Market Research Plan for a Mobile Phone Business

Market Research Plan

Marketing research plan for mobile phones helps the researcher to establish market niche and identify customer needs that have not been met. It is also an important way of determining how customers perceive the products of a company against those of competitors (Hague, 2002). It enables the entrepreneur to determine whether to enter the market, launch a new product, promote the current brand, optimize marketing campaign, or improve customer service.

Research Problem and Research Questions

This marketing research plan focuses on what consumers find deliver the most in terms of customer usage and satisfaction. In this case, the marketing research addresses customer satisfaction, and what factors drive customer satisfaction. The marketing research enables the business to develop appropriate marketing strategies, services and products that can deliver the most value for the customer in terms of usage and satisfaction. The research questions include:

  • What are the factors that influence customer satisfaction?
  • How can customers be served in order to satisfy them?
  • What are the customers’ perceptions about mobile phones?
  • What is the importance of customer satisfaction in mobile phone markets?

Design and execution of Customer Satisfaction Survey

In order to get relevant information needed to answer the research questions, it is important to use a customer satisfaction survey. The research technique to be used in this marketing research is interviews. This involves a questionnaire addressed to customers who are required to answer specific questions about their perception of customer satisfaction (Hayes, 2008). A sample of 75 mobile phone customers will be given a questionnaire with interview questions to answer. The answers to the questionnaire will then be collected and analysed. A simple questionnaire is attached in the appendix for this purpose. The research also utilizes a random sampling technique in which customers seen buying from different vendors are selected and interviewed randomly (Stone et al, 2004).

In terms of execution, the researcher will visit customers at their shopping areas and request them to participate in the survey. During the interview, eye contact is retained to get the feelings and facial expressions of the customer (Hague, 2002). The researcher should also be attentive and always smiling and nodding. Furthermore, the interviewees should be allowed to communicate during the interview. Listening is also a good skill for effective interview. Most of the questions are open-ended to allow the customers to express their feelings and attitudes freely.

Research Technique

This method of research to be used is known as qualitative research. This involves the identification of customer feelings and motivation in order to get information (Hayes, 1998). The level of customer satisfaction in this case is measured in terms of values, perceptions, attitudes and beliefs of the customers.

Analysis

The data collected can then be analysed using tables and pie charts. In this case, the variables include customer service, brand position, product quality, after sale service, benefits and level of customer satisfaction (Hayes, 2008). Customer satisfaction is a dependent variable and the other variables are independent variables. A pie chart is illustrated below.

The pie chart indicates that product quality drives customer satisfaction in the mobile phone market because most respondents argue that they look for quality of the product in order to be satisfied. This is followed by the benefits offered by the company and then the customer service, brand position and after-sales service of the vendors.

Recommendations

  • Mobile phone vendors should improve their brand position in order to enhance brand loyalty and encourage repeat purchase
  • The vendors should also improve the product quality in order to increase customer satisfaction.
  • They should also provide effective customer service in order to improve customer satisfaction.
  • Vendors need to provide good after-sales services such as repair and maintenance, and delivery of products.

b) Relationship between brand loyalty and repeat purchase

From the survey, the researcher asks whether the customers come back to buy from the same vendor on renewal. The number of customers answering with “Yes” determines the number of customers with repeat purchase. The repeat purchase is usually associated with brand loyalty. So the customer should be asked whether he/she is loyal to a specific company. Most of the customers who are loyal to a specific brand usually come back to buy from the same vendor through repeat purchase (Czerniawski & Maloney, 1999).

Brand loyalty is the faithfulness of customers to a specific brand, expressed through repeat purchase (Czerniawski & Maloney, 1999). One of the major reasons why customers come back for the same product on renewal is because they are satisfied with the first product. If the customer is satisfied with the benefits and product features of the first mobile phone, then they are likely buy the same type of mobile phone repeatedly on renewal. Brand loyalty can also be achieved by companies by successfully breaking the habit of the consumer. For example, if the customer habitually buys a smartphone with Android software, a company can break this habit by producing a Windows phone with more benefits than the Android phone. Another thing that drives repeat purchase is the provision of an optimum product (Czerniawski & Maloney, 1999). If a mobile phone is offered at the right price and the required quality, the customer will demonstrate brand loyalty through repeat purchase. Brand loyalty can be achieved by understanding the perceived customer value, brand trust by customers, level of customer satisfaction, repeat purchase behaviour and customer commitment.

c) Evaluation of the Research Plan

This research plan has used a customer survey questionnaire to determine the drivers of customer satisfaction among mobile phone users. The research plan tested the impact of certain factors on customer satisfaction. Such variables include brand position, after sales service, customer service, benefits and product quality. Product quality was found to be the leading factor determining customer satisfaction.

The research method adopted is a qualitative method involving primary sources. The advantage of this method is that it is suitable for customer satisfaction because customer satisfaction is mainly measured by values, attitudes and beliefs rather than numerical figures. The primary sources are also advantageous because it is possible to get information directly from the customers; hence it is easy to read their feelings and attitudes. The disadvantage of this method is that it is not easy to measure data objectively.

The random sampling method used is an appropriate one because it ensures that any type of customer can be interviewed; male or female, low-end or high-end, young or old, etc. The method also ensures that the answers to the questions are randomly distributed for more reliable outcome (Brace, 2008). The sample size of 75 customers is easy to manage for this research, while at the same time it is sufficient to derive viable conclusions. The questions asked of the respondents are very viable because they address the research problem appropriately. All the questions ask about the factors that drive customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Through the questions, it is possible to make conclusions in terms of the determinants of customer satisfaction.

The interview method is a reliable one, but it could also be done differently. One of the techniques that could be used is observation. This method enables researchers to observe the behaviour of respondents firsthand. In the current research, the customers can be observed on how they buy, how they react (facial expressions), natural setting (where) of the purchase, and number of purchase or customers buying from a vendor on a single day. Another important technique is the use of Focus Groups. This involves holding group meetings to obtain collective views of participants.

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