Marketing and Decision Making


Marketing is the practice of exchange of goods and services from supplier to buyer and this can take place with numerous forms. Marketing intelligence is the practices through which everyday information related to company’s markets can be collected for the purpose of taking accurate decisions (Slater and Olson, 2001). This also aids business in determining market opportunities and development possibilities. Hence the present research report has been developed on Sainsbury which is one of the largest retail organizations in UK retail market. The research has been stating main stages of purchase decision making process and the theories that are related to buyer behavior. Furthermore different factors that influence behavior of buyer are also discussed and alongside the relationship of brand loyalty, corporate image and repeat purchasing is also described. Sainsbury has been operating business adequately merely because the business has been using numerous techniques for market research in which some are mentioned in the present study.  Sainsbury has been using secondary data so that validity of research techniques can be stated, hence for that appropriate marketing plan is discussed. Researcher has conducted survey in which preferences and customer loyalty factors have been assessed.

Task 1 Understand buyer behavior and the purchase decision-making process

1.1 Describe the main stages of the purchase decision making process

While purchasing any product, individual goes with different stages which lastly assist him to undertake decision whether to buy or not. Here the major stages are mentioned as under:

Need recognition: Need recognition is the first and most important stage in buying process. If there is no need then there is no purchase. It is the desire of any product or service only that leads individual to purchase any product. Here Sainsbury identifies needs of customers so as to bring requisite products and services for them.

Information search: Customers always prefer to have variety of products and services and for that they visit to different places. Hence after the identification of need, customer goes for various alternatives (such as different market places, diver pricing options and so on) so that to the demand for a particular product can be satiated (Nwokah  and. Ahiauzu, 2009).

Evaluation of alternative: At the next stage, customer takes decision to select the best option amid all. At the subsequent stage, customer decides if he is ready to pay specified amount for the product. It has been observed that a slight variation in prices changes the entire scenario of purchase and it ultimately results to customer switch over.

Purchase decision: Here at this stage, it is requisite for the consumer to select the product that can satiate his desire. His decision actually depends on the information derived about alternate products and services (Novicevic and, 2004). After then it proceed to the actual purchase itself.

Post purchase behaviour: Once the product is purchased and used, the consumer will evaluate the adequacy with his original needs. At this stage, the business can analyze if the product is able to sustain in competitive market place.

1.2 Explain theories of buyer behavior in terms of individuals and markets

Through buyer behavior, the actual thoughts of individual can be analyzed and this also reflects capability of products in attracting customer’s mindsets. Some authors have given adequate theories to the concept of buyer behavior which is being stated as under:

The utility theory of demand: In the year 1870, William Stanley Jevons has introduced the theory which explains behavior of consumer that he derives after consuming ultimate products and services (Zhou and Chuah, 2000). The theory assumes that satisfaction rate of consumers can be measured in terms of units consumed and also through repeat purchase. As per the theory, unit of measure can be denoted as utils and consumer satisfaction can be measured by total utility and marginal utility.

Cultural theory of buying behavior: The theory states that individual needs gets changed as per the cultural factors prevailing, hence it is essential for the company to consider social and cultural beliefs of customers. As per the theory, any company who considers social value is termed as capable of retaining customers.

Indifference preference theory: Vilfredo Pareto has developed the theory and he called it as a modern approach of analyzing consumer behavior (Sultan and Simpson, 2000). The subsequent theory states consumer behavior in term of consumer preference for the combination of various goods and services depending on the nature of goods and services. As per the theory, consumer behavior cannot be rated in terms of customer satisfaction as it emphasizes on preferences of customers.

Internal theory of buying behavior: The theory states that some people love to shop by comparing prices and afterwards they make decision for purchase. Some people get influenced by others even if the product may not be the best in terms of pries and attribute both (The Future of Buyer Behavior Theory, 2014). Moreover the lifestyle of buyer also influences purchase decision. For example, high class customers change their preferences when buying something.

1.3 Explain the factors that affect buyer behavior

There are numerous factors that influences and changes mindset of customers and these are also considered as those forces which leads to customers switch over to other brand. Apparently, all retail industries produce similar products and services, so the possibilities of customer switch over is evident. The purchase decision of Sainsbury’s customers has been changing due to these forces:

Income factor: Income plays crucial role in changing preferences and mindset of consumers as price conscious people always emphasizes on affordable and reasonable products. It is the income of customer that makes customer to buy any product. As per the income factor only that generated brand awareness of products amid customers. However here economic factors also plays imperative role as that is highly integrated with supply and demand of money (Megicks, 2007).

