This is a Marketing Intelligence Market Research Assignment in which we discuss concepts and research marketing. we also discuss market purchase and buyer perspective theories.
LO1: Understand Buyer Behaviour and the Purchase Decision-Making Process
Q1.1: Using an example of your choice, describe the main stages that an individual customer goes through when making a purchase. (i.e. business –to-consumer decision making process).
There are several stages in a business-to-customer decision making process. Suppose a customer is buying a television. This entire purchase process has several stages. In the first stage, the customer recognises his or her need for a new television.In the next stage the customer searches for information regarding the various models of television provided by several manufacturers (Saaty, 1999).In this stage the customer also searches for information regarding the range of televisions sold by various retailers. Then in the next stage, the customer compares the alternatives with each other. This process includes the features of the different models of television provided by various manufacturers. After the customer evaluates all the alternatives of a new television, he or she decides a particular model of a particular manufacturer depending on his or her requirement, needs and preference. After the choice for a particular model is done, the customer chooses a retailer selling the television at the best price or with the best offer. Then the customer buys the television. This stage of purchase decision stage includes all the monetary transactions for the television. After the customer buys the television and uses it for some time, he or she starts to evaluate the purchase decision. This is the last stage of business-to-consumer decision making process (Sheth, 1973). The example given above about the decision making process of a television includes all the activities related to the recognising the needs, searching of information, evaluating the alternatives, purchasing and evaluating the purchase decision.
Q1.2: Identify two theories of buyer behaviour in terms of individuals and markets and explain them in a context of an organisation of your choice.
Buyer behaviour is basically the process in which individuals, groups or organisations make the decision of buying a product. This is the concept which allows the manufacturers and sellers of the products to understand and identify the requirements and needs of the customers. There are several theories and approaches used by an organisation to determine the buyer behaviour. Take Sony as the example of the organisation which has positioned their product Bravia as a brand.
This theory of buyer behaviour suggests that the consumer evaluates all the possible options and their costs in the most proper way and then makes the buying decision. For example the television manufacturer Sony using this theory will try to determine the requirements and needs of the consumer and try to provide them the same in low cost. This will motivate Sony to manufacture televisions that cover starting from all the basic requirements of the consumer in low cost to all the advanced features in high cost (Saaty, 1999).
This theory suggests that the buyer behaviour is heavily influenced by the behaviour of the individual and the background society, culture and family. A clothing manufacturer like Shapiro identifies the clothing needs of the ladies in the market according to their culture, society and family backgrounds. This forces Shapiro to sell the clothing line which is acceptable by the market’s culture and society (Sheth, 1973). Sony launches the ranges of products in different geographic regions depending on the behaviour of the customers in that region.
Q1.3: Explain how a customer’s culture and personal factorscould affect or influence their buying behaviour for a product of your choice.
Cultural values are passed in the family from generations to the next. The country or place the consumer leaves in has its own cultural values and beliefs. All of these cultural values affect the personal behaviour of the consumer (Saaty, 1999). For example the UK based cloth manufacturer, Shapiro has to sell only those clothing lines in the current market which is suitable and applicable to the culture and society of the market. The consumer prefers the products and services which are applicable to their culture.
Some of the personal factors that affect the buyer behaviour of the consumer are age, gender, education, social status, economic status, lifestyle, personality, family background etc. For example the economic status of a person affects his or her decisions while buying a product. Suppose the shoe manufacturer Nike introduces a new range of casual shoes signed by celebrities for a very high cost (Sheth, 1973). The person having a weak to moderate economic status won’t be able to invest such a high amount of money for a pair of shoes. Sometimes the question is not about whether a person can afford the product or not, but whether he or she wants to pay that much for that product. For example, a person having a low economic status won’t buy a sports car.
Q1.4: For an organisation of your choice, evaluate the relationship between brand loyalty, corporate image and repeat purchase.
Coke is an established brand of “The Coca-Cola Company”. The brand is something that distinguishes the product of a company from the similar products of the other companies. This brand can be the name, sign, logo, symbol, design or any other feature of the product that acquires a special place in the minds of the customers. The product “Coke” of “The Coca-Cola Company” has been placed as a well-known brand in the world by its symbol, logo and unique taste. The term “Brand loyalty” means that the customers who buy Coke prefer it over all the other alternatives i.e. the customers are loyal to the brand “Coke” (Martenson, 2007).
