Action Learning Exercise

An action‐learning exercise on the practice of marketing is due on the last scheduled day of classes. Assignment Details and Examples.

Group Case Reports

Each group must hand in two case write‐ups. You must choose one case in H1 (first half of the semester) and one case in H2 (second half of the semester). The eligible cases are:



BBVA Compass

Brita Spreadsheet (XLS) (PDF)

BBVA Compass Spreadsheet (XLS) (PDF)



NYT Paywall


No Additional Materials

The case reports should consist of approximately five (5) pages of text (space‐and‐a‐half, 12‐point fonts, standard margins) and should address the Discussion Questions (PDF). Longer reports are strongly discouraged. (As Pascal said: "I'm sorry I wrote you such a long letter; I didn't have time to write a short one.") You may refer to figures or computations that use data from the case. You are allowed, but not required, to have a small number of exhibits at the end of your report. Your reports must be submitted prior to the start of the class in which the case is discussed. The file name should include your team name and the case. For example, Angry_Nerds_Brita_15810.pdf.

Additional Recommendations

  1. You are free to use bullet‐point if you find it helpful.
  2. Separately answer each discussion question. Use headings to highlight which questions you are answering. Stress those questions you judge are critical. Not all questions should be given equal weight.
  3. Start with the most obvious points and work from there. Do not omit the obvious points.
  4. I am interested in the quality of your analysis rather than any specific set of conclusions. Make sure that you give both the pros and the cons of each alternative. Describe the theory and process by which you arrived at your conclusions. The TA is not looking for key words, but rather critical thinking.
  5. Review the lecture notes before writing your analysis. The frameworks presented in 15.810 help guide your analysis.
  6. Make it clear that you have used an analytical approach to reach you answers.
  7. Random lists of issues without structure leaves the TA guessing as to which issue you consider most critical to the case analysis. If you provide an unstructured list that happens to include both good and bad answers you will get far less credit than a structured list that captures the essence of the case.
  8. Quality is more important than quantity.
  9. Although the TA works from a detailed set of guidelines based on my analysis of the case, the TA is authorized to deviate for solutions based on careful analysis of the case facts.

The page constraint forces you to reveal to me what you think are relevant. Do not despair during the case discussion if we do not cover your key issues or if we cover other issues. Each case discussion is unique. There may be important points that are not discussed. A point that you make in your written discussion may be very important. Look for it in case discussions that occur later in the semester.

Short Assignments

Based on student suggestion and as an experiment, I added the following short assignments to illustrate some of the marketing‐analytics methods. Because they are new this year, they are viewed as extra credit (but are required to be completed).

Synthesis Assignment

Each student may hand in an individual assignment that answers the following question:

"What are the three most important lessons that you learned about marketing in this course that will help you as a manager?"

This assignment should be no more than one page in length and should briefly summarize each of the three lessons.

You receive credit simply for handing in this assignment on or before the last scheduled class. Answers help determine final grades for students close to the letter cutoffs.