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Marketing plan for UK supermarket chain Tesco

3710 words (15 pages) Essay in Marketing

5/12/16 Marketing Reference this

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Tesco is a prominent UK based supermarket chain. It is the largest retailer in Great Britain and the fourth largest retailer in the world. Tesco was founded as a one man business by Jack Cohen who used to sell grocery in East London. Currently, it has developed into a large and vibrant network of superstores not only in the UK but also overseas. But due to the upcoming marketing exertions of the rival firms and the increasing competition in the consumer market, however, efforts are needed to boost up the sales and to promote the offerings of the company.

Research in required to investigate how best to attract new customers to boost up the sales of the company. Top management at Tesco is anxious regarding the current as well as forecasted business situations. They need to conduct a research that will suggest any steps to set right their business and marketing activities.

The marketing team at Tesco recognize that it could suggest designing new promotional campaigns and how the consumers would like the company to communicate more effectively and profitably with them. The temperament of the communications with the customers may also be required to be re-evaluate to purposely reach the broad research population.

Main objectives of the study

How to attract the new customers to Tesco stores.

How best to communicate with the customers.

To gather and bring together suggestions from the customers for Tesco and identify their expectations regarding their products and offerings.

Heirarchy of information

The information collected through this research activity can be categorized into the following order of importance:

Essential information

Information regarding general expectations of the products available at Tesco to the people.

Information regarding how people get knowledge about the superstores before going to shop at any store and what medium of information do people use to select a store such as family and friends, broadcast media, internet, print media, word of mouth etc.

Information regarding the current service performances of the company to the cunsumers.

Information regarding the quality values of the products available at Tesco.

Desirable information

All the necessary information required to access the issue with the customers who are unwilling or usually not shopping from Tesco.

kinds of current promotional campaigns and overall marketing as well as advertising tools adopted by the company whether there is a need to alter or design pioneering activities.

Usefull information

Gather Information regarding rival firms’ marketing activities and there overall standing in the marketplace which are doing business in the British market.

Gather information regarding any improvements in the products from the staff members (especially front line managers) who are with the direct contact to the customers.

Research boundaries

This study will be limited to the people living in the four broad cities of UK that include London, Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff. These cities are thought to be the most important and crucial cities for business due to their size and population.


For this particular research activity, it is decided by the top management to allocate a lumpsum amount of £2000 to carry out a pervasive qualitatative research throughout the selected areaa. Keeping in mind time and the cost constraints, the suggested methodology is thus as follows:

Desk research

It would be very beneficial for the researcher to review any available articles and journals in order to find out if any relevent studies already in the literature and any propositions that can be helpful for this study. These papers can provide the initial temporary review as well as any usefull information that can be explored and consulted for this particular research. Alongwith some famous websites will also be consulted to reach some electronic articles. Existing papers that can be refered are:

Journal of consumer marketing

European journal of marketing

Marketing intelligence and planning

Management research

Advances in business marketing and purchasing

Review of marketing research

Any available previous research on Tesco

Comments of Tesco customers on the Company’s official website.

Major marketing magazines.


Furthermore, existing information on marketing activities of Tesco will also be gathered to help the researcher compare and contrast one another and find out an appropriate way to communicate with the research population.

Field research


A questionnaire will also be designed to get the responce regarding the core problem of this research. It will be designed in such a way that will be easily understandable, simple and well structured in such a way that will pursuade the respondant to complete most accurately and will hopefully get the keen interest of the research population. A maximum copies of 40 questionnaires will be distributed to the current customers as well as general buplic. This questionnaire will be designed in such a way that helps getting response regarding current perception of the company, advertising and promotional activities, product quality as well as general requirements of the customers from the company.


A structured observation within the tesco will be organized to understand the overall manners and aspects how confidently customers choose different offerings in the stores. This activity will be performed by an observer by examining the behaviour of families who visit the stores especially on week ends because these are the most ideal days for the customers to shop. How much time and importance do the customers spend on what offers, what type of environment do they like and what are thier responces towards the services provided by Tesco will be observed deeply.

