Mobile Marketing Techniques as a Tool for Brand Awareness in Banking Industry: A Case Study Of Nat West Bank, UK

1.0 Introduction:

Banks in the UK banking industry is currently going through a tough time due to recent global financial crisis, economic downturn, and intense competition among the various banks. The current research is focused on evaluating the effectiveness of mobile marketing strategies to enhance the brand effectiveness of banks operating in the UK. This section presents the aims, objectives, and questions of the present research work. The background of the research is also discussed in this section. In addition, the researcher has also highlighted the significance of the current research topic. The section ends with an explanation of the appropriateness of the chosen dissertation structure.

1.1 Research background:

The Banking industry in the UK is characterised by the presence of a large number of banks and intense competition among these banks. This has a negative impact on the profitability sharing of these banks. However, there has been considerable change in the UK banking sector, which can be attributed to the domestic deregulation and a change in the trend of demand and supply in the UK banking sector. In this context, Masulis et al. (2006) expressed that lack of new marketing strategy is one of the serious issues in respect of the UK banking sector. This has motivated the researcher to focus on the concept of mobile marketing and its impact on the brand value of UK banks. Put it differently, the researcher wishes to understand how mobile marketing can help in developing brand effectiveness of the UK banks. The researcher has chosen Nat West bank for the current study. The total number of banks in the UK has reduced from 600 in 1985 to 346 in 2005. As mentioned by Hoshi (2009), consolidation of the domestic retail banking sector and the presence of a large number of foreign banks has resulted in the reduction of the total number of UK banks. The current study would help to understand the contribution of the mobile marketing techniques in building and enhancing brand value of UK banks. 

1.2 Research aims:

The aim of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of mobile marketing techniques for building brand awareness in banking sector of the UK. The focus will be on Nat West Bank, UK.

1.3 Research objectives:

  • To judge the influence of mobile marketing techniques for building brand awareness in banking sector of the UK
  • To assess the brand awareness, effectiveness gained by Nat West Bank through their current mobile marketing techniques
  • To recommend strategic mobile marketing technique solutions to Nat West Bank to advance its market awareness.

1.4 Research questions:

  • How do the mobile marketing techniques help in building brand awareness in banking sector of the UK?
  • How far have the current mobile marketing techniques have helped Nat West bank in gaining brand awareness and brand effectiveness?
  • What are the potential strategic mobile marketing techniques to advance the market awareness programme of Nat West bank?

1.5 Research rationale:

There has been a considerable increase in the use of mobile internet services by the people in the UK (Hart and Oliver, 2009). This can be explained by the developments made by major players in the Smartphone industry. Consumer awareness on the benefits of mobile internet services and mobile banking services is on a rising trend.

The current study would evaluate the role of mobile marketing techniques in building brand awareness and how these techniques have enhanced the brand effectiveness of the Nat West bank in UK. The current research work is focused on identifying potential mobile marketing techniques that could help in the further development of the brand value of Nat West bank. However, Ang et al. (2010) mentioned that excessive mobile marketing efforts can result in customer dissatisfaction. Hence, proper balancing of the mobile marketing efforts can be considered as the principle issue here. The UK banking sector seems to have saturated, which has further restricted the growth potential of the UK banks in terms of market share, profitability and revenues (Claessens, 2008). Therefore, appropriate use of mobile marketing techniques can help UK banks to break the barrier of market saturation through increased brand effectiveness. In addition, mobile marketing is a vast area which often remains unutilised by the marketing division of various UK banks. There exists a lack of proper understanding of mobile marketing in the UK banking sector (Cremers et al. 2007). In addition, marketing executives are often unaware about the entire features, facilities, and benefits offered by mobile marketing techniques. The current study would help to address these issues.

1.6 Dissertation structure:

The structure of the current dissertation structure is presented below:

Introduction:

This section would present the basic aspects of the current study like research aim, research objectives, research questions, research context, research background, and dissertation structure.

Literature review:

In this section, the researcher would evaluate the current literatures in respect of the research topic to identify potential gaps in the existing literatures. The benefits and limitations of current beliefs, theories, models, and practices would be discussed in this section.