Corporate image is the status of the company in the eyes of common population across the world.The corporate image of a company defines the success of the company and its various products. The Coca-Cola Company has a strong corporate image due to its success in the soft drinks market (Nguyen, 2001). The term “Repeat purchase” defines the process of loyal customers buying a product of the company like The Coca-Cola Company over and over due to its unique qualities.
The link between corporate image, brand loyalty and repeat purchase can be defined in the following way. The placement of Coke as a well-known brand helped The Coca-Cola Company to increase its brand loyalty in the market, which in turn strengthened the corporate image of The Coca-Cola Company. Strong brand loyalty and corporate image caused customers to buy Coke repeatedly, which in turn means increase in the repeat purchase of the products of the company.
LO2: Be Able to Use Marketing Research Techniques
Q2.1: Evaluate quantitative and qualitative market research techniques.
Market research is the process used by the organizations to identify the requirements and needs of the customers along with the current market trends. Market research allows the organizations to efficiently identify, analyse, anticipate and satisfy the needs of the customers in the market. The process of market research allows the organizations to identify the opportunities and threats of a product in the current market situations (Burns, 2006).
There are two methodologies for the market research as mentioned below along with their advantages and disadvantages.
Quantitative market research
This type of market research methods requires the organization to collect numeric data about the market. These numeric data about the market reveals the size of the market, the sales growth possible for a product and demographics of the customers in the market. The examples of this type of market research are surveys, questionnaires, sales reports and financial trends. This type of research skills and technique includes a large number of participants (Malhotra, 2008).
Qualitative market research
This type of market research method generally collects views and opinions of the current and potential customers. This includes a small number of participants. The examples of such research methods are interviews, focus groups and in-depth discussions. The data collected in this method takes more time to be processed but reveals the needs of the customers in a better way.
Q2.2: Explain how secondary sources of data can be used to achieve marketing research objectives in the marketing context stated below:
- An international shipping company that wants to set up base in the UK to facilitate export of UK products to Australia and Australian products to UK.
Note: You will need to suggest possible sources and type of data they might need.
This is defined as the data that has been collected, processed, stored and managed by organizations, agencies or firms other than the one carrying out the market research. Secondary data are available in two forms such as quantitative and qualitative. The international shipping company can be benefited by the secondary data collected by several agencies and regulatory bodies. These secondary sources of data provide a lot of information to the international shipping company which are not provided by the government sources. The information from these secondary sources allow the shipping company to get a more insight view of the UK market.
Sources of secondary data
There are several sources of the secondary data for the given shipping company which can be classified into two major categories such as published and unpublished sources (Burns, 2006).
Government publications and reports showing the total shipping activities, monetary resources transfer and profits in UK are the major sources of secondary data for the given shipping company. International regulatory bodies also publish timely reports regarding the shipping business in the UK along with some private firms and agencies.
Reports in newspapers, magazines and committees in UK also act as secondary sources of data for the shipping company (Malhotra, 2008).
There are several data that are processed, stored and managed by government, private firms, agencies and other regulatory bodies in the UK that are not published. These data are also available in the organization itself. These unpublished data also act as secondary sources of data for the shipping company carrying the market research.
Q2.3: Assess the validity and reliability of market research findings.
Limitations of market research findings
There are several limitations of the market research findings which pose questions regarding their validity and reliability. The marketing research process doesn’t replace the decision making process. It means that the market research process provides only suggestions for the business processes of manufacturing, marketing and promoting a product, not the solution. The accuracy of the market research findings is not perfect. The market research methods often consume large amount of time (Burns, 2006). The conclusions of the market research methods are not always dependable. The market research techniques are generally expensive. The market research findings don’t cover all the marketing challenges and issues.
The validity of a market research defines whether the research is measuring what it is expected to measure.The validity of a market research can be ensured by always keeping the goal of the research in mind, using the most reliable and accurate secondary sources of data and engaging the personnel who clearly understand the goal of the research.
