Table of Contents
Marketing: Consumer Behavior Research Analysis/Report
The onset of technology and technological advancement has seen off remarkable innovations. Other than the widely proclaimed and much talked about internet services, the telecommunication sector witnessed one of the most noteworthy developments of the 21st century; that of mobile phones. Mobile phones were initially developed for simplifying communication. As a result, most were geared towards providing the best voice clarity and network reception. However, with time, market changes forced yet another revolution. Mobile phone users were not satisfied with making calls only. Since the revolution that took place at that time and with the lapse of years, innovators undertook to bring a whole new meaning to the concept of mobile phones. Some of the changes have remained nothing short of epic, and drastically they did come. The zeal and zest with which consumers have taken to these developments is immensely impressive.
Currently, mobile phones serve numerous, different purposes for various types of people. With the numerous functions incorporated in mobile phones, the headache has been choosing a suitable mobile plan. This can be a daunting and complicated decision to make, bearing in mind that there are well over one hundred plans to choose from in the market. There are arrays of reasons that determine a person’s choice of a mobile plan. They range from gender, age, social class to personality among others.
Mobile phones are some of the hottest and most sought after products in the market. The evidence that points to this assertion according to Miller (2011, p 37) is the enthusiasm and the excitement with which new gadgets in the industry are received. Whenever newly released smart phones are launched in the market, people take to the news with great anticipation and curiosity. Most of the properties that interest people are the internal features and performance of the phones. Price mainly becomes an issue when a person looks forward to purchasing a new phone. Yoo (2009, p 2228) claims that some of the properties that attract people, especially the younger generation include high speed internet, internal memory, additional features such as music players and in-built cameras. Other properties included in phones these days include Bluetooth connectivity that enables transfer of files and documents and hands free communication through a Bluetooth device, touch screen, QWERTY keypad and games. Furthermore, due to the availability of the internet in most mobile phones, social networking and GPS navigation have become important features for their marketability and general appeal. This research was conducted to give further insight on the trends in mobile phone and plan choices among three subjects.
List of Mobile Phone and Plan options
1 Buying the Samsung Galaxy Note II 4G and joining it with the Telstra $84 a month plan. The phone is android system operated, enabling it to run virtually all types of applications. It has a high quality HD video display and an impressive, ultra quick 1.6GHz quad core processor. The plan allows for talk time worth about $800 for standard Australian numbers and an unlimited number of texts. It also provided for 1.5 Gigabytes of data.
2. Buying the Sony Xperia TX and combining it with the $100 a month plan. Sony Xperia TX is waterproof and dustproof. Its camera boasts 13megapixel and a dedicated shutter button. It also has a 3G+ network support and razor sharp image and video clarity. The phone plan provides for infinite standard talk time for Vodafone-Vodafone call options. The plan also comes with a bonus TV dock and HDMI cable.
3. Buying the Motorola Defy Mini and joining it with $100 a month plan with Optus network. The phone is dust and waterproof and has a durable glass screen. Furthermore, it has a long-life battery and is great for a night out. The $100 a month plan allows for unlimited standard national calls and texts. It also comes with 3gigabytes of data.
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4. Buying a Nokia Lumia 820, and joining it with Vodafone’s $40 monthly plan. Nokia Lumia 820 is powered by Windows Phone 8 and has an 8megapixel autofocus camera. The payment plan is equivalent to a minimum cost of $1080 for about 24 months.
5. Buying a white HTC One XL and combining it with Telstra’s $60 a month plan. The HTC One XL is equipped with fast downloader in the 4G network and has a quick 1.5 GHz dual core processor. The $60 a month plan allows for unlimited texts and 1gigabyte of data. The talk time cost is valued at $600.
6Buying an iPhone 5 and combining it with the Optus $50 a month plan. The iPhone 5 is ultra slim and light. It has ultrafast internet connectivity and is powered by an A6 chip that delivers a remarkable CPU performance. The $50 a month plan is accompanied with a $13 per month handset repayment. Besides that, it comes with 1-gigabyte mobile internet and unlimited standard national SMS. The minimum total cost of this plan is worth $1,752 over 24 months.
The results obtained on calculation using the compensatory decision rule are not reflective of initial responses provided by the subjects, something that is anticipated. This point to the fact that buyers may not necessarily get what they wish for, especially as regards their personal choices and preferences. Nonetheless, Kozinets (2010, p 76) highlights that personal choices have a lot of bearing on what a customer decides to purchase.
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From the results obtained by calculation using the compensatory rule, it emerges that all three subjects interviewed prefer the Samsung Galaxy Note II 4G. According to results obtained from interviewing John, the price of the phone ranks first and as a result is very important in his case. However, he appears to have little alliance towards the camera resolution of the phone together with its video quality. The warranty period, the operating system together with internet speeds is decisive to his preference of Samsung Galaxy over the other phones used in the survey. John appears to be driven more by the features present in the phone and not necessarily the price of the product. He looks to be a fan of the internet as seen by the influence internet speed and the operating system has on his choice of product.
In Mary’s case, it is also evident that she would opt for the same phone, according to the calculations by the compensatory decision rule. However, in her case, the video and camera resolutions are crucial determinants for her choice. The internet also ranks highly among her preferences. Unlike John, warranty and choice of the operating system are not as influential in her choice of the selected phone. Mary looks to be an individual bent on getting maximum value for her money in terms of the services offered by the product she purchases. She also looks to be technology savvy as seen by her preference for a phone with fast internet services.
