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Chapter - 1: Introduction
Relationship marketing plays a significant role in the present market scenarios as it mainly illustrates the relationship among the customers and organizations. Relationship marketing is a form of marketing that evolved during 1970 and 1980s (Regis McKenna, 1991, p. 4). It mainly highlights the consumer satisfaction instead of focusing on sales transactions because these relationships will help the organizations in sustaining and supporting the technological edge of the company. According to Lisa A. Guion and Heather Kent (2005, p.1), â€œRelationship marketing is the process of attracting, maintaining and enhancing relationships with key individuals over timeâ€?. The marketer should act like an integrator where they must synthesize technological capability with the market needs and the marketer must be supposed to bring the customer into organizations. Customers mingle with the companies as participants for the adaptation and development of services and goods. So, the relationships are considered as the key point for the basis of customer choice and company adaption. Relationship marketing involves in using the one-on-one communication in earning the loyalty of customers (GUION, L. A., 2005). These relationships can be easily improved in the organizations if the marketing is part of everyone's job description that is from receptionist to board of directors. This method integrates the customers in designing the products which in turn creates a substance in the relationship. Relationship marketing is the key point to be considered in the retail sector. Many of the countries have increased its growth due to retailing. â€œRetailers interact with the final customer in a supply network, but they are both buyers and sellers of goods and servicesâ€? (Malcolm Sullivan and Dennis Adcock, 2002, p.3). Presently, there is a vast change in the retail industry and offers employment to more number of people. In these sector, retailer acts as a trader or dealer who sells the goods in small quantities. Retail sector will include various organizations related to different markets. Marketing in the retail sector can be improved only when there is a constant relationship between the customer and the organizations. Hence, it can be said that relationship marketing plays a vital role in marketing the goods in retail sectors. This marketing increase the growth of the retail sectors and further raises the market level of the country over the worldwide.
In this thesis, the further sections include Literature review, Research methodology, Findings and Analysis, and Conclusions. In the Literature Review section it briefly describes about the retail marketing in UK, relationship marketing, approaches used for maintaining the relationship, types of markets and challenges that are faced by organizations. Research methodology section illustrates the approach that is selected for analyzing the relationship marketing in UK retail sector with the help of various case studies. Findings and analysis section discusses and analyzes the performance of maintaining the relationship marketing in various organizations. The last section draws the conclusions and recommendations.
1.2. Aims and Objectives
Aim: To study the relationship marketing in UK Retail sectors
- To focus on retail and relationship marketing
- To identify the various approaches those are used by various sectors for maintaining the relationships between customers and organizations.
- Discuss the challenges that are faced in the retail sectors.
- To examine the experimental results of relationship marketing in different retail sectors.
1.3. Purpose of Study
The main purpose of this research is to study the relationship marketing among the various retail sectors in UK. This report helps many of the organizations in analyzing the relationship marketing as it provides a clear idea on the retail sector and relationship marketing. Relationship marketing mainly focuses on the relationship among customers and organizations, rather concentrating on sales of goods. It will highlight the organization performance with respect to the relationship between industry and consumers.
1.4. Research Context
The present research is done in relationship marketing as it consists of the customer service and improving the quality according to customers taste such that both the customers and organizations are profited in real drive. Relationship marketing is the secret of the successful business marketing (Jane F.Eastham, Liz Sharples and Stephen D.Ball, 2001). The research mainly focuses on the relationship of internal marketing, suppliers, requirements of the markets and there influences how they are co-related with each other (Helen Peck, Martin Christopher and Adrian Payne, 1999). Maintaining good relationship between quality and the services provided by retailers has influenced new customers which have increased the growth of sales such that most of the organizations earn more and more profits (Martin Christopher, Adrian Payne and David Ballantyne, 2002. The present research work will be beneficial for business people who will gain a better understanding regarding retail market and helpful for the organizations that implement relationship management in gaining profits (Bob Stone and Ron Jacobs, 2007). It may be useful for the organizations as it may directly affect people who are involved in generating new ideas. So, the relationships are considered as the key point for the basis of customer choice and company adaption. Relationship marketing involves in using the one-on-one communication in earning the loyalty of customers (GUION, L. A., 2005). These relationships can be easily improved in the organizations if the marketing is part of everyone's job description that is from receptionist to board of directors. This research integrates the customers in designing the products which in turn creates a substance in the relationship. Relationship marketing is the key point to be considered in the retail sector. With the use of retailing most of the companies have improved their growth vigorously.
1.5. Research Method
According to Grinnell (1993), the word research is a combination of two syllables namely, re and search. Therefore, the meaning of research work can be taken as examining a particular thing again and again for achieving a systematic and faultless investigation in some kind of field that has been undertaken. The methodology of research work will focus on identifying the hidden problems of some field, determining solution for them and positioning the resulted data for reaching the conclusions of the research work (Ranjit Kumar, 2005). Case studies are selected as a suitable research methodology for the present research and researcher has to work hard in collecting the required data from different resources along with its evidences. In this type of research method, the gathered data is huge and many technologies have to be used for analyzing and organizing the data so as to reach the goals of the research work (Bill Gillham, 2000).
Research Area: Here the research area considered is UK retail marketing where it illustrates retail and relationship marketing, challenges that are faced in the retail sectors and gives experimental results of relationship marketing in different retail sectors.
Selecting Cases: Selecting cases is the critical step for any organization. UK market is very large and it became difficult here to select suitable cases studies for this research. At last this research considered two UK market leading organizations for the case studies including McDonald and Debenhams.
Identifications: This is the next step in research approach where the researchers need to identify the state of relationship marketing in considered organizations. Those identifications are given in the research methodology chapter of this research document.
Analyzing and monitoring results: An analysis must be taken after making research on any organization. And analysis must be monitor to understand the identification in the considered organizations. This research illustrates the analysis results with different types of graphs that can be understood by any person.
Recommendations: There are some recommendations given in the fifth chapter of this research documentation based on the research experience.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
Relationship Marketing is a marketing strategy that is developed from the direct response marketing campaigns that emphasizes customer retention and satisfaction rather than the major focus on point of sales transaction. It is a form of marketing the will recognize the long term values for the firm and focuses on acquisition of new clients by targeting the majority demographics based upon the prospective client lists. The main idea behind relationship marketing theory is the identification of key drivers which influences important outcomes for the firm and a better understanding of the fundamental relations between service providers and customers (Helen Peck, Martin Christopher and Adrian Payne, 1999). In the further sections of this chapter the retail marketing sector in UK is clearly discussed along with the relationship marketing in organizations with respect to six market frameworks. Creating and implementing the relationship marketing strategies and description of Relationship marketing along with the applications is clearly explained followed by the discussion on types of markets by comparing and contrasting the various approaches followed in the organizations.
2.2 Retail Marketing
Retailer is a dealer or trader who sells goods in small quantities or more. Retailing includes activities such as selling of products or goods and providing services to customers from a fixed location, which may be a departmental store or a boutique or by a mail in small or individual loads. Apart from these functionalities, retailing may also include services such as, delivery of products and goods. Retail Marketing is a process of buying and selling products or goods in the market. According to Philip J. Kitchen and Tony Proctor (2001) Retail marketing is mainly concerned with retail organization and it focuses on the application of marketing tools within its operating context. â€œThe retail marketing task is to deflect the customer in to the retail store and help to decide an appropriate compromise with regards store design, provision of services and customer desiresâ€? (Malcolm Sullivan and Dennis Adcock, 2002). â€œRetail marketing encompasses the activities involved in facilitating mutually beneficial exchange relationship between business organizations supplying goods and services and customersâ€? (Philip J. Kitchen and Tony Proctor, 2001, 264). â€œRetailing marketing is a distribution channel function where one organization buys products from supplying firms or manufactures the product themselves, and then sells these directly to consumersâ€? (Retailing, 2009, p. 1).
Retail marketing has its influence on the daily life of consumers and shopkeepers. Retailing is supported to provide utility to the customer and this comes from four different perspectives. These prospective can be explained as follows:
- Product utility - This type of utility is about the form of a product that is acceptable to the customer. That is the retailer provides final end products, but not raw materials and products which are usable to customers.
- Place utility - Retailing outlets will be available at places where the customers feel to be comfortable for their convenience (Malcolm Sullivan and Dennis Adcock, 2002).
- Time utility - Retail outlets or shops are available at a time suitable to the customer.
- Ownership utility - Retailers facilitate the transfer of ownership to customer depending upon the market situations (Malcolm Sullivan and Dennis Adcock, 2002).
