First of all, I would like to thank the almighty God for his kind and blessing and for giving me the knowledge and wisdom to conduct this research study. Secondly, cordial love and blessing to my honorable parents who have been supporting me in career development since childhood. Thirdly, I would appreciate my supervisor Shiranee Saverimuttu for this research study, who has supported me a lot with guidelines and suggestions in conducting the research work successfully. Fourthly, I am delighted to say thanks to my wife who have helped with her motivations and company recovering my stress during the study. Finally, I thankful to Sally Beck (General Manager) and Sarah Ahmed (Sales & marketing) Director of Lancaster London Hotel and also appreciate all of the respondents who participated in the interview and survey conducted to collect data in this research work.
Understanding Market share has been a challenging issue for business organizations including Lancaster Hotel London. Social media as a marketing tool can impact and even shape the Market share significantly. In addition, it can support organizations to link its brand with experiences, places, multitude, impressions, bands, cases, etc. However, still, now many organizations including Lancaster Hotel London do not have enough understanding about the effectiveness of advertising on Market share. Thus, analyzing the effectiveness of social media as a marketing tool on Market share has been a key issue for organizations including Lancaster Hotel London. Organizations including Lancaster Hotel London must need to know how social media as a marketing technique can be used more effectively to influence market share.
The aim of this research study is to evaluate the effectiveness of social media as a marketing tool on consumers purchasing decisions to guide Lancaster Hotel London on how it can improve its understanding of market share. The objectives of the study are 1) To analyze social media as marketing tools used by Lancaster Hotel London to track customer buying behavior; 2) To identify the factors affecting customer purchase decision making; 3) To assess the effectiveness of social media as a marketing tool on customer purchase decision making in the perspective of Lancaster Hotel London customer views; 4) To identify the weaknesses of social media marketing tools used by Lancaster Hotel London; 5) To make recommendations for the Lancaster Hotel London to improve its social media as a marketing tool to influence customer buying behavior.
The study has used several methods and methodologies in this research work. As the research philosophy, the researcher has developed a pragmatism philosophy to undertake this study, where both positivism and interpretive paradigms have been applied. The researchers collected the required data from both primary and secondary sources and used both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. The researcher has used a deductive research approach to conduct this research study. For collecting primary data the researcher has used two methods: interview and survey. For conducting a survey a particular survey questionnaire has been made and for conducting an interview one question paper has been prepared.
As a sampling technique, two different samples have been used in the study: probability sampling, and non-probability sampling. The probability sampling has been applied to conduct an interview with five management people who come from the Lancaster Hotel, where all of the participants will have an equal opportunity to share their opinions. Five people will be enough to collect the required qualitative data. The non-probability quota sampling will be applied to conduct a survey on 50 customers, where participants will not equal opportunity and freedom to express their opinions. Because of time limitations, the study will make a smaller sampling size. However, the effectiveness of the study will provide valid and reliable data. The 50 target participants will be grouped as male (25) and female (25), where their age will be grouped as 16-25, 26-35,36-45,46-55, 55+. In each group, it will be five men and five women.
The researcher has used SPSS software and MS Excel application to analyze quantitative data, theme and content analyzing techniques to assess the qualitative data. The researcher has considered several ethical issues in the research works, mainly data confidentiality and anonymity.
The key findings of the research are vast majority number of customers like to get information through Lancaster Hotel London’s websites, where the 70% of consumers love mobile devices ads and internet ads, as well as social media advertisings. As a result, Lancaster Hotel London must put more concentration on digital advertisements (mainly Lancaster Hotel London’s website, social media ads, mobile devices ads, and internet ads) than mass-media advertising. Lancaster Hotel London should also keep in mind that in the technological advancement customers are moving their heads from mass media towards digital ads, and has to take required actions to meet the customer expectations.
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
In this current digital business world, it has been a challenging issue to understand customer (mainly online consumers) buying behavior to improve market share (Kotler et al., 2014). In addition, the endless fading of online advertising particularly social media marketing has played an important role in the purchasing decision made by consumers when they buy any products or services online (Palmer, 2010). This means social media marketing has a significant impact on consumer purchasing behavior and companies’ market share (Blackwell and Engel, 2013). However, many organizations including Lancaster London Hotel could not define the exact effectiveness of social media marketing on customer purchasing behaviors (Aaker, 2014). Thus, it has been an essential issue for organizations including Lancaster London Hotel to evaluate the effectiveness of social media as marketing tools on the consumers purchasing behaviors and decisions. As a result, the undertaking study conducts research work on social media marketing and its effectiveness on customer buying behaviors.
