Producing Business Cases
To be able to write a generic business case.
Why the marketing planning based approach for a course about business case writing?
The proposed one day course is required to support the development of a style for writing business cases that is consistently informative, engaging and concise. A marketing planning based approach offers a framework that meets that requirement in that it offers a client focused mind-set from the start and leads to a considered, structured and carefully communicated response, set fully on the pivot points of the brief, where the difference needs to be made and the value offered. It requires a writing style that comprises words that explain and sell a solution that is based on real needs. It demands brevity and clarity, the avoidance of mere commentary, ensuring the benefits of the solutions in the case remain paramount. This course is enhancing current case writing and case presentation skills so that every word counts. It treads a fine line between pushy advertising copywriting and a ¢serious¢ writing style and aims to take the best of both to make better cases.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing has defined the process as:
The identification, anticipation and satisfaction of customer needs profitably
It should be noted that the word profitably will have a different meaning in each brief and for each case. Sometimes it will be about measuring the results in financial terms but sometimes in will be as social capital or awareness raised or perhaps user engagement, web traffic, media coverage etc. As long as results can be and are measured and/or evaluated then the definition can work as a basis for making better business cases. Above all it is about identifying known needs and wants and some unknown needs to ensure the case is compelling.
It is intended to use this definition of marketing throughout the lesson plan and course materials to focus the learning of the following issues:
Business case writing what is the right style?
Principles of effective written communication
Making the case using marketing planning principles
- Working the framework
Principles of analysing and responding to the brief
- Start with the end in mind
- Identify the client¢s known needs and wants and those of all stakeholders
- What does the primary and secondary research really tell you?
- What does the primary and secondary research not tell you?
- Avoiding the easy option and jumping to conclusions
- Keeping it relevant
- How not to bore the reader
- Sell what the client wants not what you want to sell
- How sell in words without selling
Making the case with a marketing planning framework
- Introduction and executive summary
- Review of need and/or problem revealed in the brief
- Review of solutions featuring and options for product/service delivery and implementation
- Assessment of possible solutions compared to likely competitive offers
- The 7Ps of marketing and the business case
- SWOT and PESTEL analysis
- OST: Objectives, Strategic Options and Tactical implementation
- Objectives, goals and action plans
- Certainties, uncertainties and risk
- Resources and Budgets required
- Outcomes, outputs and return on financial and/or social investment
- Measurement and evaluation
- Concluding the case
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