Introduction to Marketing intelligence

Marketing intelligence is defined as an information applicable to an organization's business. These information are collected and identified particularly for the purpose of clear and correct decision making while deciding the opportunities in market (Murray and Carter, 2005).  This report is based upon case scenario of Topshop Company. This company is a retail organization and possesses business in women fashion market. This report by our online assignment writing experts help to understand the purchase decision making process and market research techniques to develop marketing plan.

TASK 1 – A Market Research Techniques Report

1.1 Stages of purchase decision making process

The buyers of Topshop will go through various stages, while making purchase decision. These stages are as follows,

Need recognition: The first step of purchase decision making process is need recognition. If buyer do not need, then they would not purchase (Pühringer and Taylor, 2008). This situation occurs when there is a delay between customer’s actual situation and desires.

Information search: After need recognition the next stage affects the buyer decision making process is information of the need. When the need is known the customer wants the information about possible solutions of the need recognition. The buyer would search information depending on the quality of choices and the level of involvement.

Evaluation of alternatives: Later when the relevant information is collected, the customer would be able to evaluate the various alternatives that are offered to them. Customers would evaluate the most suitable and effective offers for their need and choose the best among them.

Purchase decision: Once the customers evaluated the various offers and solutions for their need. They will be capable to select the product that is most appropriate for their need (Le Bon and Merunka, 2006). This process leads them for actual purchase itself. This decision is completely depends on the information and evaluation of alternatives.

Post purchase behaviour: Afterwards, when the product is purchased and utilized. The customer will evaluate the satisfactory level with their original needs. This post purchase behaviour involves the behaviour such as whether the choice of buying a product was right or not.

1.2 Importance of understanding buyer behaviour and theories

Understanding the buyer's purchase behaviour is important factor that helps a business to be successful. Without having knowledge about buyer behaviour, it could be difficult for gaining more customers. Purchase decisions of customers are based on an emotional of rational reasons. Theories for individual buyer behaviour are as follows,

Generic theory of buyer behaviour: Generic model for decision making is considered for many purchases. In this theory buyer will realize a need to make a purchase decision and initiate for research on product details and pricing (Pühringer and Taylor, 2008). For instance, at the time of making a decision for buying cloths at Topshop, individuals may depend on the current fashion, their comfort level and the price of the clothes. The customer would investigate about the various fashion trends in the market, evaluate their prices, benefits and then make a decision for purchase.

Cultural theory of buying behaviour: Further, Cultural theory of buying behaviour is based on the cultural influences of the individual. An individual's culture is set of values and beliefs they learned from their community. These values and beliefs affect the buying behaviour of the consumers (Zineldin, 2004). As per this theory consumers are influenced by their social class, occupation, income and education for making a buying decision. Thereby, being an assistant brand manager at Topshop, I would consider cultural influences of the people and keep the cloths and accessories according to the culture.

1.3 Factors that affects the buyer behaviour

There are various factors that affect the buyer behaviour. Some of them are as follows,

Cultural Factors: Cultural factors plays crucial role in affecting buyer behaviour. Cultural factors are based on the various factors related to culture and cultural environment of the consumer. For instance, some customers can be influenced by their family members, friends and peer members. While some consumers may be influenced by the environment of society. For a brand like Topshop, it is very important to understand and consider the cultural factors that affect the clothing retail.

Social factors: Furthermore, social factors also affect buyer behaviour significantly. Social factors can be divided into three categories. Such as, family, reference groups and social roles and status. The reference groups are mostly related to a social origin, place, work hobbies and age etc. that influence the buyer behaviour (Hurley, 2015). After reference group, family is most important factor of influencing buyer behaviour. Family of an individual forms an environment of socialization that influences them to shape their personality. Moreover, Social roles and status are based on the position of an individual within work, family and group of friends that mainly affects the buyer behaviour.

Personal Factors: Moreover, In Personal factors the buyers decisions are influenced by age and way of life, revenue and purchasing power, lifestyle, and personality concepts etc. these are the personal factors that affects the buyer behaviour.

1.4 The relationship between brand loyalty, corporate image and repeat purchase

Topshop is a fashion emporium that provides cutting edge style with affordable prices. The brand reputation of Topshop is strong among the customers. Therefore, the firm always wants to build up strong relationship with customers by providing them latest and exclusive products (Glance, Hurst and et. al. 2005). Brand loyalty refers to the faithfulness of customers for a particular brand. Topshop has created effective brand image between consumers as compared to other brands. Thereby, the brand conscious customers would not switch towards other brands easily. Furthermore, the corporate image of the firm in the minds of people, involving public and corporations affects by organization's policies, practices and operations. However, the relationship between brand loyalty, corporate image and repeat purchasing highly depends on their positive impact on people. Since, The Firm has many repeated celebrity customers and boutique houses that define the brand loyalty of these people with corporate image which influence the repeat purchase of these buyers.

