Introduction

This research will have significance for the business research because it allows the companies to identify different factors that affect behaviour of consumers. By using this research, it will easy for the management of John Lewis to identify the needs and perception of consumer to buy a particular product through social media marketing strategy. It will also allow the company to introduce new products according to the buying behaviour and nature of consumers. Furthermore, this research will also have relevancy to business research, as the companies can analyse the market and their future growth.

Consumer buying behaviour is related to the different drivers and key determinants such as social aspects, economical condition, technology development, etc. Due to development of technology, internet has given birth to social media marketing approach through social networking sites and it has become one of the integral ways to achieve success in the global market . John Lewis uses different strategies of social media marketing to attract and persuade the consumer’s mind. In today’s environment, social media marketing tools enables the firm to analyze the perception and personality of the consumers through different networking sites, which facilitates the business firms to develop friendly relations with consumers and influence their buying behaviour by affecting their social background, offering low cost high quality, long term relationship quick customer services, etc.

Justification of the Chosen Topic

Determination of social media marketing strategies will help the business firms to understand different factors that influence consumer’s behaviour to buy a product or services. With the help of this, it will be easy for the management of John Lewis to develop a sustainable competitive environment in the industry and to analyze the effectiveness of its social media marketing strategies. With the assistance of this research topic, researcher can also improve his knowledge about the different attributes of social media marketing that persuade the buying behaviour of the consumer. This research will also have advantages not only for the consumers in London but also for global consumers. It will improve their knowledge regarding social media and strategies used by companies to motivate and influence them, to buy their products.

Value of the Study

At present, the world has become a small globe at which distance does not matter to use a products or services from international market. This study will have value because it will based on the emerging concept of social media marketing, which has boosted the marketing practices of business firm to attract global consumers. Both social media marketing and social networking are the most emerging concepts to influence the consumer’s behaviour to establish long term relationship with the firm whether the company is not situated at their home country. This study will also be valuable for the international as well as domestic firms because it will explain about the use of social media networking and different ways to utilize the benefits of social media marketing strategies.

Research Questions

  • How can companies use the social media marketing strategies to influence the buying behaviour of consumers?  
  • What are the benefits of social media marketing strategies to John Lewis? And what are the different ways to implement these strategies in the marketing process of the firm?

Research Objectives

  • To explore the theoretical framework of social media marketing strategies and consumer buying behaviour.
  • To identify different needs of John Lewis to use social media marketing strategies.
  • To develop a relationship between social media marketing strategies and consumer buying behaviour.
  • To recommend different practices to reinforce the social media marketing strategies of John Lewis.

Literature Review

Kaplan and Haenlein have stated in their study that social media marketing assist the business firms to target adequate consumers, who have a need to buy the products of the firm and who are searching for high quality and choose best brand among all available range of products. On the other hand Hung, Chou and Dong have also asserted in their study that uses of social networking and media tools facilitates the firms to understand the preferences and taste of consumers.

Klososky exhibited in his study that high use of internet and fast pace of life has also changed the way of living of individual, thus, they need a quick access or way that consume less time and less money to make buying decision. This is also supported by Chen, Fay and Wang that all these social media marketing tools and networking website influences the buying behaviour of consumer at large extent. Thus, it is imperative to know the impact of all the social media strategies to market the products and services and understand the influence of these strategies or networking sites to change the buying behaviour of consumers.

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Previously work done by different authors, such as Kaplan and Haenlein (2010), Hung, Chou and Dong (2011) Klososky (2011) Chen, Fay and Wang (2011), etc. are also related to this research proposal and all of these works would help the researcher to conduct further research to identify the role of social media marketing and its influence on consumer  buying behaviour.

In the new marketing era Okazaki and Yague have exhibited their review that social media marketing strategies are useful for effective communication, so that companies can develop long term relations and offer high quality customer services to them. Due to all these factors, the question arises, how social media marketing strategies influences the buying behaviour of consumers. On the other hand, it is also evaluated through the study of Kirtiş and Karahan  that, this new emerging concept of social media marketing is the most cost efficient and companies can directly advertise and create personal relationship with global consumers, which affect their buying behaviour, thus the objectives of this proposal is to develop a relationship between social media marketing and consumer buying behaviour.

Research Method

Research questions and objectives are interrelated with each other as both are concentrating on the relationship of social media marketing strategies and consume buying behaviours. It order to achieve the objectives, researcher will follow a research methodology, which comprises, research design and data collection methods.

Research Philosophy

There are three kinds of philosophies positivism, interpretivism and realism. In this, researcher will use interpretivism philosophy. This philosophy will be helpful for the researcher to generate perception of common people, which have different sense for particular environmental situation. Positivism will be ignored, as it is based on scientific rules and used for a problem which has a definite solution (Creswell, 2003). In realism, critical realism will be used with interpretivism, whereas direct realism will be ignored as it is related to positivism .

Research Approaches

Two type of research approach are deductive and inductive. In this study, researcher will implement inductive and ignore deductive. Through inductive approach, it would be easy for the researcher to gain understanding of human attach events, whereas deductive is related to scientific principle. The issue of social media and consumer behaviour is associated with the perception of different individual and inductive approach will enable the researcher to gather a close understanding about research context.

Research Strategy

Different kinds of research strategies are experiments, surveys, case study, action research, grounded theory, ethnography, and archival research. In this study, researcher will use case study and survey strategies to collect qualitative data in real life context (Punch and Punch, 2005). A case study of John Lewis will use by the researcher.

Research Choices

This research will be based on mixed method choice as researcher will use both case study and survey strategy. The nature of this study will be qualitative.

Time Horizon

Two types of time horizon are longitudinal and cross sectional. In this study, all the time lines will be decided at the beginning of the study, thus, longitudinal will be suitable for this. Time line to conduct survey will decide during the research process, thus, cross section time horizon will use in that case.

Data Collection Method

Two different kinds of data collection methods are primary and secondary. According to the above research design, researcher will use both primary and secondary data collection method. The primary data will be collected through survey through questionnaire and focus group analysis; whereas the secondary data will be collected through case study analysis and evaluation of different academic article. Survey and focus group analysis are beneficial to collect data from a sizable population but the disadvantage of these methods is associated with the ignorance of historical perspective.

On the other hand, case study analysis, and evaluation of different academic article is beneficial to gather information with evidences and real life example, but these methods avoids the instant reaction of individuals and current environmental situations related to the research issue. Thus, both of these methods fulfil the weaknesses of each other.Thus, as per the above explanation, in this study, researcher will use interpretivism philosophy with inductive approach and mixed method choices. Different data collection methods will use by the researcher is survey through questionnaire, focus group analysis and case study strategy.

References

  • Chen, Y., Fay, S. and Wang, Q. 2011. The Role of Marketing in Social Media: How Online Consumer Reviews Evolve. Journal of Interactive Marketing.
  • Cohen, L., Manion, L., Morrison, K. and Morrison, K.R.B. 2007. Research Methods in Education. UK: Routledge.  
  • Hung, C.L., Chou, J.C.L. and Dong, T.P. 2011. Innovations and communication through innovative users: An exploratory mechanism of social networking website. International Journal of Information Management.
  • Kaplan, A.M. and Haenlein, M. 2010. Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53(1), p.59-68.
  • Kirtiş, A.K. and Karahan, F. 2011. To Be or Not to Be in Social Media Arena as the Most Cost-Efficient Marketing Strategy after the Global Recession Original. Social and Behavioural Sciences, 24, p.260-268.
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