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PROJECT LEARNING OBJECTIVES
The learning objectives for the Country Project fourfold. The first objective is to familiarize the student with the cultural environment of a country as the subject of the project and to facilitate cross-cultural understanding early in the semester. The second objective is to provide the students with the opportunity to prepare a marketing plan for a product, which is being considered for marketing in a country they have selected. The project emphasizes the need to understand the environment as an essential step preceding the preparation of a marketing plan. The final two objectives of the term project are to effectively reinforce key concepts covered in this and other courses and to stimulate students to expand their learning horizons through the identification of materials required to complete the project.
*Please see textbook page 626: “The Country Notebook—A Guide for Developing a Marketing Plan” for more detailed discussion of each of the parts of this project.
The Country Project is designed to provide the students with experience in analyzing a country’s cultural and economic environment and experience in developing a marketing program for a specific product. The project requires that the student select a country and submit a series of five reports. The first report is determining the country and the product/service to be exported. The second report is a general survey of the country’s culture. The third report covers the economy of the country including a thorough analysis of the distribution and marketing systems. The fourth report is a market audit and competitive analysis of a country market for a specific product. The fifth report students develop a preliminary marketing plan for a product under consideration for marketing in the country they have selected.
Students should view the project from the perspective as if they represent a large multinational company planning to expand operations to a new country. The task is to analyze and tentatively propose a marketing program for the company’s product in a foreign country. After a complete analysis the student will determine to market the product or not to market the product. Under these circumstances, the value of a decision not to market the product in the country is as important as a decision to market. Normally 20 percent of students elect not to market their products. The only word of caution given to students who might elect not to market the product is to be certain that their market analysis is adequate and that they can justify their decision based on the data collected.
The reports include a heading on each page (i.e. date, student name, name of report), page numbers (bottom middle) single spaced paragraphs and double spaced between paragraphs written in style Times Roman 12” pitch. Citations and References are APA guidelines. The length of the reports are as follows: Part 1 is one page; Parts 2-5 are between three to four papers. Reports have a page limit since most students find enough information to write substantially more than 15 pages. This forces the student to organize, analyze and then present only the most important material from a marketing perspective.
How does your instructor grade the reports?
Grades will be determined in terms of the report analysis adequacy and coverage. Of major importance is how well information gathered in the cultural and economic reports are applied in developing a marketing program. In addition, the application of marketing concepts through instructor lectures and text assignments as well as concepts learned in other marketing and business courses is considered in grading. See grading rubric.
Country Project – Part 1
All Country Project Reports include a heading on each page (i.e. date, student name, name of report), page numbers (bottom middle) single spaced paragraphs and double spaced between paragraphs written in style Times Roman 12” pitch. Citations and References are APA guidelines. The length of the reports are as follows: Part 1 is one page.
Part 1 you are to write a 1 page report to include the (1) Company; (2) B2C Product; (3) Targeted Country and your research and reasons for making these selections. Include all research citations and references. See Grading Rubric.
Selecting (1) Company; (2) B2C Product; (3) Targeted Country
Students should choose a U.S. company they are interested in researching and a consumer product/service that is not currently found in the targeted country. For example, students can choose to market an automobile from the United States into a foreign country it is currently not servicing.
Note: Foreign students are especially encouraged to find consumer products/services that they’ve been accustomed to or enjoyed (a favorite type of food product) here in the United States and wish to “export” to their home country OR choose a B2C product from your home country that is currently not offered in the U.S. and you wish to “export” to the U.S.
Selecting a Product
While industrial products currently account for more than 50 percent of international trade, and their importance is appropriately stressed, the focus of this project is exclusively on consumer products. Due to the cultural orientation of the project, consumer products offer more opportunities to focus on cultural adaptation than do most industrial goods.
