Market Research Plan
Many factors influence the consumer purchase behavior of mobile phones. The recent technological trends in mobile telephony industry have seen many big market players grind to a halt because of lack of market intelligent to predict consumer behaviors. Nokia, the once dominant player was recently sold out to Microsoft after losing its market share and technological relevance to archrivals such as Apple and Samsung (Ando & Rigby 2013). Blackberry is also rumored to have been earmarked for sale in the recent past. This unpredictable nature of trends in technology demands constant market research to establish the changes in consumer behavior in order to stay ahead of the market competition. This research aims at assessing the consumer responses to technological features of mobile phones.
The primary aim of this market research is to establish factors that influence consumer buying behavior of mobile phones. Specific objectives include:
- Evaluation of features of a mobile phone that consumers find important
Statement of the research hypothesis
H1: Changes in technological trends affect consumers’ purchase of mobile phones
H2: Consumers buy and use mobile phones when new features such as eye-scrolling are incorporated
The research will be a cross sectional survey to collect consumer responses on factors that influence their buying behavior, consumer satisfaction survey and their responses to new technological features on mobile phones. The researcher will carry out an excursion in the United States colleges and universities to establish the willing participants in the research process. The researcher will collect the e-mails of the willing participants for latter sharing of the data collection tool. A self-administered questionnaire will be employed in data collection because of its simplicity in application and its ability to collect large volumes of data for statistical analysis. The researcher will venture to involve a high number of respondents to ensure high external and internal validity of the findings.
Market Research Findings
Many factors were found to influence a consumer’s choice when buying a new mobile phone. There were variations in trends of mobile phone purchasing among the genders, age and socio-economic status. For instance, females were often oriented to trendy phones while male consumers were enthusiastic about technology. This therefore drove them to obtain phones with newer technological features such as eye scrolling, if the price was within reach. The results shown in table 1 in the appendix indicate that 60% of consumers consider the price of a phone before purchasing. The results also underscore that 84% of consumers are responsive to technological innovations when buying a new phone (see table 1 in the appendix). As shown in table 3 in the appendix, Samsung and was the most preferred brand among make purchasers at 40% followed by Nokia at 30%. Female consumers preferred Nokia over all other brands at 43% followed distantly by Samsung at 34%. Blackberry was the least popular brand among both female and male consumers at 5 and 10% respectively. The respondents cited technological innovations and flexibility/ user friendliness as major factors that influenced their tastes and preferences of mobile phones. In general, consumers considered features that potentiate their ability to effectively plan their time. Such features included inbuilt calendar and the ability to send and receive emails among others.
In addition, phones incorporating more hardware features such as cameras were more attractive to consumers. Other features included larger storage capacity and battery durability. Such features enabled the phone to be used for other functions that would have required additional gargets such as a digital camera. Individuals were therefore willing to obtain newer phones with such technological features (Cromer 2010, p. 6).
Additionally aesthetic features like its size, weight, screen size and resolution also played a factor in choosing a phone. Consumers were more enthusiastic about small light phones with big screens and better resolution. In line with these features, consumers also preferred obtaining known brand names if faced with options of various models of phones based on previous positive satisfaction.
Finally consumers also considered pricing of the desired phone. This was more applicable for younger consumers with financial limitations who placed a price limit over which they were unwilling to pay for the phone.
Evaluation of the Survey
The survey targeted a wide population with diversity in age, gender and socio-economic status that either had or were aspiring to obtain a desired phone. Random sampling and snowballing was applied in choosing the respondents since it was easier to have a responded refer researchers to appropriate respondent such as friends, workmates or family members.
The sample size on which the survey was conducted was fifty but a bigger size would be ideal in representing a true perspective of the population. A qualitative study as this would give valid and reliable results especially if conducted scientifically and with trained staff. However, since the information was obtained from people, data cannot be treated with utmost certainty as respondents can deliberately offer biased and false responses.
Questionnaires are good data collection tools and if properly structured, reliable data can be collected. A questionnaire can be used where a large sample size is desired; also it is easier to collect and analyze data. However question misunderstanding and omission of important questions may hamper valid data collection.
Finally the research was successful in indentifying what drives buyers to get new phones including factors that determined whether they ultimately purchased the phones or not. It also established whether the consumers finally got to use the features they looked for in buying and whether these features ultimately satisfied their motives. It was found that it was the positive satisfaction that ultimately led to rebuying of similar brands and brand loyalty.
The cross sectional survey underscored that technological innovation is an attractive feature to male consumers than their female counterparts. Many youths who participated in the research would buy a smartphone that ingrates many technological features if the prices were within their reach. Samsung and Apple were more appealing to the youths than their elderly counterparts. Phone price was a major determinant in the purchase decision making process. 90% of mobile consumers expressed satisfaction of usage of their brands. The research also underscores that Samsung and Nokia are the most popular brands among female and make consumers. This is because of their strong brand positions and technological innovations. Phone size and prior experience with the mobile phone brand were also key factors that influenced consumer buying behavior in the research. Many consumers with prior experience of a given mobile phone brand were more likely to purchase the same brand of second and subsequent buying occasions.
A self-administered question was used because of its ability to collect large amounts of data at low cost. The results can be generalized because of use of random sampling technique to reduce bias. However, they have low external validity because of the small number of participants. Fifty completed questionnaires might not give accurate and validity results of consumer behavior in the research. In view of this, a cross sectional consumer survey involving many participants should be carried out to validate the findings of this research.
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- Do you own a mobile phone? Yes_________No__________
- Would you choose a primary phone over a smartphone? Y/N_________ what would guide your choice? ___________________________________________________
- What do you consider the most important feature in your phone? _________________
- Does pricing influence the kind of phone you purchase? Yes_________No________
- Have you ever bought a phone because it was recommended by a friend? Y/N________
- Do adverts affect the choice of phone you buy? If so how? Y/N___________________
- What are some of the other factors you would consider before acquiring a new phone?
- Which features do you use most in your phone? _______________________________
- Do you often obtain satisfaction from the mobile phones you purchase? Y/N______If yes what gives you the satisfaction?________________________________________
- How often do you change phones, and are there any factors that cause you to do so?__________________________________________________________________
- Do you actually utilize the features that you consider in a phone you purchase? Y/N___
- Have you ever rebought a particular brand of phone? Y/N_______ If so why was the case? ________________________________________________________________
- Would you consider having any brand loyalty? Y/N___________ If yes why?_______________________________________________________________
- Do you think your friends, workmates or work in a way influences your choice of phone? Y/N______If so why? _____________________________________________________
THE TABLE BELOW SUMMARISES THE IMPORTANT STUDY VARIABLES AND THE FINDINGS
THE TABLE SUMMARISES THE PRORTION OF SATISFIED POPULATION BASED ON USED SAMPLE SIZE.
THE TABLE SHOWS WHAT BRAND CONSUMERS WOULD BUY IF PRICES WERE
WITHIN THEIR REACH