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Australian company and its product (a good, service or investment) into an overseas country market Overview Your Research Exercise Project is a simulated foreign market feasibility study for an Australian company and its product (a good, service or investment) into an overseas country market. You choose your subject firm, product and country. This represents an international marketing task of the kind that you might realistically be instructed to undertake when you work for an internationalising Australian company on graduation. Your project is completed in two parts, following the structure of the international marketing course. The first part (due in Week 7) focuses on the various environmental variables of your target market which influence or determine how your firm will plan its marketing; the second part (due in Week 13) requires you to assess the marketing mix options for the company, based on what you found in Part 1. RESEARCH EXERCISE PROJECT FORMAT Research Exercise Part 1 (20%) 1.0 Introduction 2.0 Environmental analysis of the potential overseas market 2.1 Economic and financial 2.2 Cultural and social 2.3 Political and legal 2.4 Technological 2.5 Other areas as relevant 1,800 words excluding references and appendices Due: Week 7 Research Exercise Part 2 (20%) 1.0 Market segmentation 2.0 International marketing mix strategy 2.1 Product/service 2.2 Place (distribution) 2.3 Price 2.4 Promotion Recommendations 1,800 words excluding references and appendices Due: Week 13 For each Research Exercise References 3.0 Appendices Not in word count Your assignment is written in report format, and will rely on the primary and secondary research that you conduct, the sources of which you will show. The purpose of the Research Exercise Project is to test your knowledge and application of international marketing principles applied to a real company and product to an overseas destination, and to demonstrate initiative and discrimination in your research skills. It will require you to be resourceful and creative. You will use a variety of secondary data sources (primary data sources as well if available and appropriate) to help you complete your assignment. This project will enable students to gain an appreciation and understanding of the following tasks required to be successful in international marketing. 1. Analyse elements of the international environment and their inter-relationships and understand their relevance to international marketing strategies; 2. Identify international marketing opportunities and threats; 3. Plan international marketing mix strategies; 4. Understand how international marketing is practised by international companies. No matter which company you select, remember you are not to merely describe their ‘success stories’. You are to research and analyse their situations and to suggest (1) how they can further improve their performance in one of the countries that they are already in, or (2) to explore a potential overseas country that they currently are not in. Before you start…selecting your subject company, product and country You choose the subjects of your project: the firm, the product it will be marketing, and the foreign country market. (Note that ‘product’ means physical goods, intangible services or investments). A key to gaining a high mark is that you choose these wisely, so that you can find plenty of data on them and make your report detailed, meaningful and easy to complete. In order to help ensure you start well, your teaching staff will assess and give you advice on your proposed choice during Week 2 and Week 3 tutorials. Here are steps you can take to choose your subjects. Choose an Australian company with the potential for extending its marketing activities overseas or which is already internationalised. You need to choose an Australian company or one with a significant presence in Australia, since this semester we are looking at International Marketing from the perspective of Australian companies. Besides, you are likely to work for an Australian company on graduation so this will make it more realistic and useful. Choosing a company that you know or have connections to will give you opportunities for gathering primary data on its products and marketing. For example, this could be a company that you work for, or one of your parents work for, or which you are otherwise connected to. Gaining first hand advice on its marketing parameters will enrich your analysis and make for a more realistic report. If it’s a company whose products you know then it will be easier and more meaningful for you to understand the market it is in, and translate that into an overseas country’s market. Alternatively, the best firms to study for international marketing are those that are already recognised as top performers in this field. Those firms that have won state or national export awards are good examples. You can find winners of the annual Australian Export Awards in each state and nationally here: http://www.exportawards.gov.au/Home-Awards/default.aspx; click on either ‘Finalists’ or ‘Winners’. Get the names from this site and then research the individual companies via their websites and other sources to decide which one sounds interesting and comprehensible to you as a candidate company. On vUWS in the Research Exercise Project Guide folder is an article from Dynamic Export magazine describing 50 of Australia’s ‘Top Exporters’. Another source of examples of successful exporters is Austrade’s website (http://www.austrade.gov.au/). Mainly, see their collection of ‘Success Stories’ being case studies of exporters (ignore the inward investment cases) on (http://www.austrade.gov.au/Case-studies/default.aspx) from which you can get the names and a brief outline of some successful exporters, and then you can investigate their websites and do other research. For Hi Tech companies and some Services firms the Australian Technology Showcase will give you lots of company examples to follow up on – click on ‘Browse Companies’ on their home page ‘http://ats.business.gov.au/Pages/Home.aspx . If you want to do a franchise expanding its system overseas then you might check out the Franchise Council of Australia’s website: http://www.franchisebusiness.com.au/latest_companies.aspx, then search franchises’ websites to see if they are internationalised (you only want ones with a foreign market presence). If you choose a franchise though, remember that you are reporting on the Australian franchisor investigating setting up its franchise system overseas, not individual franchisees in the foreign country marketing its goods. Companies that manufacture ‘Australian Made’ accredited products of course are Australian candidates: www.australianmade.com.au. Do not choose a global multinational company like Coca Cola or McDonalds as it will be difficult for you to