UCT's first virtual book now available

11 July 2002
WITH Marketing in South Africa: Cases and Concepts, the Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing in the School of Management Studies has heralded a new technological era for UCT, the book distinguishing itself by becoming the University's first virtual publication.

Compiled and edited by Professor John Simpson, the School's HOD and Institute Director; and Bridget Dore, a project co-ordinator at the Institute, the book brings together the "functionality" of both the print and electronic media. While "normal" books will be printed, the virtual version makes its appearance on a CD.

A joint publication between Van Schaik Publishers and Eduflex.com, the book is a collection of marketing case studies that provides a uniquely South African illustration of marketing theory and practice. It includes 14 cases studies, including ones on rugby side Fedsure Stormers and the Red Bull energy drink, "and an overview of trends and mindsets in the South African marketplace".

According to Eduflex.com, a virtual book (or the VirtualBookTM interface) is designed to "simulate the look and feel of a traditional book in order to promote inherent learning and memory processes". "It looks like a book, and you can do everything you could do in the printed book version," said the company's director, Ann Strauss.

So, for example, pages are "turned" by the click of a button rather than the often-disorientating scrolling facility. Books include diagrams, sound and video clips and animated graphics, as well as highlighters to make important text easily visible, a ubiquitous help function, hyperlinks and interactive bookmarks, among other facilities. Students can also link with relevant web pages and databases.

Marketing in South Africa, for example, includes eight video clips and more than 150 interactive exercises.

"The student has a real multi-media learning experience," said Strauss.

Simpson pointed out that, as the book can be licensed to UCT, students can buy only those cases that they use, saving them money. The book can also be updated with additional information on existing case studies, as well as the addition of new cases, he said.

In keeping with the Institute's mission to generate marketing information and, importantly, South Africa-specific concepts and theories, Marketing in South Africa points the way for a new era of learning, teaching and research in the field, Simpson added. "This has to be the most exciting innovation for marketing studies.

"We are so excited about this book, and really think this is the way to go in the future."

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