Table of Contents
1.2 Research Backgrounds.
1.3 Research problems.
1.4 Rationale of the research.
1.4 Research aims and objectives.
1.5 Research questions.
1.6 Research hypothesis.
2.0 Literature Review.
2.2 Viral marketing.
2.3 Customer retention and its importance.
2.4 Impact of viral marketing on customer retention.
2.5 Conceptual framework.
3.2 Research philosophy.
3.3 Research design.
3.5 Research approach.
3.6 Data sources.
3.7 Data collection method.
3.8 Data instrument
3.9 Questionnaire design.
- 10 Sampling Method.
3.11 Data Analysis Method.
3.12 Accessibility Issues.
3.13 Ethical issues.
3.14 Research limitation.
4.0 Research Structure, timetable and budgets.
4.1 Research Structure.
4.2 Research Timetable.
4.3 Estimated research budgets.
Appendix A: Research Onion Model
Appendix B: Survey questionnaire.
Appendix C: Interview Questionnaire.
Viral marketing and its importance have been growing up in organizations to reach their target audiences and retain them (Joe, 2016). However, many marketers are still now in dilemma about the effectiveness of viral marketing in retaining their customers. This is because viral marketing campaigns carry more risks in comparison to traditional marketing campaigns (McDonough, 2016). The proposed study will evaluate the effectiveness of viral marketing on customer retention in the case of a particular business, called Apple Inc. This chapter gives an overview of the research backgrounds, research rationale along with research aims and objectives and research questions.
1.2 Research Backgrounds
Traditionally, marketers rely on using their own and paid marketing communication channels to attract and retain their target audience (Joe, 2016). However, the rise of viral marketing tools has opened multiple new marketing opportunities (Kaplan, 2016). Viral marketing refers to internet marketing or advertising that spreads out exponentially. Marketers are also doing viral marketing emails, mobile devices, and different social network sites. Recent research conducted by Mindcomet (2015) said, millions of people are nowadays using emails and online tools, and the number of users is increasing day by day. The study discloses that only Yahoo has about 1 billion active users (Smith, 2017), where Gmail has about 1.2 billion active users (Smith, 2017). In addition, Hotmail has more than 400 million active users. This means a huge number of people are using online tools and emails. Joe (2016) said there is huge access to online tools and there is huge conversation and interaction among millions of people every day. Therefore, marketers including Apple are nowadays are trying their best to use these viral marketing tools to attract and retain their target audiences (Oakes, 2016).
1.3 Research problems
The main problem is to evaluate the use of viral marketing by the mobile industry (including Apple) in retaining customers. Viral marketing has a very short history in world marketing but it has been developing very rapidly through social networks to encourage and retain the target customers (Leskovec, Admic and Huberman, 2015). However, marketers are still now spending and investing a lot on print and media advertising to promote their new products and attract customers. This is because they cannot fully depend on viral (digital marketing) due to its negative consequences. For example, Apple spent a huge amount of money to promote it’s iPhone 6 through over 10,000 billboards in 25 countries and 73 cities (Dudovskiy, 2017). In addition, viral marketing campaigns may bring significant risks for marketers including Apple. According to Social Media (2016), a single negative comment in social media can spread out to millions of people in minutes that may significantly affect the brand image and customer retention. Aaker (2014) said viral marketing campaigns bring changes in product development and market trends. Therefore, marketers are trying to find out effective strategies to use viral marketing tools appropriately.
1.4 Rationale of the research
Viral marketing campaigns through the internet, online and email advertising can reach millions of people within minutes (Kaplan, 2016). Therefore, modern organizations are using several viral marketing tools to build up relationships with their target audience and retain them (Joe, 2016). Van and Berger (2015) said marketers who are using only traditional methods of marketing are not successful anymore in the current digital age. They need to apply the entire marketing communication mix including both traditional marketing and digital marketing channels (Jobber, 2015). The study also discloses that all categories of people including online users, businessmen, students, and service people are using several social media. In addition, all ages people from children to older and both male and female are using social media and spending a certain time as their daily activities. These viral marketing tools can be applied in the current business world to retain customers (KIK, 2010).
1.4 Research aims and objectives
4.1.1 Research aims
The aim of the proposed study is to understand both marketer and customer views about viral marketing. Then, the study will provide suggestions for mobile companies including Apple how they can apply viral marketing tools more effectively to retain customers.
4.1.2 Research objectives
1) To evaluate what viral marketing tools should be used in the mobile industry including Apple to increase their customer retention.
2) To critically evaluate the impact of viral marketing on customer retention in the mobile industry
3) To explore how viral marketing works in the marketing campaigns of Apple
4) To evaluate the lessons learned and if and how companies can use viral marketing tools to enhance their customer retention
1.5 Research questions
What viral marketing tools should be used by marketers including apple to enhance their customer retention?
- Which method of viral marketing can be effective to improve the customer retention of Apple?
- Which customer segment or group can be focused on through viral marketing campaigns?
- How a consumer can get available information about their desire products and services viral marketing?
- How can Apple increase the effectiveness of its viral marketing to improve customer retention?
1.6 Research hypothesis
H0: Viral marketing has a significant impact on customer retention in the mobile industry.
H1: Viral marketing does not impact customer retention in the mobile industry.
2.0 Literature Review
This chapter conducts a critical review of existing literature on the proposed research topic. As part of the literature review, the study first provides basic definitions of issues related to the research topic and subject matters. This section also reviews the merits and demerits of viral marketing and its effectiveness in the current business world. In the second section, the term “customer retention” and its importance for business are reviewed……………………..