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Sample of Research Methods & Their Application to Marketing

Know all About Marketing, its Basic Applications and Research Methods

INTRODUCTION

The term promotion is being used infrequently in marketing for raising customer awareness about the products, services and brand name of organization. Promotion includes marketing mix elements such as price, place, promotion and products that helps to increase profit and sales (Hill, 2006). This research will analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of promotional and marketing activities of Marks and Spencer that is a leading clothing brand of the UK. Organization is using effective strategies and promotional activities for advertising and marketing of products and services in the targeted market. Report will provide the outcome of secondary research and develop understanding for marketing and promotional activities of Marks and Spencer.

Background

Research report will identify the marketing activities and strategy implemented and used by Marks and Spencer for creating awareness about the product and services offered by the company in different range and prices (Mohr, 2000). It will analyze the issues and factors that affect the promotional effectiveness and advertising policy of the cited organization.  From the research report, effectiveness of marketing and promotional campaigning of organization will be analyzed. Marks and Spencer is a major British multinational retailer company that deals in clothing and home products. Organization has developed business worldwide and offering quality products and services. Company is using the technical tools like social and digital media for effective promotion of products and services. It will give the support to researcher for identifying the key areas of marketing where improvement is required to influence positive aspects of marketing assignment help. Report will refer surveys and analyze the secondary data for reliable finding to develop recommendations and improve effectiveness of promotional means.

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Rationale of the study

The research report will discuss the effectiveness of promotional means for increasing the sales and profitability of retail sector organization to meet their objectives. Here, an analysis of the marketing means  which is currently used by the company for promoting the brand and product in the business areas has been carried out (Barker, Valos and Shimp, 2012). The study will focus on the the importance of promotional means for retail industry, types of promotional means used by the retail industry of the UK, impact that promotional ways has on the sales and profits of Marks and Spencer and adequate means of promotion for the company. There is a strong relation between sales and promotional means which has a significant impact on the profitability (Malhotra, Wu and Whitelock, 2005). Organization is using effective strategy and promotional activities for advertising and marketing of products and services in the targeted market. Report will provide the outcome of secondary research and develop understanding for marketing and promotional activities of Marks and Spencer. Moreover, Marks and Spencer is considered as it is one of the largest organizations in retail sector and hence possess wide range of promotional activities for developing brand image in targeted business areas. Moreover, they also involve certain set of advertising practices in their promotional  policy which will essentially support in gaining better insight of the subject matter.

Objective of the study

  • To analyze the importance of promotional means for retail industry.
  • To assess the types of promotions means used by the retail industry of the UK.
  • To evaluate the impact that promotional means has on the sales and profits of Marks and Spencer.
  • To recommend adequate means of promotion to Marks and Spencer.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Promotion and advertising is the most influencing part of a business that helps it to meet the objectives and expand the business areas (Barker, Valos and Shimp, 2012). In the effectiveness of promotion, role of media tools and internet are important as these are cost and time effective for an organization to achieve the goals in more appropriate manners. Bird, (2007) has suggested that promotional means are useful for delivering the information in the wide market areas for increasing the sales and profitability. Company can improve their customer base by offering them reliable and necessary information that might influence the decision of customer to buy the products and services of a particular brand (Bird, 2007). In addition to that, marketing elements and promotional communication tactics are used for educating consumers, increasing demand and gaining competitive advantage. Gupta, (2012) provided his view that effective and creative promotion means allows business to reach out to consumers using various forms of media, strategy and techniques for capturing their attention (Gupta, 2012).

