International Marketing Simulation
CountryManager provides a rich, realistic environment to explore market entry for classes in International Marketing.
New for 2015
CountryManager explores the modes of market entry, segmentation, and targeting, and the 4Ps in an international context. This simulation provides valuable experience for marketing students who wish to explore the launch of a product into a new country. We now have two scenarios available for two different regions, Latin America or Asia:
- Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela.
- Asia: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, and Thailand.
Students will take the role of Country Manager for their company, specifically marketing their company's toothpaste brand in these countries. They will encounter international, regional and local competitors, and through research and strategy, determine the best course of action to establish a presence in these markets.
Students compete either in groups of 2-4 students or individually in this benchmark simulation. They compete with 4 computerized competitors (both regional and national competitors). The U.S. market has matured and Latin America (or Asia--depending upon which region you choose ) has been identified as having the best potential for future growth by senior management. The toothpaste brand management team must decide which scenario country is the most attractive for their Allsmile brand and then how to expand their presence throughout the region. Students also have the option to source production from one of their chosen countries. Each country has its own specific advantages and disadvantages. Through the use of country, market, and consumer research, students must determine the most suitable market to enter.
To read the full copy of the case for the simulation, request a Faculty ID here!
The objective of CountryManager is for students to experience international market entry and expansion by playing the role of a category manager for Allstar brands. CountryManager is designed to help the instructor introduce students to the experience of market entry and to wrestle with the issues that arise. During the course of the simulation, they will explore the following topics:
- Understanding buyer behavior and motivating the buyer: Where customers shop, what motivates their purchasing decisions, and their level of brand awareness.
- Segmentation, targeting, and positioning: Select segments to target and how best to position brands for chosen segments.
- Product decisions: Select global, adapted, or local product and appropriate product for a specific market, from an existing set of product offerings.
- Pricing: Set price to meet local market conditions or to maintain multi-country pricing consistency. Determine the gray market impact of large across-market price differences and an overall pricing strategy.
- Advertising and promotion: Use standardized home country ads, or create new local campaigns (cost, consumer tradeoffs). Allocate budget across advertising and other promotional expenditures. Differing ad and promotional objectives across markets.
- Distribution: In addition to the mode of entry issues raised above, decisions need to be made about the allocation of sales force to types of accounts, implying a relative emphasis on specific channels.
- Financial impact of each decision: Students must manage their margins and understand the impact of fixed costs and capacity utilization.
The CountryManager mini-cases were designed to challenge your student’s critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills. Related to the simulation, these incidents provide topics for in-class discussion, homework, quizzes or even exam questions that will spur conversations about the challenges of doing business internationally. These incidents include:
- Currency devaluation effects on transferring local profit to headquarters in the home currency
- Impact of an economic crisis on political stability, and in turn on product demand and gross margins
- How an environmental event such as an earthquake or tsunami affects business operations and consequently costs of doing business
- Pricing challenges that occur when the costs of exported goods increase due to uncontrollable events such as escalating oil prices
- Ethical and social responsibility issues when moving production offshore
Each incident comes with a mini-case and an instructor’s guide that provides solutions, discussion topics and suggested readings. Also, an instructor’s Excel file with solutions accompanies each incident
With CountryManager, instructors have a comprehensive set of metrics (14 in total) to judge team performance. For full access to all performance measures, request a Faculty ID. In general, team performance can be judged by the following:
- Cumulative Unit Sales
- Total Manufacturer Sales
- Share of Manufacturer Sales
- Gross Margin
- Net Regional Contribution
- Plant Depreciation
- Brand Equity
Any of the 14 measures areas can be weighted and combined by the instructor to form an overall score to evaluate team performance.
If you are an instructor and would like to review CountryManager for your class, please fill out our Faculty ID Request!
At a Glance
Benchmark competition allows you to test and develop your skills against simulated competitors.
- International Business
- International Marketing
- Market Entry: Which countries to enter and in what sequence.
- STP: Choice of segmentation, target market(s), brand positioning objectives.
- Distribution: Choice of channel partners and promotional support.
- Pricing: MSRP by SKU in local currency, channel discount and slotting allowances.
- Advertising: Budget, theme, and cultural / language adaptation considerations.
- Product: Choice of SKUs, including consideration of localized vs. standardized strategy.
- Manufacturing Location: Import or local production facilities and choice of country for plant (manufacturing and transportation cost, tariff issues).
What is benchmark competition?
Several of our simulations operate in "benchmark" competition. This means that the students compete directly against computerized competitors. These are responsive models that react to the student's decisions and provide an engaging and exciting experience. Typically we employ benchmark competition for our sims where we want to provide the students with the ability to experiment with marketing mix--since they're playing against the computer, they're able to try different strategies and learn from them.