Jon Hepburn presenting his marketing plan talk to HND Business students

This academic year, students on Shrewsbury Colleges Group’s HND in Business course had the valuable opportunity to design a marketing plan with assistance from an expert in the field.

For the second assignment on their marketing unit, the students were asked to imagine that a bargain supermarket chain was introducing a range of original luxury products into their supermarkets. They were tasked with constructing a complete marketing plan to introduce the range of products into the market.

The students began working on this assignment back in November, making it one of the earliest pieces of assessed work they completed for their course. To support these first-year HND students getting to grips with marketing at a more specialist level, the course tutor, Andrew Holland, enlisted help from Jon Hepburn, a local marketing expert.

Jon is a Chartered Marketer with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He currently runs a marketing agency called The Fedora Consultancy and is the founder of a marketing planning service for small businesses.

Jon first visited the students in November to advise them about their marketing plans in the same way he does with small businesses in the real world. He gave a two-hour presentation, in which he covered essential marketing theory and passed on his top ten rules to follow when designing a marketing plan. Afterwards, all the students had the opportunity to ask questions and thoroughly discuss their ideas with Jon.

The students completed their assignments towards the end of the autumn term. In February, Jon returned to SCG to catch up with the group and see how they had progressed in their marketing knowledge.

Kea Davies, 19, discussed how she had ended up structuring her assignment by following each of the points that Jon covered in his presentation. “It was good having John as a visiting speaker as he was able to apply real-life structure to the marketing plan unit,” she said.

Kea decided to study an HND instead of a degree because she enjoyed the vocational course she studied at college and wanted to continue learning in a similar way. Therefore, the opportunity to approach her coursework in a practical way that lined up with real-world marketing planning was something highly valued by her, as well as by the rest of the HND students, who felt like they had learnt a useful skillset.

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