Promotion can be broken down into four categories such as advertising, sales promotion, development of public relation and personal selling that helps in increasing the sales and profit of organizations. Prendergast, (2009) has derived that communication of information and performing the function of marketing organization inform, remind and persuade the customers for buying the products of their brand that directly influence the sales and profitability (Prendergast, 2009). In the context of positive marketing of products and services, organization applied communication tools for effective promotion and exchange of information according to the targeted market. However, these tools and promotional means proves helpful and supportive for growing business but the cost of managing the promotional resources and development of plan affects the financial conditions of the organization. Barrett, (2006) has predicted that promotional means are additional expenditure for organization that increases the cost of product and the trends of advertising is not good for the customer as organizations misguide to improve their sales and profit (Barrett, 2006). In spite of that, promotional activities and means helps organization in encouraging the customers to repeat the purchase as well as increase trust of customers.

Belch, (2011) has suggested that promotional means are used for attracting the customers by  developing creative and innovative ads plus promotional activities for products and services that strikes in the mind of customer and influences the demand in the market (Belch, 2011). However, the cost of advertising may hinder the organization to use it for each product but generally, company uses this for introducing new products. Effectiveness of promotional means can be measured by evaluating the sales revenue and cash generated through the advertising and promotional campaign. Every organization uses the promotional means according to  the needs and financial conditions. Duncan, (2002) has provided his views for promotion in which advertising is the need of current condition of all the industries and organization that deals in products or services for daily and specific purpose. Advertising agencies use a well defined process for communication and deliver message to customers (Duncan, 2002). Organizations are using advertising and promotional techniques to create awareness and influence the decision of customers. Advertising concept is being used for communicating the desired message to the targeted group of people which will be the potential customers for organizations and can influence the sales and profitability. Advertising is mainly focused on providing all the relevant information to customer for improvingtheir interest and persuade them to try the products or services of organizations (Kadir, 2013). The term promotion is being used infrequently in marketing for raising customer awareness about the products, services and brand name of the organization. Promotion includes marketing mix elements such as price, place, promotion and products that helps to increase the profit and sales. The Federal Council of Advertising industry determines and defines the regulation to overcome the unfair act of promotion and marketing of products or services (Hackley, 2014). Further, the authority has set the norms and limitations for advertising agencies which need to be followed by the business organization that perform the promotional activities. The council monitors approach of advertising firm and tries to overcome the issues like sexual and racial act which affects the values of society In spite of that, promotion needs to be according to the rules and regulations that are proposed by the government and councils that monitor the advertising process of the companies. Promotion may not influence the social and ethical values of any community as well as individual.

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O'Guinn, (2014) has done analysis of the promotion means that helps to improve the sales and profit of the organization in which word of mouth plays a critical role in the advertising and enhancement of brand values (O'Guinn, 2014). . Promotion is a primary element that is used in typical marketing mix and advertising efforts that should work in  harmony plus product and services according to targeted customers as well as market conditions of organization (Shah, 2005).

Developing the research question

Research questions are being framed before formulating the research methodology. Here, research question is framed in accordance with the all the given objectives of the study. The research questions for the present topic under study are being enumerated as below:

  • What are the importance of promotional means for retail industry?
  • What are the types of promotional means used by the retail industry of the UK?
  • How the sales and profits of Marks and Spencer can be impacted through varied means of promotions.  
  • Recommend the ways in which  Marks and Spencer could bring improvement in its existing promotional activities

Research methodology

The research methodology describes about the process with the help of which an effective data for the study can be gathered by the researcher (Research methodology, 2015). It involves varied tools and technologies with the help of which the objectives framed for the present researcher can be resolved by the scholars in an effective way. In this respect, research methodology is being prepared for the present topic under study named as analyzing the effectiveness of promotional means in improving the sales and profits of Marks and Spencer. It is depicted as below: 

