Extent: 5 ECTS (135 h)
Timing: semester 2-5
Level: Advanced Professional Studies
Starting level and linkage with other courses
Students are suggested to take this course after their Compulsory Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS).
Upon successful completion of this module, students should have gathered deeper insights into strategic and operative key issues with International Marketing. Moreover, the course has been designed to give students a chance to apply theory on their individual working environment. At the same time, course participants will improve presentation skills, the ability to work in teams as well as critical investigation, and self-motivating study skills.
In order to compete effectively in foreign markets, not only to fill incoming orders from abroad every now and then, a well-focused international marketing strategy based on a thorough understanding of target markets is indispensable.
Strategic marketing planning is much more than just the creation of marketing campaigns consisting of nicely designed communication tools. It requires rigorous analysis as well as sound judgment. The amount of detailed work required to make informed marketing decisions is huge and often comes surprisingly for beginners.
In this course, selected aspects of international marketing planning are dealt with. The relevant theory is illustrated with selected case studies.
Course participants will find themselves in a managerial role, having to assume responsibility for decisions in different phases of the planning process, i.e.
Phase 1: Marketing audit
Phase 2: Market selection
Phase 3: Strategies and objectives
Phase 4: Operative marketing management
1) As a first step of the strategic planning process, the management has to evaluate the firm’s overall com-petitive position as well as the framework for international business. In order to do so, the company has to be examined - possibly benchmarked with a key competitor.
2) Foreign target markets can be selected according to their attractiveness and the anticipated country risk. The former is mainly determined by the market and sales potential, which have to be reliably estimated. In doing so, marketing executives have to handle a bundle of market data delivered by field or desk research in order to discover the (un-) articulated customer needs.
3) Business mission and corporate objectives give orientation to all stakeholders. Furthermore, a properly designed hierarchy of objectives is indispensable for both keeping the employees motivated and the company on track. After the objectives have been set, the marketing management has to decide about appropriate strategies to achieve them.
4) Finally, the marketing mix has to be designed to implement the marketing plan. It should be taken into consideration that efficiency has the absolute priority for marketing decision makers in this regard.
Cooperation with the business community
The course assignment is designed as a project work which has to be completed in teams. Each team has the task is to develop an international marketing plan for a project company of their choice. As the project company can be their employer, students are given the opportunity to apply theory in a familiar business con-text.
The teams are asked to choose their project company latest until the course starts. Students should work in teams of 3-4 persons at most.
Each team will be given an opponent team, which implies that those two teams will have to work together intensively by reading each other’s reports and presentation materials, giving feedback and sharing ideas for improvement.
Cases and readings are from international business contexts.
Teaching and learning methods
The course is implemented by applying multiple ways of learning.
Lectures and article discussions 24 h
Project work presentation and discussion 8 h
Team work on the project and on its reporting 63 h
Independent studies 49 h
Recognition of prior learning (RPL)
Dr. Axel Schlich, Professor of Marketing, University of Applied Sciences, Koblenz
Course participants are free to choose reading materials from the text books listed below. In addition, students will be provided with a selection of articles at the beginning of the course.
Czinkota, M. R. / Ronkainen, I. A. 2009. International Marketing, 9th edition.
Grafers, H.W./ Schlich, A. W. 2006. Strategic Export Management, 1st edition, Helsinki: WSOY.
Hollensen, S. / Opresnik, M. 2010. Marketing – A Relationship Perspective, München.
Kotabe, M. & Helsen, K. 2010. Global Marketing Management, 5th edition New York.
Usunies, Jean-claude/Lee, Julie Anne (2013): Marketing Across Cultures, 6th edition, Harlow
The course is evaluated on scale 1 to 5 (where 5 is the best). The assessment criteria are presented below regarding three areas, such as knowledge, skills, and competencies.
Grade/ Learning outcomes
1 (minimum 40% competence level)
3 (minimum 70% competence level)
5 (minumim 90% competence level)
The student can identify, list, and combine the main theoretical international marketing concepts.
The student can describe the relevant international marketing concepts and apply them to new contexts. The student can link the key theoretical concepts to the practical task to present the big picture.
The student uses and combines different international marketing concept and theories, develops own models. His/her use of theory and specific terminology is very accurate.
With great difficulty and under strict supervision, the student partly collects, poorly analyzes, and partly uses relevant research findings to conduct the course project for a client company at a beginner’s level.
Student knows how to use certain international marketing tools.
The student can collect, partly analyze and partly use relevant research findings to accomplish the course project for a client company at a beginner’s level.
Student is able to choose the relevant tools, methods, and frameworks to the specific situation and context.
The student is able to collect, analyze and use relevant research findings to accomplish the course project for a client company at a high professional level. Student demonstrates excellent skills to choose the appropriate tools, methods, and frameworks that are relevant to the course project.
With great difficulty and under strict supervision, the student is able to complete tasks. S/he poorly applies the concepts, tools, and theories to international marketing projects. S/he can conduct qualitative research with the help of the supervisor.
The student is able to work relatively independently with a client company in a team. S/he is able to apply concepts, tools, and theories to international marketing projects. S/he can conduct qualitative research relatively independently from the supervisor.
The student is able work very professionally and independently with a client company in a team. S/he can fully apply the learned concepts, tools, and theories to international marketing projects. S/he can conduct research in international marketing at a highly professional level and in an innovative way.
Assessment components and their respective weights
The module assessment consists of
a team grade for the project work
an individual written exam.
The final grade is a weighted average score of individual and team grade, both grades carry equal weights.
As mentioned above, the teams will have to work on an international marketing plan for a project company of their choice. In detail, students will have to deal with selected questions referring to the four phases of international marketing planning as discussed in class. Each team will have to present the results of their project work in class in form of a presentation of 20–25 minutes in the closing session. In the following discussion, the teams will have to defend their decisions against critical objections. Furthermore, the teams are asked to submit an executive report in order to briefly summarize the results. The reports have to be in-line with HAAGA-HELIA´s guidelines and should not exceed 10 - 12 pages. The reports have to be submitted latest one week after the presentations.
In a written exam of 90 minutes length each student will have the chance to individually proof that learning objectives have been achieved. The exam will be designed as an open book exam, i.e. course participants
are allowed to use a PC during the exam.