Social and cultural factors: Social and cultural factors changes the mindset of customers. For instance- customer who does not eat non vegetarian food would prefer to go only vegetarian restaurant and they will not demand anything from that restaurant which provides both type of food. This reflects how much social and cultural beliefs influences purchase decisions of customers.

Demographic factors: Age, gender, occupation, income level and lifestyle are some of the demographic factors that influences purchase decision of customers and this further also changes demand for the product. For example- higher class people prefer to buy branded clothes and they spend more so as to increase status and standard of living. Personality is also the other factor that influences customer buying behavior and it changes from person to person (Little and Fahey, 2006).

Hence it is apparent that customer behavior is one of the most confusing aspects related to buying any product. Apart from these factors, huge availability of substitutes also results in customer switch over.

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1.4 Evaluate the relationship between brand loyalty, corporate image and repeat purchasing

Brand name is useful in making the product differentiate from competitors and other players. Branding is considered as the most attractive element that persuades high profile customers towards luxury products and services. Consumers prefer to have branded products due to the concern for quality and for status as well (Gronroos, 1994). There is a close relationship between brand loyalty, corporate image and repeat purchasing and this can be understood with the help of an example. In order to build corporate image of the brand, company emphasizes on different factors such as price, product quality and innovative attributes. All such elements attract customers towards the product and hence it results to final purchase decision. Brand also persuades consumer by its logo, name, and symbols which differentiates the category of product from competitors and hence it gives the business an opportunity to create corporate image in the mind of customers. This highly attracts consumers and directs them to persuade product.

Once the product is liked by customers, it eventually results in repeat purchase and hence develops band loyalty respectively. In order to develop brand loyalty from customers, company emphasizes on giving many benefits to consumers which also generates frequent purchase and thus it directly results to developed corporate image. However on the other side, it can be said that corporate image of the company attracts customers and due to these aspects only, it develops frequency of repeat purchase and brand loyalty (Fahey and Herring, 2007). Repeat purchase can also be termed as a result of brand loyalty and this is the sole criteria that develops corporate image of the company in competitive market place. Hence all the three terms are interrelated to each other and business develoepmtn takes places due to these aspects only.

Task 2 Be able to use marketing research techniques

2.1 Evaluate different types of market research techniques

Market research is a concept that is essential for a business enterprise to consider since it helps business to find out the availability of competition and also about market situations. Sainsbury is one of the largest retail organizations and the business is able to sustain competitively at market place due to its competent market techniques. With the help of numerous techniques of market research only, Sainsbury is able to meet needs and demands of customers since the process (market orientation) researches trends prevailing in customer’s demands (Coviello and Brodie, 2001). The techniques of market research can be segregated into two types such as quantitative research technique and qualitative research techniques; however both works for same purpose. With the help of quantitative research technique, exact data about market (in terms of numerical statement) can be found out. Tables, charts and graphs can be used to show the results and outcomes derived from the data collected by quantitative research. The technique is highly used so that to reach towards the desired outcomes and it works for a main aim to develop hypothesis in terms of measuring results. Through this, size of market and areas of sales growth can be identified and the technique also produces lots of statistical outcomes which are useful in getting overview about market. On the other side, Qualitative technique helps in better understanding of customer’s needs, wants, habits and help in identifying the growing sales opportunities for improving the customer services. Through this, factors that govern customers or change their buying decisions can be analyzed (Vaarnas and, 2011). The technique is entirely emphasized towards preferences of customers, thus it is considered as highly beneficial.

2.2 Use sources of secondary data to achieve the research objective of the scenario below

Secondary data is the one of the categories of data collection methods and which is considered as the most suitable technique since it analyses information from germane resources. Books, journals, articles, online, newspaper and other privately conducted research are some of the examples of secondary research and all are based on evidence, therefore it can be used to reach towards research objectives (Oudan, 2007). However instead of past records, sometimes researchers face many problems related to unauthentic sites which distracts in objective accomplishment process. Hence with the help of secondary data, ability of business to survive in competitive market place can be found out. Books are the collective source which contains past records, problems and solutions to research problems and at the same time, it assists business in undertaking relevant actions and decisions. However in the current study researcher has used past 5 years data so as to present only valid aspects and through this, accurate findings of the responses has been analyzed. The study has used only those market segments whereby actual presence of company affects purchasing decision of prospective buyers. The main aim of the study is to find out actual data about market perspective of Sainsbury and with the help of past records and data; all those aspects can be clearly identified. At the same time, secondary data is also useful in the case when researcher is required to find out studies of previous researchers on same topic. Relevancy and accuracy of research aims and objectives can be ascertained with the help of secondary sources and this is even useful in the case when information about past trends is required. The researcher has used survey method in which questionnaire is being prepared so as to identify information about market capabilities of Sainsbury.

