In a measured way, I will use various techniques of market research in order to get the best possible results for my coursework. I will use a range of desk and field research. Desk research involves the collection of secondary data, i. e. , information that already exists. The advantage of using secondary data is that the data has already been collected and is available at little or no cost. Having said this, the data may not be what I want as it has been collected for another purpose and therefore may need to be adapted to be viable for this project.
Field research involves the collection of primary data, which is information that does not exist and has to be collected. The advantage of this is that I will be the only person with access to it and it will be carried out for the purpose of this coursework. However, it can be time consuming and expensive to carry out. I will use a mixture of both desk and field research. I will use the Internet in order to find out information about the company Vodafone. Although I must have a PC and Internet access, this is an invaluable source of desk research.
Compared to other methods of research, using the Internet enables me to collect the information I need without the need of contacting Vodafone. Therefore, I have chosen this method. Sales figures could also be used in order to further enhance my investigation. If these were broken up into market segments, they would be very beneficial to me. However, Vodafone are unlikely to publish these to me and may not answer to my inquiry. This is why I decided to reject this method. Government publication may have helped in my investigation such as Social Trends and the Census of Population.
This may have told me about the trends in the whole market. However, I felt that this would be irrelevant to the aims of my investigation and rejected this method of research. Business Studies textbooks could help me find out more about the marketing mix and market research. This information is right at my fingertips even though a lot of it cannot be used in this investigation. However, I have decided to choose this method as the data from it is excellent. I will also use questionnaires, using both closed and open questions in order to get a better response from the participants.
I will issue a sample of 25 questionnaires to Vodafone customers outside the Vodafone store in Lisburn. I decided on this as I felt I would get a good response through this and that the participants would be able to have any questions explained to them face to face. A questionairre will also be issued to the store manager of Vodafone in Lisburn via an interview. This has the advantages of the public questionnaire, though the management may not respond to my request of an interview. My final questionnaire will be sent via e-mail to the marketing department of Vodafone UK.
This will be exactly the same as the questions asked to the store manager in Lisburn, though with E-mail, the person can answer my questionnaire from anywhere in the world and I will be getting answer from Vodafone staff who deal with staff on a national basis, rather than the local basis of the store manager in Lisburn. Observing the Vodafone store will also allow me to see what the physical environment it is like. It also gives me the reliability to my coursework that I require. Even though it may leave some questions unanswered, observation will allow me to survey a number of individuals in a short space of time
For my public sample, I will be choosing a completely random sample, though this random sample will be situation outside the Vodafone store in Lisburn. This makes sure that bias is not introduced in my sample and that the sample is picked quickly and easily. Having said this though, a sample of 25 may not be very representative of the 12 million UK Vodafone customers! Methods I didn’t use include the use of television, radio and newspapers, which I found a limited source as Vodafone where rarely in the news.
A telephone interview allows interviews to be held over the telephone, but I found this a limited research resource as the success rate is poor and it is only possible to ask short questions. Therefore, I decided not to choose this option. Postal surveys allow questionnaires to be sent out by post. This has a very low success rate as people regard it as ‘junk mail’. Therefore, I decided not to choose this option. Analysis In doing my questionnaire, the questions related to my original three aims of the coursework.
The quality of data I have received from textbooks and the Internet (particularly the Vodafone website) has been excellent, as they have both contributed greatly to my coursework research. The only drawback to using the Vodafone website was that it may have been biased in order to emphasise worldwide sales, environmental policies and the quality of their customer service. The quality of data I received from Vodafone customers through the use of my questionnaire was very good as this enabled me to complete my aims.
I had used a sample of 25 for this survey. However, a letter posted to the store manager of Vodafone in Lisburn has not led to a reply for my request of an interview. The same problem has also occurred for me when E-mailing the Vodafone marketing department in order for them to answer my questionnaire. This leads me to believe that the customer service of Vodafone isn’t of the high standard that it expresses and therefore, the quality of data fails to be as high as I had hoped.
Observation of the staff and the way customers are dealt with also gave me an insight to Vodafone’s view on people, which, again, helps me achieve my overall aims. Overall, I am pleased with the data that I had received even though I had little experience with the method of the field research I participated in despite having a lot of experienced with the types of desk research I had gathered. The results from the questionnaire show a number of large trends.