In this chapter, first, the research background first has been discussed. Then, the research problem statement has been outlined. Next, research rationales have been discussed. Following this, the research aims and objectives have been defined. After that, the research questions have been identified. Finally, the research structure has been developed as a conclusion.
Gaining an improved market share has been a challenging issue for the hospitability industry including Lancaster London Hotel. Market share is recognized as the percentage of total sales of a business over a particular time period (Palmer, 2010). Market share is the most important metric that supports marketers to gain a higher profit margin and evaluate and assess the impact of marketing effectiveness such as advertising campaigns as well as branding initiatives (Kotler et al., 2014). On the other hand, the endless fading of social media marketing is getting more popularity in the current digital world than ever before to improve market share. According to Blackwell and Engel (2013), social media as a marketing tool is able to track business websites and attract target consumers because it creates content and attracts the attention of the potential customers and users, which support increasing company market share. However, in the challenging and competitive market environment, many marketers including Lancaster London Hotel has still now vague idea about the effectiveness of social media marketing on market share (Makkar, 2011).
The Lancaster London Hotel is described as a 4-star hotel with 416 bedrooms. The Lancaster Hotel is using several social media marketing tools to attract its target customers and improve market share. However, the highly challenging and dynamic marketplace with aggressive competitors, redundancy in an economical situation is greatly influencing the sales and profit in a negative way. As a result, it has been a significant issue for the Lancaster Hotel to evaluate the effectiveness of social media as marketing tools on market share (Lancaster Hotel Annual Report, 2015)
As a result, the proposed study will conduct research on social media marketing and its effectiveness on the market share from the perspective of Lancaster London Hotel. Then, the study will suggest Lancaster London Hotel on how it can effectively use social media as a marketing tool to attract a wider range of customers and improve market share.
1.2 Problem Statement
Market share and its significance is under discussion for many years as organizations are completely agreed on its rational use for the growth of sales and profit (Moore, 2012, Saratovsky and Feldmann, 2013). However, the difficulty has emerged with the introduction of different social advertisement mediums including Facebook, Twitter, etc. which has been made it difficult to classify the purchase pattern of different consumers. Such failure to recognize or identify the purchasing behavior of potential customers is keeping the organizations away from capturing their target market with full efficiency (Dapko and Artis, 2014, Padgett et al., 2013). Online buyers, the technology-oriented generation, are a little more sensitive towards such advertisement mediums and purchase intentions. The automobile sector including Lancaster London Hotel has also suffered from such unawareness as their technology-oriented cars are not getting the proper attention of the respective market due to the use of inappropriate and old means of advertisement. Thus, it has been a challenging issue for the Lancaster London Hotel to understand the buying behaviors of online consumers through social media marketing tools to improve market share.
1.3 Research Rationale
Improving market share is one of the key issues for any marketers including Lancaster London Hotel (Bolton et al., 2012). Marketers use several marketing techniques to meet this particular objective, where social media plays a significant role (Kotler et al., 2014). However, many businesses including Lancaster London often hesitate to adopt this marketing tool in their business (Munoz and Wood, 2015). Thus, the question is raised by marketers including Lancaster London Hotel as “how can social media be used for developing effective marketing strategies and to improve market share?” (Lancaster Hotel Annual Report, 2014).
Developing effective marketing plans and formulating the right marketing strategies depend on the target customers’ unique attitudes, behaviors, characteristics, trends in the market. Social media marketing has experienced an improved development with increased users’ attraction towards particular brands. In terms of social media facilities, UK is one of the fastest-growing countries in the current world (Kotler et al., 2014). According to a survey conducted by UK Net Citizen Report (2014) 98% of young people aged 20-40 use social media where only 44% of total social media users show attraction towards particular brand getting information through social media ads (UK Net Citizen Report, 2014). On the other hand, as Zhu and Chen (2015) note, almost 70% of businesses have been using social media as marketing tools in the current business world, which has increased their sales revenue by more than 120%. However, many companies including Lancaster Hotel are facing problems in identifying the needs of the customers through social media marketing campaigns. Thus, improving the effectiveness of social media marketing has been a key issue for Lancaster Hotel to improve its market share (Lancaster Hotel Annual Report, 2014)…………………………….
Total word: 15042