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					CHAPTER 4

Gregory J. Baleja
Alma College

                             INTERNATIONAL MARKETING: A MAP QUIZ

          When discussing international marketing, it is always interesting to investigate the amount of
knowledge that American college students have about any country outside of the United States.
          In most cases, I find that my students have very little knowledge of foreign countries or cultures.
To reinforce this assumption, I give my students a Map Quiz. The map quiz is usually based on the
countries of Europe (both Eastern and Western Europe). Europe is usually selected because it is the region
of the world that until recently has undergone the least amount of name and/or boundary changes.
          To make the students’ task easier, I provide them with a list of all the European countries involved
(aided recall). To make sure they legitimately try to fill in all of the correct countries, I state that the quiz
will be graded. Later, I inform the students that the quiz was, in fact, graded, but that the scores were not
          Over the last few years, the average number of countries MISSED has totaled approximately 14.38
out of 27 possible European countries listed (an error rate of 53.25%). The number of countries MISSED
has ranged from 0 to 26 (to date no student has missed all 27 countries).
          A number of students comment when seeing their actual scores, that they would have performed
much better if they were quizzed on something more familiar, like the United States. Thus, to
accommodate their request, during the next class period I distribute a quiz on the lower 48 states. For this
map quiz the students are not provide with a list of states (unaided recall). The average number of states
WRONG has averaged 13.76 out of 48 (an error rate of 28.6%) during the last few years. Familiarity
seems to help improve the scores, but not totally.
          Some unique answers to both quizzes are listed below. Students have told me, for example:
·West German was located east of East Germany,
·New states such as East and West Delaware, Syracuse, and St. Louis exist,
·Ireland is located where Bulgaria is,
·Norway is located where Romania is,
·Great Britain is located where Spain is,
·North and South Carolina are located where North and South Dakota are,
·Arkansas is located where Utah is, and
·Alabama is located where Oklahoma is.

          The purpose of these quizzes is to reinforce exactly how little American students know about the
world in general. I ask the students how they can make a conscious business decision about locational
alternatives when they don’t even know where Czechoslovakia is, or for that matter, the state of Kansas. In
my most recent Basic Marketing class of 46 students, 43% of them were unable to place Kansas in its
correct geographical position. In addition, 35% missed placing Colorado correctly and 46% missed
          The students are not only unable to show where a particular country or state is located, but they
are also unable to identify the countries or states that surround it. How then, can these students intelligently
discuss the implications of entering the Czechoslovakian market (caused by recent developments in Eastern
Europe) with the thought of possible expansion into the rest of Eastern Europe, when they don’t even have
the most basic knowledge of where it is located? By the way, the same argument holds for locating a
Distribution Center in Kansas or Colorado or Arizona.
          Our students need to have a better understanding of geography if they are going to compete
successfully in a GLOBAL marketplace.
John L. Beisel
Pittsburg State University


          Students from other countries who are studying in the United States bring with them a rich cultural
heritage and perspective that most American students seldom bother to learn about. In fact, many
American students rarely even take the opportunity to talk to an international student during their college
years, even though they have sat in class with them time after time. I have had international students tell
me upon graduation that they regret the fact that they never became friends with an American student.
          I decided to force communication between the two groups at every opportunity in my classes. In
my International Marketing course, the students are divided up into teams consisting of four students, and
each team is assigned a country. Their task: to develop a plan for marketing a specific consumer product
to their assigned country, in 25 pages or less.
          In a recent class, I appointed eleven teams of four students each. Each team was assigned a
different country. Those eleven countries that were most represented by students in our university were
eleven countries assigned. They were India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay,
Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. The teams were expected to personally interview a
minimum of four students from the country that they were assigned. The interviews consisted of learning
about the customs, product preferences, buying habits, prices, competitors, types of retail outlet shops, etc.,
in the home country of the students interviewed, especially relating to the product assigned.
          The final report for each team included, among other things, a country analysis with a brief
description of the market (demographics, primary marketing areas, etc.), an economic profile of the
country, business customs, consumer behavior, general U.S. relationships with the country, export
prospects to the country, and the country’s restrictions on imports.
          Also, customs regulations had to be cited regarding documentation, packing, labeling, marking,
import quotas and restrictions, tariffs, trademark protection, taxes, import licensing, shipping documents,
health and sanitary requirements, etc. Much of this information could be found in Overseas Business
          Each team also created a brand name and a package design. A pricing policy was decided on, as
well as a promotional strategy. Common distribution channel alternatives were named, and entry
alternatives (i.e., licensing, trading companies, franchising, agents, joint venture, wholesalers, etc.) were
          The students were quite positive about the project as a learning experience, especially regarding
the face-to-face contact with international students. During the interviews the students found new friends,
and in some instances were even invited to the interviewees’ living quarters for a meal with an international
David J. Brennan
Webster University – St. Louis, Missouri

                                        IT’S NOT FUNNY MONEY!