2.2.1 Retail Marketing in UK
Since the Second World War, UK has become a service company: that is, in terms of output and in terms of employment. Many of the existing features of UK retailing are well known to the general public who has observed substantial changes in shops. Retail marketing is a highly dynamic industry in UK and it reflects the changes in rest of the society. With customer require patterns are affected by changing demographics and changes in incomes, customer credit and growth in part-time labor. Customers are comparatively affluent, sophisticated and time-pressured and therefore demanding a service (Philip J. Kitchen and Tony Proctor, 2001). In 1970's, most of advertisers are the manufacturing companies, such as Currys and comet in electrical sector, supermarkets and high street banks. Now, the situation has changed and the retailers are maintaining close relationships with their customers. The change of influence has developed in 3 different ways and they can be given as follows:
Firstly, most of the retail groups in UK have grown to equivalent or gone beyond the manufacturing organization in both capacity and size.
Secondly, with the severe changes in retail marketing, the stores of â€˜own-label' merchandise have increased. Most of the stores are offering high quality and excellent value products.
Third one is the development the market information. With the new technology like scanning restocking issues, the retailer can plan ranges, layouts and promotional details very precisely (Malcolm Sullivan and Dennis Adcock, 2002).
There is revival of price competition in 1990's, accompanied by a string service significance. And there has also been an increase in retailer diversification (e.g., high street fashion retailers moving into catalogue selling and grocers into non-food products). In spite of the increasing globalization of retailing, this is still usually the national environment, with its institutions, culture, and dictatorial framework. The UK retail market has experienced a dramatic re-shape in the year of 2004. This re-shape has been led by the achievement of Safeway supermarket chain by Morrison's, which has created the country's fourth biggest retailer. The UK biggest retailers are Tesco and asda and next are the Sainsbury's. With the achievement of the Safeway supermarket chain, Morrison's is in the fight for the third place with Sainsbury's (Graduate Prospects, 2009).
Over the next five years, the UK retail Market is in a position to increase its size by 15%, taking its value to just over Â£312bn (Datamonitor, 2009). But this represents a slowing down of annual growth and with increase in cost of credit and operating costs; the UK retail sector faces challenging times. The companies will suffer who cannot compete against shrinking margins. Among the UK retail market sector, electrical sector is the best performer with a growth of 24 % (Datamonitor, 2009). Hence, from the above discussion it can be understood that the retail marketing is crucial to effectively communicate a business to its customers in order to sell the products, launch new products to the marketplace, and to capitalize on revenues and profits.
2.3 Relationship Marketing
Relationship marketing is a process of attracting, enhancing and maintaining the relationships between the customers and managers in an organization. It mainly concentrates on increasing the life time value of customers and the strategies of relationship marketing mainly focus on the enhancement and development of relationships with a number of key marketing's. Relationship marketing will maintain the internal marketing relationships as well as external marketing relationships with suppliers, customers, referral sources, employees and recruitment markets (Adrian Payne, Martin Christopher, Helen Peck and Moira Clark, 1998). According to GRONROOS, C. (1994, p.421), relationship marketing is defined as â€œMarketing is to establish, maintain and enhance relationships with customers and other partners, at a profit, so that the objectives of the parties involved are met. This is achieved by a mutual exchange and fulfillment of promisesâ€?. These relationships are of two types in the marketing field. First one is for attracting the customers and another one is to develop the relationships with customers for achieving maximum profits in the organizations (GRONROOS, C., 1994). But, According to ZEITHAML, V. A. and BITNER, M. J. (2000, p.30), Relationship Marketing (RM) is defined as â€œRelationship Marketing is a philosophy of doing business, a strategic orientation that focuses on keeping and improving current customers, rather than acquiring new customersâ€?. Hence, from the above discussion it can be understood that relationship marketing plays a vital role to develop the organization by maintaining the relationships between consumers, suppliers and managers. RM is communicated closely with customers in order to improve a beneficial, mutually, continuous and long-term relationship. RM is a philosophy where it assumes that customers are maintaining the relationships within a single organization rather than selecting the different organizations. It is a consistent application up-to-Date Knowledge of consumers to service and product design.
Six markets framework in Relationship Marketing
Relationship Marketing contains six marketing models for improving the relationships between customers and company. These markets maintain the relationship between many organizations as well as within the organization. The six marketing models are considered as the central point of Relationship Marketing and the importance of these models is discussed as follows: (Helen Peck, Martin Christopher and Adrian Payne, 1999).
Internal Markets - Internal marketing maintains the relationships between employees in the organization. It mainly concentrates on the issues like why and how the employees are working in the organization to improve the effectiveness of an organization. In internal marketing, business to business marketing information can be examined. Thus, observing the employee behavior in the organizations is necessary to estimate their performance and the examined information is useful for managers to take decisions.
Customer Markets - In this marketing, it maintains the relationship with customers. It supplies products and services to two types of customers. They are consumers like end purchasers and trade customers like retailers and their relative power is to determine which sort of relationships are cultivated more continuously (Helen Peck, Martin Christopher and Adrian Payne, 1999).
Referral Marketing - It develops a plan for referral motivation and can be characterized based on the type of relationship. If Referral market has high credibility factor, then it can be considered as a decisive element and it is considered as customers, if the consumers enter into this markets with formal and informal referral agreements between themselves and suppliers of corresponding services and products. Thus, the relationships in this market need to be fair, open and well defined in the areas (Helen Peck, Martin Christopher and Adrian Payne, 1999). Thus, from the above discussion it can be understood that planning is necessary to take the further actions within the organizations. Referral Marketing can prepare perfect plans in the organization.
Recruitment Markets - This is also called as Employee Markets. Employment is becoming a part of an organization. It is a market related task so that it maintains the relationship with educational institutions, labor unions and recruitment partners. From the above discussion it can be stated that Recruitment Marketing plays an important role in developing the organization. The performance of the company can be improved by recruiting the best employees.
Influence Marketing - It is closely linked with the decision-making department within the organization because it influences the relationships in the organizations internally as well as externally. This market consists of different types of sub markets like stockholders, government agencies and consumer associations (Soren Hougaard and Mogens Bjerre, 2003). Thus, it also considered as an important marketing model in the organization because well defined decisions are useful for the company to get more profits.
Supplier Markets - In recent years, improving the relationships with the suppliers is considered as a great deal in the organizations. Every organization need to maintain contain the relationship with suppliers because marketing system approach contains downstream as well as upstream activities. This approach matched with the developments within the Supply Chain Management (SCM). Supplier Markets deals with the supplier issues in the organization (Soren Hougaard and Mogens Bjerre, 2003). Hence, it is necessary to maintain the relationship with the customers to get the mutual benefits in the organization and every marketing business needs long term relationships to improve the performance of the markets.
2.4 Creating and implementing the relationship marketing strategies
According to NORMANN, R. and RAMIREZ, R. â€œMarketing strategies provide the intellectual frame work, conceptual models and governing ideas that allow company mangers to identify the opportunities for bringing value to the customers and for delivering that value at a profitâ€? (cited in Helen Peck, Martin Christopher and Adrian Payne, 1999, pp. 407). These strategies are helpful for a company to define its business and links together. Relationship marketing implies relationship between the customer and buyer. Traditional marketing approach is based on management of the so-called marketing mix and relationship marketing rather than management of the stakeholder domains.
Marketing strategies and planning approaches are influenced in the retail business environment. The relationship marketing values emerge from customers and consumer values. These customer and consumer values are an impact of various elements like people, process and proactive (personalized) services. People are the essential part of a company and consumers are motivating and training the employees to attract the customers for selling their retail business shares. Customer satisfaction is very important in this interaction process. Processes are the way for creating values for the customer. The core processes of retail business include new product development processes, customer management process, supplier management process and order fulfillment process (Helen Peck, Martin Christopher and Adrian Payne, 1999). Now-a-days, most of the retail markets are developed based on the customer supported services. Customer services include relationships between the suppliers and customers. These services affected on the development of the retail firms and their customers to face market competitors. Customer services are helpful for the retail organizations and thereby increasing the share value in market. The relationship marketing strategies are defined by the implementation methods. These implementation methods are based on the sub system to improve the organization processes and relationships (Alain Ferrand and Scott McCarthy, 2008). Hence these three elements of the marketing can affect the marketing success and these elements are helpful while building up the relationship strategies.
Implementation of relationship strategies is based on delivering and creating a value in retail business. This implementation involves many strategies. The first one is relationships in multiple stockholders this issue illustrates two models in the retail business and the models are relationship value management frame work and service profit chain. These models are helpful in market domains for understanding the relationships between the consumer and customer. The second one is selecting an appropriate relationship marketing strategies for different customers. Third strategy is detail planning within the six market models. Finally organizations make use of this relationship management (Martin Christopher, Adrian Payne and David Ballantyne, 2002).
