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2023/2024  KAN-CCBLV1703U  Marketing in Emerging Markets: Seizing the market opportunities in the world’s main growth economies

English Title
Marketing in Emerging Markets: Seizing the market opportunities in the world’s main growth economies

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 40
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for BSc and MSc in Business, Language and Culture, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Manisha Bachheti - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
  • Michael Wendelboe Hansen - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Intercultural studies
  • Marketing
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 08-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Describing challenges and opportunities of marketing in emerging markets;
  • Understanding and critically assessing theories of emerging market marketing;
  • Knowing practical tools for market assessment and marketing in emerging markets,
  • Applying marketing theories and tools to concrete cases of marketing in western companies moving into emerging markets.
Course prerequisites
Preferably, students should have basic knowledge of Marketing and International Business.
Marketing in Emerging Markets: Seizing the Market Opportunities in the World's Main Growth Economies:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Group exam
Please note the rules in the Programme Regulations about identification of individual contributions.
Number of people in the group 2-3
Size of written product Max. 25 pages
20 pages if there are 2 persons in the group, and 25 pages if there are 3 persons. The grade given will be individual.
Assignment type Project
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure


Student groups are expected to develop a detailed market entry plan that will involve making decisions on issues such as:


  •  Market assessment;  
  •  Mode of entry;
  •  Marketing strategy: The extent of standardization vs. adaptation required with        respect to     4P’s (product, place, promotion, and price), and
  •  Managing, organizing and controlling the international marketing effort.


Course content, structure and pedagogical approach


High growth rates, the emergence of middle classes with strong purchasing power, pent up demands, and improved marketing infrastructures are attracting western companies to emerging markets. They all want to be part of the market opportunities of these, the world’s growth drivers. However, many of these companies realize that the marketing and branding practices developed in the western markets are ineffective when applied to emerging markets.


Amazon, Uber in China and GM, Ford in India have fallen short in achieving their growth and expansion objectives. At the same time, emerging market companies like Alibaba, Didi, Tata, Lenovo are not only giving strong competition to global MNC’s in their emerging markets, but they are becoming and acquiring global brands.


Western companies are trying to deepen their marketing strategies in “middle weight cities” in China trying to capture mass segment after the premium segment. Along with other European companies, Danish companies like Carlsberg, Lego etc., are flocking to India to tap into this growing market.  The new trade agreements between Denmark and India demonstrates the increased focus of the Danish companies in India.


Cultural specificities, institutional voids and informality, in-transparent business networks, underdeveloped infrastructures, and industrial structures render standard western marketing thinking inadequate in emerging markets. The course is aimed at assisting students in understanding the specificities of marketing in emerging market contexts and provides them with tools that allow them to work with marketing in emerging markets in an ethical, social and environmentally responsible manner.


The course will put special focus on the largest emerging economies (India, China, and upcoming next 11 emerging countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, Kenya etc.), which are performing robustly with strong domestic demand, consumption, and investment. More specifically this course covers and focuses on theory and insights, the potentials and challenges of the emerging economies. The capacities of growing markets, fast developing local consumer markets fueled by technology adoption, ample low-cost labor, and the rising middle class, fortune at the bottom of pyramid (BOP) segment have attracted general attention about the nature of the rapid economic transformations these countries are currently undergoing. The realities in terms of market heterogeneity, sociopolitical governance, the chronic shortage of resources, unbranded competition, and inadequate infrastructure, requires rethinking the core assumptions of marketing, such as market orientation, market segmentation, and differential advantage.


Experts with practical experience from marketing in emerging markets will provide up-to-date knowledge about the different markets based on their own experience and research. Thus, students will get a comprehensive knowledge of the global emerging markets with insights into the latest business dynamics in these markets through real-world embedded projects while Harvard (HBS) case studies discussions, theories, and literature will form the backdrop for reflective understanding.


The themes are as follows:

  1. Why emerging markets are important and yet so volatile?
  2. Why do well-established products fail in emerging markets? Is it lack of sensitivity to local culture or lack of adaptation to local marketing infrastructure?
  3. How companies underestimate the cost of entering the emerging markets? Which strategies companies can adapt to reduce these costs?
  4. Should a company extend its marketing mix, or should it adjust it to suit the different income segments in the local markets? Is there a single recipe for all the emerging markets?
  5. What are the institutional factors that influence marketing in emerging economies
  6. What is the right entry strategy for marketing products in these markets: Direct export, franchising/licensing, agent/ distributor, cross border e-commerce and joint ventures/ fully owned subsidiaries?
  7. What are the new capabilities and organization structural changes required to win in EMs?
  8. How to put theory into practice and develop a realistic and viable international marketing plan?
Description of the teaching methods
A 4-prong learning process for this course is used.

1. Lectures by Faculty (supported by readings)
2. Guest lectures by experts on big emerging markets
3. Harvard (HBS) Case Analysis
4. Group Project

Group project: Emerging market marketing plan

To help achieve the course objective the students will be supported in identifying a company that has interest in marketing and/or is planning to launch their product in an emerging market or those firms who have launched in these markets but are struggling to grow. The companies can be from any sector and can vary in their size (small, local or international). The students will form groups and will develop an international marketing plan for the selected product/ service category of the company. The international marketing plan will, for instance, should be comprised of sections on Market assessment and analysis, designing the marketing mix and on organization and capabilities.
Student groups are expected to develop a detailed market entry plan that will involve making decisions on issues such as:

• Market assessment;
• Mode of entry;
• Marketing strategy: The extent of standardization vs. adaptation required with
respect to 4P’s (product, place, promotion, and price), and
• Managing, organizing and controlling the international marketing effort.
Feedback during the teaching period

As the course requires students to make a marketing plan for a company, they will get feedback on the initial marketing plan proposal (1 hour per group) during office hours. The information for meeting hours and place will be uploaded on Canvas.
Student workload
Lectures 30 hours
Preparation for class 116 hours
Exam 60 hours
Expected literature

John Roberts & Ujwal Kayande & Rajendra K. Srivastava, (2015) “What’s Different About Emerging Markets, and What does it Mean for Theory and Practice?” Cust. Need. and Solut. 2:245–250


Tarun Khanna & Krishna G. Palepu (2010)."Exploiting Institutional Voids as Business Opportunities: How to Gain Competitive Advantage in Emerging Markets, HBR, 2010, 48 pgs..


Sheth, J. (2011): “Impact of Emerging Markets on Marketing: Rethinking Existing Perspectives and Practices”, Journal of Marketing Vol. 75 (July 2011), 166 –182, 17p


Tarun Khanna & Krishna G. Palepu (2010). Winning in Emerging Markets: A Road Map for Strategy and Execution. Harvard Business Press. ISBN 978-1-4221-6695-6.


Daniel W. Baack, David J. Boggs, (2008) “The difficulties in using a cost leadership strategy in emerging markets”, International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 3 Issue: 2, pp.125-139, doi: 10.1108/​17468800810862605.


Davidson K. ETHICAL CONCERNS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PYRAMID: WHERE CSR MEETS BOP. Journal Of International Business Ethics [serial online]. January 2009; 2(1): 22-32.

Last updated on 08-02-2023