0997 Applied Marketing in CEE
Univ.Prof. Dr. Desislava Dikova
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/16/22 to 09/26/22
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Master Programs
Day Date Time Room
Tuesday 10/04/22 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM D1.1.074
Tuesday 10/11/22 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM D1.1.074
Tuesday 10/25/22 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM D1.1.074
Tuesday 11/08/22 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM D1.1.074
Tuesday 11/15/22 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM D1.1.074
Tuesday 11/29/22 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM D1.1.074
Tuesday 12/06/22 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM D1.1.074
Tuesday 12/13/22 02:00 PM - 07:00 PM Extern

Doing business in the CEE region can fundamentally be characterized as managing unique opportunities and unexpected challenges. Managers of multinationals (MNEs) doing business in the CEE region have to cope with increasingly complex issues, such as the diversity of the business environment in each individual CEE country, complex decision making in the context of different regulatory setups, different customer preferences and mentalities, and above all a variety of impacts arising from the recent economic turbulences on a global scale. Not only regulatory framework is different in the CEE countries but so are the rules of competition, demanding greater flexibility, adaptation and innovativeness.

In this context and in close collaboration with experts from HENKEL Central Eastern Europe this course will integrate the development of comprehensive business projects dealing with market strategies in select CEE countries critical to HENKEL CEE. This project will incorporate a country analysis, competition analysis, marketing analysis and a development of a product strategy based on real and current data. During the course you will be solving a real company dilemma and in the process you will learn about the pitfalls of doing business in CEE. Additionally, you will be exposed to the latest research related to the subject and you will improve your project management skills.

Learning outcomes

The following are some of the key learning outcomes of this course:

+ The understanding of the importance of the country context (economic, political, regulatory, cultural, social  and historical) in strategy development. If the national context is ignored, the implemented market (product) strategy may not lead to long-term strategic or financial benefits for the foreign firm +  Learning how to properly evaluate performance in the CEE markets. Because of the highly turbulent environment, satisfactory performance is conditional on carefully planned yet flexible growth strategy. +  Analyzing, preparing and designing an integrated product strategy based on real data which often can be incomplete. This task will require considerable individual input which, at all times, will have to be coordinated with the team's plans.

Attendance requirements

Presence is mandatory. It´s allowed to miss one session.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The course uses a combination of lectures, business case study analysis and a company analysis (Henkel CEE) in collaboration with company representatives



Students will be assessed based on the following:

  • Final project presentation grade by Henkel CEE GmbH 25%
  • Final project presentation grade by WU faculty 25%
  • Overall report preparation 30%
  • Peer rating 20%




Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists


Recommended previous knowledge and skills

After completing this course students will have:+  Better understanding of the main problems which MNEs face when they expand their operations to the CEE region as well as of the market-specific strategies firms use to deal with those challenges (i.e. how to perform a country analysis, competition analysis, marketing analysis, overall strategy analysis and how to plan for strategic change).+Advanced knowledge on doing business in the CEE region and a better understanding of business challenges in CEE. + Knowledge of the differences between CEE countries and how these differences affect firms’ CEE internationalization strategies.+ Better understanding of the methods used by multinationals to evaluate market strategies in different countries.


Since this course accounts for 5 ECTS each student is expected to have a total workload of around 100 hours excluding the time spent in class/lectures.

Additional information on MyLEARN.


Structure and objectives

The goal of the project is to have students apply analytical skills and theoretical knowledge to a business case which has current and practical relevance. Working in four ‘country’ groups students will be expected to address a problem defined together by the company "Henkel" and the faculty. In alignment with the course content the project will revolve around a real-life business issue.  Students will be required to use a scenario-planning approach in all of their decisions and recommendations which deal with future events. The output will be in the form of a written report which will be presented to the faculty and a representative from the company during the final session of the course.






Country analysts




Task: gathering and analysing data and information on a macro level. Required to accentuate the data most relevant for Henkel CEE.








Industry and competition analysts




Task: analysing company's industry and direct competitors (local and global) in the focal business segment. A structured framework approach is recommended.








Marketing analysts and planning




Task: a micro-macro level analysis of the market potential in the relevant country. Segment development based on the company’s current market share and industry specifics is requested. Scenario based planning of a marketing strategy in the mid-term (5 years)








Strategy analysts and planning




Task: examining Henkel's business unit strategy in the selected market in relation to its competitors. Outlining alternative strategies based on scenarios towards ultimate future growth strategy proposal.




Input from Henkel

Since the goal is to have students work on a project with practical relevance one of the key inputs from Henkel's side will be defining the project question (problem), setting its scope and stating the expectations in terms of output. The problem will deal with a business-unit issue such as country-specific strategic planning for a specific product. A corporate level analysis and planning is not requested. The group (team) analysis will be limited to a single CEE country, in which the project could be applied. The core of the business project is strategy: our Henkel partners are looking for inspirational and insightful reports delivering strategic options and scenarios that can lead to an improved market share and a sustainable competitive advantage in the CEE region. In addition to the project topic development there will be some practical inputs from Henkel such as

·         Company visit (if possible according to pandemic regulations), information on possible career opportunities

·         Definition of the project topic (problem, question), scope and expectations

·         Facilitation of relevant data

·         Providing a company contact (HENKEL experts responsible for the relevant CEE country) for questions and feedback (up to two e-mails from each of the four groups during the course of the project)

·         Presence at the final presentation of the project and evaluation input 

Outcome and outputs

We expect the project to yield one elaborate, well-structured and coherent report answering the questions set by the company and faculty. That report will be presented in the designated session of the course. As mentioned previously the report will follow a scenario approach dealing with analysis of current status quo, future outlook, plans and estimates.

The projects have a common structure and logic behind it. A simple sum of pieces prepared by individual functional group members will not be accepted. The final version of the report should reach a high level of integration.

The students registering for the course will be asked to provide their CV's to the faculty and to Henkel as a part of the course registration. In addition the students will be asked to sign a statement of confidentiality stating that all materials provided by Henkel will be returned at the end of the course, and no materials used for this course will be used for any other purpose. Naturally, Henkel will have all the data used in the project and final reports at its disposal.


Last edited: 2022-10-03