Different market research techniques

Market research is based on the activity of collecting information about customers’ needs and preferences. Market research is important for a business to be successful (Jones, Clarke-Hill, Comfort and Hillier, 2008). Market research provides the information about various market factors such as market size, sales revenue, market segmentation, demand and supply scenario etc. moreover, it helps in identifying the potential customers, their needs and behaviour patterns. The Market research techniques that Topshop can utilize is as follows,

Quantitative Research Techniques: This technique is based on a research method that mainly based on the strong facts and statistical data instead of feeling and opinions of the customers. As per this research technique Topshop can use exit surveys, on-site field work, shopping bag survey and questionnaires for market research (Lee, 2008). Quantitative market research techniques can be helpful in forecasting the market demands and supplies.

Qualitative Research Techniques: Furthermore, Qualitative market research technique includes research method that is based on the opinions and the feeling of the customers regarding the products. In qualitative research technique Topshop can use personal interviews of individuals, surveys and can focus in a specific market segment. This is the most effective research technique to create brand loyalty and retaining the consumers.

Secondary Market Research: Moreover, this technique does not collect information from its own sources but depends on already available information from various sources (Priporas, Gatsoris and Zacharis, 2005). Secondary market research techniques include the information from newspapers, magazines, internet and government data etc. The only advantage of this research technique that it is cost and time effective.

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Identification and use of secondary data

Secondary data is an information that is already collected by someone else and available for use from other sources. This kind of data costs very low and instantly procurable. For instance, Secondary data for Topshop can be the data that is collected on customers for feedback and suggestions. The marketing research objectives of Topshop are as follows,

To attract more customers: The main market research objective of Topshop is to attract more customers. Thereby, the firm collects the information from various sources and implements the promotion strategies accordingly (Wilson, 2011). However, to attract more customers Topshop can use secondary data sources such as, newspapers, magazines and internet etc. the firm can also use many promotional activities on these secondary data sources to achieve these objectives.

To create effective brand loyalty: Topshop is well reputed fashion retail firm. Thus, the brand image and brand loyalty is essential to retain the customers. However, the firm adopts various market research strategies to create effective brand image of Topshop. Brand loyalty would encourage the repeated purchase and helps in attracting more new customers (Gladson Nwokah and Ahiauzu, 2009). Moreover, Topshop can use various secondary data sources such as customer feedback, suggestions, previous customer list to create brand loyalty among customers.

The limitations in market research are based on two main factors. These are as follows,

  • Time: Market research is primarily based on the limitations of time. Time is an important factor that affects the market research activity of any organization.
  • Finance: Further, insufficient finance highly affects the market research activity. If the firm does not have sufficient finance than collecting information from various sources could be difficult (Kinra, 2006).

Secondary aspect of data collection can be quite difficult for research worker. However, validity of data is based on the research that is actually calculating. Thereby, it is effective way to know the research that was undertaken and the importance of that particular data.Moreover, the reliability of data is primarily concerned with generating regular results. For instance, if Topshop is having two research workers questions from the same people from a database and responses and replies are similar to each other than data reliability can measured.

TASK 2 - MARKETING RESEARCH PLANS

2.1 Marketing research plan to obtain information

 This proposal is based on the title of analysing the impact of different promotional means on the sales of the company “On a case study of Topshop”.

 Background

Selection of effective promotional means is important for any organization to be successful. Effective promotional means not only helps in attracting new customers but it also helps in creating brand image among the people (Malhotra, 2008). Sales promotion is important element of any company's marketing communication strategies. It is implemented by various promotional means such as advertising, public relations and personal selling.

Rational

The main issue for the firm is to select the effective promotional mean. Through the selection of effective promotional mean the firm can efficiently communicate with the target customer segment. For instance, newspaper advertisement and television advertisement can attract more number of customers (Shoham, Rose and Kropp, 2005). Thereby, it is very important to select the effective promotional means.

Objective of research

“The main aim of the research is to analysing the impact of different promotional means on the sales of the company.”On the basis of given aim, following objectives are framed.

  • To identify different type of promotional means used within retail industry.
  • To analyse the impact that different promotional means has on a sales of Topshop.
  • To recommend the other ways for improving the sales of Topshop.

Methodology section covering among others, qualitative and quantitative techniques.Following are the methods to collect the data for research.

Qualitative Techniques: Qualitative research technique is type of scientific research that consists of questionnaires. For the present study the data will be collected by interviews, group discussions and questionnaires etc. Qualitative data provides more effective and relevant data and provides in-depth information (Jones, Clarke-Hill, Comfort and Hillier, 2008).

Quantitative Techniques: The quantitative research technique provides the numerical data and they are analysed by statistical methods. For the purpose of present study the sources of Quantitative data are surveys, observations and secondary data such as firm's accounts, books and journals will be beneficial.

