1.Research Paper

This course requires an eight to ten page research paper (not including cover or reference pages) on a topic of your choice related to course objectives. Topics may include, but are not limited to: marketing strategies, airlines promotional packages, strategic alliances, effects of globalization on the airlines industry, core competencies, airlines branding, airlines sustainability, and strategic planning. You will submit your desired topic to your instructor for approval in the form of an abstract no later than Module 3. See below for more details.

The standards for the research paper written assignment are as follows.

• Submit an original paper (one written by the student that has not been previously submitted to fulfill a requirement for another course).

• Apply APA style rules; use the current edition of the APA publication manual for guidelines.

• Observe written assignment formatting requirements: Times New Roman font, 12-pt font size, double-spaced text, with numbered pages.

• The paper must be grammatically sound and free of spelling errors. See the Resources area in the course for helpful writing skills websites.

• Save your document as one of the following acceptable file types: .doc, .docx, or .rtf.

• Provide a cover page containing the name of course, title of paper, name of author(s), and date.

• Include a references page, formatted to APA style requirements.

• Adhere to the minimum/maximum paragraph or page number requirements as specified in the assignment. Do not count the cover page or the references page as part of the minimum total.

2. Sabre, Galileo, and Worldspan Distribution Systems

Sabre, Galileo and Worldspan were once owned by major airlines, which used them to gain share in the travel agency marketplace. With the proliferation of the Internet as a distribution channel, the airlines eventually sold their interests in these Computerized Reservations Systems (CRS), which are now viewed by most airlines as “just another cost of distribution.* 

*Reference: Grossman, D. (2004, October 4). The airline industry goes direct. Retrieved August 7, 2013 from  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

In this discussion, address the following: 

    • Expand upon the above statement with your own insights and examples. 
    • Provide references and links to related sources of information, when applicable. 
    • After submitting your primary, original posting, review your classmates’ contributions and provide feedback. 

3. Part 1: Review Questions

    1. Analyze in detail why customers won’t buy a good or service unless it is conveniently available when and where they want to buy it.
    2. Distribution channel decisions have a major economic impact because distribution costs, many of which do not even appear in the firm’s income statement, often exceed the costs of producing a good or service. Choose and airline and decide if they have strong or weak distribution channel. Defend your answer.
    3. A clear understanding of one’s target market is essential for planning and implementing an effective promotional program. Explain why this statement is true.
    4. New media, including the Internet, email, and Smart cellphones, are predicted to revolutionize ad spending, because their results—like those for direct marketing programs—can often be directly measured. Using the airlines industry as your frame of reference, discuss which of the media mentioned in the preceding statement are measurable. Which metric or metrics would you suggest using to measure effectiveness, sales, inquiries, ad clicks, etc? 

Part 2: Channel Selection Matrix Using Excel

As a marketing manager for a major airlines you are faced with a distribution dilemma. Your current distributors are coming up for their annual review and you must produce analytics for a meeting the rates their performance. Here is your chart: 

Current Performance and Criteria 


Your supervisor is pleased with most of the criteria that you have used on the Excel spreadsheet above but feels there is duplication between some of the criteria, i.e. consumer acceptability, dependability, cost of getting the channel up to speed, and overhead costs. You also discovered that other airlines rate their channel members’ overall scores much higher and have been more profitable in the past year. Your challenge is to create new criteria to substitute for the above and assign values using scores 1 through 5, along with new weights for these new criteria. In addition, Channel B feels their performance numbers were unfairly assessed. Using the Microsoft Excel template linked below, enter an analysis of the new criteria and data with your recommendation based on quantitative channel assessment.  

In a Microsoft Word document, provide your channel selection rating and overall rating. Provide sound rationale for your selections. Include a copy of your edited spreadsheet table (either copy and paste or include screen shots) in the document. You may need to save your document in landscape orientation to fit all the content onto the page. If you encounter significant difficulty in doing this, email your instructor the spreadsheet file separately.

Data File

  • Download the following file by right-clicking on the file link, selecting Save Target (or Link) As…, and saving to your computer.
    • Channel Selection Matrix Data File   (Microsoft Excel file)
  • Follow this naming convention when saving your document: surname_M7_Review.

Note: Some of the items above are adapted from the Chapter 12 and 13 Take-Aways in Mullins, J., Walker, O., & Boyd, H. (2013). Marketing management: A strategic decision-making approach. (8th ed.) New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin. 

4. Challenger Strategy

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For a challenger to increase its market share relative to the leader, it must differentiate its offering by delivering superior product benefits, better service, or a lower price than the leader.*

*Reference: From Chapter 15 Take-Aways in Mullins, J., Walker, O., & Boyd, H. (2013). Marketing management: A strategic decision-making approach. (8th ed.) New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin. 

In this discussion, address the following:

    • Choose an airlines which you feel utilizes this strategy. Do you feel they have been successful in implementing this strategy?  Why or why not?
    • Discuss this theory among your classmates.

5. Part 1: Review Questions

    1. Is it better for a firm to bear the high costs and risks of being the pioneer in hopes of maintaining a profitable position as the market grows, or to be a follower that watches for possible design or marketing mistakes by the pioneer before joining the fray with its own entry? Take a position and defend your answer.
    2. What is a frontal attack strategy? Choose an airline that has utilized this type of strategy. Explain your choice in detail and provide evidence, if possible.
    3. For firms with multiple businesses or product lines, different administrative relationships between the business unit and corporate headquarters are appropriate for different competitive strategies. Explain why this statement is true.
    4. The success of a marketing plan depends on effective communication with other parts of the organization and a variety of marketing units. Using the airlines industry as your frame of reference, discuss what marketing units are involved in this process.

Part 2: Start-up Business Plan for a New Airline

Staring a new airline requires a lot of planning. Preparation of a written plan is a key step in ensuring the effective execution of a strategic marketing program because it spells out what actions are to be taken, when, and by whom. Marketing plans can vary a good deal in content and organization, but they generally follow a format similar to the one outlined in Chapter 17, Exhibit 17.8. For this assignment, we will follow the Boeing business plan template linked below. 

    • Major Components of a Typical Startup-Airline Business Plan (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Boeing, 2006) (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Using the components of this plan and the descriptions given, create your own unique new start-up fictitious airline and sketch out a business plan rough draft. Charts and graphs are optional.The goal is to demonstrate your understanding and application of the concepts. Four to five pages in total length is expected for this portion of the assignment. 

 Follow this naming convention when saving your document: surname_M8_Review.

Note: Some of the items above are adapted from the Chapters 15 and 17 Take-Aways in Mullins, J., Walker, O., & Boyd, H. (2013). Marketing management: A strategic decision-making approach. (8th ed.) New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin. 


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