Step 1 Identify a product line that has a range of options at different prices.
An product line means that one company will sell related products using a single brand name. Good examples include hair care products, automobiles, iPods, smartphones, laptops, and the like.
Select a product line that offers different products, such as basic, intermediate and "expert" versions, at different price points. Your selected product line should have at least three products in the line but no more than six products.
As an example, the 2015 Ford Taurus is a product line with four products -- the SE, SEL, Limited, and SHO. Each of these four products has a manufacturer's suggested retail price:
Source: Tom Wood Dealer Inventory, Indianapolis Indiana. Obtained MSRP excluding destination, options & incentives on October 23, 2015.
(Because the Taurus has been provided as an example, choose another product line for your memo. If you have an interest in Ford automobiles, then simply choose a different model that otherwise meets the requirements.)
Step 2 Summarize the product line's pricing in a table.
Create a table which describes the current product line, including the features & benefitsof each product, as well as the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP). For product features, focus on features which distinguish the products in the line, rather than features which the product line shares.
Use this template for your table, or a close facsimile.
Step 3 Prepare a 1-2 page memo for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
After creating your table, put yourself in the role of a newly hired marketer at the manufacturer. Imagine that one of your first tasks is to review the product line pricing and to recommend a change to the pricing strategy.
Include the following in your memo:
Product Line Review.
Are there gaps or redundancies in the product line? Describe the presence (or, absence) of gaps or redundancies.
What are the risks and benefits of making a change to the existing product line?
Is the current pricing sound for this product line? Why or why not?
Provide sufficient elaboration & justification so that your analysis is clear to anyone who might read your memo.
Should the product line pricing be changed? Why?
What might the company gain and lose by your recommendation? Elaborate.
Use these three elements to structure your memo appropriately. Include the table of products and prices, and append it to your memo (i.e., the table comes after your memo). Include an additional page for reference materials consulted after the table. Examples of things you might reference include company websites, press releases, or retail store prices; any formatting style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc) will be OK for this assignment, provided you are consistent and use a commonly accepted style. Not sure? Use APA.
As a form of business communication, use an appropriate format and style. For instance, limited use of headers, bullet points, and/or images can be highly effective & is encouraged. Consider your audience (the CMO) when crafting your memo. Go to the link under "Deliverables" for more information about creating a memo.
Step 4 Save and submit your assignment.
When you have completed the assignment, save a copy for yourself in an easily accessible place and submit a copy.
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Contributors: Courtnay Perkins, Allen Brizee.
This handout will help you solve your memo-writing problems by discussing what a memo is, describing the parts of memos, and providing examples and explanations that will make your memos more effective.
Audience and Purpose
Memos have a twofold purpose: they bring attention to problems and they solve problems. They accomplish their goals by informing the reader about new information like policy changes, price increases, or by persuading the reader to take any action, such as attend a meeting, or change a current production procedure. Regardless of the specific goal, memos are most effective when they connect the purpose of the writer with the interests and needs of the reader.
Choose the audience of the memo wisely. Ensure that all of the people that the memo is addressed to need to read the memo. If it is an issue involving only one person, do not send the memo to the entire office. Also, be certain that material is not too sensitive to put in a memo; sometimes the best forms of communication are face-to-face interaction or a phone call. Memos are most effectively used when sent to a small to moderate a number of people to communicate company or job objectives.
Contributors: Courtnay Perkins, Allen Brizee.
This handout will help you solve your memo-writing problems by discussing what a memo is, describing the parts of memos, and providing examples and explanations that will make your memos more effective.Parts of a Memo
Standard memos are divided into segments to organize the information and to help achieve the writer's purpose.Heading Segment
The heading segment follows this general format:
TO: (readers' names and job titles) FROM: (your name and job title) DATE: (complete and current date) SUBJECT: (what the memo is about, highlighted in some way)
Make sure you address the reader by his or her correct name and job title. You might call the company president "Maxi" on the golf course or in an informal note, but "Rita Maxwell, President" would be more appropriate for a formal memo. Be specific and concise in your subject line. For example, "Clothes" as a subject line could mean anything from a dress code update to a production issue. Instead use something like, "Fall Clothes Line Promotion."Opening Segment
The purpose of a memo is usually found in the opening paragraph and includes the purpose of the memo, the context and problem, and the specific assignment or task. Before indulging the reader with details and the context, give the reader a brief overview of what the memo will be about. Choosing how specific your introduction will depend on your memo plan style. The more direct the memo plan, the more explicit the introduction should be. Including the purpose of the memo will help clarify the reason the audience should read this document. The introduction should be brief and should be approximately the length of a short paragraph.Context
The context is the event, circumstance, or background of the problem you are solving. You may use a paragraph or a few sentences to establish the background and state the problem. Oftentimes it is sufficient to use the opening of a sentence to completely explain the context, such as,
"Through market research and analysis..."
Include only what your reader needs, but be sure it is clear.Task Segment
One essential portion of a memo is the task statement where you should describe what you are doing to help solve the problem. If the action was requested, your task may be indicated by a sentence opening like,
"You asked that I look at...."
If you want to explain your intentions, you might say,
"To determine the best method of promoting the new fall line, I will...."
Include only as much information as is needed by the decision-makers in the context, but be convincing that a real problem exists. Do not ramble on with insignificant details. If you are having trouble putting the task into words, consider whether you have clarified the situation. You may need to do more planning before you're ready to write your memo. Make sure your purpose-statement forecast divides your subject into the most important topics that the decision-maker needs.Summary Segment
If your memo is longer than a page, you may want to include a separate summary segment. However, this section not necessary for short memos and should not take up a significant amount of space. This segment provides a brief statement of the key recommendations you have reached. These will help your reader understand the key points of the memo immediately. This segment may also include references to methods and sources you have used in your research.Discussion Segments
The discussion segments are the longest portions of the memo and are the parts in which you include all the details that support your ideas. Begin with the information that is most important. This may mean that you will start with key findings or recommendations. Start with your most general information and move to your specific or supporting facts. (Be sure to use the same format when including details: strongest to weakest.) The discussion segments include the supporting ideas, facts, and research that back up your argument in the memo. Include strong points and evidence to persuade the reader to follow your recommended actions. If this section is inadequate, the memo will not be as effective as it could be.Closing Segment
After the reader has absorbed all of your information, you want to close with a courteous ending that states what action you want your reader to take. Make sure you consider how the reader will benefit from the desired actions and how you can make those actions easier.