Depth interviews

It is decided to organize depth interviews with the research population. It is decided to interview 20 people of both genders that may include families and each interview will last for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Respondants will be interviewed to ascertain what they like or dislike, what they percieve, what they value most, will they revisit or recommend others to visit Tesco stores.

Interviews with the staff members

Based on their personal experience regarding customers’ attitude and level of satisfaction, the internal staff especially front line managers will be investigated to know the customers’ loyality towards company offerings. It is decided to select 10 managers randomly to get ideas of any improvements and suggestions.


A properly designed and well structured questionnaire can make the research more authentic. Our questionnaire will assist to reach more close to the accurate data required for the research topic. It will be made sure to accurately select the most experienced staff members and research population to be questioned in depth interviews. Both the researcher and the assistant are well experienced and trained and have the appropriate level of understanding with the research activity and can guarantee the maximum accuracy of the data they will get throughout the research.

The interpretation of the research results are thus judgemental and there is a chance of partiality. Major objective of the study is to investigate how to attract the new customers towards the Tesco stores, however, this study will help the top management of Tesco to develop their marketing activities for coming future.


A lumpsum amount of £2000 will be allocated as follows:

Printing expences and other documentation £100

Travelling charges £400

Accomodation and meals £350

Staff salary £500

Expences incurred on focus group interviews £250

Total £1600


One assistant will be assigned to help the researcher perform the different tasks more smoothly as planned. They will conduct all the research activities such as observation, interviews and designing questionnaires as decided. They will also be required to keep in touch with the top management to guarantee the excellence of research work meet the required criteria and produce the findings.


Time amount will be allocated per week to each activity in the following way:

Week one

Start through desk research

Prepare questionnaire contents

Develop questionnaire

Research some famous superstores

Week two

Complete desk research

Complete the final layout of questionnaire

Distribute the questionnaire

Week three

Start research in local consumer market

Arrange interview with the store managers

Arrange interviews with the customers

Week four

Continue interviews with store managers

Continue interviews with customers and research population

Analyse data

Week five

Collect informations of competitors

Start observation

Week six

Continue collecting information from competitors

Continue observing the research population

Analyse and process the information

Week seven

Collect data from observation and questionnaire

Process data

Communicate data with the assistant

Week eight

Finalize data processing

Interpret data

Write the report

Present the findings to Tesco

Quality issues

The researcher and the assistant who are conducting this task are competent and skilled experts specialized in consumer market research. They have the broad understanding and experience of their relevent field of study. The assistant and the researcher are sought to posses at least three years of work experience in doing research independently accross cities.


During and after the research all the ethical and moral aspects will be kept in mind strictly to tackle any expected moral issues. All the activities such as observation, focus group interviews and distribution of questionnaire will be conducted as per the rules and regulations set by Market research society and the respondents will also be reminded about the confidentiality protection. All the research activities will be conducted within the full determination and permission of the selected respondents.

Part ii

Critical commentary Of the Research proposal




This paper is made to discuss and examine research proposal developed for Tesco. It will include investigation on how to attract new customers to the company. This part will look forward at rationale of conducting this research and will cover all the elements of research such as research question, research methodology, sampling techniques and the accomplishment of the research objectives.

As described by Kumar et al (2002) marketing research is a significant element of such marketing intelligence structure that assists developing the decision making process of management by supplying perfect, significant, and timely information regarding consumer requirements. However another writer argued that marketing research is a systametic assembling, recording, processing and analyzing data regarding marketing that will assist marketers after analysis to reveal prospects and to lessen threats at the time of making and applying decisions (Dillon et al, 1990). It denotes that marketing research assists the top management of a company to carve out marketing activities as suggested and highlighted by the information provided by market research. Another writer Zikmund (2003) argued that marketing research is an organized and intended procedure of producing information to support the marketing decision making process.

