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Marketing Intelligence Assignment
Diploma in Business (Marketing)
Unit Number and Title
Marketing intelligence assignment study, on the back of an extensive research concentrates on the concept of Marketing Intelligence. The entire study can be divided into three segments. The first one mainly concentrates on the fundamentals and nature of the consumer buying behaviour where the main stages and theories of buyer behaviour have been discussed. The second segment is based upon a scenario of that of the supermarket giant ‘Sainsbury’. Secondary sources of data have been used in order determine the customer satisfaction levels of the customers of Sainsbury. A customer satisfaction survey has also been designed. Finally in the last part, the market size trend of the coffee market of the United Kingdom has been taken into account and analysis has been conducted on the same. The competitor analysis of British Airways has been determined by carrying out a Porter’s 5 Forces Analysis and the opportunities and threats of (BA) have also been discussed.
2.1 Evaluate different types of market research techniques
The Primary Market Research Techniques include:
- Focus Groups:Focus groups involves a method that includes of a group of individuals present in a designated room and insightful questions are thrown at them regarding various aspects like development of a product or a service, the relevant preferences, feedbacks, etc. A location is decided based on the feasibility of the company. But due to the advent of technology, these days they can be held virtually as well with the aid of video conferencing. The group of individuals should be of the same age group and gender. (Cleverism, 2015)
- Surveys & Questionnaires: The term ‘survey’ comprises of a variety of elements aiding primary research like questionnaires, forms, interviews and customer satisfaction cards. One of the most regular instances of this is the feedback form that a customer is required to fill up at a restaurant after the meal is over. These days a lot of surveys are carried out online in the form of web questionnaires. It is an efficient and cost effective way of collecting significant feedback about products and services.
- In-Depth Interviews: This is a qualitative approach of market research that lays emphasis on the preferences of a particular consumer base. Interviews are different from focus groups in the sense that there is just one interviewer and one respondent present and various methods and approaches can be adopted to conduct a successful interview.
The secondary market research techniques include:
- Internal Sources: Internal sources can be referred to as the already existing research materials and sources in the database system of an organisation or a business. These days a lot of organisations depend on the internal sources for the development of products and services. Examples of internal Source include Balance Sheets, Profit & Loss Statements, Inventory Records and Sales Figures.
- External Sources: There are chances that internal sources are not enough to meet the current requirement. In such a case external sources are resorted to which are basically sources of information and data collected by external businesses and individuals. A controlled approach is necessary while assessing these sources as external sources can be wide and varied. Examples of external sources include government sources, Universities and colleges, Internet based research and competitor data.
2.2 Use sources of secondary data to achieve marketing research objectives
The level of satisfaction of Sainsbury Customers tends to be up and down at various intervals with trend showing that it was rather diminished in recent times up until 2016 when it attained pricing satisfaction among the consumers. The analysis is done with respect to events transpiring in the recent years and in 2016. In 2011, the budget supermarket stores of Aldi and Lidl ranked 2 and 3 respectively in terms of customer satisfaction survey as the four big supermarket giants of UK failed to register any impact or impression on the UK customers. Sainsbury slipped down to the 6th position in the survey rankings depicting a satisfaction percentage of a mere 57%. (Independent.co.uk, 2011)
The customer satisfaction levels in 2012 were high as Sainsbury became the first retailer in all of Europe to develop self-service checkouts at the stores applicable in all their super-markets. This provided the customers with the choice to self check out in the way they would like and it also meant that the queuing time of customers especially the ones with the smaller baskets was speeded up. Out of the 22 million customers in over 1000 stores that Sainsbury served in 2012, over 10 million people resorted to the facilities of the self service check-outs. This proves that the customers were satisfied with the new checking out means adopted by Sainsbury. (Caines, 2012) In 2015, Sainsbury responded to tough competition by adopting a tactical pricing strategy. They decided to incorporate a low-key marketing plan and decided to fix a strategy that related to a mid to low pricing strategy. Promotional materials were also aimed at being clear and concise. As a result the consumers provided feedback to Sainsbury stating that Sainsbury was now clearer about the information imparted through promotion and there was an increase in the price satisfaction scores of the consumers. (Joseph, 2015)
2.3 Assess the validity and reliability of market research findings (NB. This should be based on your secondary sources of data in task 2.2).