justify an appropriate country market strategy for it (because they employ global marketing strategies), and you will learn little from them. Finally, discuss your choice with your tutor if it will help you. Choose a product (good, service or investment) from this company that you want to explore its market potential in an overseas market. You can choose a good or a service like banking, hotel, travel, financial services, IT, tourism etc. You may find it easier to understand consumer markets (i.e., markets for consumer goods/services) than industrial markets. So a company marketing a consumer product would be easier rather than a company marketing an industrial product or a commodity overseas (eg BHP-Billiton selling iron ore to China will be too difficult for you). Choose a country that you want to study for the purpose of this project. Choosing a country that you know (because you or your family come from there) or of which you speak the language (so you can access foreign language websites there) would give you access to additional data. You should choose a country based on your preliminary assessment of the likely market potential for your chosen product in that country. You may need to conduct some preliminary research on the market potentials in alternative countries for your chosen product before you finalise your project topic. A good source of market information for selected products/services in different countries is the Global Market Information Database (GMID) accessible via the “Reading & Resources” link on vUWS. In Week 2’s tutorial you will be given a project proposal form to fill out with your nominated subjects. Your tutor will advise you on the suitability of your choice in Week 3’s tutorial. Take advantage of this free service to help you have an easy time in your assignment by choosing wisely. A delay or change in company, product and country selection will place increased pressure on completing the two research exercises on time and are likely to impact on the quality of your work. Research Exercise Part 1 The following is an explanation of the various components that need to be completed in Research Exercise Part 1. 1.0 Introduction You should provide a background to your company, product and country chosen for your project. Do not spend too many words merely narrating company, product and country profiles. Identify the key reasons why you think your company’s product has a potential (currently unexplored or underestimated) in your chosen country. This is to be supported by your detailed information and analyses to follow in the following sections. Include pictures or other material that conveys quickly the nature of your company, its industry and product. 2.0 Environmental analysis of the potential overseas market This section is concerned with external environmental factors that are likely to impact on your company and its marketing strategy for the product selected in the chosen overseas market. You will need to identify and discuss the changes, trends, developments and key uncertainties in the business environment that are likely to affect the organisation in the potential overseas market (not the domestic Australian market). It needs to be remembered that the firm will generally be unable to control or influence these external environmental factors and that the business environment is dynamic and often unpredictable. Factors that you should examine in this section may include (but are not limited to) the following: • Economic conditions in the chosen overseas market; and likely future trends that will impact on the market potential for your product in that country eg key economic indicators such as population (that part of it in your target demographic segment), per capita income, economic growth rate, inflation, exchange rate trend etc – those that are relevant • Cultural and social factors and any changes or trends that could affect your product, including consumer characteristics, preferences and traditions in the target country • Technological factors and likely innovations that could affect your product • Political/legal/institutional factors affecting, or likely to affect the firm, the industry/product, marketing activities, or customers. For example, is government regulation a problem? Are there any expected legislative changes that will impact on your market entry? Any lobby or community action groups likely to be interested in your activities or product? • The competitive environment in the target country • The effect of seasonal or climatic factors • The availability of necessary natural resources, services, communications etc • Free Trade Agreements with Australia that might assist market entry The above list is not exhaustive and not all of the factors are relevant to your project. The textbook (Fletcher and Crawford) and other reference books should be consulted for other areas you should consider. Some useful analysis tools and frameworks like PEST and SWOT analyses: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_09.htm http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_05.htm Most of the information required should be able to be obtained by desk research (using secondary data resources). It is recognised that in some instances you will be unable to obtain the necessary information (but should identify specifically where further market research is required). Direct information from informants (your parent, the management of the company you work for) will add much value and gain you higher marks. Do not just provide general discussions on the external business environment of your chosen country which looks more or less like another general CIA or Austrade country profile report. You should customise the materials to the particular company and product that you are discussing. Do not just cut and paste and dump the figures in your report. You need to digest the data and give your own analyses and insights from these data, bearing in mind the specific product that you are wanting to market in that country. Where possible, you should present information in clear tables or graphs (preferably in an Appendix with your analyses and interpretations in the body of the report) eg key economic indicators, cultural or religious groups, graphics or tables on infrastructure indicators etc. Tables and graphs in the body of the report or in the Appendix should be clearly labelled and indexed. Primary data sources like personal interviews can be included as well. All information sources must be disclosed and referenced. Irrelevant materials should not be included at all. This section should not be a compilation of every fact that you can find out about the business environment in a foreign market. The objective is identifying the key forces, trends, and uncertainties likely to impact on your company and the marketing problem or opportunity that you have identified. The bottom