Project and Dissertation
This is your research proposal, and as such is an indication of what you intend to do for your dissertation, rather than a rigid plan. It is very likely that your final dissertation will vary from your initial proposal in some respects. However, the proposal is the first stage of your project and an important starting point for your research and for your discussions with your supervisor. It will help you to plan your work and to focus on the purpose and structure of your final dissertation.
Your proposal is marked as pass/fail. Please refer to the Module Handbook for detailed guidelines on how it will be assessed.
1) Working tile of your dissertation (subject to change)
Assessing the effectiveness of the marketing strategies used by Toyota Motor Corporation
2) Overview of company or market sector: Provide a brief description of the company or market sector you propose to investigate, including the approximate size, activities, competitors, and strategic issues faced. Give your reasons for choosing this area for your investigation.
Toyota Motor Corporation is one of the largest and most innovative companies in the world. Toyota Company has been ranked to be the second-largest automotive manufacturing company with its motor vehicle heritage being of very high quality. The marketing strategies used in the company have made it have a sustainable competitive environment. The main goal of the company is to be able to meet the satisfaction of all its customers in order for a company to be able to attain high profits. It is important to mention that the welfare of the customer is very crucial.
Toyota Corporation faced a lot of threats, which had threatened to affect all its business operations through the massive product recalls where the company was forced to recall quite a big number of faulty cars as a reason for imperfect suspension systems and gas pedals. This threat caused the company to lose a lot of customers as no one would spend on a faulty car (LeBeau 2010).
Due to an increase in the competition levels in the automotive industry, Toyota Corporation had adapted the Porter’s 4 generic strategies, a combination of several marketing strategies, which include the cost leadership strategy, differentiation strategy, cost focus strategy, and the cost leadership strategy so as to be able to survive in the competitive industry (Quickmba.com 2010).
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3) Research question/objective: Specify the problem you have identified. What is it precisely that you are attempting to find out? A clear statement of the purpose of your research is necessary, either in the form of a hypothesis or a research question. Your research findings will be measured against your statement of research objectives, so they should be clear and achievable.
The main objectives of this study will be:
· To identify all the marketing strategies used by Toyota Company
· Investigate all the factors, which influence the marketing strategy by Toyota Motors Company.
· Establishing whether the current marketing strategies used by the company are a success or a failure
Other objectives are:
· To study and examine customer’s attitudes toward the Toyota brand
· Identify possible solutions, which could improve the success of the marketing strategies used by the company
The research questions will give a general direction on the study and they will also be very useful in the attainment of the main objectives of the study. The research questions will be:
i) What has Toyota Company done to become a powerhouse in the automotive industry?
ii) What are the marketing strategies, which are used by Toyota Motor Corporation, which makes it have a competitive advantage in the automotive industry?
iii) Why are marketing strategies very important in a competitive industry?
iv) Did the marketing strategies used by the company enable it to gain back its market share and competitiveness after the massive product recalls?
4) Research method: Outline all the research methods you propose to use to undertake your study and to gather data. Both secondary and primary research methods should be described in as much detail as possible.
This study will make use of a mixed-methods approach as it will use both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. The main reason as to the use of methods approach will be for the easy collection of data, which is valid and reliable. Since the use of mixed methods in collection of data offers the researcher a better chance in the integration of research data from one data collection method to another.
A total of 200 interviews will be carried out and will include both male and female respondents who will be above 18 years. The 200 people will be chosen randomly where random sampling techniques will also be used in the selection of the sample population.
In order to be able to fulfill all the objectives of this research and also answer all the research questions of the study, online questionnaires and focus group interviews will be carried out. The online questionnaires will be made up of a total of 15 questions: 10 questions will be in the form of a liker type questions while the other 5 questions will be open-ended questions. The data, which is collected from a structured questionnaire, is of very high quality because it is received straight from the respondents where they give their personal views and opinions.
The use of the open-ended questions in the questionnaire will be to get more detailed information from the respondents. The questionnaire is a very good data collection tool as the structured part provides the quantitative data while the open-ended part gives the qualitative data. Online questionnaires will be used in the collection of data directly from the respondents and they are very easy to administer as they save time and costs, and they reach quite a large number of people within a very short time. Focus group interviews will also be used in the collection of data.
Tools for Testing and Evaluations
The tools, which will be used in testing and evaluating the collected data, will include:
i) SPSS statistics software
Raw data will be tested with the use of SPSS statistics software for the testing and evaluation so as to determine the hypothesis and the significance levels of the quantitative data.
ii) Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Excel will be used in the recording and the categorization of all the numerical data for easy testing and evaluation of all the quantitative and qualitative data.
iii) Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word will be used in the recording of all the text in the research, which includes all the field notes, and conclusions from the observations and additional notes on the interviews. This tool will be used for the testing and the evaluation of the qualitative data got from the research.