The market research can be made reliable by communicating to the right individuals, using only customer language, avoiding artificial choices, using semantic scales and analyzing the research data. By carrying out all the mentioned steps, we can ensure the reliability of the market research (Malhotra, 2008). The surveys to be done for a particular product of a company should be done in the language local to the geographic area of operation.
Q2.4: Assume you work as the Marketing Executive in an organisation of your choice which would like to find out the viability of launching a new product in the UK market.
The senior management team hasdecided to conduct secondary and primary, qualitative and quantitative research in the market.
You have been given the responsibility of conducting this research for this organisation.The senior management team is willing to spend a maximum of £50,000 for this project but would like to see how you plan to do it.
Propose a marketing research plan to obtain information in the area.
The Fresh Olive Company is a well-established olive oil manufacturer in the UK. The company is looking to launch a new product, an extra healthy olive oil product into the market.
The rationale of the market research is to identify and analyze the needs of the customers in the market regarding olive oil and understand the opportunities and threats for the new product of The Fresh Olive Company in the market.
The objectives of the market research are to analyse the opportunities and threats to the new product, the usage of olive oil in the market and the competitors in the same industry.
The exploratory section of objectives of the research require the qualitative information collected by the qualitative research methods including focus groups having light and heavy users of the olive oil. The quantitative data from the surveys and questionnaires suggest the total usage of the olive oil in the market (Burns, 2006).
Analysing the data
Statistical market research tools along with several sampling methods are used to analyze the data collected from primary and secondary sources (Malhotra, 2008).
The research should be completed in 20 weeks which have been divided properly for different activities. These activities also have overlapping weeks in some situations.
The budget allocated for qualitative research is £18,000 and for quantitative research is £20,000.The remaining activities have to be completed within £12,000.
Q3.1: You have recently been appointed as the marketing executive for an organisation that manufactures mobility product, targeting older people (over 65 years old) with mobility problems in Europe.
The directors of this organization want to penetrate the UK market for the first time. You have been given the responsibility of assessing the size of and the trends in this market.
The market can be defined as the place where the customers’ demand for a particular product or service is satisfied by several organizations. The market generally consists of the current and potential customers. Along with the customers of an organization, the market consists of the retailers, suppliers, competitors, critics, reviewers and intermediaries.
Mobility market in UK
This market is quite established in UK with several organizations providing the customers with mobility products or mobility aid both in new and used condition. The trade offers provided by several retailers allow a number of customers to afford advanced mobility aids (Hoque, 2000).
Market’s size and value
The mobility market in UK is very large due to the population and the demand for these mobility aids. The mobility market in UK provides good opportunities to the European mobility product manufacturer. The market can be proved to be very lucrative for the European company on the basis of the requirements of the customers for new and second hand mobility aids.
The current trend in the mobility market in UK includes a very rapidly increasing behaviour of customers of buying second hand mobility aids. This is leading to increase in the number of traders of mobility products in the UK market.
Q3.3: Based on the scenario inQ3.1 above, discuss how you would evaluate its potential opportunities and threats in the UK market.
UK market for mobility products
There are several well established organizations that provide the customers in the UK with brand new or second hand mobility products. Some of the major manufacturers of mobility aid products are Pride mobility, TJ mobility, Age UK and Comfort plus. These manufactures are catering to the adequate amount of demand of the mobility products in the UK. So the mobility market in UK can be a very lucrative field for an organization if they strategize their operations properly.The laws and regulations in UK are also favourable for a foreign organization to introduce its products in the market.The European mobility product manufacturer will face a lot of challenges but will have a similar amount of opportunities in the market.
Tools to assess opportunities and threats for a given market
A SWOT analysis can be done to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a market.The opportunities in a market can be determined in terms of the situations or events that the organization can take advantage of. This also helps the organization to determine the latest trends in the market that the business can get benefit from (Sahay, 1998). The threats that are identified using these tools can be either internal or external which has adverse effect on the business of the organization.
PESTEL is another tool that can be used to assess the threats and opportunities in the market. This tool analyses the political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal factors of the market which in turn reveals the threats and opportunities in the market.
