The aim of this assignment is to assess the learner’s knowledge of the all aspects of the unit: understand the purchase decision-making process and how marketing research techniques are used to contribute to the development of marketing plans.
1.1describe the main stages of the purchase decision making process
1.2explain theories of buyer behaviour in terms of individuals and markets
1.3explain the factors that affect buyer behaviour
1.4evaluate the relationship between brand loyalty, corporate image and repeat purchasing
“Marketing is about making sure that a business is providing the goods and services that customers want. It involves identifying and anticipating what consumers want today and will want in the future. The marketing department then plays an important role in taking these goods and services to market through all the channels the business sells through” (Business Case Studies, 2013).
You are required to:
Scenario (Task 2)
Sainsbury's was founded in 1869 by John James Sainsbury and his wife Mary Ann Sainsbury in London and has grown to become one of the UK’s largest retailers. J Sainsbury plc operates over 1,000 stores, including 440 convenience stores.
A statement on the company’s website read:
“Our five areas of focus are underpinned by our strong values and culture, as well as our commitment to operational excellence. We put the customer at the heart of everything we do, aiming to make their lives easier every day by offering great quality and service at fair prices”.
As a business analyst, you want to investigate the reliability of this statement. For this, you develop the following research questions: What is the level of satisfaction amongst Sainsbury’s customers?
You are required to
2.1 Evaluate different types of market research techniques
2.2 Use sources of secondary data to achieve marketing research objectives
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).
2.4 Prepare a marketing research plan to obtain information in a given situation
4.1 Evaluate techniques of assessing customer response
4.2 Design and complete a customer satisfaction survey
4.3 Review the success of a completed survey (NB, Your evaluation should be linked to your customer satisfaction survey in task 4.2)
You are required to:
Part 3 Assessment Record and Feedback
|1.1||describe the main stages of the purchase decision making process|
|1.2||explain theories of buyer behaviour in terms of individuals and markets|
|1.3||explain the factors that affect buyer behaviour|
|1.4||evaluate the relationship between brand loyalty, corporate image and repeat purchasing|
|2.1||evaluate different types of market research techniques|
|2.2||use sources of secondary data to achieve marketing research objectives|
|2.3||assess the validity and reliability of market research findings|
|2.4||prepare a marketing research plan to obtain information in a given situation|
|3.1||assess market size trends within a given market|
|3.2||plan and carry out a competitor analysis for a given organisation|
|3.3||evaluate an organisation’s opportunities and threats for a given product or service|
|4.1||evaluate techniques of assessing customer response|
|4.2||design and complete a customer satisfaction survey|
|4.3||review the success of a completed survey|
|Merit Descriptors||Assessment Criteria for Merit.|
The learner demonstrates that:
|Met Y/N||Page No.||Assessor Comments|
|M1 Identify and apply strategies to find appropriate solutions.||AC2.3|
M2 Select/design and apply appropriate methods/techniques
|M3 Present and communicate appropriate findings||AC2.4, AC 3.2|
|Distinction Descriptors||Assessment Criteria for Distinction.|
The learner demonstrates that:
|Met Y/N||Page No.||Assessor Comments|
D1 Use critical reflection to evaluate own work and justify valid conclusions
D2 Take responsibility for managing and organising activities
D3 Demonstrate convergent / lateral / creative thinking
Marketing intelligence is inevitable in detecting all the required functions of a business association. The functions and other purposes of business are interred related with each-other. To achieve the business target the essence of business intelligence is intended. In order to fulfil every desired requirement of an organisation, a successful decision making process is in inevitable need. Thus, the decision making process and the theories on buyers behaviour have been analysed briefly in this respect. This study is augmentative in approaching the particular stages of business to give it a successful hike. Thus the associating factors like different types of market research techniques along with market research objectives and market research findings have been analysed over the study. This particular study is fostered to assess the market size in respect to the particular trend and side by side brings competitive analysis in this respect.
Marketing intelligence is compiled to a set of activities providing the inclined company with the source of information. The source may be the accompanying issues and on goings of the competitors. Marketing intelligence is involved in keeping track of the status of the existing industry by focusing on an integral part of operating business. The overall procedure has now been expanded by including analysis and analytics as well. This inevitably helps in improving business model along with the projections.