Due to the increasing competition in the consumer market, the top level management is conscious and bothered about the future of the Tesco stores and want to take steps to attract maximum number of customers to shop from Tesco. So Management decided to carry out a market research to take measures that would be fruitful to attract the customers’ attention towards the company offerings. According to Proctor (2000) market research drives out ambiguity. In case the management of Tesco have the understanding that the current performance of the business is inadequate to attract more customers, at that time market research should have the aptitude to illuminate whether these perceptions are accurate and suggest them indication to support their upcoming decisions.

Problem definition

In order to increase the sales of the company, the top management want to attract new customers to the Tesco stores. A research is needed to suggest any amendments or to put right market strategies currently pursued by the company. According to Zikmund (2003) “a problem well defined is a problem half solved”. The problem with the Tesco is due to the low performance of their current communication strategies. According to Sudman and Blair (1998) preliminary actions to the marketing research is to describe the marketing concerns that are required to be tackled by the study which is going to be conducted. The temperament of problem at Tesco is recognized as the insufficiency of the customer attraction but the fundamental reason is required to be recognized. Moreover in this particular research, there are issues in internal environment as well as in external environment. Internal issues are associated with the services being provided inside Tesco stores and external issues are associated with the current marketing and communication tools being utilized by the company which are thought to be of poor quality in contrast to the other competitors. Though a customer can weigh up these factors to make a decision when selecting a super store.

Information coverage

The information that will be gathered for this study to meet its main objectives is purely based upon the information provided by both the internal as well as external customers of the Tesco. Initially it will be preferable to get information about the desires of the customers and take suggestions for any improvements they want. It will help sort out the prevailing discrepancies faced by the current customers. Worker loyalty also plays crucial role, they can deliver excellent services only if they are satisfied with their jobs. A structured observation will be designed to check the moral of workers in the Tesco stores.

The objective is to find out how best to get attraction of the maximum customers. This will enable the researcher to summarize the research project. Objectives are established keeping in view workforce, time and budget. As described by Malhotra (2004) limit your study objectives. Because smaller quantity objectives will be easy in maintaining record, confirming all the objectives are completely tackled and deciding the largely suitable methodology.

Research methodology

According to Chisnall (1997) qualitative research can supply exceptional insight to encourage and direct the improvement of marketing policies and tactics. However, Hague and Jackson (1998) argued qualitative research weight the thoughtfulness instead of straightforward dimensions. Qualitative research approach will be pursued because it ensembles the temperament of the problem and can be conducted within the allocated budget limitations.

To collect the necessary information, data will be collected by primary as well as secondary resources. Assessing the existing secondary data is a necessity towards collecting data through primary sources. Begin through secondary sources and continue to primary sources simply when the secondary sources is no more usefull or when it gives minor proceeds (Chisnall 1992). On the other hand importance of secondary resources cannot be ignored. Internal informations of Tesco records can be very crucial to contribute reamrkable helpfull information even it could inable the researcher to plan initial investigation. As described by Peter (1990) initial research phase should always be carried out prior to considering any supplementary research to aid the basic research strategy.

Exploratory research is fundamentally intended to generate quatilative data (Zikmund 2000). The same author argued further that the motive of qualitative research is to decide the magnitude or degree of any occurrence in the shape of numbers. In comtrast, qualitative research has nothing to do with numbers except on words and explanation, visual description, significant classifications, understanding and other meaningful explanations (Zikmund 2000).

In this study, research problem mainly based on qualitative approach, though problem is not merely linked with the measurement but it is regarding the expectations of consumers and their needs. As stated by Kumar et al (2002) that the qualitative data are gathered assist the researcher to familiarize with the effects that imposible to observe and measure. The things such like intention, feeling, thoughts and past behaviour of customers can be observed by using qualitative data. In this particular research on Tesco, in would be of critical importance to distinguish the past experience and suggestions to progress the overall marketing strategies of the company. It will assist the top management of Tesco to carve out the marketing activities keeping in view the results achieved through research proposal.