Opportunities and threats in UK market
The European mobility product manufacturer trying to expend into the UK market will face threats in terms of operations of already established organisations in the same industry and the unfamiliar situations. The high demand for a change in the mobility products range can be an opportunity for the European organisation.
Q4.1: Discuss evaluation techniques for assessing customer response.
Identification of techniques
There are several techniques to assess the customer response of a product or service. This assessment of the customer response helps the organization to improve the quality and features of its product or service.The usage of these assessment techniques depend on the type of the product and the business strategy of the organization. The techniques that can be used to assess the customer response are surveys, questionnaires, phone calls, online polls and social media.
Survey and questionnaire are the processes of asking a number of customers or potential customers which allows the organization to gather relevant information regarding the product or service. The
Usage of the techniques
The organization can carry out surveys including its customers which allow the organization to understand the opinion of the customers regarding its product or service. The surveys or questionnaires include a number of questions having different focus, which allows the organization to understand the opinion of the customers on a particular topic. The direct phone calls to the important customers allow the representatives of the organization to strengthen the relation with the customers in the process of assessing their response (Cronin, 2000).
Along with the advantages of extensive research of customer response, these techniques also have some disadvantages and constraints. These techniques are very time consuming and require a large number of people to carry out the entire process. The result of these techniques is not always perfect and pinpoint.
Q4.2: For an organization of your choice, design a questionnaire which can be used to conduct a customer satisfaction survey. Your questionnaire should contain a minimum of ten appropriate questions.
The final stage of the buyer decision making process is the post purchase evaluation in which the customer evaluates his or her decision of purchasing the product in terms of the usage of that product and the features provided by the product (Reh, 2011). Customer satisfaction surveys are carried out by the organization to understand and analyse the extent of satisfaction of the customers’ needs and requirements by its product or service. This helps the organization to improve the quality of the product or service.
The questionnaire mentioned below can be used by a mobile manufacturer like Samsung.
- How long have you used our product?
- Less than 6 months
- 1 year to less than 3 years
- 3 years to less than 5 years
- 5 years or more
- Which of our product do you use?
- What is your sex?
- o Male
- o Female
- Which age group do you belong to?
- o 18-25
- o 25-45
- o 45-65
- Which of the feature of our product do you like the most?
- Touchscreen sensitivity
- Battery backup
- Display quality
- How would you rate your overall satisfaction with our product?
- Very satisfied
- Somewhat satisfied
- Somewhat dissatisfied
- Very dissatisfied
- How likely is that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?
- Very likely
- Somewhat likely
- Somewhat unlikely
- Very unlikely
- When was the last time you received any after sale service from us?
- What are the services you have received from us?
- o Firmware update
- o Accessory change
- o Repair of body damage
- o Other
- Was your issue completely solved in the after sale service?
- How would you rate our service?
- Very Poor
- Do you have any suggestion for our product or service?
Q4.3: For the organisation you used in Q4.2 above and the questionnaire you designed, explain how you would review the success of the completed customer satisfaction survey.
Review of the success of completed customer satisfaction survey
The organisations carry out customer satisfaction surveys to determine and analyse the extent of satisfaction that the customer feels by using the product or service provided by them. The customer satisfaction surveys help the organizations to improve their product or service according to the needs of the customers. The questions in the surveys and questionnaires are set in such a way that all the aspects and features of the product or service are covered by them. This allows the organization to collect both qualitative and quantitative data regarding the product or service.
The number of participants in the surveys or questionnaires and the amount of data collected by the process defines the success of the customer satisfaction survey (Reh, 2011).
The validity and reliability of the data collected in the customer satisfaction survey are then evaluated. According to this evaluation, the success of the customer satisfaction survey is determined. The successful implementation and completion of the customer satisfaction survey allows the organization to increase the quality of its products or services.
The success factor of the customer satisfaction survey can be measured by the number of people who participated in the survey, the amount of data collected regarding the usage and demand of the corresponding product, the number of suggestions submitted by the consumers and the overall effect in the business processes of the organization due to the completion of the customer satisfaction survey (Westall, 2011).
The successful completion of the customer satisfaction survey allows the organisation to get a better insight into the needs of the customers and in turn allows the organisation to identify, analyse, anticipate and satisfy the needs of the customers in a more efficient and timely manner.