A Strategic Marketing Plan For
Dar Alarkan Real Estate Development Co.
Dar Al-Arkan Dev. Co. Ltd.
To be conducted by:
Students and Instructor of
Strategic Marketing Course (MKT 513)
Department of Management and Marketing
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM)
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
1. Introduction :
As part of the requirements for completing the Strategic Marketing course offered by the Department of Management and Marketing at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), the students enrolled perform analyses of the strategic marketing processes of a variety of companies operating in different industries and countries. This course is a requirement for all students in the university's MBA program. The students in this course have university degrees in a variety of undergraduate disciples and have completed at least one previous course in marketing. In the past, most of the cases that were studied were historical and involve operations in locations other than Saudi Arabia. However, we believe it is important that the students assess the applicability of the theories and lessons learned to the current needs of a Saudi company operating in the unique business environment of Saudi Arabia. Therefore, within the auspices and with the support of the Business Development Center of the College of Industrial Management at KFUPM, this semester the Strategic Marketing class proposes to perform a strategic analysis and create the framework for a strategic marketing plan for Dar Alarkan Real Estate Development Co.
The Major components of this analysis will include an assessment and evaluation of:
1. The prevailing marketing philosophy within the company.
2. Strengths and weaknesses of internal input factors ranging from the customer knowledge base and marketing mix planning to non-marketing support resources.
3. Critical aspects of external input factors with emphasis on competitive, economic, and cultural variables.
4. The final report that summarizes and integrates these analyses should provide a strong strategic foundation for short-horizon operational marketing plans.
It is anticipated that the class will be broken into several small groups of no more than four students each. Each group will act as an independent consulting unit in direct competition with the other groups and in support of the goals of Dar Alarkan Co. The focus of the course and of the project is strategic marketing, and the activities of each group will be focused on the collection, analysis, and integration of a wide variety of information. This information is expected to be either publicly available or supplied by the company. It is expected that Dar Alarkan Co. will provide common briefing information to all groups. This information should include, but not be limited to, information necessary to inform the students about company history (developmental, organizational, etc.), mission, internal strengths and weaknesses, and competitive environment. In addition it is hoped that the company will provide or direct students to other sources of useful information, e.g. market statistics, trade association data, and the like. In support of its competitive efforts, each project team will also be encouraged to supplement the information supplied with any additional useful information that it can find in the public domain. The Business Development Center will assist as necessary in maintaining communications between the company and the student groups during the semester.
It is recognized that some internal information may be viewed as sensitive or proprietary. Students will be informed and reminded of this reality, and Dar Alarkan Co. may want to consider drafting a nondisclosure agreement for students to sign. It is important to emphasize, however, that the value of the project to both students and the company depends on the volume and quality of information that project teams have to work with. The fewer the assumptions that students are required to make because of incomplete information, the more realistic the outcomes will be.
3. Presentation Of Results And Recommendations
Each project team will prepare a written report summarizing its efforts for Dar Alarkan Co. under the general supervision of the professor, Dr. James C. Cooper. Each report will be expected to include the identification of feasible strategic alternatives and a comparative assessment of their attractiveness. This assessment will be the heart of the report and will be based on the integrated analysis of company, industry, market, and competitive information. It will be guided by the normative strategic marketing process on which the course is based. It is to be expected that the analysis and recommendations of the project groups may differ, perhaps in very substantive ways, and that each group will have the burden of proof that its recommendations are realistic, reasonable, data based, and superior to other options.
It is desirable, though less necessary, that the student groups also make oral reports to key executives of the company. It will be valuable for both students and company managers to participate in formal presentations. Students need the experience of planning and conducting presentations as well as responding to questions and criticisms. And company managers will benefit from additional insight into the thinking and abilities that informed the written report. Decisions regarding oral presentations will be discussed with the company and deferred until the projects are near completion.
4. Project Timetable
1- Present – April 2: Preliminaries (initial contacts with possible sponsors, negotiations, documentation of agreement).
2- April 3, 2003 – April 16: Initial, formal group briefings, possible group visits to company offices and facilities.
3- April 17, 2003 – May 20: Groups work independently, occasional contact with sponsor as needed.
4- June 7: Written report deadline. This is the last day of classes for the spring semester.
5. Benefits Of The Project:
It is important not to overstate project benefits, because they are necessarily somewhat speculative. Outcomes cannot be predicted with certainty. That being said, company sponsorship will clearly offer benefits to individual students, the University, and Dar Alarkan Real Estate Development Co. :
A- The educational experience and the learning opportunities for the students will be much richer for having grappled with the real strategic problems and opportunities faced by the company. They will be better prepared for the challenges that they will face throughout their managerial careers.
B- The University will progress in accomplishing its mission of serving both the educational needs of its students and long-run goals of industrial development and diversification of the Kingdom.
C- Dar Alarkan Co. will receive the benefit of the unique insights and perspectives that consultants can offer but which company insiders with a necessarily narrower focus might overlook. Students lack the breadth of experience of professional consulting firms, but offer in compensation multiple competing groups, a luxury not enjoyed by the wealthiest of companies. In addition, they offer excellent knowledge and information about Saudi culture and needs.
D- The company should find value in the knowledge that they have assisted in the professional development of aspiring young managers.
E- The students who work on this project will provide promotional support for the marketing activities of Dar Alarkan Co. through word-of-mouth communication with friends and relatives, and may in fact be potential customers for the services offered by the sponsor.
F- Finally, this project will enhance “Awareness Programs” implemented by Dar Alarkan Co.
We would hope that any out-of-pocket costs necessary for the project would be covered by Dar Alarkan Co. As it is initially conceived, however, we anticipate that these costs will be small or nonexistent. We would like to see financial support in the form of prizes for the groups that produce the best project reports emerging from the competition and an honorarium for the professor for his work in supervision and coordination. The number of prizes would depend partly on the number of competing groups. Whatever the size of the commitment agreed to if this proposal is viewed positively by the company, the costs would be a small fraction of what would be billed by a professional consulting organization.