The paper "Lifestyle and Benefits Analysis in the Automobile Industry" is a perfect example of a research proposal on marketing. 1.0Introduction Fastautodealer. com is an online car dealer. It has dealership agreements with selected major automobile manufacturing companies. Established in 1995, it currently sells well over 100,000 new cars on its websites every year. It has the fifth largest market share in the sector. In recent months, however, the company has faced stiff competition, resulting in sluggish sales. It has also observed negative changes in the behavior of its customers. These developments are adversely affecting their market position. Fastautodealer. com is however bent not only on maintaining its present market position, but more importantly to increase its rankings in market share.
To achieve its objectives, the company has decided to conduct a benefit and lifestyle studies with the view to identifying market segments where the emerging problems are more pronounced. It is the belief of the company that it shall be better placed to customize its market offerings more effectively if such information is gathered. This belief is founded on the observation that the drop in sales is not uniformly distributed geographically and also demographically across its present customers.
It has already amassed a huge database on these parameters that can be drilled down to establish possible relationships. However, the company knows little about other aspects of the lifestyle of its customers. Sheth et. al. (1999) have pointed out that differences in lifestyles result in different customer behaviors. It is the intention of fastautobroker. com to deepen its understanding of its customer’ s lifestyles so that it can better predict their behaviors and use that knowledge in better serving them. Quite apart from the benefits indirectly given to customers by car manufacturers, the company also provides an array of benefits to people who purchase cars directly from its website.
Some of these benefits include cheap and flexible financing schemes, free delivery of purchased cars to customers’ homes, online facilitation of insurance coverage, warranty coverage, superior information, and search facilities among others. Lamb et. al. (2000) have pointed out that sometimes some of the attributes and benefits considered as important to customers by marketers may not be so in reality.
The work of Shruptrine (1995) was cited as a typical example. In that study, Shruptrine established that automobile warranty coverage was the least important factor customers consider when purchasing a car. This study gives fastautobroker. com good grounds to re-examine the benefits it doles out to its customers. Such an undertaking would enable the company to establish which of the benefits are appreciated and accepted by its customers and those which are not. This has implications for its marketing spends for these reasons. It does not make marketing sense to spend resources on benefits that customers can best do without.
Not only is such a practice a waste of resources but the same resources could have been better applied in other ways to create greater value to the customer. There is no way a company can find this out unless it makes a deliberate effort to do so. A study such as this provides that avenue.
1. Lamb, C.W., Hair, J.F., and Mc Daniel, C. (2000). Marketing, 5th Edition, South-Western College Publishing, Ohio, USA.
2. McDaniel, C., and Gates, R. (1999). Contemporary Marketing Research, 4th Edition, South-Western College Publishing, Ohio, USA.
3. Sheth, J.N. Mittal, B. and Newmann, B.I. (1999). Customer Behaviour and beyond, The Dryden Press, USA.