Achieving more profits for a retailing company is not an easy task and needs good customer relationship management. Customer relationship is the most important aspect in every market strategy. Marketing relationships are the living things in all types of businesses. If the company maintains good market relationships with their customers then automatically profits are obtained. These profits are obtained in the following ways (William M. Pride and O. C. Ferrell, 2004).
- By attracting new customers.
- By enhancing the profits of the existed customer.
- By increasing the customer relationship.
Implementing the market relationship means exchange of relationships between the consumer and customer. Maintaining good relationship with customers is the main goal of many retail marketers. To maintain these relationships for a long time retail marketers are turned into the market research and information technology (William M. Pride and O. C. Ferrell, 2004). To create marketing strategies Customer Relationship Management (CRM) focuses on the customer information. Managing these relationships need to identify the buying behavior and consumer behavior with the customer. CRM is mainly focused on developing the company relationship capabilities. To improve these capabilities customer management leader must contain good relationship qualities with the customers (Bryan Foss and Merlin Stone, 2001). Hence from the above discussion it can be stated that implementation of marketing strategies depends upon customer interactions because profits for an organizations can be obtained by maintaining good customer relationships.
2.5 Description of Relationship marketing and its applications
In relationship marketing organizations mainly concentrates on customer satisfaction. Relationship marketing has lot of applications towards organization and customers. Organizations can maintain a long relationship with the customers through relationship marketing. Maintaining long relationship with the customers will be a benefit for both customers and organizations (Rajeev Batra and David Shepard, 1999). For any organization, though profit is the main motive they should also concentrate on customer needs. If organizations concentrate on quality and needs of customer then they can get the profits easily (Jakki J. Mohr, Sanjit Senguptha and Stanley F. Slater, 2004). Some of the applications towards the organizations for maintaining good customer relationships:
- Increased purchase - If organization maintains a good relationship with the customer then they tend to buy more products. Organizations must ensure that the customers should remain interested and engaged in purchasing the product (Christian, 2008).
- Lower costs - Sometimes organizations may decrease the cost of the product for attracting the new user and to maintain the existing customers. This decrease of costs will be a great benefit to both the customers and organizations. Customers can buy their products for low costs as well as the organizations can attract more customers.
- Life time value - Good and loyal customers can generate life time value of a product or organization. If loyal customers buy the products in same organization throughout his life time then organization will get profits continuously (Shajahan, S., 2004).
- Sustainability - Maintaining long relationships with customers is a great benefit to the organization. Customer may stick to one particular organization for a long time if organizations have good relationships with their customers. Through these long relationships with the customers an organization can give a good competition to other organizations. Organizations can sustain in the competitive market with good customer relationship.
- Word of mouth promotion - To promote any product organizations needs lot of promotions and advertisements, for this it requires lot of money. But if organizations maintain good will in the market then the product will automatically promoted through customer referrals and mouth promotions.
- Employee's job satisfaction - Satisfaction of customers will bring satisfaction to the employee's in the organization. If customer satisfied then the turnover of the organization will increase (Levitt, 2009).
From the above discussion it can be understood that, all the applications towards the organization will lead to the profits of the organization. For any organization Profit is the ultimate goal. So ultimate goal of the organization can be achieved by maintain good relationships with the customers.
Relationship marketing has been implementing in many organizations. For example, Meridien group of hotels used relationship marketing very effectively for satisfying the customers. Meridien hotels are established all over the world. This hotel is open to all the travelers all over the world. Meridian group of hotels recently launched a program called moments.com. By this program they are attracting the customers and they are finding the loyal customers. Before using relational marketing they used to implement the seasonal packages. But implementing relationship marketing is more advantageous than other methods. Now Merridian hotels are implementing the packages based on the customer needs but not on the seasons. They provided all the requirements for the customers within the hotel only. This made the customers to choose Merridian hotel as one of the best hotel in the world (SHAINESH, G. and Atul Parvatiyar, 2001).
2.6 Approaches for maintaining relationships among the customers and retailers
Customer plays an important role in any type of business. The relationship between customer and retailer is maintained when customer is loyalty and satisfied. Further, developing the relationship retailers must and should have the total information about the customers (Margaret Bruce, Christopher Moore and Grete Birtwistle, 2004). But according to Robert H. Lowson, â€œThe relationship between customer service level and inventory of finished goods for low, medium and high vendor process timeâ€? (2002, p.207), if the retail markets provide better services for the customer in supply of good in time that maintains a good relationship between them. But as some aspects the retails are unable to meet the requirements of the customer satisfaction.
Some of the approaches for maintain relationship among the customers and retailers were as follows:
- Identify the customer - Try to find out relevant customer that what the products and services they need they might be either internal or external customers and by maintain the data base of the customers (Greg Balanko-Dickson, 2006).
- Gaining customer attention-Try to attract the more and more customer by advertizing the product.
- Understanding customer needs-Try to understand the needs of the customer in detail regarding what they are, actually what is the need and what they do.
- Customer expectations-Try to clarity the customer exactly what the products are been delivered.
- Feedback of customers-Taking the feedback from the customer also helps a lot for the retailers, regarding the comments they mentioned and opine of the customer about the performance of the product and how useful to them (Kimball Fisher, R.Rayner and William Belgard, 1995).
According to Gavriel Salvendy (2001, p.775), â€œRelationship among manufacturers, suppliers, vendors, retailers and customers work together to provide a product that the customer wants at a price that the customer is willing to payâ€?. By maintaining the quality of service in the production of goods at best price the market standards and retailers are trying to grape the attention of the customer by providing schemas and giving discounts on the products which helps in maintaining good relationship between them.
Another approach is finding out the customers interest by analyzing how many time they are visiting their website for a particular product, such that they can identify the area of interest of a customers and their wills. Now-a-days, usage of internet has been gradually increasing day by day, providing online shopping to retailers for increasing profits by attracting customers. Customers are also attracted by e-retailers because more benefits like saving time and get all the details of the product etc even for retails by rapid increase in sale for e-retails (Michael Shaw, 2003). By the approach of e-retailer new customer are also been attracted even customer also gain profits.
Customer- Facing Front-End Approach
customer relationship management is trying to analyze the transaction of sales and benefits owned by the customer via internet(e-retailer) so that they can clearly identify the problems faced by the customers to maintain good relationships between them (Kumar,2006). There is one to one relationship between the customer and retailer which refers to relationship marketing by promoting quality approach. Provide more facilities for the customers who frequently visit. A friendly interaction should be maintained between the customer and retailer to grape the attention of customers. From all the above approaches it can be concluded that a good relationship between the customers and retailers can be obtained by providing online shopping, loyalty, maintaining good communication between retails and customers, analyzing the customer satisfaction etc which helps in maintaining friendly and good relationships between the retailers and customers.
2.7 Types of Markets
Market is described as a place where different types of operations are done. Market mainly depends on consumers and vendors. It is a place where both consumers and retailers get together to buy and sell. Recently internet plays an important role in marketing. Even consumers are interested in online marketing (Economy Watch, 2009).
Types of Consumer markets
There are two types of consumer markets. They are as follows:
- Commodity markets
- Industrial markets and Capital Goods
- Consumer Market
- Business to Business Market
Commodity markets are the markets which include goods related to energy, soft commodities, grains and financial communities. Goods related to energy are Oil, coal, gas and renewable energy resources like bio diesel. Wheat, rice, soya beans, coffee, sugar etc. are some of the commodities related to grains. Bonds are related to financial commodities (tutor2u, 2009).
Industrial Markets and Capital Goods
Capital goods markets assist industries to purchase long-lasting goods which are used in manufacturing process. These are also associated with several other services. Transactions are being inclined for whole sale with large amount of supplies being carried out with very low cost (Economy Watch, 2009).
Hence from the above context it can be understood that market is place where different types of process is done and it mainly depends on consumers and suppliers. Consumer markets are divided into two types they are commodity goods and industrial markets and capital goods. Commodity markets are related to food and energy related goods. Whereas an industrial market depends on purchasing goods by which a manufacturing of goods is made.
A market is treated as a place where buyers and sellers interact with each other so as to attain some sort of material exchange for the benefit of both. There exist different types of markets and out of all these types, consumer market and business to business market are the major ones in retailing industry (Alan E. Aldridge, 2005). These two markets can be explained clearly with its suitable sectors as follows:
Consumer market is revolutionizing at a rapid speed and leading to some of the new opportunities and challenges for market analyzers. By the introduction of consumer markets, several modifications in the field are rising and they include changes in buying behavior, growth in the urbanization, changing trends and lifestyles of people, implanting emergency in the service sector and improvement in the role of retailer so as to upgrade the link between buyer and seller (Consumer Markets, 2009). Consumer market is a collection of different market types and they include Consumer products, Retail, Food and beverages etc. Out of all these markets Food and beverages is the foremost type for analyzing the approaches used by organizations involved in food sector. The growth and increased popularity for the companies involved in this type of sectors is mainly due to the increased awareness of consumers and their changing lifestyles. There exist several sub segments in this type of sector and they are dairy products, beverages, frozen foods, meat poultry, packaged foods, Cocoa products and confectionary etc. (India Brand Equity Foundation, 2009). From the above context it can be understood that though there exist several types of marketing styles, customer market and business to business market because markets have influenced the marketing environment in attaining the customer satisfaction and fulfilling the needs of industries. It can also be stated that consumer markets have gained the popularity and the reason for such an increased popularity is because of changing trends and lifestyles of people.
