Title of paper: ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN AUTOMOBILE SECTOR

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1 Title of paper: ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN AUTOMOBILE SECTOR Authors: 1. Prof. Priyanka Shah Asst. Prof. Shri Chimanbhai Patel Institute of Management & Research 2. Prof. Anu Gupta Asst. Prof. Shri Chimanbhai Patel Institute of Management & Research

2 ABSTRACT Automobile sector plays a very vital role in overall economic growth of any country. Two-wheeler automobile industry in India has not experienced marketing activities based on the social media. In today s world social media is omnipresent among consumers so taking advantage of wider platform for company s marketing activities will be a great opportunity. This study was done to tap existing and potential usage of social media in marketing & promotional activities in two wheeler segment. Market research was conducted within Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot to check the awareness level of social media, existing usage of it in marketing of two-wheelers, consumer preferences towards different forms of social media etc. Various statistical tools were used to analyze the media habits and to check the consumer preference for two wheeler customers. Findings show poor presence of social media in two wheeler segment. More popularity was found among the young generation for social media preference. Beneficiaries of the study would be faculty and research persons who would be getting insights into marketing arena like fundamentals of marketing research, statistical testing concepts and social media marketing concepts etc. Two-wheeler automobile companies would also be benefited from this study as now they can refer the initial understanding of social media platform for implementing social marketing campaign for acquiring more market share. This would further aid company to develop business strategies and advertising programmes based on social media platform with ease. Future research could be taken with a larger sample size and coverage of larger geographical area. Research with the specific social media campaign could also be taken for another sector. Keywords: Social media marketing, Automobile sector, Innovative marketing

3 LITERATURE REVIEW The social media phenomenon has a profound impact and has emerged over the years as an innovative tool for marketing and promotion activities for numerous brands. With the emergence of social media, also known as consumer generated media, the tools and strategies for communicating with customers have changed significantly. This form of media describes a variety of new sources of online information that are created, initiated, circulated and used by consumers intent on educating each other about products, brands, services, personalities, and issues (Blackshaw & Nazzaro, 2004, p. 2). A recent IDC survey in Western Europe discovered that the number one reason for using social media was to increase awareness about the company and its products in the market. This driver came well ahead of the following two managing the relationship with customers and prospects, and gathering ideas and feedback for products and services. There have been some major changes over the years in the way consumers use media. The Internet has now become a major source for consumer-sponsored communication and represents the first media choice for consumers at work and second source of media at home (Rashtchy, Kessler, Bieber, Shindler, & Tzeng, 2007). Consumers are now turning away from traditional sources of advertising and are demanding immediate access to information at their own convenience (Rashtchy et al., 2007; Vollmer & Precourt, 2008). Consumers are also frequently using social media to conduct information search and make purchase decisions (Lempert, 2006; Vollmer & Precourt, 2008). Social media is also perceived by the consumers as a more trustworthy source of information compared to corporate-sponsored communication (Foux, 2006). This paper therefore tries to explore the perception of consumers regarding social media in the automobile sector. RATIONALE OF THE STUDY The paper focuses on two wheeler automobile industry in India for studying the existing and potential usage of social media in marketing & promotional activities. Two-wheeler segment in India has a high potential to grow in near future. Proper means of marketing elements may elicit the company s performance. Hence this study has been conducted to know the awareness level

4 of social media, existing usage of social media in marketing of two-wheelers and consumer preferences towards different forms of social media. PROBLEM STATEMENT Social media usage in India is in primary stage and needs to be explored to strengthen marketing activity or brand image of an automobile company for two-wheeler. For achieving marketing goals, one should have the clear understanding of perceptions and preferences of consumers about social media usage. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY To understand the concept and to study the current scenario of social media usage in Indian automobile (two-wheeler) industry To acquire understanding about consumer perceptions towards social media usage by a company To find out the consumer preferences for social media channels or activities of a twowheeler company To derive consumer-centric methodology for doing social media marketing in Indian two-wheeler automobile industry by utilising social media forms i.e. social networking sites, blogs and forums etc. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Research Design: Descriptive Research Source/s of Data: 1. Primary data has been collected by conducting survey of target Individuals. 2. Secondary data has been collected by referring to Marketing Journals, Research papers, social networking sites and online blogs/forums/articles. Data Collection Methods:

5 1. Online Survey (Via Survey-gizmo tool) 2. Telephonic Interview 3. Personal Interview Population: Two-wheeler owners (within age-group of 18 to 40) in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot and Surat Sampling Method & Frame: 1. Sampling Technique: Convenience Sampling 2. Sample Size: 200 (Based on p=0.85, q=0.15, e=0.05, z=1.96) Data Collection Instrument: Structured Questionnaire Tools: SPSS, MS Excel Scope of Study: Study is limited within four cities of Gujarat as it would be feasible to analyse the population where awareness of internet technology is high. Sample units include mix of students, professionals, businessmen etc. Following forms of social media are considered for the market study. Social Networking Sites (like MySpace, Facebook etc.) Wikis (like Wikipedia etc.) Micro-blogging (like Twitter etc.) Blogs (WordPress, Blogger, TypePad etc.) Forums (like Consumer forum etc.) RSS feeds (like Google alerts etc.) Content Communities (like YouTube, Flickr, and Slideshare etc.) Hypothesis: H 1 : At present, more than 85% of target consumers are aware about social media forms. H 2 : There is a significant difference in social media rating for male & female respondents.

6 H 3 : There is a significant difference in preference of social media for marketing activities for male & female respondents. H 4 : There is a significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social media across different age-groups. H 5 : There is a significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social media for different occupations. H 6 : There is a significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social media across different cities. H 7 : Social media usage by consumer is dependent on his/her age. H 8 : Social media usage by consumer is dependent on his/her occupation. H 9 : Social media usage by consumer is dependent on his/her educational background. DATA ANAYLSIS AND INTERPRETATION Brand presence on social media platforms Figure 1: Two-wheeler Brand Presence on Social Media Platforms Brand Presence (%) on Social Media Platform Bajaj Auto TVS Mahindra & Mahindra Yamaha Hero Motocorp Suzuki Honda None

7 Users of social media give a signal of poor presence of 2W brands on social media platform. 22.5% of youngsters believe no 2W brand is having strong presence on social media platform for 2W products. On the other hand, it can be witnessed that only Hero Motocorp & Bajaj have strong presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, You-tube etc. along-with high market share. Correlation co-efficient between brand preference and brand presence on social media platform is 93.13% and hence it is beneficial for other brands to improve presence on Social media platform to increase customer base for 2W products. Rating of Social Media Platforms Figure 2: Rating of social media platforms Rating of Social Media Platforms Ratings for the social networking sites and blogs are high while ratings for the forums, wikis, and podcasts are low respectively. Respondents give average rating for RSS feeds. It is observed that young people who are doing business or service give higher rating to the social media platforms. Preference of social media platform for marketing activities Figure 3: Preference of social media platform for marketing activities

8 Agree 36% Strongly Agree 30% Neutral 24% Strongly Disagree 4% Disagree 6% Approximately 66% of people have agreed that social media platform can be used as a good option for implementing the marketing activities for 2W automobile industry. Only 10% denied for it while 24% give neutral response for social media platform. Overall social media ranking and preference for social media to implement marketing activities is having a correlation of 73.9% while correlation of 79% is there between preference for sharing information and preference for social media to implement marketing activities. Reasons for social media usage in two wheeler industry Figure 4: Reasons for social media usage in two wheeler industry Reason for respondents using social media To browse two-wheeler related information To make comparisons To search preferred dealer network To check reviews about a twowheeler brand To refer latest news about a twowheeler company To check for promotional schemes

9 Based on survey, it can be assured that most of the respondents want to make comparisons between different 2W brands or to check reviews about any 2W brand or product. 37% of them want to check the promotional schemes online using social media platforms. Correlation Table 1: Correlation Sr. No. Variable 1 Variable 2 Correlation Coefficient 1 Brand Preference Brand's Presence on Social Media 93.13% 2 Brand's Presence on Social Media Social Media Rating 82% 3 Social Media Rating Marketing Campaign Impact Rating 73.9% 4 Social Media Rating Positive Impact of Social Media on Buying Decision 69% 5 Marketing Campaign Positive Impact of Social Media on Impact Rating Buying Decision 62% 6 Preference for Sharing Info Positive Impact of Social Media on Buying Decision 69.5% 7 Preference for Sharing Info Social Media Rating 59% 8 Preference for Sharing Info Marketing Campaign Impact Rating 78% There is a high correlation (93.13%) between brands presence on brand preference as per respondents across four cities of Gujarat. High correlation (82%) between brand s presence on social media platform and overall social media rating indicates that respondents who have given higher rating believe that more brands are having strong presence on social media presence. Higher correlation (74%) between social media rating and marketing campaign impact rating indicates that success of marketing campaign of any company depends on the respondent s liking of all social media platforms. Respondents who have given more weightage to all social media platform ratings would tend to have belief that referring or sharing the information on social media forms before