Qualitative and Quantitative
The information, which will be received from the research, will represent both the quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data will cover all the research’s numerical elements while the qualitative aspects will be obtained by the observation of the experiences that the customers have concerning the products of Toyota Company, which would greatly determine the decision process.
In this research, there will be the examination of data sources, which may contain information on topics, which might be closely related and which are supposed to be put under high consideration. In this case, the processes, methods, and results got from this information will be examined thoroughly so as to make sure that the right and appropriate procedure will be followed. The information on the competitors of Toyota Company is one of the information, which will be obtained from this section where there will be a comparison of different journals, articles, and online sources.
Field research in this study will be very important in the collection of qualitative data. This field research in our study will involve direct observation where the researcher will observe the behavior of people without being a participant, in-depth interviews where the researcher will interview the participants one-on-one and the focus group where the researcher will interview the participants in small groups, which consist of 10-15 participants.
New research methods will be employed in the research as they will lead to in-depth knowledge of the topic under study. The new methodologies include: the explanatory research methodology, which would help in the identification and the definition of the problem; the constructive research methodology, which would test all the theories and propose solutions to the study problem; and finally, the empirical research methodology, which would test all the solution feasibility through the use of empirical evidence.
Critical thought will be used in the research into making critical decisions as to whether a claim is false or true by evaluating the quality and the extent of all the claims, and all the supporting arguments. Critical thought will be used to note any stereotypes and biases in the research information, and also note all the contradictions and inconsistences from the research.
5) Discussion and Analysis: Describe the techniques you plan to use to analyze the data you collect.
i) Qualitative data analysis
For the qualitative data, the data will be analyzed through the use of statistical processes, which include: interpretive techniques like indexing/coding and abstraction, categorization, comparison, and integration.
ii) Quantitative data analysis
Data will be analyzed by the use of simple descriptive techniques. The data will be analyzed by the use of the SPSS statistics software where the data will be determined how broadly the data is spread from the mean, how close the variables are within the data and how they are correlated. The tests, which will be used in the study, will include the mean, mode, median, standard deviation, and the t-test.
The findings will be related to the research problem according to the main research questions of the study, the pre-existing literature review, other research studies, and concepts. The data will then be determined if exist a statistical significance, and finally, the limitations of the study will also be discussed.
6) Literature Review: Identify the main authors, themes, and theories that you wish to explore in your dissertation, and list any models that you might apply, test or review.
The development of a marketing strategy in a company is very important as there is a need for the company to have a marketing strategy, which is cohesive so as to help in guiding all the tactical programs, which are directed towards crucial marketing decision areas (Jobber 2007).
General marketing strategies in a company can lead to the expansion of the company’s market and the increase in the growth of the market share (Frances & Stephen 2000). Since the marketing strategies lead to the growth in the annual sales of the company’s products through the increment in the clientele numbers, increment in the number of potential customers, and the continuous selling of the company’s product in the market.
According to the research, marketing strategies increase the market share of a company through the increase in the competitive advantage of the company thus making it more superior to its close competitors, which can be made possible through the use of marketing strategies, which are very aggressive (Mahotra & Birks 2000).
Consumers highly expect that all their needs will be met by the companies that they are loyal to. According to research, studies have shown that consumers tend to purchase and consume only the products and services, which meet their consumption needs. This explains the reason as to why Toyota Company has to come up with better marketing strategies so as to deduce a large number of customers that the company was losing to its competitors.
7) Practical and ethical issues: Identify any practical difficulties you may have to overcome in working on your project and gathering information and discuss any ethical issues involved in undertaking your research.
Ethical sensitive elements will not be contained in this study, because there will not be the interviewing of persons who are below 18 years of age. All the respondents of this research will be mainly young adults who have attained 18 years and above.
All the respondents in the research will be required to sign an informed consent form so that it can be proved that the participant participated in the survey willingly and no one forced him/her to participate in the interview.
The respondents are expected to give their own views regarding the research topic, and all the responses, which will be received from the study will be highly confidential as the respondents will not be required to fill in their personal details like their names, personal identification numbers, or any other information, which could lead to the exposure of the true identity of the respondent. In case, the respondent fills in their personal details, unique codes will be used so as to safeguard and ensure that the privacy and confidentiality of the respondent are highly confidential and the responses will then be treated anonymously.
8) Plan or timetable: Show when you plan to complete each of the major elements of your project. A Gantt chart would be useful (see Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill ‘Research Methods for Business Students’ for guidance).
The time table showing all the activities into the completion of the dissertation will be as follows:
Groundwork on the topic – week 1-4
Conduction of the Literature Review – week 2-5
Definition of the data collection methods – week 3-5
Actual data collection – week 4-9
Data analysis – week 9-11
The first draft of the dissertation – week 11-12
Proofreading the first draft – week 12-13
The final draft of the dissertation – week 13-17
9) References: Please provide a complete list of all the references you have used in writing your research proposal. It is vital that you list your references correctly. You will fail the proposal stage if you do not follow the proper conventions.
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