Research methodologies:

This section would throw light on the various research methodologies that would help the researcher in attaining pre-determined research aims and objectives. Investigation type, data collection process, sampling, data analysis process, ethical and accessibility issues would be discussed in this section. The estimated time-frame for the current research work would also be discussed here.

Findings and analysis:

This section would analyse the collected data to arrive at appropriate conclusions.

Conclusion and recommendations:

The researcher would link the research findings with the research questions to meet research aims. The researcher would present conclusion based on research findings and develop suitable recommendations to address the identified issues.

The dissertation structure mentioned above would enable the researcher to proceed with the research work in a systematic manner by providing a logical and sequential flow to the research work.

2.0 Literature Review:

2.1 Influence of Mobile marketing for creating brand awareness in the banking sector of the UK:

Brand awareness provides competitive advantages over the rivals. As mentioned by Blattberg and Deighton (2006), to cope up with the challenges of stiff competition, companies need to create brand value among the consumers. Marketers prepare strategies to improve the brand awareness among the consumers. Mobile marketing is considered as one of the most important tools for the companies that help to increase the awareness among the customers. In this context, Bryant and Oliver (2009) mentioned that mobile marketing provides the easy mode of communication with the customers to the companies.

The role of mobile marketing for increasing awareness among the customers of the UK banks is immense. The customers of UK are so busy that it is very much difficult for them to visit the banks on a regular basis. On the other hand, as mentioned by Cronin and Taylor (2012), banking is one of the most important issues for every professional and the business persons. Therefore, most of the banks of the UK, find mobile marketing is the easiest option to communicate with the customers and therefore increasing brand awareness (Berney, 2010). Mobile marketing provides the option to the customers to deal with all the banking issues with the help of the mobile phones. Moreover, the banks can provide the information of new launched financial services to the customers. It helps the customers to become aware about the diversified product portfolios of the banks (Ko et al. 2009).  The customers can fill up the formalities through the mobile banking facility and use the services provided by the banks. The information provided by the banks through messages about the transactions on the account helps the customers to become aware.

The banking industry in the UK is full of stiff competition. Therefore, the banks that provide the easy mode of communication with the customers can gain the advantages over the rival banks (Becker and Arnold, 2010). However, almost all the banks of the UK now-days have been providing the mobile banking facility to the customers. Studies have revealed that in the UK, at least 35%, 40% people do not prefer to visit to the bank branches to deal with the banking issues. In this context, Russ-Eft (2004) stated that mobile banking not only saves the time of the customers to visit to the banks and stand in the queue but also provides the easy mode of communications with the banks.

2.2 Assessing the effectiveness of the mobile marketing techniques used by NatWest, UK:

NatWest is considered to be one of the most important banks in the UK. The bank deals with a stiff competition with the rivals to increase the revenue and market share. In order to follow the current trends of the UK, customers in the banking industry, NatWest has given importance to the mobile banking. As mentioned by Zeithaml (2008), in the context of mobile banking the easiness of operation is the biggest issue. The customers will use the mobile banking only if it is easy to operate. Therefore, NatWest has provided user-friendly mobile marketing software to the customers (Pookulangara and Koesler, 2011).  The taglines of the company in the case of mobile marketing are:” Pay friends, stay friends”. It indicates that the bank has been giving enough importance to the mobile marketing to create brand awareness.

The NatWest mobile banking app available on the selected smart phones, provide the customers to deal with banking issues related to the personal account and debit cards. The facility is available in the England and Wales. Moreover, the customers can send up to £ 250 per day. The recipient can collect the amount with in the 7 days of payment. The customers do not require providing any bank details while paying to the friends or relatives remaining in the contacts. Only the mobile number is sufficient to complete the transaction. The transaction can be done with the VISA debit cards. The money can be transacted within 1-2 working days to the account.

In order to create the brand awareness and to attract the new customers, the bank has started the facility to provide text alerts to keep the customers control of the accounts (Nambisan and Watt ,2011). In case, the customers lost the debit cards, the money still can be transacted through the mobile marketing facility on the emergency basis. Therefore, it can be concluded that NatWest has been effectively utilising the mobile banking facility in order to improve the brand awareness.