Business to Business Market
Business to Business market is a large scale marketing which involves interaction between industries rather than the normal buyer and seller. Business to Business market is a type of mechanism which has the ability to overcome the limitations of general markets and makes it easy for organizations to eliminate market liquidity situation, low operational velocity and high transactional costs (MAHADEVAN, B., 2004). One of the industrial sectors which use this type of marketing is textile industry. Many of the organizations that involve in textile industry are making use of business to business market because it involves transportation of huge amounts of clothes and thereby eliminating the problems involved in normal one to one exchange (Jeanne Mager Stellman, 1998). From the above it can be stated that business to business market is best suited to the textile industry because it has the advantage of eliminating traditional one to one exchanging and also eliminates the market liquidity, low operational velocity.
2.7.1 Compare and contrast the approaches used in various organizations
Retail sectors are one of the major sectors that play a significant role in raising the growth of nation. For example, the Indian retail market is placed and considered as the fifth largest retail destination and globally represented as the second most attractive emerging market which increases the investment (IBEF, 2009). These sectors include various markets like consumer markets, business to business markets, etc. Different organizations will be related to various sectors based on their requirements. These entire sectors follow different approaches for reaching their goals or objectives. Some of the sectors that are included in the retail sectors are food sectors, clothing sector, etc. where the food sector will be related to the consumer markets and the clothing sector will be related to the business to business markets. For example: Consider Barbeque nation in the food sector and the Levi's Strauss clothing & Co. for the business to business markets.
Levis Strauss & Co. - It is one of the largest brand names over the worldwide and considered as the world's largest clothing industry. This organization is famous in producing the new products called as blue jeans. The productions of these products were increased mainly in U.S. the name of this company have become popular all over the work within a short period of time. It has been increasing its growth right from its establishment and is established in various locations like India, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Korea, Brazil, Philippines, Argentina and Taiwan (Levi Strauss & Co., 2009). This clothing sector will be related to business to business markets. Business to business markets sells the products and services to the business people for running their operations. They just ignore the views of the people and develop the products based on the aims of the people. From this context, it can be understood that business to business sector provides services to the small scale industries based on their goals. Clothing sectors is one of such service that provides and designs the products according to their principles.
Barbeque Nation Restaurant - Barbeque Nation is one of the most familiar restaurants. It offers various services to the people based on their needs and follows a new principle in offering the services that are it prefixes the menu and dining experience that comes with a live grill. "Experience a Cooking that has your contribution in basting the food with your Favorite marinade and give that finishing touch that the customer prefer" (Barbeque Nation, 2009, p.1). It is using this process to attract more number of customers towards their restaurant. This food sector is related to consumer markets. This organization is included in the consumer markets as these markets design the products and provide services for the general consumers. This sector is established only for offering services to the consumers and this sector can easily raise their growth with the help of changing life styles and consumer awareness (CM, 2009). The main aim of these sectors is to satisfy the customers and should change their services based on their needs. From this context, it can be understood that consumer market concentrates mainly on the views of customers and considers the feedback from them. Based on their feedback, services offered in the sectors will be changed. Food sector will belong to this category and provides services to customers and operates on their ideas.
Hence, it can be said that different organizations belong to various sectors based on their objectives. Some of the markets directly consider the views of the people and other markets concentrates on their goals where it offers services to small scale industries.
2.8 Challenges faced by marketing organizations
Relationship marketing is an event, determined by the plans of customer point of reference. In this event, organization faces certain challenges to facilitate relationship with customers (Evert Gummesson, 2002). These challenges faced by organization are explained as follows:
The necessary condition for an organization in providing customer oriented and personal information is to recognize the exact information required by the end grouping. Organizations have to maintain detailed information about the customer necessity and have to maintain the record. In order to know the customer requirements, organizations have to allow customers find themselves and submit a brief description about it. But the organization must be careful that obtained data must not lead to any reactance (Thorsten Henning- Thurau, Ursula Hansen, 2000). From the above context it can be understood that an organization have to make a note of the customer needs and have to maintain a documentation of needs. Organization has to take just an idea from the customer views but should not follow each and every point specified by the customer because it increases the unnecessary problems for organizations.
Different types of statements managed by organization do not try to find usage of the requirements given by the customer and learn to keep a conversation with repeated contacts to acquire the appropriate data. It also requires a repeated modification and restructure of resources are provided in parallel with regular search for new and good-looking message parts (Mike Worsam, 2003). From the above context it can be understood that organizations must not fully concentrate on the ideas given by the customers but have to maintain the database of their suggestions. Organization has to reach the hope of customers in terms of quality of the content determined by the customer. The response time of an organization to the customer complaints on content must be solved as early as possible, since the customers expect quick response for their complaints. From the above context it can be understood that customer except a quick response to their complaints and quality of the product should reach the expectations.
A chat forum introduced by an organization creates a major challenge in encouraging customers to participate in chat forums. Customers will participate in forums only if the products create interest in their minds. In certain cases too much influence can also leads to certain problems which affects development of an organization (Alain Ferrand and Scott McCarthy, 2008). From the above context it can be understood that organizations face major challenge to make their customers in participating in chat forums so that organizations can correct their errors and provide a good service to customers. Organization provides chat forums on the web to communicate with customers and get their feedback throughout the world. In this chat forums organization includes the information related to company and their products to maintain the balance with customers. It is necessary for any organization to maintain the balance between organization and customer to develop in the competitive market. Customer needs to register in organizations chat forum so that they can get the information related to the organization and their product any time by log-in into chat forums (Genevieve Edmonds and luke Beardon, 2008). Thus, chat forums are the great way to save the time and money for customers as well as for organizations. Organizations can maintain the relationships with customers with the help of chat forums.
Analyzing the information gained from the customer is another important challenge for an organization. The requirements of customer on products are continuously changing and also the mistakes noticed from previous products can be noted from the customers. This process has to be done quickly and mistakes have to be corrected as early as possible to maintain good relationship with customers (Harris and Charles Dennis, 2002). From the above context it can be understood that the organization must analyze the information collected from customers and has to rectify their mistakes of the earlier products in order to get good response from the customers.
One of the main challenges for organization is the means of communication between the organization and customers. Previously company staff members provided communication externally so as to reduce unnecessary problems among them. Internet provided a good means of communication between customers and organization because the company can advertise on their new products so that customers can get the complete information about the every product related to the organization (Thorsten Henning- Thurau, Ursula Hansen, 2000). Hence from the above it can be concluded that there exist many challenges for an organization and they has to be solved immediately so that there will not be any problems for the future of an organization.
Hence, form the above study on the literature review of relationship marketing stated that relationship marketing is the main important marketing technique for the organizations to maintain the balance between the customer and mangers or sellers. Every organization wants to get the profits and good name in the world market so they are implementing relationship marketing and their application into their organizations. Relationship marketing has six marketing frameworks which are useful to increase the relationship between the organizations and maintain the relationship between the employee and customers within organizations. Relationship marketing strategies are implemented in the organizations based on the communication level between the organization and customers. By implementing the marketing strategies in the organizations, organizations get profits and they can maintain strong relationships with customers. Thus, the demands for analysis and measurements of effectiveness of relationship marketing will be increased in the future. The main goal of the relationship marketing in the future is to provide the increased profits, benefits and performance to all the stakeholders in the organizations.
Chapter 3: Research Methodology
Relationship marketing acts as a key role in the present market structure as it mainly maintain the relationship among the clients and business people. The process of the Relationship marketing is mainly focused on the methodologies in representing attractive market techniques, proper maintaining of goods and enhancing key relationships with each and every individual customer indicating trust in marking the products (Francis Buttle, 1996). Since it is consider to be a key point in the Relationship market. UK lead companies have deiced to do Qualitative and quantitative research on their products. UK retail marketing system is very highly difficult and competitive. As marketing requires change these researches study methodologies in current marketing used by retail companies in UK.
3.2. Research approaches
Research approach is capable of making the components work harmoniously in completing the research work successfully. These approaches mainly state the goals in a specific order for performing the task (Joseph Alex Maxwell, 2005).