The secondary sources of data provided in the previous segment include the introduction of self check out systems, slipping down of Sainsbury in the customer satisfaction survey and adoption of a tactical pricing strategy. The validity and reliability can be determined by carefully assessing the cause and effects of these incidents or phenomenon. Sainsbury slipped down to number 6 in the list of supermarkets offering satisfaction to customers according to the survey conducted. The top 5 positions were held by Waitrose, Aldi, Lidl, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons with the satisfaction percentage of 83%, 72%, 68%, 67% and 60% respectively. The fact that Sainsbury with a percentage of 57% did not even make it to the top 5 suggests that the customers were not impressed or satisfied with the operations and facilities provided by Sainsbury. (Independent.co.uk, 2011)
The rising customer satisfaction levels in 2012 were associated with the adoption of innovative technology. Brand Match is one of the technologies that allow the price check of 14,000 goods that are branded against Asda and Tesco within a second. The Nectar Loyalty Programme is a significant source of competitive advantage and is UK’s largest loyalty programme and Sainsbury has around 11.5 million active card users. The Mobile Scan & Go technology allows customers to scan items while shopping on their i-phones or android mobiles and they can make their payments at the till without having to unload their trolleys. These are the instances of other types of technology that Sainsbury adopted along with self check out system. (Caines, 2012)
The tactical Pricing Strategy adopted in 2015 saw a favourable reaction among the customers of Sainsbury. This could be validated by tracking down the sales growth post the adoption of the strategy. The sales rose by 2.2% according to Kantar Worldpanel. The online grocery orders saw an increased growth rate of 15%. (Joseph, 2015)
Thus, the market research findings are validated.
2.4 Prepare a marketing research plan to obtain information in a given situation
The following aspects have to be analysed for the preparation of a marketing research plan in order to obtain information in a given situation.
- Purpose: The plan’s primary function is to determine the research question that the research aims to answer. The various answers may solve the problems for situations like how to introduce a new product or to determine the reasons for the lack in sales percentage. A descriptive background should be provided in addition to the overall objective providing the basis of significance of the eventual goal. (Metcalf, 2016)
- Marketing Environment: An overview of the marketing environment should be included in the proposal. Environmental factors include cultural factors, demographic trend and analysis, technological factors (Internet and its associates), competitive factors (speed, pricing, etc), economic (unemployment, competition, etc). The inclusion of all these factors will provide enough information about the marketing environment.
- Primary & Secondary Sources: Data can be of 2 types. Primary and secondary. Primary sources comprise of focus groups, interviews, surveys, etc. Another form of primary source is customer feedback. Primary sources of data can be expensive and hard to attain and that is why secondary sources of data are sometimes resorted to. Secondary sources of data include internet research, publications of the Government, Organisations of Trade, magazines, etc. (Wild & Diggines, 2010)
- Methodology: The analysis of data can either be statistical or descriptive. Objectivity should be maintained in the measurement techniques. The methodology must be accurately laid out and the perfect way to do it is to collect information knowledge and data that includes a blend of both primary sources of data and secondary sources of data. The use of figures in Quantitative analysis helps in measuring data accurately and also offers accurate and exact outcomes with regards to the hypothesis that is being tested. If any alternative methods of research are included, the inclusion should be justified.
4.1 Evaluate techniques of assessing customer response
The various techniques of assessing customer response are as follows.
- Customer Survey: A survey of questions can be provided to the customers with a plea that they candidly include their responses. Customers can be made to fill up surveys in a variety of ways. They can be physically presented one, for ex- feedback forms provided to the customers after they have finished dinner at a restaurant, or customer response forms provided in aircrafts, etc. Customer Surveys can be carried out online as well by the help of online surveys. Websites like surveymonkey.com come to the assistance when online feedback is considered. (Returncustomer, 2016)
- Suggestions and Advice: No matter what kind of product or service it is, the organisation or business should always look to incorporate customer suggestions and advice into their system. This will help them attend to the personal preferences of the customers and it will also mean that the business model is customer-centric in nature. This will also lead to customers being more candid in their feedback and suggestions and lead to an accurate assessment of customer response. (Cicerone, Sassaman & Swinney, 2008)
- Competitor Analysis: It is important to understand in adverse conditions especially as to why customers are more responsive to the products and services of the competitive brand. To determine this, customers may be requested to run a comparison between the products of two companies and that will help understand what the deficiencies are. Competitor analysis will help determine the customer response ratio towards the products and services of the company in comparison to that of the competitors.
