length. Follow APA Style when creating citations and references for this assignment. Note that you will submit Part 1 and Part 2 in one document.
Complete a case analysis of Microsoft. This requires that you conduct research on Microsoft beyond the case study material in the textbook. In the case analysis, you will look at the situational analysis, problem, and alternatives, and you will provide a recommendation. Refer to the instructions below as you construct your analysis.
o Discuss the external environment through the compilation of a PEST (political, economic, sociocultural, and technology) analysis.
o Discuss the internal and external environment through the compilation of a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.
o Identify at least one organizational problem that Microsoft is currently having or one that you project it will have in the future. Base this on your research and critical thinking.
o Compile three or four potential marketing-related solutions to the problem above. Remember that these are potential alternatives; you will not select all of the alternatives to solve the problem.
Recommendation (Marketing Strategy)
o Select one or two of the alternatives above to solve the problem that you identified in this case analysis.
o Discuss your rationale for choosing these and not the others. Include supporting research that will increase the depth of your analysis.
In order to successfully complete Part 2 of this case study, you need to review the video and task learning guides (TLGs) below. The following resources will provide you with the skills to research industries/competitors.
Company and Industry Research video (transcript for Company and Industry Research video)
How to Find Company Information in the Business Source Ultimate Database TLG
How to Search for Articles With a Company Focus TLG
Part 2 must be at least four pages in length. Follow APA Style when creating citations and references for this assignment. Support Part 2 with at least three sources outside of the textbook. As aforementioned, keep in mind that Part 1 and Part 2 will be submitted in one document.