Purchase decision-making process undergoes distinctive stages. This includes the necessity of recognition, look out for relevant information, evaluation towards the alternative and finally purchase decision and then post-purchase evaluation. The entire process depends on the particular good that is associated with the buying preference. A particular organization is intended to go deep into the buying preference of the customers (Lantos, 2011). The creation of a potential brand value goes in preference of the customers. This is in need of a proper recognition. The preference of buyers is also dependent on a particular product. If it is regarding a snack, then choice might differ. If it is about an electronic good, then organization should keep the focus on the maintenance of every potential means to make customers rely on the quality service.
Figure 1: Purchase Decision Making Process
(Source: Lantos, 2011)
If post purchase decision is implied with satisfaction, it is the loyalty of the associated brand. In case if the customers get dissatisfied with the product, it says cognitive dissonance. The organization is in need to create omnipotence regarding the value of their products. The evaluation of the alternatives is associated with the particular taste, choice, and preference that the individual customer (Lantos, 2011). Finally, the discussion of purchase is made and a post-purchase evaluation is also made by. Thus, the entire process is dependent on the intellectual perspective of the business organization for creating recognition on their products.
1.2. Explanation of the theories of buyer behaviour related to individuals and markets
The theories on buyers behaviour is complex. The key theorists are Alfred Marshal, Ivan Pavlov, Thorstein Veblen and Sigmund Freud. Marshal’s economic theory is regarded to be the Utilitarian theory. This theory is mainly used by the marketers for promoting the sale of included products. This perspective is included with the sales promotions like discount coupons, buy one get one free. On the other hand, the psychological theory that is the Pavlov learning theory of the buyer behaviour puts emphasis on the use of advertisement.
|KEY THEORIES||FOCUS OF THE THEORY|
|Marshal||Individual buyers satisfaction on the product they bought|
|Pavlov||Reinforcement, learning association and repeat purchase|
|Veblen||Social appeal and status as well|
|Freud||Symbolism, personality appeal|
Table 1: Theories on buyer's behavior
(Source: Lantos, 2011)
Pavlov’s theory gives importance on the reward on positive behaviour and intends punishment on bad behaviour. Thorsten’s theory is indulged with a sociological attitude and so as the Freud’s theory deals with irrational, hedonic and psychoanalytic customers. There are different approaches like psychological, social, economic perspectives to analytically associate the theories of buyer's behaviour (Smith and Zook, 2012). The psychological theory puts emphasis on the advertisement and promotion through the celebrities. This perspective is indignantly accompanied with the cognitive dissonance. It initiates a negative chance on further buying of the product from the particular group.
The key factors that affect buyer’s behaviour are of different types. The different types or categories include psychological, economic or cultural factors. The psychological factors are involved with the motivation, specific belief, and different attitude and individualized learning perception of buyers. Motivation may be regulated with hunger or thirst of the specific perception. Perception is regulated with the procedure that unable to organize and interpret stimuli (Blythe, 2014). The entire perception is also involved with the personality in accordance with a sociable manner, self-confidence and self-esteem as well. The psychological factors also put preference on the specific beliefs and attitudes of the customers.
The sociological factors come up with the concerned family background and of individual practices as well (Blythe, 2014). This involves social roles and status accordingly. The economic factors put emphasis on the quality products and thus indulge with the economic situation. It is also involved with an occupation, age and life-cycle stage (Ki and Lee, 2010). The preference of buying of the customers in this aspect is associated with the personality and self-confidence too. The cultural factors are in tilted with the cultural background and social class inevitably to impact on the buying discussion.
The brand image is associated with name, term or symbol that identifies a particular product in differentiated note with other brands or competitors in respect with the quality.This is indulged with personality, culture, relationship, customer-reflection self-image and brand loyalty accordingly. Brand identity prism is deliberately associated with a specific identity that provides instant personality regarding the product (Wiid and Diggines, 2009). Further, it depicts the culture in respect to the intended origin and differentiation. Again, this prism focuses on the relationship that is incorporated of being user-friendly and proactive side by side.
The brand loyalty is associated with multiple influences related to the associating factors. It also indulges corporate image to create impression in regard to the specific situation. A true brand loyalty is associated with customer’s commitment towards the specific brand. Further, it focuses on the positive attitude in higher composition relating with others (Raymond, 2007). Finally, it impacts in the frequent repurchase of the product in the similar brand. The important margins of brand loyalty are associated with others perceived value and trust and satisfaction of the brand distinctively. Adopting the overall process, the sense of complete corporate image is described and implied as well.