Research approaches are classified in to two types:
- Qualitative Research Approach
- Quantitative Research Approach
3.2.1. Qualitative Research
Qualitative research has developed in 1980's. It is a field of inquiry that explains discipline and subject matters. It is called as ethnographic research. It involves collection of narrative data in a natural setting in order to gain insights into phenomenon of interest. This research studies many variables over an extensive period of time to find out the way things are, how and why they came to be that way and what it all means(Michael Huberman Matthew and Miles, 2002).
When it comes to UK retail Marketing Environment it is highly complex and competitive. As marketing requires change this research studies current marketing practices used by retail companies in UK. This research investigates their correlation across four different retail sectors. All the sectors were used randomly by taking samples of companies like grocery, banking, optical, health etc. Among all the companies respondents feel that their company is improving its marketing practices to develop relationship with customers. Across all retail company's variety of marketing types are being implemented (David Gilbert and Fiona Sumner, 2004).
Retailing is the eighth biggest sector of the world's economy in terms of market status. Retail sector makes contributions to employment and GDP. It also contributes to demand and economic growth indirectly through its work with business services and suppliers. The Qualitative research tells us the innovations or improvements to be made in the market to develop relationship in retail sector. They are as follows:
- This is achieved by improving the effectiveness of innovation related support activity within Government which will require a systematic approach to coordinating information and expertise in Government. Not only that a better method to identify and challenging of commercial, innovation related initiatives are required.
- By Increasing the awareness and take-up of R and D tax credits by retail sector and is achieved by improving speed and transparency to reduce uncertainty and also by retailers and suppliers which they undertake to identify and priories which qualifies both large and small business.
- Innovative promotion of retailers in sustainability is achieved by Provision of support mechanisms like VAT reductions etc, reduction of barriers and fostering of skills by building environmental awareness.
- By identifying and supporting the complex sets of skills required for retail marketing and is achieved by providing awareness training to employees, management of innovation skills training, cross-sector technical skills training capability etc.
Qualitative researches and case study approaches are recognized practices in management of retail market for innovation and understanding behaviors, values and beliefs. The degree of external validity is a consideration of qualitative research. This is because of the tendency to employ case studies or smaller samples that have been minimized to some extent through the use of large mixed purposive samples (Latchezar Hristov and Dr. Jonathan Reynolds, 2007).
Applications of qualitative research in UK Retail Marketing:
The qualitative research in UK Retails marketing provides high value products or services and industrial products that are not generic commodities. This leads to high switching costs. Production phase is improved by the customer involvement and a continuous relationship should be maintained (Levitt, 2009).
For instance, consider an organization that implies the qualitative research in retail marketing is London Business Scholl whose Moto is Targeting a global segment with global business capabilities. This organization uses Zara to highlight the essence of successful global marketing strategies which enables it to reach a global segment across many countries and has built global business capabilities to bring profits. Integrating global strategy, innovative marketing and a global supply chain is achieved by creating values to customers. Their main objective is to reach the industry professionals to form group of participants (Proact, 2007).
Hence from the above context it is understood that the qualitative research develops a good relationship in the UK Retail market. This is achieved by following some of the techniques so that the relationship between the customer and the retailer improves.
3.2.2. Quantitative Research
The definition of the Quantitative Research is explained by Daniel Muijs (2004) as â€œPhenomena by collecting numerical data that are analyzed using mathematically based methods (in particular statistics)â€?. Therefore, Quantitative research is used to measure the total number of public feel, consider or do something in a particular approach. Mainly this survey has a propensity to include large of case studies by conducting several number of interviews. â€œStructured questionnaires are usually used incorporating mainly closed questions - questions with set responsesâ€? (DJS Research, 2005). Various numbers of methods exits which are used for gathering quantitative information but mainly focused on telephone interviews.
The main intention of Robert Murray Thomas (2003) doing research is to add more information but it is time consuming to do better research. Since there exit four different Quantitative case studies:
- Survey done on telephones.
- By experiments.
- Co-relational case studies.
- By analyzing the Quantitative content.
UK lead companies have deiced to do quantitative research on their products. Since they have decided to do survey on the opinion of the customers but they are not focusing on the manufacturing of the product. Conventional customer quantitative research helps the lead company to have clear idea of the product out come and its disadvantages. So they can add the additional quality of the product. â€œThe outcome of the research gave a leading edge to the UK Company and this was subsequently marketed very efficiently to its benefitsâ€? (Robin Birn, 2004). This made UK lead company to have strong position in the market resulting in tremendous growth in the market campaign. Most of the companies are focusing on the market research for its competitive advantages. This made the companies to attract new customer by presenting the improved quality of the products which are designed in such a way to increase customer's efficiency ( Rajanee Ranjan, 2002). Even in depth interviews have been done by the UK companies where approved with many products sold in the market to launch their ideas towards leading suppliers in market in terms of packing their goods like cost, delivery and quality along with company's good will. On the other hand the companies are facing problems in conducting Face to Face interviews as it is time consuming and affecting the budget (Jeremy Kendall, 2003). Even telephonic interviews may potentially lead the respondent and it may cause a negative impact on the response by the customers and may affect the brand name in the market.
3.3. Data types
Data is simply said as raw information. To understand this information different ways or methods are given which can be defined as data types. Data types helps in knowing about the structure of the data. Data types include some models and operations which operate on the data. For any research first and foremost thing is to know about the different types of data which is helpful in analyzing and understanding the business activities (James Stephenson and Rich Mintzer, 2008). For any general research of data, researchers frame the data in two types and are classified as shown below:
- Primary data
- Secondary data
Primary data Types
Primary data is the information which is got by conducting own research. This information can be collected freely by talking to the customers, suppliers or by observing the target customers and their goods or services. Primary data consists of data which is collected by the researchers for a particular task in the fields like information about the daily temperature; rainfall etc. (Larry O'Brien,1992) primary data involves â€œthe use of questionnaire, other form of social survey, to obtain economic, social or attitudinal data directly from households or individual customersâ€?(Marsh and Bateson). Different ways are used for collecting the primary data some of them are: hosting focus groups, looking of yellow pages, observations, questionnaires and searching through online.
Advantages of using primary data types for retail marketing in UK retail sectors
The advantage of using this approach is the data which is collected by the researchers can be easily understood, can find errors and correct them easily as the data is from their collections and recordings. Here researchers can adapt the data collection methods according to their needs and specifications. This primary data helps in knowing the exact data and the tools or methods used in it. The study on specific tool and its consistent protocols are clearly explained (Janet Houser, 2007). The main advantage of using this methodology is the time required is very less and the helpful to meet the specific meets, the answers for specific research can be easily know. This type of primary data helps in retail marketing as the data can be collected within time which is useful to get uptakes from the customers. In this researchers can easily gather information rather than assigning work to the other companies.
As from the above context it can be know that primary data is easy and uses less time there are some disadvantages in using them some of them are it is very expensive, there is only one way to solve the questions, reliance on patient recall. Due to these disadvantages researchers are using secondary data types in place of primary data types as the secondary data types can overcome these disadvantages (jurgen Uhl and Hans Aldrecht Schmid, 1990)
Secondary Data types
Secondary data is the information which already available in some form to the user. Secondary data can be collected from both internal and external resources. Internal resources like database, company analysis and reports can collect data secondary data. Secondary data can also acquired from external resources like websites, government statistics, trade associations, books, journals, newspapers, national and international institutions, material from video tapes, CD and DVD's (Geoffrey Lancaster, 2005). Collecting secondary data is cheaper when compared with primary data, because secondary data will be available directly to the users without any surveys or researches. While collecting secondary data, user must be careful in choosing resources in order to get the desired data. Secondary information such as sales reports, storage, transportation and finance related issues should be collected cautiously by enterprises in order to get the accurate results in business. User must check copyrights, time span of the data, source bias, exclusive rights, trademarks and reliability of the resources for collecting information (James Stephenson and Rich Mintzer, 2008).
Relationship marketing in UK retail sector uses both primary and secondary data. But using secondary data is more advantageous in relationship marketing in UK retail sectors when compared with primary data. The main reason for using secondary data rather than primary data is time and cost. Collecting primary data requires more time and money when compared with secondary data (Masaaki Kotabe and Kristiaan Helsen, 2009). In relationship marketing to conduct surveys researchers must approach different organizations and should take opinions from users. These opinions should be examined by the researcher in order to get accurate statistics in surveys. So conducting surveys and polls for relationship marketing in UK retail sector is a time taking process. Different opinions from different organizations may lead to confusion for the researcher. Sometimes collecting opinions from each and every organization may be a hectic work for the researcher (J Paul Peter James H Donnelly, 2004). Using secondary data for relationship marketing in UK retail sector can obtain more accurate data compared with primary data. The users can easily understand the market growth and problems in the market using secondary data for relationship marketing in UK retail sector. In relationship marketing users need not to collect data from organizations as the secondary data is directly available. User just needs to extract the available data to make use of it (Research, 2004). Hence collecting primary data like surveys and polls in relationship marketing requires greater amount of time and cost. Collecting primary data may not be possible for all the users and organizations. Organizations need not to conduct surveys and polls every time if it uses secondary data. So using secondary data will be a great advantage to relationship marketing in UK retail sector for saving time and money.