2.3 Recommendation to improve the mobile banking facility of NatWest:

In order to increase the brand awareness of NatWest through the mobile banking, the bank needs to aware the regular customers to use the mobile banking. As mentioned by Adjei et al. (2010), the lack of awareness among the customers about the facilities can cause the failure. NatWest needs to educate the customers about the usages and benefits of mobile banking. Instead of the spreading the information only through the official banking websites, the bank needs to concentrate on the face to face interaction with the customers. He representatives of the banks can help the customers to become aware about the mobile banking facility.

The study also reveals that the mobile banking apps of NatWest are available only on the selective smart phones. The bank needs to provide the apps facility to the other smart phones also. The mobile banking facility of banks needs to be made further more user-friendly. Apart from the normal banking transaction through the mobile marketing, NatWest needs to provide the information to the customers about the new financial products. It can help the customers to know about the diversified product portfolios of the banks.

 

 

 

3.0 Research design and methodology:

The different research methodologies chosen by the researcher in respect of the current research are discussed below:

3.1 Investigation type:

The researcher would follow the exploratory research design for the current study. As mentioned by Aldag and Steams (2006), exploratory design helps a researcher to focus on existing ideas, principles, and practices from a different angle. Hence, the exploratory research design would allow the researcher to study the impact of mobile marketing on the brand effectiveness of UK banks. The Exploratory research design would also enable the researcher to study the current mobile marketing practices of Nat West bank and its impact on brand effectiveness of Nat West bank from various perspectives. Therefore, the exploratory research design would help the researcher in identifying potential strategies for further advancement of the mobile marketing strategies for Nat West bank.

3.2 Data collection method:

Primary and secondary are the two basic types of data used for research studies (Bernard, 2009). Primary data are the data collected from respondents, whereas secondary data are the data available from secondary sources like annual reports, journals, internal, blogs, and books. In this context, Amitabh and Gupta (2012) expressed that primary data collection involves a greater time and costs compared to secondary data. However, primary data would help to understand the actual impact of mobile marketing on UK customers. The researcher would collect primary data from the customers of Nat West bank.

3.3 Sampling method:

The researcher would gather quantitative data from 100 customers of Nat West bank to evaluate the impact of mobile marketing on the effectiveness of the brand value of the bank. The researcher would select 100 customers from different portfolios of the Nat West bank. This would help in understanding the overall impact of the mobile marketing efforts undertaken by the Nat West bank.

3.4 Accessibility issues:

The researcher would require taking prior permission and other requisite approvals from Nat West bank for collecting data from its customers. The contact details of bank customers are highly confidential in nature. Hence, the researcher would request the bank official to provide the email Ids of the customers for sending the online survey questionnaires. In addition, the researcher would also take permission from the customers for conducting the survey questionnaire on the customers.

3.5 Ethical issues:

In the view of Cameron (2007), confidentiality of organisation specific information is one of the greatest ethical issues in research works. Hence, the researcher would ensure that the information and feedback gathered as a part of this research work are not used for any purpose other than the current study. Furthermore, the researcher would also ensure that the questionnaires do not hurt the sentiments of the chosen customers.

3.6 Data analysis plan:

The researcher would use simple probability sampling technique for the purpose of sampling of the quantitative data collected from customers. Probability sampling process is best suited for studies involving definite number of population. Tables and graphical representations would be used to present the collected data. The analysis of the collected data would be conducted in chapter 4 of the dissertation.

3.7 Research limitations:

Sole dependence on primary data seems to be the greatest limitation of the current study. As mentioned by Johnson and Onwuegbuzie (2010), secondary data helps to understand historic facts, figures, and trends. Hence, inclusion of secondary data in the current study could have helped the researcher to draw valuable insights on past trends. A combination of both primary and secondary data could have enhanced the accuracy and quality of the research outcome.  

4.0 Strength of anticipated findings:

The anticipated findings from the current research work would be in the form of key gaps in existing practices and policies followed by suitable recommendations developed based on the identification of these gaps. The potential mobile marketing strategies that would be developed by the researcher would throw light on the unexplored features and facilities of mobile marketing to increase brand effectiveness of UK banks. In addition, the findings would open new dimensions for further researches in this area in future.