  • Research design: It is the type of blue print of the study. The research design suggests the ways to the scholars with an aim to carry out the process of the whole study in an effective manner. However, the research design is of three types which includes descriptive, casual and exploratory. For the present study, descriptive research design will be used. This is because, by using the given design detailed analysis on the topic can be carried out by the researcher in an effective manner (Malhotra, Wu and Whitelock, 2005). Furthermore, it is through such type of activity only, the framed aims and objectives of the study can be achieved by the researcher in an appropriate manner. In addition to this, by using the given technique, an effective solution to the assessed research problem can be identified.   
  • Research approach: The given technique provides the ways through which the process for the study can be decided. Inductive and deductive approaches are being regarded as the two basic types of research approach (Types of research approach, 2015). In the inductive approach, new theories are formed from the emerging data. Whereas in the deductive approach, hypothesis are formed by the researcher on the basis of existing theory. For the present topic under study, deductive approach is being used. This is because, the objective of the given study is moving from general to very specific approach. By using the given approach, an effective conclusion for the study can be drawn by the scholars. Furthermore, through the given approach only the aims and objectives can be met in an appropriate way.            
  • Research method: The research methods are of two types: qualitative and quantitative. Here, the quantitative research method is being used by the researcher, when the study possesses some kind of statistical information. In the similar way, qualitative research method is being used by the investigator, when he is interested in gaining detailed insight into the study (Vamsi and Kodali, 2014). For the present topic which is of analyzing the effectiveness of promotional means in improving the sales and profits of Marks and Spencer, qualitative research method is used.     
  • Data collection: It provides the way through which data for the present topic under study can be gathered by the scholars in an effective way. In addition to this, it can also be said that data collection is the way through which the data for the study can be collected as well as measured by the scholars (Data collection, 2015). For the researcher, it is important with regard to assemble data for the study. This is because, by selecting an effective technique of data collection, an appropriate solution to the research problem can be identified by the researcher. Furthermore, it is through such type of practices only aims and objectives of the study can be met. For the present study, data are collected by using both approaches of data collection such as primary and secondary (Type of research approach, 2015). When researcher himself goes and collect data for the study, then it is being counted under the category of primary research. In the present study of Marks and Spencer, primary data are collected by using the technique like questionnaire. In the similar way, secondary data are collected by using the following means such as books, journals and Marks and Spencer company magazines.       
  • Sampling and sample: It became difficult for the researcher to carry out his study on whole population prevailing within the country or organization (Harding and Norberg, 2014). It is due to the presence of the given aspect, scholars tends to direct its efforts in terms of carrying out the selection of an appropriate sample for its study. For the given study, random sampling technique is used. It is applied because by using it, each customers of Marks and Spencer can be given an equal chance of being selected as the sample (Chunying, 2013). In addition to this, a sample of 30 customers is selected for the given study.  
  • Data analysis technique: For the researcher, it is necessary to analyze the assessed data for the study. This is because, it is through such type of efforts only conclusion for the study can be drawn out by the scholar. In order to analyze the data for the present study, the technique like thematic analysis is being used. In this technique, the assessed data are being analyzed by the scholars by preparing different types of themes.
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Evidence based data

With an aim to showcase the evidence for the given study which is on analyzing the effectiveness of promotional means in improving the sales and profits of Marks and Spencer, questionnaire is being attached. The attached questionnaire depicts that the primary research is being carried out by the researcher. Here, before distributing the questionnaire, the customers of Marks and Spencer are thoroughly informed about the research.

Questionnaire for Marks and Spencer customers

1. How frequently do you purchase the goods and services from Marks and Spencer?
  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Yearly
2.  Do you get the information about the product and services of Marks and Spencer among which of the following promotional means?
  • Social networking sites
  • Newspapers
  • Television advertisement
3. Do you believe that advertisement framed by the Marks and Spencer company provides full fledged information about the product?
  • Yes
  • No
4. Do you believe that Marks and Spencer rely on the promises as being promised by it in its advertisement to its customers?
  • Yes
  • No
5. Do you get influenced with respect to repeatedly purchase the goods and services of the enterprise after seeing the varied promotional activities?
  • Yes
  • No
 6. Do you recommend the product of Marks and Spencer to your friends and family member?
  • Yes
  • No

ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS

Analysis the research data

with an aim to analyze the assessed data for the study, themes are framed. The themes for the given study which is on analyzing the effectiveness of promotional means in improving the sales and profits of Marks

Findings from the analysis

  • Theme1: From the given theme, it has been found out that around 33% of the respondents have said that Marks and Spencer uses newspapers as the means of promoting the goods and services. However, 50% of the respondents have said that the corporation uses social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter as the means of promoting their ads. In addition to this, 17% of the customers have given their consent towards the television mode of advertisement. All these customers have responded in such a way because they get information about the goods and services of Marks and Spencer in given three means.  
  • Theme 2: In the second theme, researcher is interested in knowing about the effectiveness of the promotional means used by the organization. In this context, he has asked the respondents that whether the advertisement of Marks and Spencer provides full fledged information about the product offered by it or not. In this regard, 67% of the respondents have shown their contentment towards the statement as they believe that advertisement of the organization provides them all the essential information regarding the product such as price and quality etc. However, 23% of the respondents have denied towards the statement. They have responded in such a way because they believe that advertisement of the enterprise does not provide the thorough information regarding the features of the product sold by it.       
  • Theme 3: In the given theme, researcher is interested in knowing about the fact that whether they get influenced with respect to repeatedly purchase the goods and services of the enterprise after seeing the varied promotional activities or not. In this respect, majority of the respondents have responded in the form of “Yes”. This is because, they believe that organization present its product and discount schemes in such a manner that influence them to purchase the goods and services of the enterprise in an effective  manner. However, 5% of the respondents have denied towards the statement.  
  • Theme 4: From the fourth theme, it has been found out that 83% of the respondents have responded in the form of “Yes” as they believe that Marks and Spencer rely on the promises as being promised by it in its advertisement. But, 17% of the respondents have denied towards the given statement.  
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 CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATION AND LIMITATION

Conclusion

From the research, it is considered that in the current scenario of business, promotion and advertisement has a significant role in increasing the sales and profit. Marks and Spencer is using effective marketing tactics and strategy that is helping the organization to meet the organizational objectives in a more effective manner as well as improving the customer base around the word. Report has carried out that Marks and Spencer needs to improve the telecommunication marketing as well as of campaigning events for increasing the sales. Company is currently using the social and print media for marketing and promotion that is working effectively to influence the sales and profit.  

Recommendation
  • For the improvement in the business and sales of Marks and Spencer products and services, management needs to use the telecommunication media and endorsement promotional activities that will influence the people who were not using the internet tools. In addition to that, company can use the regional language for developing brand image and customer base as use of cultural activities in the promotion will persuade the viewers to buy the products of  the company.  
  • To improve the effectiveness of promotion and advertising, company can take the help of celebrity for developing brand value as well as providing promotional offers and schemes. Through this, the management can also increase the sales and customer base.
Limitation

In the promotion and advertising of retail products, organization has to consider the rules and regulations proposed by the government and advertising councils. The federal council of advertising industry determines and defines the regulation to overcome the unfair act of promotion and marketing of products or services (Shimp, 2013). Moreover, the authority has set the norms and limitations for the advertising agencies which need to be followed by the business  that  utilizes the promotional means.

REFERENCES

  • Barrett, J.D., 2006. Strong communication skills a must for today’s leaders. Handbook of Business Strategy. 7(1). pp.385 – 390.
  • Batra, S., 2009. Advertising and Sales Promotion. Excel Books India.
  • Belch, M., 2011. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Bird, D., 2007. Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing. Kogan Page Publishers. Leitner, A., 2007. Marketing Communication. GRIN Verlag.Varey, R., 2002. Marketing Communication: A Critical Introduction. Routledge.
  • Chunying, W., 2013. A study on the delivery of city branding advertisements. Journal of Place Management and Development. 6(1). pp.67 – 75.
  • Duncan, T., 2002. IMC: Using Advertising and Promotion to Build Brands. McGraw-Hill.
 
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