Market research is basically the learning of marketing terms and essentials in context of the business. Research involves a systematic way on contemporary trend and demand of market. This helps concerned organisation getting proper information on the customer base and enables organisation choose their correct target market. There are two methods of market research: primary and secondary. The primary research includes surveys, interviews, group study and analysis on particular groups, experimentation on habits and practices and finally observation of choices, practices and habits by people. On the other hand the secondary research is done through indirect communication and understanding between market representatives with help of online sources.M & Spencer has lost that glory for long times in respect with the current trend and fashion. Thus, a thorough market research is intended to redeem that glory back. This research can be done in different stages. The qualitative and quantitative research has been done for this organisation to remain competitive in the market. There are distinctive techniques of research. Therefore, the management of M & Spencer can intend to group survey among the people of a school, college or other corporate organisations. To have better proper information regarding the current trend, the college or school students would be efficient enough. However, secondary research technique can also be applied in this attempt (Kotler and Armstrong, 2014). This will inevitably help in generating relevant information on this perspective to collect data from different level.
Figure 1: Sales and profit margin of Marks & Spencer
(Source: Marksandspencer.eu, 2016)
Adopting the techniques of group survey, this organisation has received beneficial impact as referred on the diagram. This technique can also be attributed with the focus on survey of people of different stages. However, fashion can be varies in different stages of people based on their age. Thus, a thorough survey on the overall basis can help this organisation in this respect. The interviews can also be another important means (Kotler and Armstrong, 2014). Taking interview from people of different stages can help this organisation having authentic information regarding the current trend of fashion. In this respect, selection might go complied in accordance with people. Observation can also be another means of research. Observing people in respect with their ages and choice, whatever of the place too may insert a clear idea regarding the current trend of fashion. This organisation may further adopt the process of experiments or field trials to gather ideas on current trend so that it might accelerate the productivity and glory back to the world.
The secondary research is basically known as the desk research. This includes the synthesis and analysis of the earlier records and data and researching those with experimentation. This analysis and experimentation enables organisation evolve plan based on the knowledge gained from the research. The secondary research helps generate a potential thought on contemporary trend and demand of market and enables men plan in accordance to that to avoid losses. Marketing research can be done by using two methods: primary research and secondary research. Primary researches are regardless of being the surveys of groups or interviews as stated above. The secondary research comes in form of internet data or other relevant records as well. Thus, this source of research would help this company recovering the earlier glory evidently. The thorough research on the sales and growth of competitor groups or companies would inevitably help this organisation gathering helpful information. A thorough research on a yearly basis on Sainsbury would allow the management of M & S to know about the specific fields that this organisation has adopted. This organisation has faced problem in its financial prospect. The research on journals and some other parallel going company websites have enabled M & S gather important data (Pollard, 2011). As pointed by Kotler and Armstrong (2014), data research of Sainsbury.com, 2015 has enough influence on M & S as it laid the examples of successful business plan in critical situations. Further, journals on market research, marketing planning and methods of marketing can be helpful for Marks and Spencer in their market research as they can identify the methods of market research properly. The data analysis on Sainsbury evidently proves that it has laid importance on the trends of young people much, thus it inherently has earned 23.78 billion GBP in 2015 (Sainsbury.com, 2015).
Figure 2: Share price of M & S in decreased level
(Source: Marksandspencer.eu, 2016)
As the production level decreased, the share price has also been degenerated in recent days of M & S. Thus, to gain back that glory the management of this group might research the data that shows different aspects of the companies and their earning or profit level accordingly. Therefore, company specific analysis and relevant source of data from the news or the web pages would contribute this organisation to gain back the glory evidently.
For secondary research, validity and reliability are two important terms. As the overall research is based on the online resources and mediums, validity of data is an important factor. Using data from company website can be acceptable only in the condition that the website is updated. Therefore, necessary information needs to be crosschecked because marketing techniques get changed with time. Thus, tricks and strategy applied in an earlier year will not be acceptable for current days as the marketing pollicise and demand has been changed. Therefore validity of data is regarded as a prime factor in primary research. The reliability of data also judged by the companies as it sometimes misleads information on the online mediums. Therefore, thorough market research is required. After gathering varied information, data needs to be crosschecked with other relevant sources. This enables organisation avoiding deprivation (Pollard, 2011). By the market research, the management of M & S has incorporated change in manufacturing type with this organisation. Further, this has intended change in the type of clothes (Pollard, 2011). However, they did never compromise with the quality of products. In this changing aspect too, this organisation has adopted a versatile change and modification to attract the new generation towards its prospect. This is governed by different aspects and procedures (Kotler and Armstrong, 2014). The problem may occur in case if the same method will be applied by different researchers using a similar sample. Possible threats to research reliability may be accompanied with the error from participants of research in delivering valid information. But this organization is said to be attained a breakdown in its growth growing process. Regarding the feedback of the customers, an overall view has been attempted in this respect. This goes parallel with the associating data overdrawn from statista.com(2016).