line is that by the end of RE1, you should be able to conclude and justify how your analyses and discussions led to and support your conclusion that the product of your chosen company has a potential in the target country (or has potential for further expansion if they are already in this target country). The key to a high mark in RE1 (and RE2 to come) is to (1) research well – widely and deeply – so that you understand what you’re writing about; and (2) apply it directly to your company and product, so that what you write and recommend is realistic and relevant to your chosen subject company. Observe the marking criteria and standards for the assignment. Pay special attention to the requirements in presentation, editing, formatting, and referencing, etc. in addition to the content of the report. See also report presentation suggestions for RE2 for reference. A word on the word limit (applicable to RE1 & RE2): the word limit is the absolute upper limit. Write the exact word counts in the appropriate entry in the Assignment Cover Sheet. The suggestion that you can go over by 10% is not true in this unit. Try to rewrite your report to make it precise and concise and put supporting materials in the Appendix instead (essential tables etc can still be put in the body of the report). Your appendices should be clearly indexed with proper titles and labelling. The reference list and appendices are not counted towards the word limit. There is no penalty for going under the word limit. However if you are struggling to write the number of words closer to the word limit, it is an indication of insufficient substance in your report that more comprehensive and in-depth research is needed. Note the simple style requirements for your report: Arial font, 12pt font size, 1.15 line spacing, 2.5cm margins. Marks will be awarded by your tutor based on the criteria below accurately reflecting the merit and contribution of your work: Research Exercise Project Part 1 marking criteria CRITERIA FAIL PASS CREDIT DISTINCTION HIGH DISTINCTION Extent to which international marketing theory has been used to explain observations, supported by the use of different information sources (10%) No or little and/or incorrect use of international marketing theory from a narrow range of information sources to explain observations. Uses only internet sources. Limited and/or frequently incorrect use of international marketing theory from a limited range of information sources to explain observations. Good, correct use of international marketing theory from a reasonable range of information sources to explain observations. Extensive and correct use of international marketing theory from a good range of information sources to explain observations. Comprehensive, correct and critical use of international marketing theory from a wide range of information sources to explain observations (e.g. academic & trade journals, books, magazines, newspapers, internet sources, etc.). 0 – 4.9 5 – 6.4 6.5 – 7.4 7.5 – 8.4 8.5 –10 Understanding and provision of analytical insights of the issues (10%) Demonstrates minimal understanding of the issues, shows minimal insights. Demonstrates some understanding of the issues and provides some basic insights. Demonstrates good understanding of the issues and provides good insights. Demonstrates very good understanding of the issues and provides very good analytical insights. Demonstrates excellent understanding of the issues and provides excellent analytical insights. 0 – 4.9 5 – 6.4 6.5 – 7.4 7.5 – 8.4 8.5 –10 Application of relevant international marketing concepts to situation analysis (10%) No use of theories and theoretical frameworks to analysis. Limited basic use of theories and theoretical frameworks incorrectly applied to analysis. Good use of theories and theoretical frameworks superficially linked to the analysis. Very good identification and use of relevant theories and theoretical frameworks to analysis. Excellent application of relevant theories and theoretical frameworks to analysis. 0 – 4.9 5 – 6.4 6.5 – 7.4 7.5 – 8.4 8.5 –10 Clarity and logical structure of report. This includes written expression, appropriate use of headings/subheadings, correctly formatted table of contents, in-text referencing and reference list, lack of typing error and comply with formatting instructions and word limit (use of 1.15 line spacing, 2.5cm margins and Arial 12 pt font, 1,800 words excluding appendices). (10%) Hard to follow and poorly structured. Written expression is poor. Several errors in formatting table of contents, referencing and/or reference list. Several typing errors and inadequate attention to detail. Does not comply with all formatting instructions and word limit. A lack of clarity and logical structure. Together with written expression there is substantial variability in quality or quality is low. Several errors in formatting table of contents, referencing and/or reference list. Several typing errors and inadequate attention to detail. Does not comply with all formatting instructions and word limit. A reasonable level of clarity and logical structure. Together with written expression there is some variability in quality. Some errors in formatting table of contents, referencing and/or reference list. Some typing errors and adequate attention to detail. Complies with formatting instructions and word limit. A good level of clarity and logical structure. Good written expression provides evidence of quality editing. Minimal errors in formatting table of contents, referencing and/or reference list. Few typing errors and good attention to detail. Complies with formatting instructions and word limit A high level of clarity and logical structure. Exceptionally good written expression provides evidence of high quality editing. No errors in formatting table of contents, referencing and reference list. No typing errors and excellent attention to detail. Complies with formatting instructions and word limit 0 – 4.9 5 – 6.4 6.5 – 7.4 7.5 – 8.4 8.5 –10 Total mark /20 Research Exercise Part 2 The marketing mix variables (product, pricing, place and promotion) lie at the core of any marketing operation, whether it be domestic or international, and can be controlled by the company. In international marketing, these variables may need modifying to take account of uncontrollable variables in both the local and overseas markets as you discussed in Part 1. In this section you will translate the analyses that you did in Part 1 into practical international marketing mix strategies. The marketing mix strategy should include sufficient detail. You should evaluate both the strengths and weaknesses of alternative strategies in each of the marketing mix areas before you draw your conclusions and recommendations on the appropriate courses of action. You should provide evidence to support your evaluation based on the situation analysis that you