Students typically select countries ranging from the most economically developed to the most recent developing nations. Therefore, it is advisable the product selected should be consistent with the needs of large numbers of consumers in developing nations. The product should have obvious cultural overtones to provide a strong cultural impact to the project. The product should be one that students know something about. Products meeting these criteria, and which have been used successfully in the past include: baby food, disposable diapers, powdered milk, contraceptive pills, high-protein diet supplements, prepared foods such as dry soups, portable washing machines, soft drink mix, children’s toys, instant noodles, franchise outlets and early pregnancy tests.
See Example of Country Project and Product Research Fact Sheet. Note the data provided are generally limited to content information, product uses, preparations, and product costs. Most of this information can be found on or with the literature accompanying the product and on the internet.
EXAMPLE: Country Project
Product Fact Sheet
THE PRODUCT—XO COMPUTER
A nonprofit group called “One Laptop per Child”, organized by Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder and director of the MIT Media Laboratory, aided in developing a computer for distribution to schools in developing countries. The plan called for countries to buy the computers, called the XO, for a price between 100 and 150 dollars and to distribute them free to schools. While the initial goal of the project is to work with governments, the design is being licensed to third-party companies to build commercial versions. (For more information about the One Laptop per Child program, visit : www.laptop.org (Links to an external site.)).
The product for this assignment will be a commercialized version of the XO to sell at retail for roughly $250. Initial research by your company indicated that not only can such computers be used effectively in schools around the world but there is also a broader market in developing countries as an attractive cheap computer. In richer countries, the study indicated a potential market for the commercialized XO as computers for the elderly, as useful systems for people working in field locations, due to their functional and robust nature and cheap price and a somewhat ‘disposable’ computer system as gifts for children.
The proposed design of the machines calls for a 500MHz processor, 1GB of memory and an innovative dual-mode display that can be used in full-color mode, or in a black-and-white sunlight-readable mode. The display makes the laptop both an electronic book and a laptop.
Since many countries targeted by the plan do not have power in remote areas, alternative power systems were developed for the XO. Power can be provided through conventional electric current, a small, low-cost solar cell, batteries, a windup crank attached to the side of the notebooks, a pedal or a lawn-mower-style ripcord to generate power.
The machines will run a version of the Linux operating system and for connectivity; the systems will be Wi-Fi- and cell phone-enabled, will include four USB ports, along with built-in “mesh networking,” a peer-to-peer concept that allows machines to share a single Internet connection. Using the XO’s built-in camera and microphone, users can easily jump into video or audio chats with other users.
The machine is built of heavy-duty plastic and has antennas to communicate with nearby laptops. The rubber membrane keyboard is, of course, resistant to water and dirty hands. It is also designed to be easily swapped out to account for different languages and character sets.
The XO is designed to use a minimum of power compared to conventional laptops. The display is black-and-white high resolution in sunlight and color in a room or at night and uses 1 watt of average power consumption and, when the backlight is off, it uses 100 milliwatts of power. Memory is on the timing controller of the display, so the display can stay on while the motherboard is turned off. This was done because people often spend a lot of time reading and the processor isn’t doing anything. The CPU can be in or out of hibernation in a tenth of a second, so that users won’t even notice the change. In e-Book mode, the XO uses less than a half a watt. While idling, the XO uses about 1 watt of power. A typical wireless system in a laptop consumes around 10 watts however the revolutionary wireless mesh technology in the XO uses 0.8 watts of power. As a result of the low power demands, the XO is considered the greenest computer ever made considering that the newest Energy-Star requirement for a laptop is 14 watts while idling.
Currently the XO can use two different battery technologies: a classic nickel metal hydride battery or a newer style lithium iron phosphate battery. The batteries are designed to last over five years or 2,000 to 3,000 recharges. With the XO using on average 2 watts and the battery having a 20-watt-hour span, the XO can easily go for 10 hours on a single charge. Because of the battery’s low replacement cost ($10), a spare battery might be included with every system.
The bundled software applications include: a Firefox-based Web browser, a simple writing application, an RSS reader, an eBook reader, an advanced calculator that handles a number of functions, including word-based calculations, a drawing tool and, of course, lots of learning games.
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