Case Analysis Outline
○ Using the following outline:
■ Purpose: Statement of the problem or key issue
■ Background/Situation Analysis
■ Discussion of Alternatives
■ Action Plan/Next Steps
■ Contingency Plan
limit your analysis to five (3) double-spaced, typewritten pages.
● Purpose: Statement of the problem or key issue
The purpose of this correspondence is to outline the recommended approach, budget
and next steps for implementing a 49/59/69 value menu
pricing test in paired HB and LB index markets during Q3.
The purpose of this memo is to provide the results of the Q3 49/59/69 value menu
pricing test in the paired HB and LB markets and outline the impact and implications of
the results for the upcoming FY planning and budget.
Using Q2 competitive advertising spend data, the purpose of this memo is to provide an
analysis and recommended funding levels required to match competitive SOV in
The key to the purpose is to clearly articulate why you are providing this analysis and what will
be the outcome(s). Be succinct in your approach and use words that paint a very clear picture
of the issue at hand.
● Background/Situation Analysis
This is where you paint the picture of why there is a problem or an issue in the first place.
Again, you need to succinctly and clearly state the facts, as well as address “why we are where
we are”. The latter can be driven internally (people, product, process, legal, financial, etc.); by a
client and/or competitor; etc. In writing the situation analysis it is imperative that you pay as
much attention to the “facts” as presented in the case as to the “facts” that either seem to be
missing or are somewhat conspicuous by their absence. Is there an underlying issue or
concern that is at the heart of the issue that has not surfaced or being considered? This is a
foundational element of your analysis, but remember, you are not writing Tolstoy here.
BE BRIEF; BE FOCUSED; DO NOT RECOUNT THE CASE; GET TO THE POINT / KEY
ISSUE(S) OF THE CASE QUICKLY.
Discussion of Alternatives
By delineating for two or three alternatives in clear and concise declarative sentences,
you make it extremely clear for management to understand the courses of action you
have researched/developed and are available to them for consideration. Depending on
the complexity and variables associated with the alternatives, it may be worthwhile to
develop an outline of the “pros” and “cons” so that management can easily see the risks
and rewards associated for each alternative, and the potential impact/implication each
has on the business as a result. You will need to consider whether or not this level of
detail is required literally on a case-by-case basis.
Once you have analyzed and put forth alternative solution scenarios, you are now ready
to make your recommendation. It is now time for you to step up, stand up and to put it
on the line. This is the point in the process where you make a strong, persuasive and
well-articulated argument supporting your recommended course of action derived from
the list of alternatives you have developed. This is not the time to be wishy-washy. If you
do not deliver a strong and impassioned argument, you will not sell management on your
recommendation. Now this does not mean you can concoct any impassioned argument
and win – you need to support you recommendation with facts, observations and
Your recommendation should be a straightforward statement followed by bullet-pointed
Action Plan/Next Steps
Once you have made a decision, now you have to activate the support plan. This is the
next step in your case study write-up. The key items for management will be a clear
outline of the timeframe and the funding involved in implementing the recommendation
as stated. These are crucial items for management alignment and approval.
For example, going back to the “…match competitive SOV in the ‘heartland’ markets.”
scenario from the Purpose section, the Action Plan/Next Steps section might look
something like this:
To implement the match competitive SOV levels in “heartland markets requires the
following next steps:
For the “heartland” markets, authorize incremental spot TV spending of $9.25
million and increase T&R spend from $65K to $81.7K for the balance of the year by 6/1;
Develop and approve media plan that details the incremental spend by 6/15;
Develop and approve updated creative rotation in “heartland” markets for
balance of the year by 6/15;
Update and finalize T&R budget for balance of year by 6/15;
Upon approval of SOV match plans, activate & air by 6/30;
Measure impact of SOV match plan in “heartland” markets during Q1.
In addition, given that we are doing business in the “age of accountability” you will most
likely need to put in some performance metrics and/or milestones against which you can
gage the progress, traction and success you are making. Be realistic …be honest…be
confident. And remember, nothing in this business happens all that quickly, so set
realistic expectations for implementation and measurement.
While you recommendation has been well thought out, based on the facts at hand, and
vetted at various management levels within the “organization”, there are unforeseen
twists and turns in the economy, competitive landscape and the consumer. And while
you cannot predict the future, you do need to have a “Plan B” --- what you would do “if”.
Your contingency plan need not be long. Just simple statement along the lines of: if this
happens (or does not happen), we will do this. Again, you need to give management
some reasonable assurance that you have the backdoor covered.
The case analysis process is designed to give you the opportunity to take a crack at
solving real world problems. And as you move forward into the world of advertising you
will find that your day-to-day activities will really be nothing more than a series of “mini”
case studies. However, the case studies in the real world will not arrive all neat and tidy
in a pdf format. Enjoy.
★ Case #1: Congratulations, You’ve Been Selected
1. Advertising Management Today
2. Managing People In An IMC Wo
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