10 buying two-wheeler would have positive impact and helps a lot to make fruitful buying decision. Preference for implementing marketing activities through social media platforms would have moderate impact on consumers mindset to believe that referring the information on social media would help them to make good buying decision for two-wheeler. Preference for referring/sharing the information would have moderate and positive impact on ratings of social media, preference for implementing marketing campaign via social media platforms and consumers mindset. Hypothesis testing Hypothesis 1: H o : At present, 85% of target consumers are aware about social media forms. H 1 : At present, more than 85% of target consumers are aware about social media forms. Table 2: One sample T-test for social media awareness One-Sample T-Test for Social Media (Test Value = 3) 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference t Df Sig. Mean Difference Lower Upper T tab = 1.96 < T cal = 6.76 Hence, null hypothesis is rejected. Currently there are more than 85% youngsters who are aware about social media platforms. Hypothesis 2: H o : There is no significant difference in social media rating for male & female respondents H 1 : There is a significant difference in social media rating for male & female respondents. Table 3: T-test for social media rating

11 Social Media Rating (Equal variances assumed) Levene's Test t-test for Equality of Means F Sig. t Df 95% Confidence Mean Std. Error Interval of the Sig. (2-tailed) Difference Difference Difference Lower Upper T tab = 1.96 > T cal = 1.64 Hence, null hypothesis is accepted. Men and women respondents give similar rating to social media platforms and no marketing strategy should be devised based on gender. Hypothesis 3: H o : There is no significant difference in preference of social media for marketing activities for male & female respondents. H 1 : There is a significant difference in preference of social media for marketing activities for male & female respondents. Table 4: t-test for social media preference Levene's Test t-test for Equality of Means F Sig. T Df 95% Confidence Mean Std. Error Interval of the Sig. (2-tailed) Difference Difference Difference Lower Upper Preference of Social Media for Marketing T tab = 1.96 > T cal = 0.209

12 Hence, null hypothesis is accepted. Men and women respondents give similar preference to social media platforms to do marketing activities hence generalized marketing strategy should be applied. Hypothesis 4: H o : There is no significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social media across different age-groups. H 1 : There is a significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social media across different age-groups. Table 5: ANOVA for social media ratings & preference across age-groups ANOVA Sum of Squares Df Mean Square F Sig. Social Media Rating Between Groups Within Groups Total Preference of Social Between Groups media for marketing Within Groups campaign Total Feature Rating Between Groups Within Groups Total For Social media rating, F tab = 2.60 > F cal = Hence, null hypothesis is accepted. For Preference of Social media for marketing campaign, F tab = 2.60 > F cal = Hence, null hypothesis is accepted. For features rating, F tab = 2.60 > F cal = Hence, null hypothesis is accepted. Across all age-groups there are no significant differences for ratings and preferences towards social media. Hypothesis 5: H o : - There is no significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social media for different occupations.

13 H 1 : - There is a significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social media for different occupations. Table 6: ANOVA for social media ratings & preference across occupations ANOVA Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups Social Media Rating Within Groups Total Between Groups Preference of Social media Within Groups for marketing campaign Total Between Groups Feature Rating Within Groups Total For Social media rating, F tab = 2.60 > F cal = Hence, null hypothesis is accepted. For Preference of Social media for marketing campaign, F tab = 2.60 < F cal = Hence, null hypothesis is rejected. For features rating, F tab = 2.60 > F cal = Hence, null hypothesis is accepted. Across all type of occupational groups there are no significant differences for ratings but preferences towards social media for doing marketing activities are significantly different. Hypothesis 6: H o : - There is no significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social media across different cities. H 1 : - There is a significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social media across different cities. Table 7: ANOVA for social media ratings & preference across cities ANOVA Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.