did in Part 1. The content and arguments that you put forward should be developed logically. Your recommendations should flow directly from your analyses. This would include the review of the relevant international marketing concepts in the academic and trade literature that have a bearing on the key issues that you identified and discussed. You should be sure that the concepts are integrated into the ensuring discussion and not just standing ‘all on their own’. As a guide, the following information should be clearly presented and strongly supported and justified: Structure: Segmentation – partitioning the total market into alternative segments, identification and justification of the choice of target segment(s). Product Strategy – identification and description of the full range of goods or services being launched, product benefits, description of packaging, comparisons with competitors, and especially what product adaptations will need to be made to make your product acceptable to buyers in your overseas market. Pricing strategy – price is the only revenue-generating element of the marketing mix. Details of pricing and costing, clearly showing domestic prices and international pricing arithmetic, foreign currency conversion, comparisons with competitors etc. Place Strategy – Specific channel choices, channel management strategies, costs associated with establishing and maintaining channels etc. Promotion Strategy – Communication strategy, media selection and strategy, other promotion activities, and costs etc. The key to a high mark in Part 2 is to (1) research well – widely and deeply – so that you understand what you’re writing about; and (2) apply it directly to your company and product, so that what you write and recommend is realistic and relevant to your chosen subject company. Observe the marking criteria and standards for the assignment. Pay special attention to the requirements in presentation, editing, formatting, and referencing, in addition to the content of the report. Here are some general suggestions for Part 2 for your reference. Not all of these issues may apply to your report but it is a good reference when you review and revise your report against the marking criteria and standards. Content: Introduction You should start your Part 2 with a very brief introduction (say a few sentences) reminding the reader of your company, product and country, linking your Part 2 to your Part 1 and giving an overview on what the reader will be expecting to find in the rest of the report. Segmentation Justify why you are concentrating on the segment(s) that you have chosen. A good starting point is to work out how many segments you can identify in the chosen market/country and then evaluate the relative importance of alternative segments (according to the decision criteria you define and justify, eg sales potential, growth potential, profit potential or whatever) before you conclude which segment you want to concentrate on for Part 2. Concentrate on one segment (maximum two segments) in Part 2. One of the key criteria in segmentation is responsiveness, ie how likely the target segment will respond to your marketing stimuli (the 4Ps). International Marketing Mix Strategies Your marketing mix strategies for business segments will be slightly different from those for consumer segments, eg when you market to government organisations, the pricing strategy reflects long term commercial relationships and extended negotiations common to industrial products (consult some B2B textbook for reference). Apply B2B marketing principles to your product marketing. Use your knowledge from the unit B2B Marketing, and consult books on this specialised form of marketing, there are plenty in the Library. Your marketing mix strategies for the marketing of a service will also be different from those for the marketing of a good due to the unique properties of services: intangibility, simultaneity, heterogeneity and perishability. Use your knowledge from the unit Marketing of Services, and consult books on this specialised form of marketing also in the Library. When you trade-off alternative strategies in each P, your decision making should be specific to the situation you are researching in Part 2. Any general description on the pros and cons of alternative strategies can be put in the Appendix; in the body of the report concentrate on your original insights in justifying why you recommend a particular strategy but not the other. For example, if you recommend a price skimming strategy for your product, you need to justify why you knock out other alternative pricing strategies like penetration pricing. Also, remember that the 4Ps should be integrated together to achieve your marketing objectives in light of the target segment you want to market your product to. The reasons why you recommend particular international marketing mix strategies (the 4Ps) are just as important as what you recommend. Your claims and assertions must be supported by evidence and logical arguments demonstrating a sound understanding of the issues. Do not be afraid to give your original thinking as and when appropriate. Presentation: Observe the formatting and presentation requirements. The fact that you run over 1,800 words by a large margin but still put down 1,800 on the assignment cover paper does not mean that this will not be noticed. Try to rewrite your essay to make it precise and concise and put supporting material in the Appendix instead. Your Appendices should be clearly indexed and with proper titles and labelling. Observe the Harvard Referencing Style for both in-text citation (author, date) and the reference list. Consult the library’s website for resources on Harvard Referencing Style. Include weblinks in your references where you used information found on the internet. The use of headings and subheadings to break your long essay into sub-sessions will help you organise the report into a cohesive and logical framework. However, merely putting a heading or subheading in bold or underline does not mean that the report is a cohesive and logical one. You need to look at the skeleton of your report and ask yourself: is the flow of the ‘story line’ consistent and logical and lead to your final recommendation? Or, are the different sections more or less standing alone in the report with no logical relationship between them. Some people prefer to summarise their marketing mix recommendations in one section, others prefer to give their recommendation for each P along with their discussions in each P. There is no right or wrong answer to different alternative presentation styles. Note the simple style requirements for your report: Arial font, 12pt font size, 1.15 line spacing, 2.5cm margins. Marks will be awarded by your tutor based on the criteria below accurately reflecting the merit and contribution of your work:

Australian company and its product (a good, service or investment) into an overseas country market  Overview  Your Research Exercise Project is a simulated foreign market feasibility study for an Australian company and its product (a good, service or investment) into an overseas country market. You choose your subject firm, product and country.  This represents an international marketing task of the kind that you might realistically be instructed to undertake when you work for an internationalising Australian company on graduation.  Your project is completed in two parts, following the structure of the international marketing course. The first part (due in Week 7) focuses on the various environmental variables of your target market which influence or determine how your firm will plan its marketing; the second part (due in Week 13) requires you to assess the marketing mix options for the company, based on what you found in Part 1.  RESEARCH EXERCISE PROJECT FORMAT Research Exercise Part 1 (20%) 1.0 Introduction 2.0 Environmental analysis of the potential overseas market 2.1 Economic and financial 2.2 Cultural and social 2.3 Political and legal 2.4 Technological 2.5 Other areas as relevant 1,800 words excluding references and appendices Due: Week 7  Research Exercise Part 2 (20%) 1.0 Market segmentation 2.0 International marketing mix strategy 2.1 Product/service 2.2 Place (distribution) 2.3 Price 2.4 Promotion Recommendations 1,800 words excluding references and appendices Due: Week 13 For each Research Exercise References 3.0 Appendices Not in word count Your assignment is written in report format, and will rely on the primary and secondary research that you conduct, the sources of which you will show.  The purpose of the Research Exercise Project is to test your knowledge and application of international marketing principles applied to a real company and product to an overseas destination, and to demonstrate initiative and discrimination in your research skills. It will require you to be resourceful and creative. You will use a variety of secondary data sources (primary data sources as well if available and appropriate) to help you complete your assignment.  This project will enable students to gain an appreciation and understanding of the following tasks required to be successful in international marketing.  1. Analyse elements of the international environment and their inter-relationships and understand their relevance to international marketing strategies; 2. Identify international marketing opportunities and threats; 3. Plan international marketing mix strategies; 4. Understand how international marketing is practised by international companies.  No matter which company you select, remember you are not to merely describe their ‘success stories’. You are to research and analyse their situations and to suggest (1) how they can further improve their performance in one of the countries that they are already in, or (2) to explore a potential overseas country that they currently are not in.  Before you start…selecting your subject company, product and country  You choose the subjects of your project: the firm, the product it will be marketing, and the foreign country market. (Note that ‘product’ means physical goods, intangible services or investments).  A key to gaining a high mark is that you choose these wisely, so that you can find plenty of data on them and make your report detailed, meaningful and easy to complete. In order to help ensure you start well, your teaching staff will assess and give you advice on your proposed choice during Week 2 and Week 3 tutorials.  Here are steps you can take to choose your subjects.  Choose an Australian company with the potential for extending its marketing activities overseas or which is already internationalised.  You need to choose an Australian company or one with a significant presence in Australia, since this semester we are looking at International Marketing from the perspective of Australian companies. Besides, you are likely to work for an Australian company on graduation so this will make it more realistic and useful.  Choosing a company that you know or have connections to will give you opportunities for gathering primary data on its products and marketing. For example, this could be a company that you work for, or one of your parents work for, or which you are otherwise connected to. Gaining first hand advice on its marketing parameters will enrich your analysis and make for a more realistic report. If it’s a company whose products you know then it will be easier and more meaningful for you to understand the market it is in, and translate that into an overseas country’s market.  Alternatively, the best firms to study for international marketing are those that are already recognised as top performers in this field. Those firms that have won state or national export awards are good examples. You can find winners of the annual Australian Export Awards in each state and nationally here: http://www.exportawards.gov.au/Home-Awards/default.aspx; click on either ‘Finalists’ or ‘Winners’. Get the names from this site and then research the individual companies via their websites and other sources to decide which one sounds interesting and comprehensible to you as a candidate company.  On vUWS in the Research Exercise Project Guide folder is an article from Dynamic Export magazine describing 50 of Australia’s ‘Top Exporters’.  Another source of examples of successful exporters is Austrade’s website (http://www.austrade.gov.au/). Mainly, see their collection of ‘Success Stories’ being case studies of exporters (ignore the inward investment cases) on (http://www.austrade.gov.au/Case-studies/default.aspx) from which you can get the names and a brief outline of some successful exporters, and then you can investigate their websites and do other research.  For Hi Tech companies and some Services firms the Australian Technology Showcase will give you lots of company examples to follow up on – click on ‘Browse Companies’ on their home page ‘http://ats.business.gov.au/Pages/Home.aspx .  If you want to do a franchise expanding its system overseas then you might check out the Franchise Council of Australia’s website: http://www.franchisebusiness.com.au/latest_companies.aspx, then search franchises’ websites to see if they are internationalised (you only want ones with a foreign market presence). If you choose a franchise though, remember that you are reporting on the Australian franchisor investigating setting up its franchise system overseas, not individual franchisees in the foreign country marketing its goods.  Companies that manufacture ‘Australian Made’ accredited products of course are Australian candidates: www.australianmade.com.au.  Do not choose a global multinational company like Coca Cola or McDonalds as it will be difficult for you to justify an appropriate country market strategy for it (because they employ global marketing strategies), and you will learn little from them.  