Friday, 21 June 2013

Group Marketing Project

Levels:  Intermediate, upper intermediate, advanced (levels 4-6 EAP) 

Classes:  Speaking/listening, reading, writing, combined skills 

Time required:  Two to three weeks (5-6 class periods).  

Overview:  Students learn some basic marketing vocabulary and key concepts (the four Ps of marketing).  Students in groups then brainstorm an idea for a new product and design a marketing plan for that product.  Students then present the marketing plan (in groups) and/or produce a written report (individually).  They also design an advertisement for the product (either print or video). 

Learning outcomes: 
  • Thematic infusion of key vocabulary and concepts in marketing. 
  • Listening comprehension. 
  • Group work (brainstorming, discussing, negotiating, decision-making, organizing, creating, designing, presenting). 
  • Report writing 
  • Practical application of theoretical concepts 
  • Simulation of authentic workplace tasks 

  • Vocabulary quiz on the four Ps of marketing 
  • Group presentation 
  • Written report 

What you will need:   

(1) Some basic information about the four Ps of marketing.  You can get this from a guest speaker, a first year marketing textbook, or online.  Click here to see what I use.   Students can print the basic information (from the link above) and then take notes as you explain what the terms mean.   

(2) Access to a computer lab and video camera (optional) for students to create a presentation and/or advertisement for their project. 


Week one:    

Over two separate class sessions, present the information in the four Ps of marketing (see link above) in lecture format while students take notes (this is a listening exercise).  Note:  If you need more information about any of the items listed in the four Ps, google is your friend.  After you explain each ‘P’, have students in groups discuss marketing decisions for hypothetical products such as a new brand of dog food or soft drink.  For example, after discussing the fourth P, promotion, you might ask students where they might want to place advertisements for dog food in order to best reach the target market (dog owners).  Note:  For lower levels, you may choose not to teach all the terms/concepts in the four Ps 

Week two:   

  1. Vocabulary quiz on the four Ps.   

  1. Divide students into groups of 3-4 using whatever method you prefer.   Explain that their assignment is to come up with an idea for a new product – something that does not exist now.  They can use their imaginations and be as creative as they like.  (I allow ‘impossible’ products, such as time travel machines).  They are then to imagine that they are the marketing team whose job it is to create a marketing plan for the product, using the four Ps.  In addition, they are to design an advertisement (print or video). As a group, they will then present this plan and/or write a report.  Click here to see the detailed student instructions and step-by-step guide.  Students have the rest of the class to work in groups while the instructor provides help/guidance as needed.  

Week Three:   

(1) Once the groups, through their discussions, have decided on their marketing plan, I take them to a computer lab where they:  

  1.  Work in groups to prepare their presentations 
  2.  Use a video camera to film an advertisement for the product (if they have chosen the video option). 

Note:  If you don’t have a computer lab available this step can be completed in the library or as an out of class assignment.   

(2) Group presentations and/or collect written reports.  See below for the rubric I use to grade the presentations. 


Grade (out of 20) 
Grade (out of 20) 
Grade (out of 20) 
Grade (out of 20) 
Grade (out of 20) 

I write in the ‘notes’ section while the students are presenting, and then give them a grade out of 20 for each section.  I then add the grades from the five sections to get the total grade for the presentation.  Every student in the group gets the same grade.   Also see the detailed student instructions (link provided above) for more on grading.   

Click here to see an example of a group's 2011 video advertisement.  (Hint: Click on the link!  It's totally worth it!!!!)


  1. What happens if two groups want to work on the same idea?  I don’t let them do this.  Right after I put them in groups and give them the instructions, I monitor their discussions.  As soon as a group has decided on a product, I write it on the board so that other groups know they can’t use the same idea.   

  1. Do all the students need to work on the presentation and the advertisement?  No, but this needs to be decided by the group.  Sometimes there is a student in the group who likes to draw/paint, and that student can work on the advertisement while the others complete the work for the presentation.  Or, two students can work on a video while two work on the presentation.   

  1. Can students work on their written reports with their group?  Won’t they all have the same information?   As explained in the student instructions, students will all have the same information when they sit down to write their reports, because it will be the same information that is going into their group presentation.  However, each student writes his/her own report.  The information will be the same; the language used to convey the information will not be. 

  1. Do you assign roles within each group?  Not officially, but I think it could be a good idea.  I do monitor the groups during the group discussions and also during the preparations to make sure that everyone is participating.   

  1. How much help do you give the groups?  As much as they need, but without ‘telling them the answer.’  One of the things I like about this assignment is that there is no ‘right answer.’  It’s whatever the group feels is the best way to market the product.  I let them know when they have missing, incomplete, or wrong information.   

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