Product reliability can be attained through the practice of creating goodwill. However, goodwill of M & S is already set; the former specification is about the maintenance of trend. After a thorough research and modification, the organisation when ios settled to fix up their target, it has to face a number of problems. Problems might come from the set of trust again. As the value and share of this organisation has been detracted for a long term, it has to struggle to gain back that position. The struggle may continue up to a long period. Within this period this organisation will not be able to raise enough profit (Raymond, 2012). Therefore, the fixing of target and a particular target market is this respect is very necessary. This target is necessary to plan accordance to that and to work on attaining the target specifically. In this regard organisation might get accompanied to plan for the budget and other necessary procedures accordingly.
Figure 3: Marketing plan of M & S
(Source: Pollard, 2011, p. 121)
This organisation might set target on their new manufactures. However this manufactures have attained to engage a huge budget, still at the very first stage the focus of the organisation should not be intended to attain a huge profit. The intimate focus should be accompanied on spreading the product on market with remarkable promotion. Thus, advertisement or online promotion can be used as means of promoting the renovation of products of M & S (Shajahan, 2016). In order to attain the attraction of the young people, promotions can be spread through the social networking sites. However, the progressive period might inclined with the collection of data and its rapid analysis so that further implementation can be attempted in respect with that data. Prompt follow up and medication along with a number of collection is also required in this respect.
The market is a place where company makes its business transaction in competitive form with its next immediate competitors. Google had 63.9% market share in 2015 and in 2014 it had 67.9%. In contradiction Yahoo and Bing Rose attempted a higher market share in the year of 2014 and 2015 with a hike of 13.4% and 20.7% respectively (statista.com, 2016). Google, the California-based internet company is renowned for its digital products and services accordingly at the multinational level. This is mostly famous for online searching and advertising along with cloud computing and software. Based on the information from statista.com, 2016, Google has been ranked first among the topmost performers and multi-platform web properties of United States (Refer to appendix 2). This is incorporated with 247 million US visitors. Further, the market share of this group is exempted from being 63.9% in respect with the large number of search engine providers of US market. The market capitalization of this company is declared to as 432 billion U.S dollars in 2015 (statista.com, 2016). In a recent analysis, the market share of Google is declared to be as 67% in respect of the entire market share (searchengineland.com, 2016).
|Price acquisition of Motorola mobility||$12.5000m|
|Full-time employees of Google||61,814|
|Visitors to google.com||31.9%|
|Share of search traffic in the US||81.42%|
Table 2: Company Overview of Google
(Source: statista.com, 2016)
The comparative analysis undergoes the factors of Porters five forces in analyzing the overall view.
Figure7: Portrs five forces in respect with Google
(Source: Shajahan, 2016, p. 568)
The main competitors of Google can be regarded as Amazon, Yahoo or Bling. In respect with 63.9% market share of Google, Bling stands at a comparative state by acquiring 33.5% market share (searchengineland.com, 2016). The consuming state serves as an omnipotent essential for Bling to stand alone confronting Google in the US market. Furthermore, the Microsoft sites also emerge as the competitor of Google as it also contributes to whole 19.3% market share. The Yahoo sites contradictorily consume 10.10% share in respect to Google and that of Microsoft.
Figure 8: Comparative analysis(Source: Statista.com, 2016)
Figure 9: Business of Google(Source: Statista.com, 2016)
Table 3: Strength and weakness of Google
(Source: Cook, 2014, p. 265)
Figure 10: Challenging integration of Facebook on Google(Source: fastcompany.com, 2016)
Table 4: Opportunity and Threat analysis of Google
(Source: Cook, 2014, p. 568)
3.3 Evaluation of the opportunities and threats for a given product or service:
Based on the analysis provided in the above stated details, Google has identified the main challenges that it might face from its competitors. This includes the competitive analysis based on the competitors in field of market share and changes. The detailed information on Google based on its competitors have been provided in the below mentioned table:
|Core Search Entity||Explicit core search share in July 2014||Explicit core search share in August 2014||Point change|
Table 5: Comparative analysis of Google with its competitors
(Source: searchengineland.com, 2016)
On account with the research, Google is in attempt to introduce the customers with GoogleApps. This application will help people getting easier access of data and let people get varied information without interruption of internet connection. This finest improvisation of Google is estimated to carry forward the business of Yahoo and Apple as the accessibility will also be available on cell phones. Customers usually prefer to use small devices that can be carried out to places and easily get accessed. Therefore, the selected target product is GoogleApp and ideas and implementation has been focused on that.