There are some disadvantages of using secondary data in relationship marketing. Secondary data collected by the organizations many not be correct and time span of that data may less. Sometimes collected data may be insufficient for the organizations. Secondary data may be unreliable because author can write their own views (Francis Buttle, 1996). Data from one source may be different from another source; this may cause confusion to the organizations who are dealing with relationship marketing. For relationship marketing in UK retail sector, statistics play an important role in defining various things. If unauthorized data is collected from sources then the total system may be affected (Philip Kotler and Gray Armstrong, 2005). Hence, while collecting secondary data organizations must be careful. Organizations or users should check the copyrights, authorization of data and time span of data.
3.4. Porters five force model
Portal five force model is an easy and dominant tool for understanding the power location in an industry position. This tool is very much useful in understanding asset of both current and future position of an organization. This tool helps in finding the position of new products whether it makes profit or not. It is also used to determine the fault of an organization and can rectify their mistake in order to make good profits. The five forces which determine the strength of an organization are as follows (strategic Management, 2007):
- Supplier Power
- Buyer Power
- Competitive Rivalry
- Threat of New Entry
- Threat of Substitution
By using the supplier power it is easy to analyze how simple for a supplier to hike prices of their products. This mainly depends on number of suppliers for the product, their potency and control of consumer and the cost of controlling from one to another. If the number of suppliers is less the demand that product is more and in such a situation a supplier can increase the price depending on the demand for that product and vice versa. A good relation between supplier and consumer is maintained only when the cost of the product is within the expectations of consumer (Mind tools, 2009).
Buyer power shows more impact on an organization. When the power of buyer is strong then the relationship between industry and consumer will be consumer dominant. In such a case customer sets the price of the product. There will be a little uncertainty in relation. In order to avoid this uncertainty consumer must set a reasonable price for the product so that a good relationship will be maintained between them (WordIQ, 2009).
This mainly depends on the number and capacity of supplier. If more than one supplier gives same offers which makes customer more attractive, in such a situation customer will probably have more power than the supplier. This rivalry among the suppliers helps in maintaining good relationship between consumer and supplier because of the attractive offers provided by the supplier on their goods (Strategic Management, 2007).
Threat of New Entry
It is not only the competition among the current suppliers but also there is an option of new firms may enter the industry. This entry of new firms increases the competition among the suppliers. If the competition among the suppliers increases even more then the customers are even more benefitted because of the offers given by suppliers. In such a case customers are willing to maintain a good connection with suppliers (WordIQ, 2009).
Threat of substitution
If a supplier supplies a single product which computerizes the significant work and the customer may substitute that product by doing manually or by giving it to another supplier only when substitution process is easy. This substitution reduces the power of supplier and also affects the relation with the customer (Mind tools, 2009).
3.5. Case studies on various organizations
A case study is a written summery or synthesis of real life cases based upon data and research. Case study is required to isolate and think through the key issues involved against both theory and the larger comparative environment. It identifies appropriate strategy for the resolution of the case and weighs the pro, and con of the remedial strategy (Robert E. Stake, 1995). In other words we can say that case study is one of several ways of doing research whether it is social science related or even socially related. It is an intensive study of a single group, incident, or community. Other ways include experiments, surveys or analysis of archival information (Beverly Davenport Sypher, 1990). The main purpose of developing a case study is to define the objective of the case study. It identifies the important players within the organization and also identifies other target groups of the organization, weather client or suppliers. Case study states the official mission of the organization and historical mission of the organization (Robert K. Yin, 2003). In any given study we will concentrate on the one. The time we spend concentrating on the one may be a day or a year, but while we concentrate we are engaged in a case study.
Case Study on McDonald's
McDonald's is a fast food chain and was launch during the year 1974. McDonald's has continued its profitability by offering many services to the customers with the help of their usual list like Burgers, Pizzas and French fries to its UK customers. However, since 2001, the McDonald's consumers in UK held McDonald's responsible for causing obesity as from this it is very clear that it has been drawing increased criticism (William L. Shanklin, 1990). After the people of UK held McDonald's responsible for obesity. So to sustain in the market McDonald's added salads to its menu, which the company felt, would change its image from being a junk food retailer to a healthy food provider. It also changed the appearance of its stores to compete in the highly competitive UK fast food market.
After segmenting the market, finding the target segment and positioning itself, McDonald's needs to come up with an offer and they are:
McDonald's has intentionally kept its product depth and product width limited. Firstly McDonald's studied the behavior of the customers in a particular area and then provides a total different menu as compared to others. McDonald's continuously innovates its product according to the changing preferences and tastes of its customers. It always brings with it a globally reputed brand; world class food quality and excellent customer specific product features (David L. Kurtz, 2008).
Place is important so that the product is available to the customer at right place, at the right time and in the right quantity. There are certain value propositions that McDonald's offer to its customers based on their needs. McDonald's offers hygienic environment, good ambience and great service all over. Now days McDonald's is providing certain dedicated areas for children where they can play while their parents can have some quality time together.
Pricing includes the list price, the discount functions available, the financing optional available. This is the most important part of the marketing mix as this is the only part which generates revenue. McDonald's has certainly value pricing and bundling strategies such as happy meal, combo meal, family meal etc to increase overall sales volumes (O.C. Ferrell, 1998).
The various promotion channels being used by McDonald's to effectively communicate the product information are:-
- Personal Selling
- Public Relation
- Direct Marketing
- Sales Promotion
There are three main objectives of advertising for McDonald's are to make people aware of an item, feel positive about it and remember it. The right message has to be communicated to the right audience through the right media.
McDonald's understands the value of both its employees and its customers. It understands the fact that a happy employee can serve well and result in a happy customer. It continuously does internal marketing, this is important as it must precede external marketing. This includes hiring, training and motivating able employees (Roger A. Kerin, Steven William Hartley and William Rudelius, 2003). This way they serve customer well and the final result is a happy customer.So, the marketing strategy of McDonald's includes all these types of approaches, which further helps McDonald's to sustain in the market for a long time as it always seek towards development.
Case Study of Debenhams
Debenhams is one of the largest clothing manufacturing company in the world and it has 153 stores across the UK and Ireland and a fully transactional website, reflecting Debenhams' commitment to offer customers greater value, a wider choice and excellent service across every area in which they can trade. Debenhams decided to focus on denim and target the international market. The company formed several international tie-ups for technology and marketing, but Debenhams was faced with issues such as the oversupply of denim, rising cotton prices and the rise in preference for other garment material (Geoff Lancaster and Frank Withey, 2006). In spite of several failures, Debenhams made a turnaround and became one of the leading clothing manufacturers in the world. The case discusses the international marketing strategies adopted by Debenhams. It also discusses the company's future plans, especially in the post- textile restriction regime. Understanding customer shopping habits is key for any retailer and identifying trends early is crucial to company success. To this end, Debenhams employs a team of 11 analysts. This team serves many different areas of the organization simultaneously and is responsible for researching and evaluating all aspects of the customer relationship, including analyzing customer buying habits as well as marketing campaigns and activity around new store openings (Verdict Research, 2004). For example, when Debenhams is considering opening a new store, its analytics team will assess the store's potential based on a number of factors, such as market size and location. Debenhams strategy of promoting big fashion names in stores is paying off. He recently announced that edgy fashion brand House of Holland is joining the 231-year-old department store chain's stable of Designers at Debenhams (David Stokes and Wendy Lomax, 2007). The most major step lunched by Debenhams was the lunching of iBrochure. The Megaday iBrochure was launched ahead of the Debenhams sale for shoppers to preview what would be available, and to provide Debenhams with statistics on iBrochure activity and traffic directed to the iBrochure during the preview period. On the day of the sale the shoppers can see the product online and order products through online, so there is no pain for the customers to go to the store and buy the product as it is waste of time (Susan Sweeney, 2008). Debenhams are keen to continually improve their offering to their customers and wanted to improve the finesse and functionality of the iBrochure. So this is how the Debenhams marketing strategy to improve its sales by providing more and more facility to the customers.
