September 21, 2014

Requirements

Group projects

You will get a chance and the challenge of working in groups. If done right, group activities enhance learning and can be a rewarding experience. Not done right, they will be a source of great frustration and disappointment. Proper approach to group work requires responsibility, punctuality, team spirit, interpersonal skills, and possibly some minor sacrifices from other activities. Read the following section carefully for the details of group work

There are two group projects as part of the requirements of the course.

Web site design

“In the context of the total marketing strategy of an organization, design and implement a Web site that will support and enhance the overall marketing strategy of your client.”

Based on the above generalized assignment, teams will work on developing a marketing oriented Web site for a real client using the WordPress platform. Each group will register a domain which I will host for you free of charge for the duration of the semester. You will use this site to submit individual assignments when they are given and to install and configure WordPress and provide its structure and content. You will have full access to the domain control panel, learn how to make your domain name point to your hosting account, in other words, you will work with a real Web site with full set of features.

You need to find a client quickly. If you need help, I will be glad to assist you. Keep in mind that this is primarily a marketing course and content does and will matter. You are not simply trying to design something that looks cool but a Web site that will achieve a marketing related goal for the organization. I have two projects that I will explain in class and assign to interested groups. I may receive other requests from outside which I will pass on to you if and when they become available.

Each team will make the initial contact and subsequent meetings with their respective clients. It is imperative that client’s needs are well understood and the marketing strategy agreed upon before delving into developing the Web site. Make sure that your client understand the time commitment he or she has to make.

As frequently as necessary, teams will meet with their clients to inform them of the progress and receive feedback. I expect to receive a summary of your meeting as a written group report.

The content of the site is a critical factor here and the proper site structure is a must. Your Web site must have sufficient number of pages that are necessary to accomplish its task and also provide the visitors information about the policies, privacy related issues, and other legal disclaimers as necessary. Review some sites carefully to discover what policy and legal matters they cover and use this as the basis for your own design.

As part of this assignment, you will also prepare a user manual for your client on how to post content, edit, update, and perform other functions on the site.

Research paper

Following the guidelines outlined below, each team will write a term paper on a topic that integrates marketing and a dimension of the Internet. I strongly urge all the groups to start working on the research paper immediately and keep working at a steady pace. You need not devote too much time if you maintain a steady pace of work. An hour or two a week will go a long way. If you wait until the last few weeks of classes, I assure you that you will not have enough time to write a well researched paper that coherently presents a defensible idea.

Below are the dimensions from which teams may choose and tie it to an aspect of marketing they wish to explore. More than one group may pick the same topic since multiple research opportunities exist within each topic. Read below for more explanation of this.

  • Blogging for marketing
  • Blogs as products
  • Content Management Systems (CMS) in Web development
  • RSS and its uses for marketing
  • Podcasts as distributed education delivery tools
  • Emerging communication technologies and marketing
  • Promise of high bandwidth and marketing
  • Cultural differences and the Internet in a global economy

If you have a topic that is not listed here, discuss it with me. I will likely allow you to work on it given that it fulfills the general spirit of this assignment.

Keep in mind that these are very broad topics. You should do some library, I mean the Phillips Memorial Library, research to narrow the scope of your work. You must have a central thesis around which you develop the paper. Do not try to “think hard” and and expect a thesis to spontaneously jump out of your mind, it will not work. Your thesis will emerge from your preliminary research, readings, and analysis. I have placed a document in the “Writing” section of this Web that will give you some guidelines on how to do this. Read that document carefully.

Individual assignments

There will be assignments some of which you will submit in writing and others you will use in class. All the assignments must be done on time. You will receive zero for any assignment you do not turn in. No exceptions.

Attendance and participation

I may not take attendance every time we meet, but I expect that you will come to all classes on time and that you will be prepared to offer views and explanations on the subject being studied. Remember that a good portion of your grade depends on how well you articulate your thoughts and how well you can apply your marketing knowledge to different situations. In grading this component of the course, I will consider the quality of information as well as the ways in which ideas are articulated. I may not seek your participation for grading purposes. You need to make yourself and your work noticeable for me to be favorably impressed by it. If you fail to do this, you will not get any grade for this component of the course (in more direct words, you will get zero for participation.) Attendance is not participation.