Marketing in Asia/Pacific

Project Title: Develop undergraduate, MBA and EMBA curricula focusing on the unique cultural buying behavior characteristics of the Asia Pacific Region

Successful international marketing depends on understanding buyer behavior in foreign markets in order to match a firm's strategic strengths with the existing market opportunities.  While most business schools offer international marketing courses, little if any focus is given to the analysis and understanding of foreign buying behaviors in these courses.  This project will create three new courses on foreign buyer behavior and create eight course modules that will be incorporated into existing courses.  Specifically, the new courses and the modules will address buyer behavior in the Asia Pacific Region.  

We consider this is an important topic within the business community of the Bay Area because of several reasons.  First, more than 30% of the Bay Area’s private sector revenue is generated through international trade with the Asia Pacific Region.  Second, the Asia Pacific Region has grown as a powerful competitor to the U.S., which now faces a trade deficit of 65,311million U.S. dollars with China alone.

This project will develop three new courses on, “International Buyer Analysis” at the undergraduate, MBA and EMBA levels.  Further, the project will develop eight course modules that could be adopted within other courses in the COB and other colleges in SFSU.  The new courses will be offered both at the graduate (30 students/semester) and undergraduate (80 students/semester) levels while the course modules will be incorporated within existing courses that address cultural differences related to buying behavior.  Specifically, the modules will be developed and adopted into the following five current courses in the COB and three courses in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (CBSS):

  • IBUS 517:  International Environmental Analysis,
  • IBUS 592:  Doing Business with Greater China,
  • IBUS 659:  Introduction to International Business Negotiations,
  • IBUS430: Import-Export Management,
  • MKT880:  International Marketing
  • PSY 440:  Social Psychology
  • PSY 455: Cross-cultural Perspectives in Psychology
  • IR 749:  Asia and the World System   

Approximately 250 students take these courses per semester.  By attending these courses and modules, students will learn the theoretical and practical skills for analyzing and responding to international buying behavior differences between the Asia Pacific Region and the U.S.  Further, the new course and the modules within existing courses will also provide students at SFSU with the international marketing and global strategic skills necessary to transform their knowledge of cross-cultural behavioral differences into better marketing practices. In other words, this project’s activities will allow the COB in particular, and the Bay Area business community in general, to have a program that provides students with the education and skills necessary to develop effective marketing strategies in Asia Pacific markets. This project will broaden the global perspectives of students enabling them to attain cutting-edge skills highly relevant in the Bay Area. 

Specifically, this project comprises a wide variety of global marketing topics related to international buying behavior, and the cultural differences associated with such behavior, including but not limited to:

  • A review of literature on: (1) psychological reasons for differences in behavior between cultures; and (2) successful marketing strategies dealing with differences in consumer behavior between cultures, which will lead to an annotated bibliography for use by students.
  • Development of an international network of contacts/partners (academics/experts) in countries in the Asia Pacific Region that provides the infrastructure for the College of Business at SFSU to collect empirical data on cultural differences and effective global marketing plans.
  • Preparation of research studies on the impact of cultural diversity in international marketing strategy. 
  • Development of a framework of best practices in adaptation/standardization decisions of the different elements of the international marketing mix.
  • Execution of consulting projects by graduate students enrolled in current international business, international relations and marketing classes on sources of value-creation and competitive advantage when there are differences in buyer behavior.
  • Preparation of master theses on comparative buyer behavior.  Possible areas include:
  1. Cross-cultural differences in sensitivity to advertising.
  2. Cultural differences in negative product assessments.
  3. Can we delight East Asian consumers?
  4. The value of promotions across cultures.
  5. Cultural differences on Internet buying behavior and product customization.
  6. Differences in the purchase experience by country.