Finally, discuss your choice with your tutor if it will help you.  Choose a product (good, service or investment) from this company that you want to explore its market potential in an overseas market. You can choose a good or a service like banking, hotel, travel, financial services, IT, tourism etc. You may find it easier to understand consumer markets (i.e., markets for consumer goods/services) than industrial markets. So a company marketing a consumer product would be easier rather than a company marketing an industrial product or a commodity overseas (eg BHP-Billiton selling iron ore to China will be too difficult for you).  Choose a country that you want to study for the purpose of this project. Choosing a country that you know (because you or your family come from there) or of which you speak the language (so you can access foreign language websites there) would give you access to additional data. You should choose a country based on your preliminary assessment of the likely market potential for your chosen product in that country. You may need to conduct some preliminary research on the market potentials in alternative countries for your chosen product before you finalise your project topic. A good source of market information for selected products/services in different countries is the Global Market Information Database (GMID) accessible via the “Reading & Resources” link on vUWS.  In Week 2’s tutorial you will be given a project proposal form to fill out with your nominated subjects. Your tutor will advise you on the suitability of your choice in Week 3’s tutorial. Take advantage of this free service to help you have an easy time in your assignment by choosing wisely. A delay or change in company, product and country selection will place increased pressure on completing the two research exercises on time and are likely to impact on the quality of your work. Research Exercise Part 1  The following is an explanation of the various components that need to be completed in Research Exercise Part 1. 1.0 Introduction You should provide a background to your company, product and country chosen for your project. Do not spend too many words merely narrating company, product and country profiles. Identify the key reasons why you think your company’s product has a potential (currently unexplored or underestimated) in your chosen country. This is to be supported by your detailed information and analyses to follow in the following sections. Include pictures or other material that conveys quickly the nature of your company, its industry and product. 2.0 Environmental analysis of the potential overseas market This section is concerned with external environmental factors that are likely to impact on your company and its marketing strategy for the product selected in the chosen overseas market. You will need to identify and discuss the changes, trends, developments and key uncertainties in the business environment that are likely to affect the organisation in the potential overseas market (not the domestic Australian market). It needs to be remembered that the firm will generally be unable to control or influence these external environmental factors and that the business environment is dynamic and often unpredictable. Factors that you should examine in this section may include (but are not limited to) the following: • Economic conditions in the chosen overseas market; and likely future trends that will impact on the market potential for your product in that country eg key economic indicators such as population (that part of it in your target demographic segment), per capita income, economic growth rate, inflation, exchange rate trend etc – those that are relevant • Cultural and social factors and any changes or trends that could affect your product, including consumer characteristics, preferences and traditions in the target country • Technological factors and likely innovations that could affect your product • Political/legal/institutional factors affecting, or likely to affect the firm, the industry/product, marketing activities, or customers. For example, is government regulation a problem? Are there any expected legislative changes that will impact on your market entry? Any lobby or community action groups likely to be interested in your activities or product? • The competitive environment in the target country • The effect of seasonal or climatic factors • The availability of necessary natural resources, services, communications etc • Free Trade Agreements with Australia that might assist market entry  The above list is not exhaustive and not all of the factors are relevant to your project. The textbook (Fletcher and Crawford) and other reference books should be consulted for other areas you should consider.  Some useful analysis tools and frameworks like PEST and SWOT analyses:  http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_09.htm  http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_05.htm  Most of the information required should be able to be obtained by desk research (using secondary data resources). It is recognised that in some instances you will be unable to obtain the necessary information (but should identify specifically where further market research is required). Direct information from informants (your parent, the management of the company you work for) will add much value and gain you higher marks.  Do not just provide general discussions on the external business environment of your chosen country which looks more or less like another general CIA or Austrade country profile report. You should customise the materials to the particular company and product that you are discussing. Do not just cut and paste and dump the figures in your report. You need to digest the data and give your own analyses and insights from these data, bearing in mind the specific product that you are wanting to market in that country.  Where possible, you should present information in clear tables or graphs (preferably in an Appendix with your analyses and interpretations in the body of the report) eg key economic indicators, cultural or religious groups, graphics or tables on infrastructure indicators etc. Tables and graphs in the body of the report or in the Appendix should be clearly labelled and indexed. Primary data sources like personal interviews can be included as well. All information sources must be disclosed and referenced. Irrelevant materials should not be included at all.  This section should not be a compilation of every fact that you can find out about the business environment in a foreign market. The objective is identifying the key forces, trends, and uncertainties likely to impact on your company and the marketing problem or opportunity that you have identified.  