For example- if Sainsbury wish to enter into new market, then the business is required to have information about the market place and that can be grabbed from secondary sources such as newspapers, articles and journals. Hence here the business will be able to position itself as a competitive brand in competitive marketplace. It has been stated in the vision statement of the company that Sainsbury considers customer’s culture up to higher extent, thus to analyze the same thing, past records and books of the company can be analyzed. Similarly the brand image of the company can also be analyzed by reviewing its history in newspapers and journals. Development of business aspects can be found out easily with the help of articles and records maintained about the business (Loudon, 2001). Hence these sources can help in identifying the market conditions and can also provide growth opportunities to the organization.

From the research of Daily Mail Reporter (2010), it is identified that Tesco and Asda meanwhile have equally scored better position at UK retail business; however on the other side, Morrisons is also performing better as compared to Sainsbury. The shopping experience of customers of UK revealed the aspect that prospective buyers need great value for money, wide range of quality products and plaesant shopping environment. This is probably assisting the business to identify new tools and techniques for managing innovation in organizational processes.

2.3 Assess the validity and reliability of market research findings

Apparently it is not possible to acquire only accurate data from secondary and primary sources as there are several sites and sources that distracts and affects quality of information. In order to find out validity and accessibility of information, researcher can explore the ratio of feasibility so that the accuracy rate and data quality both can be found out.  Main objective for the present case is to evaluate if Sainsbury is actually considering cultural and valuable aspects of consumers in operational excellence. Hence from qualitative, quantitative and secondary research techniques it has been found out that the Sainsbury has been offering greater quality products in affordable prices which make lives of customers easier. This has been assisting the company to derive many benefits related to monetary and non monetary (Jenster and Søilen, 2009). The use of secondary source proved to be reliable as its results reflects that Sainsbury has been emphasizing on market research so that needs and demands of customers can be fulfilled. All the undertaken techniques have been used in adequate manner and while conducting the study, researcher has taken care that ethical and appropriate resources are being used. Sample size is also taken from those marketing segments where company regularly sells its products and services. The undertaken methods are highly able to reach towards research aims and objectives.

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At the same time, Sainsbury is also considering different market research techniques which are relevant enough to ascertain market conditions. The business is entirely concerned about cultural and ethical values in producing goods and services which helps in customer retention. Quantitative data has shown adequate records about past data and this also specifies that Sainsbury’s growth and profitability ratio has been increasing due to effective business practices (Hooley and, 2009). However qualitative study has shown that customers are highly encouraged towards products of Sainsbury due to enhanced brand image of the company and at the same time, it develops greater opportunities of competitive advantage. Hence the entire outcomes states that 90% data from the findings are relevant and the remaining can be considered as irrelevant due to usage of some unauthentic sources. Therefore every research possesses some limitations in its findings; hence accuracy rate can be specified respectively with the company analysis. In the above section of the report, it is being mentioned that researcher has used survey technique so as to grab information and preference of customers about products and services of the company. Using the technique of survey has helped the researcher to reach towards goals and objectives and similarly it is also useful in deriving adequate support in the case when it is about information about market capabilities is required. As about the response, it can be said that most of the customers are quite satisfied with the services of the company and this is further enhancing the value of organization. Similarly customers are highly satiated with the services of the company and hence it increases productivity aspects. The company is also delivering adequate services to the customers and the workforces are even informed about the aspects that should be managed for delivering quality services to the customers.

Reliability of any test can be studied through reliability coefficient which is also termed as statistical choice. The result of the test can be said as positive if accurate and feasible outcomes are acquired. In the same research, it is being found out customers of Sainsbury are quite satisfied with the services; however on the other side they are also switching to other brands. The market position of Sainsbury has been changing due to the presence of Lidl and Aldi which are highly enticing busienss entities in UK retail business.

2.4 Prepare a marketing research plan to obtain information in a given situation

In the subsequent portion of the research, researcher has formulated research plan so as to analyze strengths and capability of marketing strategies of Sainsbury. The main objective of the research is to find out customer response and satisfaction rate, hence the present research has been emphasizing on efficiency of services that leads to customer satisfaction.

Background of the research: The subsequent market research plan has been developed with the aim to identify if Sainsbury is able to satiate needs and demands of customers. The plan also emphasizes on customer responses of Sainsbury since it can also reflect idea about market potential (Fowler, 2002).

Objective of the research: The main aim of the present plan is to find out ability of Sainsbury in acquiring customer satisfaction. Another objective is to ascertain responses of customers towards products of Sainsbury.

