During the completion of the coursework (dissertation) and being successful on it, I have realized that there are a number of people I would like to give thanks to because they have supported me accomplish this higher degree in the UK in a superior manner. I would love to show my humble thanks to the almighty God whose love and support were with me constantly. I would like to give special thanks to my honorable supervisor who has been helping me a lot, guiding me every single time where I was in need of guidance, giving me feedback and suggesting to me what and how to do things that will help me accomplish my goal of completing this course. I would love to thank my university and librarians who not only helped me come along his far but also helped me get a better perspective on life and living in an environment with so much to learn more so every day. Lastly, I would very much like to thank my fellow mates and friends who were there whenever I needed help regarding the course or otherwise.
The primal focus and intention of this study are to determine the viral marketing concepts which are impactful to understand customer buying behavior and purchase intention. The objectives of this study are: to conduct a situational analysis for Apple in the UK market; to determine viral marketing tools which are famously used to influence customer buying behavior in the UK telecom market; to figure out viral marketing tools used by Apple to understand of its customer buying behavior; to analyze how the customer reacts about the viral marketing campaigns that are being used by Apple, and to offer recommendations in order to increase viral marketing effectiveness for Apple to maintain customer buying behavior.
This study formulated methodologies and this study used the “Research Onion Model” which was urbanized by Saunders (2014). The entire chapter’s findings talk about factors and pragmatism-based philosophy which was indeed suitable for finding accurate answers in order to comply with the needs and objectives of the study. Explanatory and descriptive researchers were heavily used in order to find proper relation and incorporations taking place between the causes and effects of the research requirements, the secondary data sources, quantitative and qualitative method are used step by step to find answers properly and validly. Both qualitative and quantitative data are enormously used in this study in order to research goals. Secondary research sources are the primary source of data findings regarding the case of Apple UK.
The finding of this study shows Apple uses different viral marketing tools such as Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Apple uses restless babble, boosted viral, mysterious coordinating, covert and go along. Apple has developed its accomplishment through these strategies. The messages of viral marketing present rewards and this offer are transported via the email address of the customers. Covert advertising messages include exceptional or one-of-a-kind pages or new data about their administrations or updates to allure their customers. For this situation, messages are worked to inspire and impact the client with a bit of secret. By suggesting this strategy, Apple gives an immense sum intriguing and extraordinary substance on the web to draw in the customers. The investigation on the Apple yearly report indicates Apple is picking up progress through its buzz advertising and restless talk informing administrations. Informal advertising techniques are additionally giving accomplishment to the Apple business in the UK.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Viral marketing is something that really changed the entire marketing industry and changed the customers’ perceptions on things to buy or not to buy (Petrescu, 2017). Viral marketing is a concept that nowadays is being used enormously and internationally, with viral marketing options to purchase things are more evident and customers have real alternatives to look for things that they need and want and have multiple places to buy from and not just one place where there aren’t any options (Fraile, 2018). Because of viral marketing, there are an abundant amount of customers and markets worldwide which serves right both parties; it allows companies to learn about customers and study them well enough to produce products that will serve them best (Akdeniz, 2017). When it comes to Apple, they truly understand the necessities of viral marketing which allows them to understand what the customers want and need and their behavioral patterns matter a lot in this matter too. This study will focus on these issues based on objectives, aims, questions and purposes of the research, impact of research, and structure of the research.
1.1 Research background
In the year 2017, the Social Media Examiner said that viral marketing is the very ground that ensures numerous social platforms to accumulate and broaden in different directions in order to convey their message so that, they can get maximum customers’ attention and target their audience (Stanton, 2017). In this way, customers know way more than they used to mere 15 years ago. As customers/people are constantly on their social media, it is easier to reach them and spread out new launches of products and services which make the telecom company known to all. Leila (2013) conducted a survey which disclosed that 2 out of 3 customers are motivated by viral marketing which allows them to purchase more than without any social media influence which also indicates that 48% of customers are influenced to purchase products due to the viral marketing tools’ facilities. It is also found that 36% of the customers prefer a telecom company or a brand with humor, also 67% of customers revealed that telecom company that bullies their competitors do not interest them, and 10% of customers prefer companies that bully their competitors. It is found that for companies that reveal themselves on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, 79% of customers are drawn to them and prefer them (Social Media Examiner, 2017).
When it comes to customers’ buying behavior, there is a lot to ponder about, customers buying behavior ensures either the high amount of sales of the companies or down-ward sales, in both cases understanding customers’ buying behavior is a must for companies like Apple. A telecom company’s great marketing, viral marketing capabilities and customer retention will determine customers’ positive take on the telecom company, resulting in more sales. In business organizations as enormous as Apple or even a small bakery, understanding customers’ buying behavior is fundamental, with such intense competition these days, ensuring customers’ retention is a lot harder than it was mere a couple of years ago. Jain (2015) conducted a study and it said that 70% of companies believe it to be true that customers’ buying behavior remains average and there are enormous capabilities to better it with time and with effort. It says that 80% of revenues of a telecom company will come from their remaining 20% of customers which explains how impactful customers’ buying behavior is.
Apple is the largest technology telecom company internationally with the highest amount of revenues, sales, profitability, net worth and total assets. This organization is a proud telecom company strongly maintaining its position in the technology business industry worldwide as it serves millions of customers weekly. Its employee amount is 115,000 which is an impressive number and Apple targets an enormous amount of targeted audiences including- customers individually, small and medium-sized organizations, the creative industry, government, and educational institutions and so on. Apple is considered to be one of the largest companies holding total revenue of £233 billion, the brand’s equity worth is £118.9 billion, in the year 2017 they were able to ensure revenue growth worth £17.8 billion (Apple Annual Report, 2017).
1.2 Research rationale
This research is going to meticulously talk about Apple’s market in the UK and how customers’ buying behavior will affect them. The study shows how customers’ buying behavior increased their iOS within one year, in 2016 it was 44.38% and in 2017 it became 48.85%. It is also found that Apple’s UK market increased from 65% to 68% which is most likely due to the effects of customers’ buying behavior and their superior management of viral marketing. Opreana (2015) said that 31.8% of smartphones and iPhones faced a slight increase in comparison to the previous year. Even though day by day Apple’s UK market and customers’ buying is escalating but Android’s mobile operating system remains overriding which remains a concerning issue for Apple.
Apple’s customer buying behavior is something that the entire telecom company depends on in order to retain their market in the competitive business world, but importantly, Apple’s customer buying behavior level is one of the best in comparison to its primal competitors like Samsung. Samsung’s customer buying behavior is 64.2% whereas Apple’s customer buying behavior level is 83.4% which is enormous. In 2017, Yahoo Finance stated that Apple is a telecom company that has a very strong hold and influence on its customers especially when it comes to ensuring their customers’ satisfaction and retention rates which makes this telecom company’s customer buying rate justifiably higher than other companies. Apple by launching iPad Air 2, was capable of gaining 97% of customers’ buying behavior rate, they accomplished 99% of customers buying behavior rate through their enormous sales of iPhone 6. Customers of Apple are not only just satisfied with their latest and astonishing products but also they are heavily content with their customer services (Robert, 2016). Apple has a spectacular range of dedicated employees who comply with customers’ queries and needs which makes the telecom company very much devoted to the customers as a whole. Smith and Chaffey (2013) stated that customers’ buying behavior and their telecom company recognition in the business world are the two biggest reasons behind their success. Even though the telecom company is facing some troubles with their customers in the UK due to the economic unpredictability and new emerging competitors quite frequently, they are trying hard to get over this problem (Jiwa, 2015). Apple is finding it troublesome to meet with customers’ constant fluctuating needs in the technology department as there are other companies who are producing dupes/cheaper alternatives for the technologies (Patel, 2017)………..