The bottom line is that by the end of RE1, you should be able to conclude and justify how your analyses and discussions led to and support your conclusion that the product of your chosen company has a potential in the target country (or has potential for further expansion if they are already in this target country).  The key to a high mark in RE1 (and RE2 to come) is to (1) research well – widely and deeply – so that you understand what you’re writing about; and (2) apply it directly to your company and product, so that what you write and recommend is realistic and relevant to your chosen subject company.  Observe the marking criteria and standards for the assignment. Pay special attention to the requirements in presentation, editing, formatting, and referencing, etc. in addition to the content of the report. See also report presentation suggestions for RE2 for reference.  A word on the word limit (applicable to RE1 & RE2): the word limit is the absolute upper limit. Write the exact word counts in the appropriate entry in the Assignment Cover Sheet. The suggestion that you can go over by 10% is not true in this unit. Try to rewrite your report to make it precise and concise and put supporting materials in the Appendix instead (essential tables etc can still be put in the body of the report). Your appendices should be clearly indexed with proper titles and labelling. The reference list and appendices are not counted towards the word limit. There is no penalty for going under the word limit. However if you are struggling to write the number of words closer to the word limit, it is an indication of insufficient substance in your report that more comprehensive and in-depth research is needed.  Note the simple style requirements for your report: Arial font, 12pt font size, 1.15 line spacing, 2.5cm margins.  Marks will be awarded by your tutor based on the criteria below accurately reflecting the merit and contribution of your work: Research Exercise Project Part 1 marking criteria  CRITERIA FAIL PASS CREDIT DISTINCTION HIGH DISTINCTION Extent to which international marketing theory has been used to explain observations, supported by the use of different information sources (10%) No or little and/or incorrect use of international marketing theory from a narrow range of information sources to explain observations. Uses only internet sources. Limited and/or frequently incorrect use of international marketing theory from a limited range of information sources to explain observations. Good, correct use of international marketing theory from a reasonable range of information sources to explain observations. Extensive and correct use of international marketing theory from a good range of information sources to explain observations. Comprehensive, correct and critical use of international marketing theory from a wide range of information sources to explain observations (e.g. academic & trade journals, books, magazines, newspapers, internet sources, etc.). 0 – 4.9 5 – 6.4 6.5 – 7.4 7.5 – 8.4 8.5 –10 Understanding and provision of analytical insights of the issues (10%) Demonstrates minimal understanding of the issues, shows minimal insights. Demonstrates some understanding of the issues and provides some basic insights. Demonstrates good understanding of the issues and provides good insights. Demonstrates very good understanding of the issues and provides very good analytical insights. Demonstrates excellent understanding of the issues and provides excellent analytical insights. 0 – 4.9 5 – 6.4 6.5 – 7.4 7.5 – 8.4 8.5 –10 Application of relevant international marketing concepts to situation analysis (10%) No use of theories and theoretical frameworks to analysis. Limited basic use of theories and theoretical frameworks incorrectly applied to analysis. Good use of theories and theoretical frameworks superficially linked to the analysis. Very good identification and use of relevant theories and theoretical frameworks to analysis. Excellent application of relevant theories and theoretical frameworks to analysis. 0 – 4.9 5 – 6.4 6.5 – 7.4 7.5 – 8.4 8.5 –10 Clarity and logical structure of report. This includes written expression, appropriate use of headings/subheadings, correctly formatted table of contents, in-text referencing and reference list, lack of typing error and comply with formatting instructions and word limit (use of 1.15 line spacing, 2.5cm margins and Arial 12 pt font, 1,800 words excluding appendices). (10%) Hard to follow and poorly structured. Written expression is poor. Several errors in formatting table of contents, referencing and/or reference list. Several typing errors and inadequate attention to detail. Does not comply with all formatting instructions and word limit. A lack of clarity and logical structure. Together with written expression there is substantial variability in quality or quality is low. Several errors in formatting table of contents, referencing and/or reference list. Several typing errors and inadequate attention to detail. Does not comply with all formatting instructions and word limit. A reasonable level of clarity and logical structure. Together with written expression there is some variability in quality. Some errors in formatting table of contents, referencing and/or reference list. Some typing errors and adequate attention to detail. Complies with formatting instructions and word limit. A good level of clarity and logical structure. Good written expression provides evidence of quality editing. Minimal errors in formatting table of contents, referencing and/or reference list. Few typing errors and good attention to detail. Complies with formatting instructions and word limit A high level of clarity and logical structure. Exceptionally good written expression provides evidence of high quality editing. No errors in formatting table of contents, referencing and reference list. No typing errors and excellent attention to detail. Complies with formatting instructions and word limit 0 – 4.9 5 – 6.4 6.5 – 7.4 7.5 – 8.4 8.5 –10 Total mark /20 Research Exercise Part 2 The marketing mix variables (product, pricing, place and promotion) lie at the core of any marketing operation, whether it be domestic or international, and can be controlled by the company. In international marketing, these variables may need modifying to take account of uncontrollable variables in both the local and overseas markets as you discussed in Part 1.  In this section you will translate the analyses that you did in Part 1 into practical international marketing mix strategies. The marketing mix strategy should include sufficient detail. You should evaluate both the strengths and weaknesses of alternative strategies in each of the marketing mix areas before you draw your conclusions and recommendations on the appropriate courses of action. You should provide evidence to support your evaluation based on the situation analysis that you did in Part 1.  