Proposals are a common workplace document. Although proposals may take different forms or require different information, knowing how to persuade your reader is a skill you can take to any workplace. This assignment will give you a chance to write a memo-style proposal (and follow up with an oral and visual presentation of the same information in Project 4).
The proposal should be approximately 4 pages single-spaced.
Our start-up custom apparel company wants to make full use of all available Internet tools to market our product, track customer and supplier contacts, and create goodwill in the Raleigh and NCSU community. Our mission statement is the following:
Our mission is to create an apparel company that can offer superior design, quality, and value to the entire student body of NCSU. We will accomplish this by being committed to offering great service and real value to every part of the diverse and vibrant community we serve.
However, a recent customer survey shows that our customer base is NOT very diverse or inclusive, and does not reflect the demographics of NC State at large, nor of our surrounding city. The surveys show that the vast majority of our customers are white, born in the US, and middle to upper-class. With more inclusive marketing and careful tracking of customer demographics, we can ensure we meet the goals set in our mission statement.
Here are general ideas on increasing inclusion and diversity in marketing:
https://online.maryville.edu/online-bachelors-degrees/marketing/guide-to-diversity-and-inclusion-in-modern-advertising/(opens in new window)
You will be researching a business-related Internet tool and proposing its use in our custom apparel business with the goal of increasing sales, specifically sales to underrepresented population groups and students of color. In short, you’ll want to reach a diverse audience of new customers.
You will write a memo-style proposal to the company’s executives.
The possible topics include:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
Any other similar Internet tool option
If you prefer, you may assume that the company already uses the tool and instead propose a new way to use it (for example, most companies have a Facebook page but may not be using all the tools available to business accounts). Your goal is to create a persuasive, informative professional proposal.
GUIDELINES FOR PROPOSAL
Your proposal should be formatted in typical memo style and include the following information, adapted to the specific audience and guidelines:
Introduction (Purpose statement)
Description of the Problem (do not include a discussion of the solution in this section)
Objectives you hope to achieve (a lead-in sentence and bullet list of measurable objectives)
Plan of Action (paragraphs divided into meaningful sections and sub-sections using headings)
Schedule (calendar or list of milestones)
Cost (actual figures in a table; think of possible indirect/related costs; EVERY PROPOSAL should discuss some costs)
Your Proposal should answer the following questions:
What problem are you going to solve?
How are you going to solve it?
Are there any downsides to this solution and how do we work around them?
What exactly will you provide?
When and how will you complete the work?
How much will it cost?
Before submitting, you should ask yourself if your proposal:
uses headings appropriate to the subject that are helpful to the reader
persuades the reader with enough information
demonstrates obvious awareness of the intended audience
uses clear and concise writing that describes the method that will solve the problem
demonstrates an understanding of document design
lacks typographical, spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors
* Formal proposals often follow a typical memo format. Use memo-style headings, white space between paragraphs, and single spaced writing. Do not indent paragraphs, and ensure that paragraphs are short and topic-focused. Use lists where appropriate, tables for schedule/cost, and bold (or other emphasis) if needed.
* Make sure your audience gets all the information that it needs. Feel free to cite statistics and other research-based details about the tool you’re proposing!
* ALL proposals have a cost. Even if the Internet tool itself is free, time is money. Consider the time cost, the need to train staff, etc.