3.9. Limitations and problems faced during the research
By analyzed Research methodology may give only the idea of the relationship between the customer and retailer but by identifying the limitations a clear idea can be made in real, practical and accurate (D. P. Avasarikar and S. B. Chordiya, 1990). Limitations are like parameters of the boundaries to identify and built the gap between the customer and the retailer. In relationship marketing organizations mainly focus and concentrates on customer satisfaction, since profit is the main motive for the retailer so they should also concentrate on customer needs and demands. If organizations concentrate on quality and needs of customer then they can get the profits easily. But at some parts of the research context they are lagging behind in maintain the relationship in between them.
By representing the several problems faced by research at the same time as undertaking the research(Jakki J. Mohr, Sanjit Senguptha and Stanley F. Slater, 2004). For each and every problem may cause either be handled or may not be handled. Some of the approaches facing problems for maintain relationship among the customers and retailers were as follows:
- Identify the customer - find out a relevant customer they might be either internal or external customers and by maintain the data base of the customers is been so problematic in handling all the views of the each and every customer.
- Gaining customer attention-Trying to attract the more and more customer by advertizing the product is more cost effective for small retailers.
- Understanding customer needs- understand the need of the each and every customer in detail is begging so difficult for retailers since they are enabling to satisfy each and every customer. Customer expectations-Enable to meet the expectations of the each and every customer ideals and user based scenarios (Elearn Limited and Pergamon Flexible Learning, 2005).
- Feedback of customers-Taking the feedback from the each and every customer has some difficult as the rating differs from person to person and to go through each and every feedback form is time taking process (Tom Coens, Mary Jenkins and Peter Block, 2002).
- Finding the limitations should not cause the effectiveness of the research. From the contrast with respect to unhandled problems indicates limitation in the research done (D. P. Avasarikar and S. B. Chordiya, 1990). This limitations help in finding the solutions to built the effective relationships between the customer and retailer to overcome the problems to build the gap.
Relationship marketing playa a vital role in the preset business world it maintains good relationships between the customer and consumer. Relationship marketing focuses on different marketing methodologies in retail business in UK. Research methodology is a technical frame work by using this research is conducted. Two types of research approaches are available those are qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative research approach is used in retail business marketing because it develops good relationships in the retail business in UK. Data types are used to describe this qualitative research. There are two data types one is primary and another one is secondary. Primary data is collected by directly communicating with the customers but it faces some problems while collecting the data. Secondary data is already collected by the researchers. In retail marketing secondary data is used because it takes less time and low cost while collecting the data. Many researchers use case study method for research, because it provides best results on the research topic compare to any other methods and it provide so many benefits to the research such as low cost, less time and flexibility. There are some limitations in relationship marketing which are identifying the gap between retailer and customer. So many problems are occurred while building the good relationships in the retail marketing to solve these problems limitations find solutions to fill that gap and maintain good relationship in the market.
Chapter 4: Findings and Analysis
4.1. Analyze all the organizations relationship marketing
Analysis on case studies
Case studies are important to analyze the retail marketing in UK. There are several case studies taken in retail marketing which helps in maintaining the relationship between organization and customers. Based on the organizations different marketing are used some of them are McDonalds which is using the consumer marketing, Debenhams which is a clothing retail industry which is using the business to business marketing.
McDonalds is the largest owner of food retail marketing which mainly use the consumer marketing approach to increase their productivity. Consumer marketing mainly focuses on the customer needs for increasing their marketing practices (Joe L.Kincheloe, 2002). It is a marketing technique which is helpful for direct selling of products to consumers which involves continuous monitoring of consumer needs, willingness to accept and pay for item etc. They mainly focus on the quality of the food, services provided by them to increase their customers. They also implement some offer which will help to attract users, online services also been implemented which leading to increase in sales. By using this online services the marketing has been increased which helps the customers to easily order and know about the items (G.R Foxall, Ronald Earl goldsmith and Stephen Brown, 1998). This consumer marketing is very much used in organizations which are related to food sectors. McDonalds is one the largest retail market which is using this consumer marketing for their growth, as this mainly focuses on the marketing and knowing about the consumer needs clearly. Consumers purchase decisions can be helpful to increase their sales by knowing what actually consumers wants and the quality of food which will help to improve their marketing (Charles W Lamb, Joseph F.Hair.Jr and Carl McDaniel, 2008).Now-a-days internet browsing has become wide usage which is helpful for shopping, marketing etc. With the help of this, different organizations are creating their own website which will help for marketing and consumer can easily order/buy items by online shopping. McDonalds is using this consumer marketing approach through online which helps for marketing and to attract more people. By this the burden on the consumer will also become less as they can order their items by simply sitting at home.
From the above diagram it can be predicted that the use of internet has become more which helps in the consumer marketing for the McDonald. Here the maroon graphs give the information about the improvement in consumer marketing by using internet where as blue gives about the consumer marketing without online usage. McDonalds is one the largest fast food chain restaurants which is serving nearly 58million customers daily. The following gives the statistics for the news media coverage for McDonalds
Debenhams is a retailing operating industry in UK. Debenhams is a largest clothing industry which has braches all over the world. Debenhams is operating under business to business marketing (Lisa Harris and Charles Dennis, 2002). Business to business marketing is a process of selling services or products to other industries or business firms. Best examples of business to business marketing are the advertisements available in the trade journals. In business to business marketing buyer- seller relationship will be between two companies. That means in business to business marketing the goods will be exchanged between companies only not to the customers (Robert W. Bly, 1988).
Implementing business to business marketing in Debenhams retail industry increased growth in the organization. Debenhams retail industry supplies the required goods to other industry, which means Debenhams acts as a seller to other companies. In business to business marketing maintaining partnerships with other companies is the main aspect. Debenhams is maintaining good partnerships with other organization in order to increase reliability in the market (Victor L. Hunter and David Tietyen, 1997). Maintaining buyer- seller relationship between companies is an advantage to both the parties. Implementing business to business marketing in Debenhams provided more advantages to the organization. Debenhams is providing services for low cost, reliability, more quality, fast delivery of products and modified product features because of implementation of business to business marketing (David L. Kurtz, 2008).
Success of business to business marketing can be shown by the annual reports of Debenhams. Above statistics clearly shows the profits of Debenhams retail industry year by year. Profits of Debenhams took a huge growth in the year 2007 with 11.5% (RFID, 2007).
From the above statistics it can be understood that, profits of Debenhams increasing year by year. Business to business marketing shows positive effects on the retail industry. Implementing business to business marketing shows enormous effect on profits of Debenhams clothing retail industry by providing low cost to services and fast delivery of goods with good quality.
Tesco Grocery Retailer
Tesco is one of the British based global grocery and universal products trade chain. It is a leading British retailer and occupied third place in worldwide grocery trader. The turnover of the industry is almost UK Â£59.4 billion and will gain a profit of Â£3.03 billion in the year 2009 (Cisco, 2009, p.1). At present operations of Tesco are done in fourteen countries worldwide. Sixty five percent of income is earned from its home nation UK and the remaining part of income is earned from Asia, United States and Europe (Cisco, 2009, p.1). Tesco is now concentrating to develop its central part U.K. business and its non food and trader services and also to expand their organization to many parts of the world. A new operating model was developed in order to reduce operations rapidly and cost effectively. At present this operation model was introduced in some countries such as Japan, China, Turkey and United States (Cisco, 2009).
Tesco organization which is one of the top most organizations in UK follows commodity type of market trend which is a type of consumer market. The goods designed by organization are sold with contract made by the organization at a market to buy or sell at a contracted price and are to be delivered on time agreed by them. All this process of exchanging can be done with one person related to organization with some terms and conditions which can benefited for upcoming agreements (money instructor, 2005). The main difference between primary market and future market is that a primary market concentrates only for temporary exchange where as future markets are meant for delivering particular amount of goods depending on the requirement of market. Price of goods mainly depends on supply and demand conditions in market. Price increases only if number of consumers is more than the vendors and vice versa. The main purpose of using commodity markets is to offer an intended market where the associates can exchange goods depending on their interest with ease. This exchange of itself does not provide profit for an organization. An organization gains profit only when it produces goods depending on the demand and requirement of consumer. Tesco mainly concentrates on the demand and the buyer necessities and produce their goods so they gain more profit by following commodity market (Robert L.Lerner and Timothy J.Rudderow, 2000).
Hence from the above context it can be understood that Tesco organization is the one of the top organization in grocery retailer in UK. This organization follows a commodity type of market which concentrates on goods such as grains, soft commodities and energy related goods. Commodity market mainly concentrates on agreements for certain period and delivers goods according to the requirement and necessity of consumer. Tesco organization achieved more profit by following this commodity type of market because they deliver goods depending on the requirement at market.
Analysis of Tesco
Tesco is one of the top most grocery retailers in the world. It follows a commodity type of market which is a part of consumer market. This type of market mainly depends on the requirements of goods at market and adjusts accordingly. By following this type of market extra profit is attained by Tesco organization. Commodity market is related to food and energy resources (money instructor, 2005).