         In teaching International Marketing it is important for American students to develop a knowledge
of foreign currencies. For marketing students, this need not be a detailed financial knowledge but simply
an awareness of a few key international currencies, their names, symbols and relative values.
         Given a list of several relatively familiar countries, students are asked to name the currency of that
country and to indicate the symbol used to designate that currency. Some typical countries, currencies and
symbols (with the U.S. as an example) could include [answers in brackets]:

                  Country            Currency                             Symbol
Example:          USA                        Dollar/cent                           $ US

                  Australia          __________[Dollar/Cent]                       _____[$AUS]
                  Belgium            __________[Franc]                             _____[Bf]
                  Canada             __________[Dollar/Cent]                       _____[$CD]
                  France             __________[Franc/Centime]                     _____[Ff]
                  Germany            __________[Deutsch Mark/Pfenning              _____[DM]
                  Great Britain      __________[Pound/Pence}                       _____[£]
                  Hong Kong          __________[Dollar]                            _____[$HK]
                  Ireland            __________[Punt]                              _____[Pt]
                  Italy              __________[Lire]                              _____[Il]
                  Japan              __________[Yen/Sen]                           _____[¥]
                  Poland             __________[Zloty]                             _____[Z]
                  Switzerland        __________[Franc]                             _____[Sf]

          These, as well as other countries and their respective currencies, can be found in the foreign
exchange listings in the Financial Section of the Wall Street Journal. This listing provides the country, its
major currency and foreign exchange values for the previous two business days in terms of foreign
currency value in $US, and $US in terms of value in the foreign currency. If possible, it is also useful to go
to a local bank and get (buy a few foreign currency bills (£, DM, Ff, $CD) for class.
          Several aspects of foreign currencies, as they may apply to marketing students, can be raised
during class discussion. These could include:

      Some currencies have similar names, i.e., Dollar: U.S., Canada, Hong Kong; franc: France,
       Belgium, Switzerland but all have very different values.
      It is important for marketing students to be aware of the relative values of the currencies of key
       major trading partners (Canada, Germany, Great Britain, and Japan). It illustrate this one can use
       those foreign currencies with values less than, approximately equal to and great than the U.S. dollar.
       For example:

        The Canadian ($CD) dollar is close to the value of the U.S. dollar ($US): 1 $CD = 84¢ US or 1
         $US = 1.19$ CD
        The German mark (DM) is less than the value of the U.S. dollar ($US): 1 DM = 68¢ US or 1
         $US = 1.47 DM
        The Japanese Yen (¥) is worth much less than the U.S. dollar ($US): 1 ¥ = .001 $US (1¢ US) or
         1 $US = 100 ¥
        The British pound (£) is worth more than the U.S. dollar ($US): 1 £ = 1.91 $US or 1 $US = .52 £
         (52 pence)
      Changes in foreign currency values in terms of the U.S. dollar can impact international business. A
       good example of that is of the Japanese yen (¥). In 1987, 1 $US was worth (bought) approximately
       250 ¥ while in 1992 the U.S. dollar weakened (and the Japanese yen strengthened) when 1 $US was
       only worth (bought) approximately 128¥ while in 1996 it hovered in the 80 – 100¥ to the $US
       range. A useful point of discussion is the change in foreign or U.S. consumer buying power due to
       such a change of currency values.

         This exercise can educate American marketing students who are, typically, used to operating only
in the U.S. dollar. Although the U.S. dollar is still a key global currency, other currencies, such as the
German DM and the Japanese ¥ are becoming important. It can illustrate to our students that foreign
currencies are not “funny money” and need to be taken seriously in international marketing.

Jacqueline J. Kacen
University of Michigan-Dearborn


          What must international and cross-cultural marketers think about when introducing products into
foreign markets? Instead of focusing on familiar U.S. products being introduced into a new foreign market,
this exercise has students introduce a foreign product into the U.S. This exercise works well as an in-class
exercise, a group project, or an individual homework assignment.
          The product I use for this exercise is Vegemite – a Kraft product manufactured and sold in
Australia and New Zealand. However, any foreign product that is not currently marketed in the U.S. can be
used in class.
          As an introduction to the exercise, I provide students with a one-page summary of the product – its
history, ingredients, uses, target market, position – in its home market. Alternatively, depending on time
and resources, students can be required to research the product on their own. Information about Vegemite,
for example, is available through various sites on the World Wide Web. This exercise can provide an
opportunity for students to access Internet resources.
          I also bring in the product in to class students can see it in its “original” form. By using a food
product such as Vegemite, students also actually taste the product; thus, better understanding and
appreciating its composition. (Note: most American students hate the taste of Vegemite, so I also provide
soft drinks and pieces of candy to students so they can “cleanse their palates”).
          The background information on the product and the taste experience provide students with enough
information to create their own marketing strategy for the product. Individually, in groups, or as a class,
students are instructed to develop a marketing plan for Vegemite’s introduction into the U.S. The plan
should include the target market, the product’s positioning statement, packaging and size considerations,
price (or pricing strategy), distribution strategy, and promotional strategy. A discussion of the marketing
plan(s) follows. The differences and similarities between consumers in the United States and in the home
country of the product should be highlighted during the class discussion.

