Chapter One: Introduction
The aim of this chapter is to outline the introduction of the undertaking research work, where the research topic is ” Critically analysis the effectiveness of social media marketing on the customer motivation in the perspective Sainsbury’s”. This chapter is divided into a number of sub-sections. Section 1.1 outlines the research backgrounds and research problems. In section 1.2, the research rationale or the significance of the research is discussed. Section 1.3 defines the research aims and objectives. Section 1.4 identifies the research questions. Finally, section 1.5 provides the structure of the research work.
1.1 Research background
The importance of social media marketing has been coming under deep consideration to the present digital business world, mainly in the UK retail industry. Social media marketing is the process of accessing website traffic and customer attention through several social network sites such Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc (Armstrong and Kolter, 2013)). Social media marketing mainly focuses on creating content for attracting potential consumers’ attention and motivating them to share with others through social networks. As social media marketing message is spread out very quickly among millions of users, it is considered as the effective word-of-mouth marketing tool also (Mashable, 2015). On the other hand, customer motivation and attraction have been key issues to the retailers including Sainsbury’s. Customer motivation is the direction, initiation, persistence and intensity of consumers towards the particular brand and its products and services (Geen, 2012). The best way of motivating consumers is to meet the customer changing needs and expectations by offering value-added products and services. The motivated customers support the organization to improve market share, increase sales revenue and profit margin (Kotler et al., 2014).
Retailers including Sainsbury’s have been using several marketing techniques to motivate their consumers, where social media marketing is one of them. As social media has been an easily accessible platform to internet users, retailers including Sainsbury’s have increased communication to foster their brand awareness and improve customer service (Brogan, 2012). In addition, marketing costs in social media marketing are comparably less than mass media marketing (Gartner, 2014). Thus, marketers including Sainsbury’s have been trying to use social media as a marketing tool more effective than the conventional marketing channels. Although retailers including Sainsbury’s have been using social media as a marketing tool to motivate their consumers, many of them including Sainsbury’s have failed to find out the exact impact of social media marketing on customer motivation.
Sainsbury’s is one of the largest grocery supermarkets in the UK founded in 1869. Sainsbury’s serves millions of customers every day with its thousands of dedicated and devoted employees in more than 3000 stores across the UK. Sainsbury’s has also started online selling through www.sainsbury’s.com, where customer choose their product online and order and Sainsbury’s deliver the products to customer homes or customer can pick up from the nearest stores (Sainsbury’s Annual Report, 2014). Sainsbury’s is applying different marketing techniques to attract its potential and target customers, where social media marketing is one of the. However, it has been facing challenges nowadays in competitive markets. Sainsbury’s sell has dropped by 0.3% in 2015 and market share has dropped by 0.1% from 16.6% in 2014 to 16.5% in 2015 ( The guardian, 2015). This negative sales and market share figure have made conscious Sainsbury’s about the effectiveness of its marketing strategy, mainly online and social media marketing campaigns. As a result, Sainsbury’s wants to conduct a study on its social media marketing to improve the effectiveness of this marketing strategy for increasing its customer motivation level.
1.2: Research rationale
1.2.1 What is the research issue?
Although the UK retailers including Sainsbury’s use their own marketing strategies to survive in the competitive market, they facing challenges in gaining sustainable competitive advantages because of competitive rivalry and new entrants in the marketplaces (Blythe, 2012). Social media is being used widely in UK retail market including in Sainsbury’s nowadays to motivate and attract the target and potential customers (Armstrong and Kolter, 2013). However, the challenges faced by the external business environment by retailers including Sainsbury’s are forcing the marketers to implement their social media marketing strategies (Mashable, 2015). Thus, the issue for the retailers including Sainsbury’s is how social media as a marketing tool can be used more effectively to improve customer motivation.
1.2.2 Why is it an issue?
Social media has been a popular and significant marketing tool in the current digital business world, mainly in the retail industry of the UK including Sainsbury’s (Armstrong and Kolter, 2013). However, the rapid development in technological advancement and the frequent changes in customer needs and expectations are forcing the marketers to bring changes and updates in the social marketing campaigns (Kotler et al., 2014). Therefore, it is a challenging issue for retailers including Sainsbury’s to increase their social marketing effectiveness to motivate and attract the target customers.
1.2.3 Why is it an issue now?
Sainsbury’s has been losing its leadership in the market because it has not been able to recognize challenges that come from its competitors. Although Sainsbury’s has taken a number of initiatives including improving the social media marketing campaigns to meet the challenges faced, it has been facing difficulties to improve its customer motivation and to attract the target and potential customers (Sainsbury’s Annual Report, 2014). Sainsbury’s share market was down from 16.5 in 2014 to 16. 4 in 2015 (Duncan, 2015). Although Sainsbury’s has reached the second position in UK retail market, its market share drop has made concern it to improve its marketing strategies mainly in social medial marketing to motivate target customers and improve market share ( theguardian.com, 2015 ). Therefore, it is now a significant issue for Sainsbury to conduct a study on the effectiveness of its social media marketing to improve customer motivation and market share.
1.2.4 What could this research shed light on?
The research work will conduct a study on the social media used as a marketing tool in the UK retail industry and its effectiveness on customer motivation. Then, the study will focus on how effectively Sainsbury’s is using this marketing tool in its business to motivate target customers. Finally, the study will recommend Sainsbury’s to improve its social media marketing campaigns for improving its customer motivation and market share.
1.3: Aim and objectives of the Research
1.3.1: Aim of the research
The aim of the study is to critically evaluate the effectiveness of social media marketing on customer motivation in the UK retail industry. The study will focus on the case study of Sainsbury’s, UK. Then, the study will recommend Sainsbury’s on how it can improve its social media marketing strategies to increase its customer motivation levels.
1.3.2: Objectives of the research
The study focuses on the following objectives:
1) To analyze the effectiveness of social media marketing in the retail sector
2) To analyze the impact of social media marketing on customer motivation
3) To analyze the effectiveness of social media marketing of Sainsbury in motivating customers
4) To provide recommendations to Sainsbury to improve its social media marketing activities to improve customer motivation
1.4: Research question
The research work focuses on the following research questions:
- a) Is social media marketing in the retail industry of the UK to gain its organizational goals and objectives?
- b) How does social media marketing impact customer motivation?
- c) Is the social media marketing of Sainsbury’s is effective in motivating its customers?
- d) How can Sainsbury’s improve its social media marketing strategies to improve its customer motivation level?
1.5: Research structure
The research study follows a logical follows during the research study. At first, the study will conduct a literature review focusing on the several models and theories by experts on overtimes, the literature related to the research variables, and the secondary data on the cases study of Sainsbury’s related to the research topic and subject matters. Then, the study will formulate the essential research methodologies focusing on research philosophies, approach, strategies, data analysis tools, and ethical considerations. Next, the study will collect the primary data and present and analysis the findings. Following this, the study will conclude the research work and recommend Sainsbury’s. Finally, the study will define the research limitations and the scope for further study…………