- Social Media: The virtual world of social media is where people are found to be most candid and unfiltered. Thus, tracking down the remarks and statements of target customers and properly assessing them can give some sort of a closure on the feedbacks or responses of the customers. Social Media comprises of various forums providing a social global platform for public interaction and more. Social media websites include facebook, twitter, orkut, instagram, etc. People happen to be uninhibited and free about their viewpoints on social forums and that provides the basis for the most accurate customer response assessment.
4.2 Design and complete a customer satisfaction survey
Dear Customer: Serving you has been a privilege here at Sainsbury and we hope to serve you again soon. Kindly share your shopping experiences with us by filling up this form. We hope to be at your beck and call in the future. Thank You.
4.3 Review the success of a completed survey (NB, Your evaluation should be linked to your customer satisfaction survey in task 4.2)
The success of this completed survey has been determined by involving around 150 people who have taken the survey. The responses were carefully assessed and analysed and that helped in producing conclusions as to what the current state of affairs is in this particular Sainsbury Store.
Around half of the people, that is around 55% of people stated that they were satisfied with the services provided to them at the store. This means that the other half were not particularly impressed which means that a lot of work has to be done with regards to the training provided to the staff. The attention levels depicted by the staff hence exhibited a similar response with 50% of the people stating that they were attentive. The shortcomings of the staff were being nullified by the expert supervision of the senior staff. Around 70% of the people were satisfied with the services of the supervision team. This means there is enough adequacies in the training provided to the supervisors. People were concerned about the floor management. 80% of the people felt that the floor could be kept drier. This is the resultant of the wet footprints of people walking in to the store because of the on and off drizzle outside. The store was built with enough room between rows and the survey hence displayed favourable results. 85% of the people thought that the space allotment was excellent but 90% said that the billing counter was cramped for space. On an average, the overall experience of customers based on the survey displayed ‘Good’, which meant there was room for improvement.
In the negative remarks, the majority of the negatives dealt with floor and aisle management and the efficiency of the staff. The positive remarks included the efficiency levels of the supervisors. The suggestions criteria mainly indicated increase in the allotment of space at the billing desk and also a pool of ways in which the floor could be effectively managed. Some customers took the opportunity to advise the housing of their favourite brands and there were also suggestions made on the unfavourable attitude and behaviour exhibited by majority of the working staff which means they either don’t enjoy their job role, they are not adequately trained, they have taken their jobs for granted or they are just not good enough.
3.1 Carry out an assessment of market size trends within a selected market of your choice.
The selected market here is the ‘coffee market’ of the United Kingdom.
A massive 7.9 billion pounds were spent by Britons in coffee shops in 2015 which was 10% more than what it was in 2014. Total number of shops crossed over 20,000 in 2015 with Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero in control of over half of the branded market. Non specialist outlets are now close to 8000 in number now accounting for 39% of the market with branded shops accounting for 31% and 30% in favour of independent cafes. (Davidson, 2015)
The market of coffee shops in the UK is growing at a great pace and is slowly turning into a country of coffee connoisseurs. An estimated 2.2 billion cups of coffee consumed by coffee shop visitors per year. For the sixth time in as many years Costa was rated as the best coffee chains ahead of Starbucks and Caffe Nero. Coffee shops hold a huge deal of significance in the UK providing emphasis on the social vibrancy of the community and also providing employment opportunities and contributing to the economy. The branded coffee chain market registered a total turnover of 3.3 billion pounds with close to 6500 outlets, thus indicating a 12% outlet growth along with the delivery of sales with the growth of 15% as on 2016. Costa Coffee, Starbucks and Caffe Nero continue to be the leading chain of restaurants accounting for around 50% of the market share of the branded chain. Costa Coffee alone added around 171 outlets in UK with a sales growth of 14% in the UK. (World Coffee Portal, 2016) According to the predictions of (Allegra), the coffee shop market will continue to grow and the number of outlets will exceed over 30,000 with an expected turnover of 15 billion pounds by the end of 2025. The regionalisation of the independent artisan segment has meant that strong artisan independents are expanding their small chains with considerable assistance from traditional investment and consumer funding after the success of the leading small chains like Grind & Co. & Taylor St. Baristas. Consumers continue to gain knowledge about coffee and the rate of brewing at home is at the rise with a range of third wave equipment like V60 and Chemex now available to 7% of consumers in comparison to the 2% in 2014.