Desk research

This portion of study will be condunted by gathering information from current and former customers. The data from former customers will be collected using contact details through the company data base that was built up in the Tesco club cards records. Questionnaire and interviews will be organized to gather information from the former and current customers of Tesco. Furthermore, current sales records and service quality of the company will also be analyzed for desk research. Several secondary resources will also be utilized in this study that include all major marketing research articles, famous magazines and prominent newspapers. The information gathered through these resources will support the research team to lead the way to explain the research problem in Tesco. According to Kumar et al (2002) desk research would assist to discover new ideas that could be used afterwards at the time of primary research. No doubt secondary may involve some limitations however these weak points can be sorted out by using primary research.


Questionnaire is argued to be an ordinary method of gathering information regarding markets (Wright and Crimp 2000). A structured questionnaire will be developed that will include quantitative as well as qualitative aspects that will urge the respondent to pursue the organized contemplation to make it sure they supply most accurate information. Rather than distributing a paper based questionnaire, the research team prefered to distribute questionnaire through internet. It will be most appropriate to gather more information, save time and easy to reach to the maximum target popultion of research area rather than going door to door to distribute printed questionnaire.


Observation can be done hidden or opnely in the research population (Zikmund 2000). In this study, a hidden observation approach is preffered by the researcher because it will be more helpfull to monitor and examine the actual feelings of customers and attitude of staff members at Tesco without letting them know that they are being observed. In this activity observer will merely inspect who the customers feel inside the Tesco stores and how openly and confidently they shop. The results from this activity will enable the researcher to match and contrast with the results derived from questionnaire and interviews. All the moral and ethical issues will also be considered during this activity because people will be unaware that they are being observed for some study purposes. It would be a positive aspect of observation that unlike questionnaire and interviews, observation helps to record actions the same as they occur instead of depending entirely upon the memories of the respondants (Proctor 2000).

Depth interviews

To meet the the study objectives, the research team decided to conduct depth interviews with the customers at Tesco stores. According to Kumar (2002) depth interviews are conducted direclty with the respondants to investigate the research problem in further details. Whereas Zikmund (2000) argued that depth interviews assist the researcher to recognize the why of the customers’ manners. As this activity offers the respondent the independence to answer within the curiosity of interviewer. The reliability of information collected through interviews entirely depends upon the experience of interviewer because it is suggested that only a highly skilled and well trained interviewer who has the ability to persuade the respondants can successully get the accurate response (Zikmund 2003). These views are also supported by Proctor (2000) who stated that depth interviews relay upon the expertise of interviewer and on accurate understanding.

Some writers also argue that depth interviews are simple to perform as compared to focus group (Malhotra and Birks 1999). This activity will inable the researcher to know the likes and dislikes of customers regarding the company and its offerings. Some ordinary questions can be asked to analyse the communication strategies of Tecso such like how they found about Tesco and who decide to shop can be helpfull.

Interviews with staff members

The frontline managers who has the close contact with the customers usually possess enough experience of what the customers feel about the company.this activity will be organized keeping in view to overcome any fear of retaliation that may persist among the staff that is supposed to be interviewed.


Sampling is a major part of a market researcher’s toolkit (Hague and Jackson 1998). It involves classifying a cluster of individuals or households that will be contacted through telephone, email or in person who have the important information to resolve the particular research problem (Willian et al 1990). Collecting a perfect sample size is very important because the relaibility of information largly depends on sample size as well. In this research sampling is done by sorting out the current customers from former customers of Tesco. Sample should represent the whole research population Zikmund (2003:62). In this study it is decided to use random sampling technique that will consist of people of both genders, of all age groups and families. A total number of 8 respondants will be selected randomley from each city of the research population.

Evaluation of research

Evaluation of research is performed to assess the performance and determining the customer satisfaction among the superiority of products and services (Kumar 2002). This study also in volves evaluation of research topic by distributing some evaluation forms among the respondants to check the satisfaction level among Tesco customers.

Meeting research objectives



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