5.0 Time table:

Task / Time Week 1 Week 2 and 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 and 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12
Development of research aims and objectives                    
Literature review                    
Research methodology                    
Determination of data collection methods                    
Data collection                    
Analysis and presentation of data                    
Development of conclusion and recommendations                    
Proof-Reading                    
Sending first draft to supervisor                    
Printing, binding, and submission                    

 

 

 

References:

Adjei, M. T., Noble, S. M., and Noble, C. H. (2010), “The influence of C2C communications in online brand communities on customer purchase behaviour”, Journal of the Academy Marketing Science, 38(5),  pp. 634-653.

Aldag, R. J. and Steams, T. M. (2006), “Issues in research methodology”, Journal of Management, 14 (2), pp. 253-276

Amitabh, M. and Gupta, R. K (2012), “Research in strategy-structure-performance construct: Review of trends, paradigms and methodologies”, Journal of Management and Organization, 16(5), pp. 744-763

Ang, B., Andrew, A., Chen J, and Xing Y, (2010), “Downside risk”, Review of Financial Studies, 19(2), pp. 1191–1239.

Becker, M. and Arnold, J. (2010). Mobile marketing for dummies. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.

Bernard, H. R. (2009) Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. 5th ed. Plymouth: Alta Mira Press.

Berney, P. (2010). Mobile marketing. London: Kogan Page.

Blattberg, R.C. and Deighton, J. (2006), “Managing marketing by the customer equity criterion”. Harvard Business Review, 32, 136 -144.

Bryant, J. and Oliver, M. B. (2009) Media effects: Advances in theory and research, 3rd ed. New York: Routledge

Cameron, R. (2007), “A sequential mixed model research design: design, analytical and display issues”, International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 3(2), pp. 140-152

Claessens, S. (2008), “Corporate governance and development.”The World Bank Research Observer, 21(1), pp. 91-122.

Cremers, J., Martijn K. J., Nair V B, and Peyer U, (2007), “Takeover defenses and competition”, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 5(9), pp. 791–818.

Cronin, J.J. and Taylor, S.A. (2012) “Measuring service quality: a reexamination and extension”, Journal of Marketing, 56 (July): pp. 55-68

Hart, A. and Oliver D. (2009), “The market mechanism as an incentive scheme.”Bell Journal of Economics, 14(5), pp. 366–382.

Hoshi, T., Kashyap A., and Scharfstein D. (2009), “Corporate Structure, Liquidity and Investment: Evidence from Japanese Industrial Groups,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 106(15), pp. 33-60.

Johnson, B. and Onwuegbuzie, A. (2010), “Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come”, Educational Researcher, 33(7), pp.14-26

Ko, H., Cho, C. and Roberts, M. (2009) Internet uses and gratifications: a structural equation model of interactive advertising. Journal of Advertising 34(2), 57-70.

Masulis, Ronald W., Cong Wang, and Fei Xie, (2006), “Corporate governance and acquirer returns”, Journal of Finance, 62(6), pp. 1851–1889.

Nambisan, P. and Watt, J. H. (2011), “Managing customer experiences in online product communities”, Journal of Business Research, 64(8),pp.  889-895.

Pookulangara, s. and Koesler, K. (2011), “Cultural influence on consumers‟ usage of social networks and its impact on online purchase intentions”, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 18(4), pp. 348-354.

Russ-Eft, D. (2004) “Customer service competencies: a global look”, Human Resource Development International, 7(2), pp. 211-231

Zeithaml, V. A. (2008) “Consumer Perceptions of Price, Quality and Value: A Means-End Model and Synthesis of Evidence,” Journal of Marketing, 52, pp. 2-22

 

 

For example,
 1. To examine the factors that influence for an effective mobile marketing strategy in making brand awareness in the selected industry

  1. To assess how far those factors have been effectively used by the chosen case study
  2. To recommend how to improve the mobile marketing strategy in future by the case study to increase brand awareness

 

  • Approach – E.g. Deductive Research and Inductive Research
  • Research purpose – E.g. Exploratory, Explanatory & Analytical

 

Data collection methods

  • Strategy – E.g. Experiment, Survey, Case Study etc
  • Design (population, sampling method and size, data collection, data analysis tools)

 

***When discussing each point, you should focus on three aspects.

  • What are the other theories available under each method
  • What method is used for your research – you have addressed this section appropriately.
  • Why it is selected (justifications for the methods selected).

 

Other information such as ethical issues and accessible issues and limitation of the research should also be addressed in relation to the chosen research.

 

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