BA 491 - Assignment 4

John McCann
Last update: March 13, 1996

This page describes the third assignment for Marketing and the Internet. If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this page, please send them via email to

Overview of Assignment 4

This assignment is to be completed by the same team that completed Assignment 3.

The purpose of this assignment is to build a Web site for an organization of your choice. The only restriction is that the organization may not be associated with FSB. Although I prefer that your organization be a company, I will accept another type of organization if it makes sense for the team. For example, I could envision a group of students in the health concentration building a Web site for a hospital.

You may choose a company that already has a Web site, particularly if it is not a very good site. Or, you may choose a company that is not now on the Web. Your company may be a large company, a small company, or even a very small local company. You may contact the company for its cooperation, or you may elect to base the Web site on your own analysis and knowledge (given the limit time available for this assignment, the latter is much more practical).

Although the Internet has been around for 20 years or so, it has just become available outside a small university-based research community. The World Wide Web, which was also developed for that community but has now become available to all of us, is even younger. For practical purposes, we can assume that the Internet and the Web are new products or services ... truly new one. They are so new that we do not know the many ways they can be used; nor do we know how they will effect us. To understand their impacts on marketing and work, we have to use our imagination.

A famous marketing professor wrote a book titled The Marketing Imagination that contains some thoughts that are pertinent to us as we try to think about the Web and its impacts.

“The Marketing Imagination reflects the conviction that the way to deal with “what’s new,” as well as what’s old and enduring, is mostly by being widely informed and thinking straight. ... The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious and who effectively marshal resources and energies for their attainment or avoidance. ... Customers are constantly presented with lots of options to help them solve their problems. They don’t buy things, they buy solutions to problems. The surviving and thriving business is a business that constantly seeks better ways to help people solve their problems --- functionally better, valued better, and available better. To create betterness requires knowing what customers think betterness to be. This precedes all else in business. The imagination that figures out what that is, imaginatively figures out what should be done, and does it with imagination and high spirits will drive the enterprise forward.” (Theodore Levitt, The Marketing Imagination (New, Expanded Edition), The Free Press, 1986, p. xxii.)

The key is using your imagination. We can give you new ways to imagine. We can explain the technologies that are converging to create this new environment; we can teach you how to use one of those technologies (the WWW) to produce applications that require imagination; we can introduce you to new ways of thinking about what these technologies permit, e.g., reconstitution, disintermediation, etc. But in the end, it is your imagination that must be applied to see the possibilities for your target firm.

I will be evaluating this site on scales that are anchored by the following end-points:

Minimal effort (Boring) ............... Fantastic (Knocked our socks off)
One dimensional ....................... Multidimensions
No frames ............................. Impressive frame structure
No clickable tables or images ......... Impressive clickable tables or images
No reason to revisit .................. Entices repeat visits
Just a list of links .................. Well-organized structures
Gratuitous images ..................... Well thought out use of images
Links but little substance ............ Primarily your material, with meaningful links
Has links to nowhere .................. All links work, both external and to your site
Gratuitous blinking ................... No blinking words

Assignment 4 is a Team Assignment

Team Membership

The team for this assignment should be the same team that completed Assignment 3.

Return to the BA 491 Home Page.