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Statistically, Peter’s preference also differs invariably from those of either John or Mary. The price and warranty are the least of his worries as suggested by the data. Further, the internet, the operating system and the value of the phone rank highly to him. This may be indicative that he is a buyer willing to spend on a quality product. In addition, it could point to his level of income or economic status, which can then be concluded to be high, thereby increasing his buying power.
According to Goedertier (2012, p 17) human nature provides for incorporation of ideas and opinions of friends, relatives and peers. Peers, in particular, contribute a great deal to the choices a person makes when looking to buy a phone. Most people do not like the feeling of being left out and would therefore want to conform to the trends and fashionable aspects, especially among their peers. According to Reutskaja (2009, p 199)t his drives them to buy mobile phones that are similar to those of their friends and peers or those that bear almost similar characteristics.
This explains why certain types of phones are common and dominant in certain age groups.
With the onslaught of smart phones and other innovative ideas in mobile phones, elements that appeal to consumers have changed continuously and faithfully. Today (Lynch 2011), many phones come with additional services factored in the phone, for instance, in-built cameras. Phone cameras have evolved so drastically that today, it can well be concluded that some phones provide better photographing experiences than cameras, gadgets made specifically for that purpose. Ling (2004, p 7) asserts that high-resolution cameras have been, and remain one of the key determinants in choosing mobile phones among people. With the resolutions of some cameras in mobile phones reaching 13 megapixels and beyond, such mobile phones have presented customers with a cheaper option of having a camera within a phone.
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Video quality has also been a key issue in deciding the choice of a phone among consumers. It goes hand in hand with the resolution of the camera but it has other additional factors. Video reception allows the user to capture pictures in motion. Closely related to that is the ability of some phones that come with commendable video reception to play slides.
Internet reception undoubtedly is one of the most sought after features that determine the reception and use of a mobile phone. The changing trends in technology (Zhao 2010), especially geared towards embracing the internet and online products and services has pushed people to regard internet as a key necessity when choosing a phone to buy. Sheehan (2010, p 109) mentions that mobile phones that come with 4G internet and other types of high-speed internet have a lot of positive feedback from consumers. High-speed internet enables consumers not only to access the internet but also to download files and documents and to streamline videos as they watch. According to Oyserman (2010, p 278) It has also been revelatory in enhancing business, especially through marketing and advertisement.
Other than personal reasons (Perry 2006), demographic factors play a role in the choice and influence a consumer to prefer one mobile phone option to the other. The most significant of the demographic factors is the level of income or the economic status of the subject. Most of the emerging phones are highly priced by any standard and it would require a buyer to dig deeper into his or her pockets to get the object of his or her desire. The technology involved in making them and the high cost of raw materials are some of the factors attributable to the exorbitant prices. Further, the incorporation of applications from different producers plays a role in the high price tag of the devices.
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One more demographic reason relates to the influence and trend seen among people of various age groups. For instance, research (Palmer 2012) demonstrates that smart phones are particularly popular in the age bracket of25-34. This constitutes young adults, the young and upwardly mobile. This group of people is associated with a penchant for gadgets that make communication easier. The social media and networking largely contribute to this fact, as most such mobile phones are equipped with these applications. In addition, Android and smart phones have advanced operating systems that enable them run virtually all types of applications. These, together with other additional features appeal to the young adults. Similarly, other age brackets also have certain unique aspects of consumers’ preferences.
Reasons for Different Respondent Choices
As outlined above, some of the demographic reasons that determine whether a consumer purchases a phone lie in the cost of acquiring the gadget and the market trends, especially as regard the related age group and age bracket. In this light, the interviewees could have made their selections based on one of the reasons mentioned above.
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The personal reasons that caused a variance in the respondents’ choices are as numerous as they can get. Personal preferences such as availability and speed of internet are attributable to choice of a mobile phone, especially in a case where the respondent is keen on having such services provided by the phone of his or her desire. Other features including video and camera quality and in-built memory are crucial contributing factors to the choice of a phone. The respondents who lay emphasis on phones with a high camera and video resolution appear to attach a lot of value to these particular features.
According to the results of the studies conducted (Ling 2004), the ability of a consumer to purchase a mobile phone and a plan option lie in a multitude of factors. For that reason, marketers of such mobile phone and plan options need to have a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the market before unveiling their products to the market. For one, the plan options provided needed to be affordable and in line with the trends of the target population. For instance, marketers looking to appeal to young adults are better placed providing smart phones and android phones that are up to date. In addition, their mobile plan options need to incorporate free or cheap data offers. This way, internet availability and the availability of many different applications, including the social network will go a long way in influencing their decisions. As a result (Stompfl 2010), the marketers will attain a higher turnover.
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The mobile phone and telephony industry (Kozinets 2010) has, over the years been subject to a myriad of technological changes. Most of the changes, which have been largely positive, have resulted to the oncoming of new mobile phone models that have taken to ruling the market like never witnessed before. In the same way, the technological changes have been key determinants in the companies wiped out of business due to their inability to keep up with the changes, and thereby the competition. With the ever-advancing technological know-how, mobile phone companies and other electrical and gadget companies in general look to cement their places in the market through research and innovation. Sensitivity to customer complaints and wishes has bankrolled some of the positive changes witnessed thus far.
Marketing companies and mobile service providers have not been left out in the competition either. The cutthroat competition that exists in the market has seen many of the companies resorting to going an extra mile to ensure they gain customer loyalty. Service providers, most notably Vodafone, Telstra and Optus have taken the competition to a new level, and they continue to unveil new offers in order to remain relevant. However, it remains clear that the companies have to conduct further research in order to identify and meet the ever-changing market demands in their products and services. Without this, the companies may as well consider themselves out of business as suggested by Palmer (2012, p 7).
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