14 Social Media Rating Preference of Social media for marketing campaign Feature Rating Between Groups Within Groups Total Between Groups Within Groups Total Between Groups Within Groups Total For Social media rating, F tab = 2.60 < F cal = Hence, null hypothesis is rejected. For Preference of Social media for marketing campaign, F tab = 2.60 < F cal = Hence, null hypothesis is rejected. For features rating, F tab = 2.60 < F cal = Hence, null hypothesis is rejected. Across all cities there are significant differences for ratings and preferences towards social media for doing marketing activities. Hypothesis 7: H 0 : - Social media usage by consumer is not dependent on consumer s age. H 1 : - Social media usage by consumer is dependent on consumer s age. Table 8: chi-square test for age Value df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided) Pearson Chi-Square Likelihood Ratio Linear-by-Linear Association N of Valid Cases 200 X 2 tab = < X 2 cal = Hence, null hypothesis is rejected. Social media usage by consumer is dependent on his/her age.

15 Hypothesis 8: H 0 : - Social media usage by consumer is not dependent on consumer s occupation. H 1 : - Social media usage by consumer is dependent on consumer s occupation. Table 9: chi-square test for occupation Value df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided) Pearson Chi-Square a Likelihood Ratio Linear-by-Linear Association N of Valid Cases 200 X 2 tab = < X 2 cal = Hence, null hypothesis is rejected. Social media usage by consumer is dependent on occupation. Hypothesis 9: H 0 : - Social media usage by consumer is not dependent on consumer s educational background. H 1 : - Social media usage by consumer is dependent on consumer s educational background. Table 10: chi-square test for educational background Value df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided) Pearson Chi-Square Likelihood Ratio Linear-by-Linear Association N of Valid Cases 200 X 2 tab = < X 2 cal = Hence, null hypothesis is rejected. Social media usage by consumer is dependent on his/her educational background. RESULTS AND FINDINGS It is witnessed that youngsters who are doing service or business are more prone to buy 2W in near future. Hence using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc. for the marketing activities would be preferable to promote 2W in Indian market. It can be witnessed that only

16 Hero Motocorp & Bajaj have strong presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, You-tube etc. along-with high market share. Correlation co-efficient between brand preference and brand presence on social media platform is 93.13% and hence it is beneficial for other brands to improve presence on Social media platform to increase customer base for 2W products. 73% of them want to check the promotional schemes online using social media platforms. Hence social media platform is a better option for doing marketing campaign. Men and women respondents have similar ratings or preferences for social media platforms hence no marketing strategy should be devised based on gender. Irrespective of age-group or occupation differences across sample units, ratings and preferences towards social media usage are similar for promoting two-wheeler products in India market. But reverse is the case for different cities. Social media usage by consumer is dependent on his/her educational background, occupation and educational background. Hence marketing strategy should be devised based on demographics of respondents to take benefit in terms of increase in market share and sales revenue. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY Validity of data depends explicitly on individual s preferences or liking towards social media. Survey has been conducted at Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara due to time constraint and hence sample size is restricted for 200. Research findings might not be applicable for whole India as sample is representative for Gujarat region explicitly. Respondents, who are less familiar with internet and latest technology developments, may not be able to give appropriate answers during survey. FUTURE SCOPE OF RESEARCH The current study has been conducted only in Gujarat region specifically for two wheelers. The study can be extended to other regions to get a holistic perspective of Indian consumers. Also the study can be done for four wheeler market as the growth rate of four wheelers is also good. Thus the role of social media usage in marketing and promotion of four wheelers can also be studied.

17 BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Blackshaw, P., & Nazzaro, M. (2004). Consumer-Generated Media (CGM) 101: Wordof-mouth in the age of the Webfortified consumer 2. Foux, G. (2006, May 8). Consumer-generated media: Get your customers involved. Brand Strategy, IDC; Social Media Tools in Western European Vertical Markets: IDC Survey Lempert, P. (2006). Caught in the Web. Progressive Grocer, 85(12), Rashtchy, F., Kessler, A. M., Bieber, P. J., Shindler, N. H., & Tzeng, J. C. (2007, February). The user revolution: The new advertising ecosystem and the rise of the Internet as a mass medium. Minneapolis, MN: Piper Jaffray Investment Research. 6. Vollmer, C., & Precourt, G. (2008). Always on: Advertising, marketing, and media in an era of consumer control. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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