3.2 Describe a plan and carry out a competitor analysis for one of the following organisations.
The competitor analysis of British Airways has been determined by the application of Porter’s 5 Forces.
- Threat of new Entrant:Huge capital investments can be associated with entering into the aviation market. The reason is the prevalence of enough established brands and moreover investing such huge amounts may not guarantee adequate return. In such a scenario, the company might have to bear a massive loss. Brand Loyalty from the customers also makes it difficult for them to switch brands. Hence the threat of new entrant is negligible.
- Competitive Rivalry:An established brand like British Airways is bound to have stiff competition. The competition can be classified into two perspectives. Short haul competitors and long haul competitors. The travelling cost associated with long haul flights is similar and thus financially it does not make a huge deal of difference to the customers. The main competitors in the long haul market include Emirates, Lufthansa, Etihad, Qatar Airways and Air France. In the short haul market, the main competitors are Ryanair and EasyJet as they offer cost effective travelling being low cost carriers. Virgin Atlantic is one of the all time competitors of British Airways.
- Bargaining Power of Suppliers: There are two main suppliers of aircrafts for all commercial airline brands. They are Boeing and Air Bus. Hence for lack of options, British Airways has to conform to the average rates that the suppliers claim. Thus the bargaining power of suppliers is high. The bargaining power of the fuel suppliers was also high up until British Airways found an allegiance in Solena Fuels.
- Bargaining Power of Buyers: The bargaining power can be said to be medium in the case of the long haul markets and high in the short haul market. Europe is popular for the high number of low cost carriers. This in tandem with low switching costs ensures that the bargaining power is high in the short haul market. In the long haul market the cost of travel is similar for all brands and so the power is medium. It is not completely low because British Airways inspite of being established does not enjoy a monopoly because o brands like Emirates and Lufthansa.
- Threat of Substitutes: For short distance travels people might resort to tubes, trains and buses. But in the case of long distances, people generally stick to flying because it saves time. Hence in the case of short distance travel, that is city-to-city, the threat is medium and for long distance travels the threat is low.
3.3 Using the selected organisation above (3.2), evaluate the opportunities and threats for a given product or service (3.3)
The organisation taken into account is ‘British Airways’
British Airways can considerably improve their performance in the Europe-Latin America route (South-Atlantic) as their seat market share as on 2015 was just 5%. (CAPA, 2015)
The cost of fuel is increasing by the day which invariably is forcing British Airways to increase the prices of the tickets. Considering the options available to customers especially in the short-haul market, it can be a huge threat.
Improve the facilities and hospitality provided at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 in order to enjoy a distinct competitive advantage.
The competition posed by the three Gulf Giants namely Emirates, Qatar and Etihad along with Turkish Airlines will continue to be a threat for British Airways and the International Airlines Group at large.
Provide extra facilities and benefits with regards to the in-flight services especially in the long haul market where bargaining power of buyers is low to medium.
The recent exclusion of the United Kingdom under the ‘Brexit’ claims may cause potential shift of thinking and attitudes of European frequent flyers with British Airways.
Increase the number of fuel efficient aircrafts in order to stand out in the category of sustainable business operations by catering to the welfare of the environment.
The combination of Delta-Virgin Atlantic poses substantial competition to British Airways and can be a threat especially on BA’s core North Atlantic Route which is from London-New York
British Airways recently reduced its operations in India in order to save cost. A code share relationship was thus developed with Qatar Airways which happens to operate in several Indian cities. Closer ties with the sub-continent are possible with a joint venture with Qatar.
To add to the recent impacts of Global Recession, Britain’s exclusion from Europe may have a significant impact on its economy with possibilities of significant depreciation in the value of pound. (Haseeb, 2015)
The traditional method of the consumer purchase decision making process has been analysed. The main theories of buyer behaviour from the perspective of the market include that of the String Theory and the Weak Theory. How corporate image can lead to repeat purchase and eventually establish brand loyalty has been discussed in length. In the scenario dealing with the customer satisfaction levels of the customers of Sainsbury, the aspects of latest developments in technology like Brand Match and Nectar Loyalty Programme has been spoken about along with the drop in satisfaction levels of customers to number 6 in the survey list with Waitrose at number 1 as on 2011. The market size trend analysis of the coffee market of UK depicts an expenditure amount of 7.9 billion pounds by Britons on coffee shops in the year 2015. The competitors of BA in the short haul market are EasyJet, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic and Emirates, Etihad, Qatar and Air France in the long run.
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