First, I would like to give thanks to the Almighty God for providing me knowledge and wisdom to conduct this research work. Then, I would give many thanks to my honorable supervisor, who has given me suggestions, directions and provided me available resources to conduct the research work. After that, I would appreciate to the libraries and publications of websites and journals, from which I have collected data to extend my knowledge and understanding on conducting the research work. Next, I would like to pray for my honorable parents who have supported me a lot with their finances, advice, and suggestions to develop my career. Finally, many thanks to my friends and classmates, who have supported me in my research work with their advice, suggestions, resources collections, and time contributions.
The importance of experimental marketing through message deliverance has been significantly increasing over the last decade and today, and a large proportion of customers prefer to buy the products and services of those organisations, which are campaigning through experiential marketing. The recent technological advancements in different sectors have increased the importance of providing products and services to the customers in a way which is effective and which helps deliver the products to the customers in a convenient way. The social media marketing has been being widely used in mobile industry and it is also playing an important role to promote products and services increasing customer retention. As a result, all of the modern and dynamic organisations in mobile industry including Carphone Warehouse are providing extra care on customer acquisition and retention with improved customer loyalty. Therefore, they are looking for more attractive and strategic digital tools in these marketing campaigns to attract more consumers and to retain them. Thus, nowadays social media marketing through message delivered are becoming under deep consideration of mobile industry including Carphone Warehouse. Although the social media marketing can contribute a lot to attract consumers and to make them loyal, it can have some negative impacts on both customer and marketers. More effective strategies may be included to recover the negative impacts and to improve the existing systems. In consequence, Carphone Warehouse needs to find the impacts of social media marketing on customer retention and acquisitions to improve its existing marketing system.
The aim of this research study is to identify and assess the impact of social media marketing on customer loyalty levels to suggest Carphone Warehouse to improve its existing Internet Banking for improving customer loyalty. The objectives of the study are a) to assess the existing social media marketing tools used in Carphone Warehouse; b) to explore the ability of Carphone Warehouse to retain customers; c) to evaluate the impact of social media marketing on customer loyalty; d) to find out the effectiveness of Carphone Warehouse’s existing social media marketing from customers’ point of view as a motivational tool; e) to find out the weaknesses of Carphone Warehouse’s existing social media marketing; and f) to suggest Carphone Warehouse for improving its social media marketing so that it can attract more consumers and make them loyal.
The undertaken research has benefited in different ways. Firstly, it has developed and extended the researcher’s knowledge and understanding on how to conduct an effective research work. Secondly, it has taught the researcher how to conduct research in real field on participants and how to collect data through secondary sources and primary sources like interview and survey. Thirdly, it has taught the researcher to review the literature critically on the research subject areas. Fourthly, it has developed researcher’s understanding on research methodologies including research philosophy, research designs, data collection methods, data analysis techniques, research reliability and validity, and research ethics. Finally, the researcher has been able to find a solution of the undertaken research problems, which will support Carphone Warehouse to improve existing social media marketing to improve customer retention and loyalty.
The researcher has applied a number of methodologies and methods to conduct the research work. As research philosophy, the researcher has used pragmatism strategies in this research work. The researcher ontological view was subjective and objective, axiological position was value found. Researcher’s epistemological position was analytical and positivism, and the data collection methods were both quantitative and qualitative. Both deductive and inductive research approaches have been applied in this study. Both primary and secondary data sources have been used to collect the required qualitative and quantitative data.
The primary data was collected with the help of questionnaire survey and interview method. The survey was conducted based on a customer sample and the researcher has arranged the interview with the branch manager of Carphone Warehouse. For the interview the sample size was five management people coming from Carphone Warehouse’s five different branches. For the survey the sample sizes were 50 randomly chosen consumers in different ages from 15 to 60 years where 25 were male and 25 were female. The interview and survey were conducted directly by meeting the participants. The researcher has collected secondary data through the academic journals, books and articles.
Different kind of analytical tools have been used to analyse the collected data from both primary and secondary data sources. To analyse the qualitative data coming from literature review, the content and themes analysis techniques have been applied. To analyse the quantitative data SPSS software and MS Excel Sheets have been used. For collecting the valid and reliable data the code of conducts of research ethics have been followed appropriately.
The research findings show that the social media marketing through messages delivered are getting popular day by day and it is helping out mobile industry to increase revenue and expand their customer base. The research outcomes also show that social media marketing in the mobile sector has created a positive impact on the customer retention. In addition, social media marketing can play an important role in Carphone Warehouse business operation in improving its customer retention and acquisitions. It will also support Carphone Warehouse to improve its communication and interaction with consumers, and to identify the consumer needs and expectation following guidelines of this study. On the other hand, the undertaken research has found some weaknesses of Carphone Warehouse’s experiential marketing, viz: a) it should improve its digital communication channels as social media marketing tools to improve interaction with consumers; b) it should take initiatives to make sure of privacy of customer personal information; c) it should concentrate on customer feedback keeping in mind that a negative comments may spread out instantly among a large volume of customers.
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
Improved customer retention with their loyalty has been the most significant issue for the mobile industry. Therefore, they are looking for more effective strategies to attract customers and improve market share. As part of the business strategies, the organisations in mobile industry are applying different marketing techniques, including message delivered through social media marketing campaigns, to improve their customer retention level and loyalty. According to Kotler et al. (2012), social media marketing through messages delivered is playing a pivotal role nowadays in organisational success with improved market share and customer retention in mobile industry. However, many organisations still do not know how effective this marketing technique in comparison with traditional marketing campaigns in improving customer retention and loyalty. Therefore, analysing the effectiveness of messages delivered through social media marketing on customer retention and loyalty has come under deep consideration of mobile industry including Carphone Warehouse. In addition, the mobile industry including Carphone Warehouse must know how this particular marketing technique can be applied more efficiently to improve customer loyalty level.
1.1 Background of the Research
The undertaken research is based on a particular mobile company called “Carphone Warehouse”. Carphone Warehouse, the leading mobile company in UK, has been working in connecting, adapting and evolving mobile phones to consumers for last 25 years. It provides the best mobile deals both to individual consumers and businesses across all networks with handsets. Although Carphone Warehouse is operating in competitive and challenging marketplace, it has continued growth with effective acquisition, and stronger sales and marketing techniques (Carphone Warehouse Annual Report, 2014). However, maximising market shares, sales revenue and profits have been key issues for mobile industry (Bhuvan, 2013) including Carphone Warehouse. In addition, direct interact (two-ways communication) with consumers is a significant issue to improve customer retention level (Kotler, 2012). Thus, they are trying to use interactive marketing tools effectively and efficiently to improve relationship with customers and retain them. Although, Carphone Warehouse is gaining some market shares with improved loyalty through messages delivered as social media marketing strategy, it is facing every tough challenge in competitive marketplaces. Kotler (2012) found out a strong relationship between messages delivered through social media marketing campaigns and improved market shares and customer loyalty. However, Carphone Warehouse has vague ideas about this matter. Therefore, getting more knowledge on the effectiveness of messages delivered (direct interaction) through social media marketing has been a significant issue for Carphone Warehouse………….