The company makes its transactions through the official website. Feedback from customer is very important to judge services. Therefore, the organisation has added a field on its site to write about the feeling of customers after using their application. Moreover, the marketing sites are also indulged with a column to leave some words on accessibility of data, network connection and advantage of the service after using it (Buttle, 2010). However, people generally put invalid information just to fill up the formalities of filling the form. It does not attract the customers generally. Therefore, the information attained is not real all the times. Time consumed by people and amount used on purchasing goods of the company would gradually insert an idea of the level of satisfaction by its customers (Cook, 2014). The growing emphasis on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is associated with the techniques of assessing customers' response. To keep up the interest of customers, a questionnaire format is in need to be incorporated. Thus, to keep up the prolonged relationship in business terms, customers' suggestions are inevitably required. The suggestion of the customers plays integral role in keeping up the procedures of an organization role up in regard to the situation.Customer satisfaction is regardless of being an indignant part in business integration. This may be attempted through a discount coupon provided by the organization. Based on the decision of the strategic department, the organization contributes to attempt a multiple processes by providing discount or discount voucher on a particular amount of buying to keep up the interest of the customers. The techniques include mystery shoppers, customer to the customer survey, free phone or video forum and also by complaints handling and suggestion system. This procedure also undermines data mining or web behaviour analysis.
The data can be collected through the medium of a questionnaire. The form of the questionnaire may be close-ended. But there are disadvantages of close-ended questions. This type of data cannot provide sufficient data to customers'' point of view. Thus the inclined organization fails to work on the dissatisfactory criteria (Brink and Berndt, 2015). The former option can go in support of open-ended question. This form of data is more reliable as it incorporates to provide a wide range of data in detail.
Close ended questions:
1. How far do you agree that M&S provide high quality products?
2. Why will you visit M&S again?
3. How far do you rate the services of M&S?
4. Will you recommend M&S to your friends and family members?
Open ended question?
1. What is your opinion regarding M&S?
2. What are the ways do you think M&S can improve satisfaction of customers and performance of the company?
The thorough research was done in a successful way. However, the entire procedure was not that much easy. First of all, choosing the appropriate sample size for the collection of the data is difficult. It is not possible to conduct the research on a huge population. Therefore, a sample that can represent a wider population was required to be chosen whereas the the selection of the question needs to be done in such a way that appropriate answers can be obtained from them. Brink and Berndt (2012) remarked that consumers differ in their attitude and behaviour and therefore, one question cannot be appropriate for all. Therefore, the selection of questionnaires and the options in close ended questions is quite difficult. Collecting data from the relative companies and managers was difficult as they were not willing share accurate data. On the whole it was a hard job, but the ultimate objective was attained with help of the research. This questionnaire has helped us to gather necessary information about the usage of the application and to some extent it mentioned the disadvantages also. This is beneficial because it provided scope to the company to make necessary changes and implementations accordingly.
Time: This project took 6 weeks to complete the overall procedure
Cost: The budget rate of $120 has been initially spent in completing the entire project
Response rate: 65% customers responded to the survey
Question completion rate: 41% of the customers responded to the questions completely
Reliability and validity of findings: The overall factor has been observed and analyzed with compact reliability and conforming validity accordingly
The extent to which the survey findings address or solve the problem: In order to solve the problem, an approximate time of 3 months can be needed.
The main objective of designing the objective was to collect data from customers regarding the products. As pointed out by Cresswell (2012), due to the nature of close ended questions, respondents tend to provide haphazard answers. It deprives the researcher to get the accurate answer or feedback seeking. It means that the final outcome may not be appropriate which shows that the objective is not fulfilled. However, it is also worth mentioning that getting feedback through both close ended questions via a survey helps to identify consumer behaviour towards the company or a particular product which in turn helps in product/market development as well as for improving customer service and other activities. Thus, it can be said that the main reason or objective of conducting the survey is achieved.
It can be concluded that market intelligence can broadly be divided into two categories based on the source of data: external data and internal data. This inevitably helps generate the market reports, competitive information, and internal database as well. This study is associated with the distinctive procedures and aspects of business intelligence that deal with decision-making process of an organization. The various dimensions have also been attempted in respect with a particular selection of organization and its overall transactions accordingly.