Kristina is studying for a masters degree in international business, Although she has chosen to study overseas, she wishes to
Kristina is studying for a master’s degree in international business, Although she has chosen to study overseas, she wishes to undertake her research project in her home country. She is interested in the relationship between marketing strategy and international business and has prepared her research proposal for an applied research project. This states that the aim of her research project is ‘to establish how the case study organisation (“Healthy- FoodCo”) can market a dietary supplement (“DietSupp”) successfully in another country (“Over Seas Country”).’ She emails the first draft of her research proposal to her project tutor and is surprised that he emails back, requesting a meeting to ‘talk through some concerns about the proposal’. Below we present an abbreviated version of the first draft of her research proposal. Please note the proposal intentionally includes methodological, as well as spelling and grammatical, errors to allow you to evaluate and improve it by working through the case study questions.
The impact of national cultures and the marketing mix on consumer buying behaviour: A case study of Healthy Food Co’s marketing of a new diet supplement internationally.
The marketing mix is the central concept of marketing (Khan, 2014). Scholars argue that the concept originated in the 1940s with Neil Borden (e.g. Schultz and Dev, 2012). At this point, the concept of marketing mix was not formally defined and it was Jerome McCarthy who adapted this concept in the 1950s into what is known as the 4Ps: product, price, place and promotion (Schultze and Dev, 2012). Phillip Kotler then popularized the 4Ps (Schultz and Dev, 2012), which continue to be the most enduring marketing mixer framework. Each of the 4Ps may be seen to be a controllable element that an organisation may use to formulate and implement a marketing strategy that is adapted to the environment within which their target market exists (Dadzie et alia 2017). The intention here is to influence customer buying behaviour favourably towards the product being marketed.
However, as main critique surrounding the 4Ps is its internal orientation, referring to claims that it lacks customer orientation and interactivity (see criticism in Constantinides, 2006), consumer buying behavior will also need to be investigated further. Kotler et alia (2009) argue that it is difficult to understand consumer behavior as different factors influence it. Thus, several perspectives on consumer behavior can studied, ranging from a behaviorist perspective, to an information processing perspective, an emotional perspective, a cultural perspective and a multiple approach. As it can be argued that consumer behavior is greatly influenced by culture (e.g. Kacen and Lee, 2002; Kotler et alia, 2009), this research will examine the cultural perspective on consumer behavior. Within this perspective, marketing is seen as the means for transmitting value, which shapes culture, but at the same time is shaped by it (Kotler et alia 2009), hence marketing can further be taken as “a channel through which cultural meanings are transferred to consumer goods” (Kotler et alia, 2009: 245). Thus, culture serves as a kind of prism through which products are viewed. This further leads to the assumption, that a product should not merely be viewed as such, but also as a symbol, representing beliefs, norms and values (Kotler et alia, 2009). The purpose here will be to examine how culture in the new national target market may affect consumer purchasing behavior of dietary supplements and how this may be related to the elements of the marketing mix. Drawing on this and other literature a research model will be established, establishing the dependent, independent and moderating variables for the research.
Research question and research objectives
The research question is:
How can ‘Healthy FoodCo’ market ‘DietSupp’ in ‘Over Seas Country’ with regard to price, place and promotion and why? The research objectives are:
1. To understand consumers’ dietary supplements purchasing behaviour in ‘Over Seas Country’.
2. To examine the relationships between ‘DietSupp’ and the marketing mix elements of price, promotion and place in the context of ‘Over Seas Country’.
3. To develop a marketing strategy to ‘Healthy FoodCo’ for the promotion of ‘DietSupp’ in ‘Over Seas Country’.
The research design is based on a mono-method, quantitative methodology that uses a survey strategy to collect data through an Internet questionnaire. This purpose of the research is to conduct an explanatory study that will to an action-oriented solution for the case study organisation. This will result in the collection of standardized data. The time horizon will be cross-sectional, as the primary data collection occurs at a single point of time (Saunders et alia, 2016; Malhotra et alia, 2012).
