Carry out an analysis of an organisation of your choosing (each student selecting a DIFFERENT organisation), which either has a presence on the World Wide Web, or is in the process of developing an Internet-based business model. In choosing your organisation for analysis, you may find it helpful to refer to some of the Websites mentioned in the Lecture programme and to establish the type of information available to support your analysis.
Try to approach this assignment in the frame of mind of a Business Consultant who has to present an evaluation of the organisation to potential clients, Venture Capitalists, Financial Institutions or other funding bodies (such as a State Economic Development Bureau).
Please choose your business for analysis as soon as possible. Once a business organization has been chosen by one student, IT IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE FOR ANYONE ELSE.
Therefore, the message is, “First come; first served”
The sort of business organisation you might like to consider could include:
a cloud computing service,
a search engine or Directory company,
a Social Networking Site
an Internet Portal
an online service provider (employment, financial advice, advertising bureau, etc)
an Affiliate marketing network,
an ASP, (Application Service Provider)
a Web Services Provider (e.g. SaaS; “cloud computing”, etc.)
a Bricks-and-clicks retailer
a B2C Business operation
an organization contemplating taking the first steps toward e-business operation
or B2B business (or service provider)
or the Internet presence of a traditional organisation, etc.
You will need to analyse the general business plan of the organisation, which will require searching for information about such things as:
• business model,
• revenue model,
• marketing strategy and marketing approach,
• use of social networking for marketing [e-WOM feedback],
• financial basis / financial performance, [Annual Reports will help],
• competitor analysis and behaviour,
• pricing policy and
• any other material that will enable you to evaluate its current performance and future potential.
Since this Module seeks to integrate e-business strategy with overall business orientations, it will require you to apply techniques and expertise that you have encountered in other parts of the MSc IB programme.
Your assignment should not exceed 3,000 words. [If you need to go over this limit, please try to put graphs, tables and other supporting material in an Appendix (or Appendices)
The presentation should be in Business Report format. (see separate note and example Report for guidance)
References and other material included in appendices are not included in this word count.
The assignment requires you to apply and critically review concepts and models from the course. You must use an appropriate referencing system (e.g. Harvard method)
A number of you have been asking how you should go about tackling the Assignment. Here are a few tips.
Do a Google search for the company you have selected, by searching for “company name case” or “company name case study”.
This should provide you with some ideas about what have been identified as key issues facing the company.
Then, you need to address some, or all of the following:
1. Does the company operate online only, or does it also have an offline mode of operation. If so, then compare and contrast the different routes to market
2. What business is the company in?
3. What is/are its business and revenue model(s)
4. Who are its competitors?
5. How does it perform compared to its competitors? [Market share; growth rate; profitability (if it is a PLC); Key Performance Ratios; other key metrics (try “Who we are”, Investor Relations, Press releases, comments in business-related news feeds – subscribe to websites that comment on e-business activities and organisations: Computer Week, www.newscred.com/financewire, www.smartbiz.com/article/view/130?
www.ecommercetimes.com , etc. ) Use RSS feeds.
6. Is the organization expanding, contracting or flatliniing?
7. What is its marketing strategy?
8. Where does it operate?
9. What products and services does it provide?
10. What benefits does it offer its Customers?
These and similar questions can, in most cases, be gleaned for the corporate websites, online comments, SNS, and other online resources, including publications such as Harvard Business Review, FT, Mall St. Journal, The Econommist, etc.
Thanks for your messages. Try to follow the guidance notes that I have uploaded to Canvas. What really needs to be covered includes:
Company Mission / Objectives
Its Target Market(s)
Does it segment its Customers? If so, in what way(s)
Its major competitors
Its Strengths, Weaknesses, etc
What types of Marketing Activities does it undertake? Are they effective?
[i.e. Is its market growing, static or in decline?]
How has it performed in the past, and what are its future prospects
Any other information that would help a potential investor or company seeking M & A to reach a decision as to whether this would be a sound investment or not.
That would constitute a very good analysis (in my view).
Anything else relevant and pertinent will be appreciated!
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