Data analysis section

From the research conducted it is identified that social media attracts larger customers. In the research report questionnaires it is identified that people are more attracted by the social media sites such as Facebook and tweeter. In questionnaire some people answered that newspaper and television advertisement also attracts the huge number of customers (Gladson Nwokah and Ahiauzu, 2009).

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Assessing the size and the trends for the fashion industry in UK

Retail fashion occupies a large share in UK economy and for consumers in UK shopping is an important part of life. Fashion industry is one of the key element of UK people's spending. UK is one of the leading destination of fashion retailing and possesses highly competitive business environment (Cruz and Fill, 2008). The current revenue of UK fashion industry is £39bn and annual growth in 2015-16 is 1.3%.  The market trend of UK is primarily captured by women clothing because women in UK tends to spend huge amount of their income on clothing than men. Women in UK also follow the fashion trends as compared to men. Clothing in women segment includes cloths such as shirts, skirts, dresses, jeans, shorts, jumpers, jackets and coats etc. during the difficult economic conditions also women in UK were continues shopper of clothing.

Competitor analysis of Topshop Company

In fashion world of UK Topshop company is found an effective place. The firm is a retailer of trendy and moderate cost effective fashion apparels operating many stores in UK. Thereby, the firm has many competitors in UK. The top three competitors of Topshop are Next PLC, H & M (Hennes and Mauritz AB), Industria DE Dieseno textil SA etc. because they target the same customer segment base in term of age and style and these competitors also has the same goals and objectives (Murray and Carter, 2005). However, these firms possess different promotional strategies to attract target markets. These firms use social media marketing to attract the customers whereas, Topshop is most popular among them in social media Promotional activities. The social media team of Topshop controls all the networks on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other blogs.

Opportunities and threats for the new product launch

As per the figures of British fashion council, the UK fashion industry is approximately worth £25 Billion to the country's economy. However, footwear retailers in UK were facing challenging situations from few years due to competition from external vendors like clothing retailers and departmental stores. But now it is again coming in stability in UK market (Diller, 2007). The opportunities and threats for Topshop new shoe product are as follows,

  • Opportunities: Topshop can target young customers as they spend on fashion more. Moreover, the firm can associate with celebrities to create brand image.
  • Threats: Threats for Topshop are the competitors. Competition from top designers and fashion icon is the biggest threat for cited firm.

Techniques for assessing customer response

There are various methods are there to assess the customer response, two techniques for assessing the customer response are as follows,

Customer's Suggestions: Most of the time customer's make useful suggestions which can be helpful in improving efficiency in business. The company can take feedback and suggestions from the customer have to make the improvements (Priporas, Gatsoris and Zacharis, 2005). These feedbacks and suggestions provide opportunity to the customers to give their opinion about the services and products. This can be make effective by using questionnaire of feedback forms.

Customer service Questionnaire: Further, One more technique to assess customer's response is customer service questionnaire. These questionnaires are the brief survey that customer take when they approach to customer relationship executive with the complain about the product or services (Frost, 2015). These survey ask them about their shopping experience and problems about the product and services.

CONCLUSION

Collecting information for business growth is essential to grow. Marketing intelligence provides the knowledge of competitors and provides the projection of the growth opportunities. It helps in identifying the gaps in the business promotion activities. Marketing intelligence provides information that is useful tool for planning and operating the business decisions.

REFERENCES

  • Aaker, D. A., Kumar, V. and Day, G. S., 2008. Marketing research. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Cruz, D. and Fill, C., 2008. Evaluating viral marketing: isolating the key criteria. Marketing Intelligence & Planning. 26(7). pp. 743-758.
  • Diller, H., 2007. Grundprinzipien des Marketing. WiGIM ev Nürnberg.
  • Gladson Nwokah, N. and Ahiauzu, A. I., 2009. Emotional intelligence and marketing effectiveness. Marketing Intelligence & Planning. 27(7). pp. 864-881.
  • Glance, N., Hurst, M. and et. al. 2005. Analyzing online discussion for marketing intelligence. In Special interest tracks and posters of the 14th international conference on World Wide Web. pp.  1172-1173.
  • Glance, N., Hurst, M. and et. al. 2005. Deriving marketing intelligence from online discussion. In Proceedings of the eleventh ACM SIGKDD international conference on Knowledge discovery in data mining. pp. 419-428.
  • Jones, P., Clarke-Hill, C., Comfort, D. and Hillier, D., 2008. Marketing and sustainability. Marketing Intelligence & Planning. 26(2). pp. 123-130.
  • Kinra, N., 2006. The effect of country-of-origin on foreign brand names in the Indian market. Marketing Intelligence & Planning. 24(1). pp. 15-30.
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