William C. Moncrief
Texas Christian University

           My strong belief is that students should have some sense of geography when studying
international marketing. The first day of class I put a world map on the overhead and ask them to identify
25 countries (France, China, Japan, etc.). The results as might be expected are abysmal. Most students
indicate that they have never studied geography or they were so young as to be non-interested.
           My goal is to give them some geographical knowledge and to make it fun. Several years ago, I
was given a board game called Where in the World. The game has a card for every country in the world
and gives information such as capital, chief export, chief import, religion, language, currency. I have put
all of this information on a handout along with maps of Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South
America. Groups of 5 are formed for a geography competition. On an announced day we have the
geography bowl with 6 to 8 groups competing. Typically, the students have divided up the world so that
two students within the group are “experts” on a particular continent. I shuffle the approximately 200 cards
and I randomly pick a card for a group 1. Each group has a map in front of them with each country
numbered but not named. “Group 1, where is Argentina.” If they are correct they receive a point and then
answer, “What is the capital of Argentina?" If they are correct again they have a chance at a third question.
I have created a spinner with export, import, currency, and language divided equally on the spinner. I spin
the spinner and it might indicate “export.” If the group can name the chief export, they receive a third
point. If the group misses the country or capital, I roll a die and the corresponding numbered competitive
group has a chance to “steal” the question and receive bonus points for the correct answers. After the
question has been answered by group 1 or stolen by some other group, I then move to group 2 and draw a
country. This process continues until all groups have been asked a country. Round 2 ensues. The game
will continue throughout the class period, usually lasting somewhere from 10 to 20 rounds (depending on
the length of the class).
           The game becomes very competitive and the amount of information learned is phenomenal. It is
rare that a group misidentifies a country and usually they can name the capital. In about half the cases, they
even can come up with exports, imports, currency, and language.
           As midterm I give an exam with a map in which the students must identify 20 “significant”
countries and capitals that are active in the international markets. The results are impressive. In my last
two classes, exactly 50% of the class did not miss a single country. The average misidentified country and
the capital was 3.4 out of 4.0 possible answers. The geography game is fun. The students love it and want
to play it again. More importantly, they learn some geography and as we talk about world markets, most of
the students now know where the countries are located and something about them.

Andrew Banasiewicz
Louisiana State University


          During the last decade, we have seen a strong emphasis being placed on providing business
students with a more global orientation. To accommodate this, we need to make the students realize that
being raised in a particular culture results in their “business perceptions,” as employed in a particular
context, being not only a function of the actual attributes, but their respective cultural background as well.
I have devised a simple exercise aiming at forcing students to think of other cultures no in terms of the
potential differences, but rather in terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that these
diverse environments may provide.
          On a first day of class, I ask students to write on an index card their name, major, classification,
and then two groups of countries. The students are instructed to, for Group one, create a list of foreign
countries, which they perceive as being most culturally similar to their own. Conversely, Group Two is to
be composed of five countries that they perceive as being culturally most dissimilar to their own country.
Lastly, the students are asked to consider a generic industrial product (such as a bearing), and use a scale of
1-10, rate the perceived quality of that product which is being manufactured in their own country of origin,
the country they judged as most culturally similar, and lastly the country they judged most culturally
dissimilar. Due to the fact that the product under consideration is rather hard to compare on its functional
attributes, the students are forced to base their ratings on their culturally based attitudes.
          Having collected all that information, I then group the lists of the most culturally similar and
dissimilar cultures. Then I divide students into groups where each of the groups has a specific country or
region assigned to it. The groups are usually composed of about four students who are paired and matched
in such a way that two of the students have listed their group’s country as one which they believe to be
most similar to their own country, while the other two listed it as being culturally most dissimilar to their
own country. Following that, I announce that each of the groups is to choose a product or service and
attempt to market it in the country assigned to them. The groups are to view themselves as consulting
teams responsible for creating the marketing mix comprised of product, price, promotion, and distribution.
          The groups are given most of the semester to work on the project, which is culminated by formal
presentations. Following the presentations, the students are asked to once again rate the perceived quality of
a generic industrial product being manufactured in their own country, the country most culturally similar,
as well as the country most culturally dissimilar to theirs. Following that, the ratings are compared against
those recorded in the beginning of the semester and a presentation is made regarding the differences.
Lastly, the culturally motivated perceptual bias is discussed and the opinions are solicited regarding the
learning process, which took place while working on the project.

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