AMRC Award Winner 2008
Academy of Marketing Research Committee Research Initiative Awards 2008The recipients of the AMRC Research initiative Awards were announced during the AM Annual Conference hosted at RGU, Aberdeen in July 2008. There was a 45% increase in the number of applications this year. Applications had been double reviewed by members of the AMRC and it was agreed to make four awards this year. The recipients and their projects are summarized below. The award for £2000 will run from July 2008 to September 2009. In addition to the awards, a bursary equivalent to the AM Annual Conference Fee will also be provided to the award winners to enable them to make a presentation about their projects at the Conference in Leeds Met in 2009.
At the AM Annual Conference 2008, there were two presentations from the 2007 Award Holders. The 2007 winners have to provide full reports on their projects by the end of September 2008 and summaries of these will be provided in the newsletter and on the website in due course.
Complaint Management in Business-to-Business RelationshipsDr Thorsten Gruber, (Manchester Business School), Dr Stephan Henneberg (Manchester Business School) and Dr Alexander Reppel (Royal Holloway, University of London).
This project explores the nature of complaint management in business relationships from a customer perspective. Particular emphasis is put on the qualities and behaviours that affect buying companies as part of the complaint handling encounter with a supplier. An innovative exploratory study, using online applications of the laddering and Kano research methods will provide a deeper understanding of the preferred attributes of effective complaint management in business-to-business (b2b) relationships, and reveal the underlying benefits that complaining organizations are looking for.
By using the qualitative semi-standardized laddering technique and the Kano model of satisfaction in an exploratory way, our project aims to enhance the understanding of how buying companies operating within close business relationships expect their complaints to be handled. Additionally, we link the identified complaint management attributes to desired higher-level company values, using a means-end approach, and identify their impact on the buying company. As such, our project contributes to the understanding of business relationships in general, and to the business complaint management literature in particular. Furthermore, it provides the foundation for practical management tools to improve business relationships and hence competitive success. To our knowledge, our research represents the first application of a combined laddering and Kano approach to a b2b complaint setting. Specifically, the research has the following objectives:
A Comparision of Promotional Strategies for Market Penetration: Effects Upon Consumer Perceptions of Fairness and ValueDr Ben Lowe (Kent Business School – corresponding contact) and Professor Bradley Barnes (Kent Business School).
Research in behavioural economics and psychology suggests that we attribute value based on some reference point determined from past information. This has significant implications for consumers and for a firm’s pricing strategy. Applied research in pricing new products suggests that, everything else equal, if a firm uses a skimming pricing strategy then a consumer’s reference price, perceptions of value and purchase intention will be higher than if a firm uses a penetration pricing strategy. The reason is that the initial price charged shapes a consumer’s reference price and consequently frames consumer perceptions of fairness, expensiveness and value. Therefore, some regular price of Pr will be viewed as more expensive if the introductory price is lower (i.e., as with a penetration strategy) and less expensive if the introductory price is higher (i.e., as with a skimming strategy).
However, despite the consistency with which this basic effect has been observed, there often remain several other reasons for using an introductory promotional strategy such as an introductory low price (ILP) or a buy one get one free offer (BOGOF). Whilst some attempts have been made to understand this, very little research has been undertaken to examine the effects of these different introductory promotions upon consumer perceptions of value and fairness, particularly in the case of new product categories.
The proposed research, therefore involves an examination of introductory sales promotion strategies and the effects these have on consumer perceptions of fairness and value. This would extend the existing literature on pricing, and more specifically, add to our understanding of the effectiveness of different introductory promotional strategies and their impact upon consumers. This research seeks to examine the effectiveness of different forms of introductory price promotions on consumer perceptions of price and value, in new product categories. Based on the extant literature, the following hypotheses have been developed:
Identifying and Analysing the Frequency and Nature of Food Content in UK Children's Television ProgrammesDr Caroline Oates (University of Sheffield)
Current debates around children’s exposure to unhealthy food products have largely centred on marketing communications, in particular television advertising. There is a wide body of literature on advertising to children in general and a substantial part of this is concerned with food. Concerns about children’s poor diets and levels of obesity have focused attention on the most visible forms of promotion and have resulted in increased regulation for marketers. New restrictions are now in place on terrestrial television channels regarding HFSS (foods high in fat, sugar and/or salt) and will come into force on dedicated children’s channels in 2009. Essentially, marketers are no longer allowed to promote such products around children’s programmes, or those programmes with a high percentage of young viewers. These new rules have been extensively debated, with demands for tighter regulation from bodies such as Sustain and criticism of the application from consumer organisations such as Which? Academics too have entered the debate, although there is little research to date which actually demonstrates a causal link between watching advertising and obesity in children. Livingstone has pointed out that most research on food and media is concerned with television advertising but that food promotion in general may have indirect rather than direct effects on the audience.
What is extremely interesting about all the discussion, research and regulation, is that the focus of attention has remained firmly on marketing communications, namely advertising. Almost no concern has been paid to the surrounding context in which advertising is broadcast; in other words, the programmes themselves. Yet as a percentage of children’s viewing, programme content takes a higher proportion of each broadcast hour than advertising, as the latter is restricted to a maximum of twelve minutes in any one hour.
The overview of the proposed research has highlighted an area of concern directly related to the childhood obesity debate and the role of advertising in promoting food products in relation to surrounding programmes. Specifically, the aims and objectives of the proposal are:
Plying with Matches: Engaging the Community in FootballLorna Young (Oxford Brookes), (corresponding author) and Jillian Farquhar (Oxford Brookes).
In March 2008 Wycombe Wanderers (WWFC), a 2nd Division football club, won the Football Association’s award for ‘Family Club’ of the year, and were ‘Community Club’ runners-up, putting them ahead of all of the higher placed clubs in the leagues and divisions with their superior financial and personnel resources. As the two awards indicate, there appears to be some dynamic at work in this club that engages participation amongst family and similar groups in match attendance and embeds the club in the local community. Professional football seems to be undergoing some degree of polarisation, as the richer clubs in the premiership gain a world-wide audience yet the same time, lower placed clubs face financial hardships and penalties that threaten their existence. If a smaller club is able to ‘buck the trend’ by engaging families and similar groups and embed itself in the local community, closer systematic investigation of the elements that have brought about this engagement may benefit not only football but other spectator sports.
Accordingly, we put forward a proposal for primary research that explores this increased engagement dynamic that WWFC’s community/family initiatives appear to have succeeded in harnessing. The following objectives have been identified: