Marketing and Public Relations
The Capstone is your final project, marking the culmination of your Master's-degree program. Each student enrolls in the Capstone course and begins by developing and evaluating concepts for an individual new business that will use direct and interactive marketing to achieve its sales and marketing objectives. Once your topic is approved by the instructor, you write a complete business plan for your company. It consists of all the sections that go into an actual business plan. Beginning with business strategy to show the scope of your concept and category research to show the financial potential, you move on to target-audience analysis and competitive strategy. Next, you develop the marketing section with brand positioning, customer-acquisition strategies and tactics, and a customer-retention plan for Lifetime Value. Following that, you plan the media, selecting from the full range of direct and interactive media, and then you develop sample advertisements in traditional and interactive formats for your brand, as well as a database plan and a plan for operations and customer service. Your work includes financial projections for your company, from breakeven analysis to a full P&L (profit and loss) analysis, a lifetime value analysis, and an operating budget. Each week, you share your work with your classmates and the instructor in a collaborative workshop setting. At the end of the semester, you present your complete business plan to your classmates and the instructor.