Marketing across cultures: a collaboration between BBN and International Marketing students

In March 2022, BBN’s Executive Director, Annette Poyser collaborated with five students from the University of Hasselt in Belgium on a course project themed around marketing across cultures.  We asked the students to tell us how the project went and how they felt we had helped them.

We are a group of five students from the University of Hasselt in Belgium, studying in the ‘Master of Management Program’ with a specialization in International Marketing. In one of our courses, we have been challenged to take on a business project. As part of the project we needed to deliver a 90-minute presentation of our choosing.  The only thing we needed to keep in mind was the general theme: Marketing across Cultures.

We started brainstorming about what we could do during the session, trying to find a nice idea to work on. We wanted to do something interesting, informative and interactive. A collaboration with a company seemed like a good idea, so we started thinking about one that could be interesting. Since we are in a group of students with very diverse backgrounds, including students from The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, Lebanon, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil, Pakistan, Iran and so on, we thought it could be very interesting to introduce them to an international marketing company.

One of us already knew the Dutch partner agency of BBN, so we reached out to them and asked whether they were willing to work with us on our business project. We thought BBN would be the perfect partner because of their presence in multiple cultures and countries with lots of experience. They quickly responded and told us to contact Annette Fernandes-Poyser,  the Executive Director at BBN, so we did. We got a very enthusiastic response and planned an (online) meeting with Annette right away. We explained our idea to her and why it would be interesting for both BBN and us to collaborate with each other. We were all very excited to start working on this business project.

Annette provided us with 3 videos: an introduction to herself and BBN, BBN’s culture check explained via a business case and finally one about the BBN matrix and other examples. We used these videos as the basis of our presentation and started building our project from there. After the introduction and the explanation, we asked the students to work on the case study BBN had given us. It was the perfect way to see if the students understood the earlier videos we presented, but also to get an insight on how they would approach it and if there would be big differences between the cultures we have in our classroom. They all went to work in small teams during the brainstorming session and every team ended up having different, yet interesting results. We can definitely say the experience of working on a real-life business case was enriching for all students and especially showed how important it is to include cultural differences in the work of a marketing agency.

In the end, both the students in the audience and the professor were very enthusiastic about our business project and they thought it was an interesting session. We were proud of what we achieved and we could not have done it without the help of BBN. We would like to end this blog post by thanking Annette once again for her major contribution.


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About Hasselt University

Hasselt University is an innovative university which has a pronounced international orientation. It stands for excellence in education, top research in spearhead fields and active commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. This is reflected by its ranking among the best 3% universities worldwide in U-Multirank 2019.

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