The content and arguments that you put forward should be developed logically. Your recommendations should flow directly from your analyses. This would include the review of the relevant international marketing concepts in the academic and trade literature that have a bearing on the key issues that you identified and discussed. You should be sure that the concepts are integrated into the ensuring discussion and not just standing ‘all on their own’.  As a guide, the following information should be clearly presented and strongly supported and justified:  Structure:  Segmentation – partitioning the total market into alternative segments, identification and justification of the choice of target segment(s).  Product Strategy – identification and description of the full range of goods or services being launched, product benefits, description of packaging, comparisons with competitors, and especially what product adaptations will need to be made to make your product acceptable to buyers in your overseas market.  Pricing strategy – price is the only revenue-generating element of the marketing mix. Details of pricing and costing, clearly showing domestic prices and international pricing arithmetic, foreign currency conversion, comparisons with competitors etc.  Place Strategy – Specific channel choices, channel management strategies, costs associated with establishing and maintaining channels etc.  Promotion Strategy – Communication strategy, media selection and strategy, other promotion activities, and costs etc.  The key to a high mark in Part 2 is to (1) research well – widely and deeply – so that you understand what you’re writing about; and (2) apply it directly to your company and product, so that what you write and recommend is realistic and relevant to your chosen subject company.  Observe the marking criteria and standards for the assignment. Pay special attention to the requirements in presentation, editing, formatting, and referencing, in addition to the content of the report.  Here are some general suggestions for Part 2 for your reference. Not all of these issues may apply to your report but it is a good reference when you review and revise your report against the marking criteria and standards.  Content:  Introduction You should start your Part 2 with a very brief introduction (say a few sentences) reminding the reader of your company, product and country, linking your Part 2 to your Part 1 and giving an overview on what the reader will be expecting to find in the rest of the report.  Segmentation Justify why you are concentrating on the segment(s) that you have chosen. A good starting point is to work out how many segments you can identify in the chosen market/country and then evaluate the relative importance of alternative segments (according to the decision criteria you define and justify, eg sales potential, growth potential, profit potential or whatever) before you conclude which segment you want to concentrate on for Part 2. Concentrate on one segment (maximum two segments) in Part 2. One of the key criteria in segmentation is responsiveness, ie how likely the target segment will respond to your marketing stimuli (the 4Ps).  International Marketing Mix Strategies Your marketing mix strategies for business segments will be slightly different from those for consumer segments, eg when you market to government organisations, the pricing strategy reflects long term commercial relationships and extended negotiations common to industrial products (consult some B2B textbook for reference). Apply B2B marketing principles to your product marketing. Use your knowledge from the unit B2B Marketing, and consult books on this specialised form of marketing, there are plenty in the Library.  Your marketing mix strategies for the marketing of a service will also be different from those for the marketing of a good due to the unique properties of services: intangibility, simultaneity, heterogeneity and perishability. Use your knowledge from the unit Marketing of Services, and consult books on this specialised form of marketing also in the Library.  When you trade-off alternative strategies in each P, your decision making should be specific to the situation you are researching in Part 2. Any general description on the pros and cons of alternative strategies can be put in the Appendix; in the body of the report concentrate on your original insights in justifying why you recommend a particular strategy but not the other. For example, if you recommend a price skimming strategy for your product, you need to justify why you knock out other alternative pricing strategies like penetration pricing. Also, remember that the 4Ps should be integrated together to achieve your marketing objectives in light of the target segment you want to market your product to.  The reasons why you recommend particular international marketing mix strategies (the 4Ps) are just as important as what you recommend. Your claims and assertions must be supported by evidence and logical arguments demonstrating a sound understanding of the issues. Do not be afraid to give your original thinking as and when appropriate.  Presentation:  Observe the formatting and presentation requirements. The fact that you run over 1,800 words by a large margin but still put down 1,800 on the assignment cover paper does not mean that this will not be noticed. Try to rewrite your essay to make it precise and concise and put supporting material in the Appendix instead. Your Appendices should be clearly indexed and with proper titles and labelling.  Observe the Harvard Referencing Style for both in-text citation (author, date) and the reference list. Consult the library’s website for resources on Harvard Referencing Style. Include weblinks in your references where you used information found on the internet.  The use of headings and subheadings to break your long essay into sub-sessions will help you organise the report into a cohesive and logical framework. However, merely putting a heading or subheading in bold or underline does not mean that the report is a cohesive and logical one. You need to look at the skeleton of your report and ask yourself: is the flow of the ‘story line’ consistent and logical and lead to your final recommendation? Or, are the different sections more or less standing alone in the report with no logical relationship between them. Some people prefer to summarise their marketing mix recommendations in one section, others prefer to give their recommendation for each P along with their discussions in each P. There is no right or wrong answer to different alternative presentation styles.  Note the simple style requirements for your report: Arial font, 12pt font size, 1.15 line spacing, 2.5cm margins.  Marks will be awarded by your tutor based on the criteria below accurately reflecting the merit and contribution of your work:

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