Methodology: In order to reach towards the aims and objectives, it is essential for the researcher to focus on research methodology section so that appropriate tools and techniques can be selected for best results. Here researcher can undertake primary and secondary both the resources for collecting quality information related to the objectives. In order to acquire primary data, surveys and interviews can be conducted so that accurate responses of customers can be analyzed. With the help of surveys, responses of end users on different aspects of the company can be ascertained. Apart from that, researcher has been emphasizing only on ethical and legal practices wherein he will not be disclosing any confidential aspect about the survey and also about the participants.

Data analysis: In order to analyze data (in terms of findings), researcher has been emphasizing on thematic analysis and descriptive method so that detail information can be specified (Chiu and Tavella, 2008). At the same time, data can also be ascertained with the help of regression and factor analysis. Since quantitative methods have been used; therefore the outcomes can be stated with the help of diagrams, pie charts and tables. These are most appropriate methods and most of the researchers use the methodology for deriving optimum results.

Time frame: The entire research plan is expected to complete within the period of one month. Researcher has been going through towards results with help of aligned activities.
Budget: £850 has been specified as a limit of the research plan and as per that only; resource has been allocated in all the activities (Cheng and, 2010).

2.5 Evaluate techniques of assessing customer response

There are numerous techniques through which customer response can be assessed. In the present case, customers have been provided with questionnaire; therefore they have presented appropriate responses for the same. Thus in order to assess customer response, Sainsbury can use specific techniques such as face to face analysis, direct observation and through quick response. With the help of quick response, customer’s satisfaction can be analyzed. While interviewing the candidates, researcher can observe customer’s responses for each and every aspect and hence through this, their interest can also be ascertained (Callingham, 2004). Approaching the customers directly can also assist Sainsbury to ascertain the areas where improvements and modifications are required.  At the same time, the business can also evaluate needs and demands of customers. Hence face to face survey can be greatly useful for the business. Furthermore, responses of customers can also be analyzed through the technique of direct observation. While interviewing the candidates for research purpose, researcher can observe each and every action along with their response. However online survey can also be conducted; however it is entirely associated with risks and sometimes receiver gets delayed message because of not having basic and proper amenity (Baker, 2001). Conducting online survey can help the researcher to ascertain results of all candidates in a specified time period. The disadvantage of this technique of assessing customer response is that everyone does not have internet access, so the response rate is limited.

2.6 Review the success of a completed survey

From the above questionnaire, it is evaluated that customers of Sainsbury are satisfied with the services provided to them and most of them sometimes prefers to promote the services to other candidates as well. When asked about the response of feedback, most of the respondents have said that they have actually seen numerous improvements in company’s products and services and this also increases satisfaction rate amid customers. Overall response of the customers is positive and thus here it can be stated that Sainsbury is able to acquire greater market share in future terms (Sainsbury's 'not afraid' to use data in marketing, 2012). However some of the respondents have argued that sometimes they do not get appropriate customer care service from the staff members.

There has been greater change in market position of Sainsbury after the changes made in infrastructure and ambience of the supermarket. The organization has also started delivering fast food services to the customers and all its diversified services are well integrated with cultural and social beliefs of customers. Thus from the discussion, it is clear that Sainsbury is committed to operational excellence. The customers have also argued that Sainsbury has trained all its staff members which help them to derive adequate knowledge about the category of products and services. When the customers were asked about the speed element, then 42 of the total respondents said that the probability of waiting zone is fewer and they do not have to wait for services (Schoppe, 2012). However remaining candidates have confronted that due to online accessibility, they face problems when it is about online purchase. Hence from the findings, it is clear that 80% of the survey went in successful manner as all the candidates have given optimistic responses about customer service of the company.  The entire discussion is based on responses which the customers have given when they were asked about different aspects of the company. The success of survey can be analyzed by stating that the actual research outcomes have been acquired and thus it is evident that survey has been conducted in adequate manner.

Task 3 Be able to assess market size and future demand

3.1 Carry out an assessment of market size trends within a selected market of your choice

Mobile industry has captured almost 80% of the market and this is the only sector where large number of innovations and technological developments has been taking place (Mobile Telephone Retailers in the UK: Market Research Report, 2014). Although smart phones continues to grow in volume and value terms, a lack of significant innovation has resulted in the replacement cycle lengthening slightly to 23 months in 2014. Mobile phone market has been capturing huge market share with the help of quality products and services. For example- at the same time, Nokia has also grabbed attention of different customers from different market places. Nokia is one of the largest mobile brands in European and other countries as well and the brand has been capturing attention of customers due to continuous innovation taking place in the mobile categories (Mobile Phones in the United Kingdom, 2014). Despite of competent rivalries, Nokia has been sustaining at market place due to brand loyalty of customers. Recently company has started introducing new featured mobile phones with smart apps; hence this has been capturing market share and customer attention.