Design of the questionnaire
The primary data collection will take form in a structured self-completion questionnaire, which is in line with the research approach (Saunders et alia 2019), making use of fixed-response alternative questions (Malhotra et alia, 2012). This technique allows for standardized questions to be collected from a large number of respondents, which can be analysed statistically (Saunders et alia, 2019). This technique aids simplicity in regards to administration and it offers consistent data, hence reducing variability in the results (Malhotra et alia, 2012). The questions incorporated will be a mixture of open and closed questions, while focusing upon closed questions to ease the analysis of the data, (Saunders et alia, 2019), utilizing existing measurement scales. Further advantages of closed questions are, that they are easy to compare, less-time consuming to answer for the respondent and they possess a higher enforcement- and evaluation objectivity. The choice of this method is further substantiated in that it is the most common method used in marketing research, accounting for about 72% of all spending for marketing research (Malhotra et alia, 2012).
Sampling strategy and sample size
A non-probability sample will be selected using volunteer sampling, each participant being able to determine whether to participate in the research (Saunders et alia, 2019). However, it is noted that a non-probability sampling can have a negative impact on the representativeness of the research.
As the target population is unknown, this research draws upon Tennent’s (2013) advice of a sample size of 30 in regards to the sample size. Working with a 95% certainty level, a minimum of 32 people for each group have to be obtained to reach the minimum sample size of 30.
Distribution of the questionnaire
The questionnaire will be designed and distributed using the Qualtrics online software. The main advantages of this are that it enables the research to be conducted in a timely manner (Malhotra et alia, 2012), eliminating for example data entry by the researcher (Saunders et alia, 2019) and costs can be reduced to a minimum (Malhotra et alia, 2012), which is desirable due to the scope of the research and the financial and time limitations. The quality of the data will be enhanced through incorporating logic and validity checks, hence allowing the movement towards a more personalised questionnaire design (Malhotra et alia, 2012). Yet, the response rate will be lower compared to other modes of distributing questionnaires (Saunders et alia, 2019). To enhance the latter, incentives will be given. The online distribution will be done via posting a link to the questionnaire in relevant online forums, concerned with dietary supplements and general nutrition, as this is in line with the nature of the product, making it available for a week. In addition to that, a link to the questionnaire will also be published on websites that frequently sell dietary supplements. The reason for choosing this channel is that even though storey-based channels remain the main channel for distribution for the category, looking at the technological dimension of the macro environment, it becomes evident that a trend towards online purchases is prevailing in ‘Over- Seas Country’ (Biesdorf & Niedermann, 2014). Furthermore, the selection of these specific channels for the survey distribution increase the likelihood that the audience is already a user of dietary supplements, to gain further insights into their perceptions. The questionnaire will be designed in ‘Over Seas Country’s’ language to ensure that the respondents will understand all questions.
Prior to launching the questionnaire, a pilot test will be conducted among 10-15 participants to ensure that the questionnaire works, the questions posed are generally understandable and that the respondents are able to answer the questions asked and follow the instructions given (Saunders et alia, 2019). This will aid finding unintentional mistakes in the questionnaire and estimating the duration for completing the questionnaire. Ultimately, this enhances the reliability level of the research. Research ethics The means for obtaining primary data is the Internet, which results in certain issues and dilemmas for ethnical principles (Saunders et alia, 2019). To ensure that the primary data collection will be conducted ethically, potential respondents will need to be able to make an informed decision about participation (Saunders et alia, 2019). Participant information about the research will be provided in the introduction to the questionnaire, highlighting the nature of the research, assurances about participation, including anonymity, rights of the respondents as well as how the data will be analysed, reported and saved (Saunders et alia, 2019). Lastly, information of the person to be contacted in regards to concerns will be provided (Saunders et alia, 2019).
I anticipate it will take me a week to collect my data. Once all the data have been collected, I will finish my literature review over the next month and write up the project. The research will be completed in time for me to submit the project by the deadline.
The University has a subscription to Qualtrics. With regard to resources, at this point of the research it is not evident that any further resources will be required.
1 To what extent do you consider the title adequately represents the research question and research objectives?
2 To what extent do you consider the literature discussed in the ‘Background’ section supports the research question and objectives? Give reasons for your answer.
3 In relation to the title, research question and research objectives, what key points would you wish to outline in a revised ‘Background’ section?
4 What are the strengths and weaknesses of the information provided in the ‘Method’, ‘Timescale’ and ‘Resources’ sections?
5 What key points would you wish to emphasise in revised ‘Method’, ‘Timescale’ and ‘Resources’ sections?
6 Proofread Katrina’s draft proposal and make a list of all the spelling, typographical and referencing errors you can find.
Step by Step Answer: