First of all, I would like to thank the almighty God to give me the ability with knowledge and wisdom to conduct this research work. Then, my cordial love and honor to my dissertation supervisor who supported me a lot with her suggestions, guidelines and effective feedbacks. Next, I would appreciate to writers and publishers of the books, journals and websites I studied on these research subject areas. Following this, I bless my parents who have supported me financially and mentally with motivation, advice and suggestions to complete my MBA degree in the UK. I would also like to thank my beloved wife who has been supporting me in every step of my career. Finally, my friends and relatives would be appreciated for their support and motivation in the completion of this research work.
The rapid development of technologies in the present business world is changing customer buying behaviors every moment. Thus, modern organizations including PC World are trying to adopt technologies to attract their potential and target customers. The aim of this study is to assess and evaluate the influence of viral (digital) marketing campaigns on customer loyalty. Then, the study provides recommendations for PC World on how it can use the viral (digital) marketing tools effectively and efficiently to improve customer loyalty.
As research methodologies, this study followed pragmatism philosophy and deductive approach. Both primary and secondary research was conducted in this study. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected from both primary and secondary data sources. As a primary data source, a survey was conducted on a sample of 60 randomly chosen customers who were selected from in front of PC World’s different branches in central London. For analyzing the quantitative and statistical data, the researcher used MS Excel Sheets to present data on Bar Chart, Pie Chart, Line Graph, Table etc. In addition, for testing the hypothesis researcher applied statistical data analysis methods including a T-test and ANOVA test. On the other hand, for analyzing the qualitative data collected, the researcher used thematic analysis techniques.
The key findings of this study are: 75% of customers mainly young consumers would like to use digital technologies to buy and sell products, to contact sellers for information and any queries. In addition, 85% of PC World customers repeat toward business which is a great success of PC World as it has been able to achieve improved customer loyalty. However, only 18% of customers are fully satisfied with shopping at PC World, where 51% are happy with PC World’s products and services. Then, 78% of customers would like to recommend others to buy from PC World because of better quality, where 32% of customers do not want to recommend others. Next, 68% of customers said they are loyal to PC World.
Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 Research background
Viral marketing campaigns, especially social media marketing, have been playing important role in the organizational success of the current digital business world. The rapid technological development, mainly in social networks, smartphones, and the internet is providing more opportunities to the organizations for offering products and services to the consumers (Larsen, 2011). Consequently, marketers are trying to attract this vast customer segment and make them retain them by digital (viral) marketing campaigns. Therefore, the technologies like smartphones, social media, the internet, etc are widely being used as viral marketing tools in a modern business organization like PC World, UK to improve their customer loyalty level (KIK, 2010). Customer loyalty is significant for businesses to gain their organizational goals and objectives because an increased market share with consumer loyalty improves sales revenue and profit margin, and reduce overall business operational costs (Mullins, 2012).
However, still, now most organizations including the PC world have vague ideas about the exact effectiveness of viral marketing campaigns on customer retention and loyalty. Therefore, the undertaking study evaluates the effectiveness of these viral marketing campaigns on customer loyalty level based on a particular organization, PC World. Following this, the study provides recommendations for PC World on effective use of viral (digital) marketing from improving its customer loyalty
PC World is a multi-channel technology equipment retailer in the United Kingdom. It offers a variety of technological products, solutions, and services to both individual and commercial organizations (PC World, 2014). PC World has been growing fast in its operations because of its convenience store locations, civilized technologies, and devoted and dedicated workforces. (Dixons Retails, 2014). However, the dynamic and highly challenging market with competitive rivalry, new entrants, and slow growth in the economy is impacting PC World’s market shares and customer retention level (Gartner, 2014).
Improving market shares and customer loyalty level with increased sales revenue and profits has been an issue for technology equipment retailers including PC World. The key reasons behind this are competitive marketplaces and slower economic growth (Gartner, 2014). In addition, technological development, mainly in the internet, social media, and smartphones, are offering different approaches to marketers and competitors to attract consumers and differentiate markets. However, PC World is gaining some market shares through viral marketing campaigns, but it is facing challenges in its customer retention, acquisition and loyalty.
1.2 Problem statement
Although marketers including PC World are applying viral marketing strategies, they are still now not sure of the exact effects of viral (digital) marketing impacts on customer loyalty. In addition, the different marketing strategies applied by competitors in the marketplace are impacting PC World’s customer retention and loyalty levels with decreased sales revenue and profit margins. Furthermore, organizations including the PC world do not have sufficient knowledge and understanding of customer reactions toward viral marketing campaigns.
Therefore, the undertaking research study focuses on consumer reactions to viral marketing campaigns. The study quantifies the consumers’ judgment towards viral marketing tools like social media, the internet, smartphones in terms of their purchasing behavior and buying processes. This measurement is accomplished through underestimating as well as overestimating exposures and visitor numbers.
The research finds out the meaning behind the outcome using these methods. The finding of the study guides the PC World on how it can persuade more customers through viral marketing campaigns along with its increased growing trend in the current digital and business world. The outcome of this guidance is justified monitoring and evaluating the customer reaction toward viral marketing campaigns in comparison with conventional marketing campaigns. Finally, the study extends PC World’s understanding of consumers’ judgments towards viral (digital) marketing campaigns.
1.3 Research Rationales
1.3.1 What is the research issue?
According to Dixons Retail (2014) report, PC World is facing challenges in surviving competitive marketplaces. This is because aggressive competitors, economic volatility, new entrants and market rivalry are giving hard time in gaining improved sales revenue and profit. On the other hand, the rapid technological development (mainly increased internet usages, social media usages, and mobile devices ( for instance, smartphones) are changing customer purchasing behavior (Gerzema et al., 2012). Therefore, PC World takes these issues seriously to find out more effective and efficient marketing campaigns to improve its sales and profit.
1.3.2 Why is it an issue?
A study conducted by Qualman (2012) disclosed that 76% of total customers make buying decisions by influencing word-of-mouth or other opinions, while only 15% of consumers are influenced by traditional marketing campaigns through TVs, Newspapers, Radios, etc. This proves that customer networks are more significant than demographic networks to influence and motivate the mindsets of the community people (Yang and Allenby, 2013). On the contrary, although viral marketing is time-consuming, it is considered cheaper than conventional marketing (Hill et al., 2012). Thus, Watts et al. (2011) suggested that a combination of traditional marketing and viral marketing can provide more effective results to the marketers, instead of using only viral marketing techniques. Bowman and Narayandas (2011) claimed that loyal customer discusses with others about any products or services when they cannot be satisfied with that products or services. This means marketers should also consider mass media marketing along with viral marketing campaigns.
1.3.3 Why is it an issue now?
In the rapid development of technologies, viral (digital) marketing campaigns are going to be more popular than ever before. Gerzema et al. (2012) stated that the development of several social networking sites mainly Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linked, etc are providing huge opportunities for marketing campaigns that affect customer attitude and purchasing behavior more than mass media marketing.
1.3.4 What could this research shed light on?
This study assesses and evaluates critically the effectiveness of viral (digital) marketing campaigns on customer loyalty. The study will also evaluate how viral marketing can contribute to increasing market share, sales revenue and profit margin in comparison with the contribution of mass media marketing. Finally, the study will recommend to PC World, whether only viral marketing or combine of viral marketing and mass marketing should be developed in its business to promote customer loyalty and market share.
1.4 Research aims and objectives
The key aim of this study is to assess and evaluates critically the effectiveness of viral (digital) marketing campaigns on customer loyalty. Then, the study will recommend to PC World, whether only viral marketing or combine of viral marketing and mass marketing should be developed in its business to promote customer loyalty and market share…………..
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