Samsung Mobile phones has been continually leading in mobile phone category from last two years, hence it rated 34% volume share in the same industry. The position of the business is largely achieved due to sales of smart phones. This became possible due to heavy investment in advertisement and promotion of handsets. At the same, different players in the same industry such as Apple is also capturing huge attention of customers due to its brand image and advanced features and attributes (Mobile Telephone Retailers in the UK: Market Research Report, 2014). Transformations are taking place even in mobile industry and that has been affecting market trends and this also leads the business entities to make favorable changes in products and services. This has also been assisting customers to use innovative and high tech products and smart phone is one of the imperative examples of market trends.

Hence from the discussion, it can be said that market size of Nokia is being increasing as compared to other companies and that also makes the brand more innovative in the competent market place.  As per the above description, it can also be stated that Sainsbury's market share is at challenging position due to the presence of Aldi as the budget food chains are ahead of the big stores in the affection of shoppers which is being revealed through several researches. The major competitors of Sainsbury – Aldi and Lidl both are German owned and coincided with recession that put a squeeze on households budgets.

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3.2 Describe the plan, and carry out a competitor analysis for one of the following organizations

Competitor analysis is necessary to conduct since the availability of competition is higher in mobile industry. The major competitors of Nokia are Apple, Samsung, HTC and Windows. These brands have already captured greater market share because of the advanced features and market support. Here Porter’s competitive analysis has been done for Nokia:

Threat of new entry: Threat from new business entities is less due to enhanced market position of Nokia. It is not possible for the new one to give threat to Nokia until something very innovative has been done. The mobile phone industry is already well established and hence threat of new entrant is quite.

Threat of rivalries: The ratio of competition is also higher since Apple, Samsung and Windows have already acquired greater market share. All the services of these brands are enough capable in capturing attention of existing customers of Nokia.

Buyer’s power: Buyer’s bargaining power is high due to large pool of substitutes. The industry is very price sensitive with customers seeking out the best value for money (Flekel, 2013).

Supplier’s power: Nokia relies on its suppliers to supply equipments for theory advanced mobile phones and as the leading mobile phone company; they are in a very strong position when bargaining with their suppliers.

Threat from substitutes: Threats from substitutes are higher since there are so many business entities that provides same sort of services and mobile handsets (Nokia’s Porter’s 5 Forces, 2013).

Apple as well as Samsung both are highly competent to each other and the product categories are almost similar which augments the level of competition. There has been seen drastic change in company policies of Apple due to the innovative products of Samsung which further also creates similarity issues. On the other hand, the market share of Samsung is more compared to Apple due to pricing element likewise Samsung offers all ranged instruments whereas Apple is highly concerned about pricing element, hence its products are high priced as well. However on the other side, brand promotion of Apple is more with that to Samsung from last many years.

3.3 Evaluate the opportunities and threats for a given product or service of Nokia

Nokia has been capturing attention of customers therefore the business has numerous growth opportunities. Nokia has started selling Smartphone’s since customers are demanding the product and that is also useful in deriving market and growth share.

Threats: Threats may generate from competitor’s products and services and this may also affect business position of Nokia. At the same time, the products of Apple and Samsung may also capture attention of customers which may impact customer base of Nokia (Android grows UK market share at expense of iOS and Windows Phone, 2014).

Opportunities: Nokia has numerous growth opportunities in existing as well as new markets since the products are capable enough to meet the demands of customers. The mobile industry may also get acquaintance from other businesses and government when it is about company development and expansion (Fowler, 2002).

From many research studies, it is evaluated that Nokia has been threats from largest mobile phone sellers due to innovations and technological development. All the products of Nokia are quite affordable but somewhere the company lacks in designing attributes which increases the degree of customer switch over to other brands. At the same time, Nokia has the opportunity to grab regional market share because even today there are so many customers who are price conscious and prefer to buy mobile handsets of Nokia.


Articulating the entire research report, it can be said that marketing is the core business function which needs to manage in appropriate manner since growth and success both are dependent on this core element. The research has also clarified that it is the corporate image of Sainsbury that leads the business to enhance market share and customer base. The research is basically conducted with the aim of analyzing capability ratio of Sainsbury along with customer satisfaction ratio. There are numerous competitors of Sainsbury which gives threats to business, hence in context to that, the present study has evaluated efficiency of Sainsbury’s products and services. With the help of strategic model, competitor analysis for the present organization has been done.


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