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Marketing case framework - how to improve?

4P Framework Framework
New answer on Feb 16, 2020
3 Answers
2.7 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Feb 15, 2020

I have practised around 50 cases up to now, and have an understanding of different case types and framework. However, today I did a case asking about "what is the marketing strategy of launching a product in a new market", a case which I failed to structure properly. I used a common market entry framework, but realized some part is irrelevant to the case, since the case purely focuses on marketing strategy.

Here's my 2 questions:

1. Given that this is a very specific case asking about marketing strategy, can I use more traditional marketing framework such as 4p or STP? I understand many expert says these kinds of common framework is not recommended, but it seems like a good fit to this case. Can I still use 4p or STP framework to solve this case, by making the issue tree sound more "customized"?

2. I was very unfamiliar with the 4p, STP, or other marketing theories and frameworks. So when I did the case, I was thinking more of Victor Cheng's framework (client / company / competition / product). How should I improve the performance of a specific type of case (ex: marketing strategy, or distribution strategy) that might require some basic knowledge, while I am not familiar with this kind of case? Is it still possible to solve the case by using "customized issue tree" and "common business sense"?

Thank you so much!

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Anonymous replied on Feb 16, 2020

Hi there,

1) don't do 4P. it's pretty cumbersome and kind of a cliche - interviewers won't like it.

2) the idea is that all cases should be solved with some kind of business sense, and the frameworks are just a starting point. Through all your cases, try and get away from generic frameworks as fast as you can, as interviewers will see right through them.

2) I'd say some variation of STP could work well. Think about it as "who are you speaking to, what are you saying to them, what is the action (brand awareness, go out and buy, tell someone else to), and through what channel".

3) If you're selling something, you need to know what the something is. Ensure you understand the product first. Ask the interviewer what you're selling, and what its unique features are, and what the revenue model is underpinning it (do you make money on the initial sale or some long tail of razor blades or warranty)

4) all of this costs money, so ensure you consider the relative costs of different channels. Social media is cheap but scattershot. Discounts are expensive, but encourage adoption.

Hope this helps,


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Content Creator
replied on Feb 16, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

in addition to the part of the framework discussed by the other coaches, I would insert a last step about the entry strategy, by presenting 3 scenarios: from scratch, M&A or JV.


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Anonymous B replied on Feb 15, 2020

Hello ! Here is how i would approach such a case (just the 1st part)...It's clearly a Marketing + STP approach..However, to customize it, i would not call it STP and rather define a set of factors that would classify the launch as my approach is as follows

Launching our product in the new mkt. is successful if

  1. The launch generates high and profitable 1st time sales
  2. The Mktg. & Sales activities would reduce churn among these newly acquired customers to increase customer lifetime value
  3. Doing A & B successfully over a period of time will give us a strong position in a competitive market. Hence benchmark and differentiate from competition at every step
  1. Generating profitable 1st time sale among target users
    • Identify target users
      • Segment target customers
      • Check value proposition fit (tools : benchmark w/ competitive products, focus group tests, market research, etc..)
      • Check Profit margin fit
    • Create Awareness
      • Marketing campaign
        • Online vs. Offline
        • General vs. Targeted
        • What is our marketing & brand message (language, content)
        • Who can be brand endorsers?
      • Budget requirement and allocation among Mktg. activities
      • B/mark and differentiate from Competition
    • Launch
      • Channels
        • Penetration rate among target customers
        • Costs and margins
      • Pricing and Promotions
      • Sales Team
        • Mgmt. Structure
          • Mgrs : Trasnfer-In from other offices? or Local?
          • Sales executives : Local with product-market knowledge?
        • Incentive structure
    • Risk Mitigation (by being aware of..)
      • Cultural factors
      • Administrative factors
      • Economic factors
  2. Reduce churn among target users to increase CLV
    • Customer feedback mechanism
    • After sales related service
    • Sales team and channel incentive mechanism
    • Benchmark with competition and differentiate

The point (2) in my approach is just to go 1-step-further to show my understanding that the launch is meant to gain long term leadership position in the market (even though it is irrelevant to the specific objective of the case). Hope this helps.

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