Sales performance of Tesco Organization is analyzed based on the annual performance of the organization from the year 2004 to 2008. In 2004 sales in UK are more when compared to sales in all other countries. There is must difference in sales when compared between UK and rest of countries. Tesco sales were gradually increased every year in all over the world including UK. The sale of goods in rest of the world is almost doubled by 2008 when compared with 2004. The main reason for rapid growth in sales in rest of the world is that Tesco organization followed commodity type of market and supplied commodities depending on the requirement of consumer (slide share, 2009).
Hence it can be stated that sale of goods has reasonable increase in UK and there was a rapid increase in sales in rest of the world. Sale of goods increased in such a way that it's almost twice in four years.
Number of stores of any organization depends on the number of consumers willing to purchase goods of that organization. The number of stores in UK is high, whereas very less number of stores is present in rest of the world. There was a slight increase in number of stores at both UK and rest of the world in two consecutive years. There after there was a fast increase of stores in rest of the world for the next two consecutive years. But the increase of stores in UK is less because they already expanded their branches in almost all parts of UK. In 2008Total number of stores is about four times of that of store present in 2004 (slide share, 2009).
Hence it can be stated that the total number of stores were high in UK in the year 2004. So there was a slight in number of stores in UK. But the number of stores in rest of the world is less in the year 2004. But after four years the total number of stores increased four times to the number of stores in 2004. This rapid increase in stores is due the good customer response to the goods manufactured by Tesco and organization also responded to customers necessities in time.
Comparing and contrasting Debenhams, McDonalds and Tesco organizations
Debenhams, McDonalds and Tesco are retail industries in UK. These three organizations operate in different market conditions. These retail industries follow different methods and approaches for improving their business. Debenhams is a clothing industry in UK. Debenhams implements business to business marketing. Business to business marketing is nothing but exchanging the services between companies (Andrew Newman and Peter Cullen, 2002). Debenhams deals with the other organizations only not with the customers. In business to business approach partnerships with other organizations play a key role in the growth of the organization. By using this approach Debenhams is acquiring more profits. Debenhams increased profits by providing services at low cost and fast delivery of services to other company (Rosemary Varley, 2006).McDonalds is food sector which follows consumer marketing to increase productivity. McDonalds provides services to the customers directly. Buyer- seller relationship will exist between McDonalds and its customers. That means this organization directly sells their products to the costumers (Eric Schlosser, 2001). McDonalds mainly concentrates on customer needs and enthusiasm. Applying customer marketing in McDonalds achieved profits to that organization. McDonalds provides quality food to the customers in order to get profits. McDonald's organization tries to gain customer attention by providing the required products. McDonald's food sector is providing online service to their customers (Articles, 2009). Tesco is UK based grocery and general merchandising retail sector. Presently it is the third largest retail based organization based on revenue. Tesco is using commodity marketing in order to implement their business. Commodity marketing is nothing but exchanging raw or basic products.
From the above discussion one can prepare a chart as shown in the below table by keeping Operating sector, Business sector, Marketing strategy, Buyer- seller relationship and area of concentration as parameters
Tesco business strategy is completely depended on customer understanding and earning lifetime loyalty from customers. Tesco is one of the leading organizations in the world because of attracting more customers and achieving loyal consumers. Tesco organizations achieved profits by providing quality of service to the customer. Tesco organizations concentrate on long term plans and company objectives (Tesco, 2009). From the above discussion it can be understood that Debenhams, McDonalds and Tesco are operating in different market conditions even thought they are in the same retail sector. These three organizations are achieving profits by concentrating on quality of service. Business to business marketing, customer marketing and commodity marketing are different types of market strategies implemented by many organizations in order to pursue their businesses. But these three organizations are most successful than other organizations in implementing these marketing techniques.
Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations
Marketing is a function which is used by the organizations to sell their products into market. When it is attached with relationship it is giving good results in marketing and thus marketing became relationship marketing. Relationship marketing is nothing but attracting the people by enhancing and maintaining relationship with the customers depending on the time. This relationship should be possible for any organization to maintain if every individual of the company tries to maintain a customer-organization relationship with the customers. This research is totally described about the relationship marketing in UK retail sectors. In the UK retail marketing sectors relationship marketing concentrates on customer and organization relationship instead of focusing on sales of goods. It is really a good thing for any organization to maintain customer relationship instead of always giving preference for marketing the goods.
In this research it mainly concentrates on UK retail markets where a retailer is a goods seller in any quantity from small to large. Retail marketing includes both selling and buying products in an organization. The main advantage in retail marketing is mutually beneficial exchange between the customers and business organizations. Retail marketing in UK has some features including productivity, place utility, ownership utility and time utility. It can be find the change in UK retail marketing in three steps such as equivalent competition between organizations, offering more offers to the customers and marketing information development for individual organization. UK retail marketing has annual marketing growth of 15% which shows slow growth rate of retail marketing industry. There are several types of marketing fields for UK retail marketing includes internal market, referral market, and customer market and so on. Considered two case studies on McDonald and Debenhams fully illustrate the present marketing relationship state for the UK retail markets. And the evaluation describes the factor that the UK retail marketing is maintaining a good customer relationship in marketing with customers by increasing their service quality day by day.
In this project, Recommendations provide for relationship marketing for implementing efficient marketing between customers and managers in UK retail sectors. Some of recommendations are as follows:
- In relationship marketing, the major concept is maintenance of customers in terms of good relationship with managers. To increase the life time value of customers and the strategies of relationship marketing, any organization mainly concentrate on the enhancement and development of relationships with a number of key marketing's in both internal as well as external marketing relationship (Adrian Payne, Martin Christopher, Helen Peck and Moira Clark, 1998).
- General Electronic and Medical Systems (GEMS) have a very short term view on marketing plans and focusing goals on short-term financial measures repeatedly at the expense of long term growth. This type of situations will occur because of a lack of well defined plans and analysis of the market. This real problem leads to critical responses to market changes and demands in a fast changing market. Here, the recommendation is that while taking a long-term view on strategy GEMS should become more forward thinking in their approach to conducting marketing and prepared for the future by understanding what the future customer needs will be. GEMS will be able to produce differential advantage compared to the competition (Baker and Melanie, 2004).
- According Nigel Piercy â€œbelieving that relationship marketing is killer approach because it guarantees customer satisfaction and loyalty is where it all goes wrongâ€? (Nigel Piercy, 2002 p.74). So the recommendation is that involving every part of the organization in focusing on the value for the customer, and keep the customer higher than advertising and marketing programmers.
- In relational marketing, organizations should identify the factors which are helping to achieve their goals such as organization's strengths and weaknesses, understanding of where the company can operate effectively, coordination of activities across the organization, effective marketing planning processes and understanding the customer needs compared to competition etc (Colin Gilligan, Richard Malcolm Sano Wilson, 2003).
- Organizations must not fully concentrate on the ideas given by the customers but have to maintain the database of their suggestions and repeated contacts to acquire appropriate data. Organizations must be solved the customer's complaints as early as possible because the customers expect quick response for their complaints.
- Companies should make their customers in participating in chat forums so that organizations can correct their errors and provide a good service to customers. Customers will participate in forums only if the products create interest in their minds (Alain Ferrand and Scott McCarthy, 2008).
5.3. Future Prospects
In present business world relationship marketing in retail business plays a significant role. It mainly focuses on the relationship among the customers and organizations. Many challenges in the retail marketing relationship will provide a strategic advantage in the future. In future new possibilities are forward through the integration of retail strategies. Internet offers so many facilities to the retailers increase the sales by maintaining the good relationship (Alexander H. Kracklauer, Daniel Quinn Mills and Dirk Seifert, 2004). Bi polar model provide one approach for development of retail market in UK. That approach is intelligently federal model. It is adapted by many retail organizations in the UK. This approach is mainly focused on local partner ships, format adoption, best practices knowledge and back end system integration. This approach is more effective in the retail market relationships in the future (Margaret Bruce, Christopher Moore and Grete Birtwistle, 2004). Retailers and manufacturers in UK are based on limited number of customers to manage vertical relationships. The management of the vertical relationship will differ with products and many other aspects in the retail market. Changes in technology information will effect on the vertical relationships in the retail business (Luca Pellegrini and Srinivas K. Reddy, 2009). In future the retail marketing in the UK depends on whole sale priced. Raising wholesale price has retail margins across the country. Wholesale prices are fallen down in the retail marketing in future. There is considerable inconsistency in different retail markets in UK. This may leads to decrease the share value in the markets. By maintaining good relationships between the customer and consumer the retail business will be increased. Hence from the above the future of the retail marketing relationship in UK is mainly depend on the vertical relationships between the customer and consumer and the wholesale price values in the market.
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