Plan of approach
- Matter of the assignment 2
- The commissioning company and the assignment 2
- Overall orientation and the branch of the company. 3
- Tentative problem statement 3
- Tentative research plan. 4
- Tentative structure of thesis. 5
In its way to global expansion and development of the current countries Company X is dealing with, the company is looking for a best way to cope with different cultures, ideas, online shopping and thus different country specific business strategies. After a highly successful start in Malaysia, the company managed to expand its business to Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong in a time span of just 6 months. The company managed to settle into the markets, making its first step to be the market leader in every Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, the road to be a true market leader will be a long haul and surely a bumpy one. Therefore, a good country specific understanding of customer behavior, cultural habits and competitors should be the key factors to success. For this, a clear aim and deeper understanding of the customer is needed.
Out of all countries where the company is currently nested, Malaysia is considered as the most promising yet the most challenging one to understand and master. For that reason, a deeper knowledge and understanding of the local customers is needed to better understand how the customer should be targeted and how he wants to be communicated with. The research and advisory plan to be conducted will help build the first steps towards a successful country specific market penetration in Malaysia.
2.1. The company and its business model
Company X, initially launched early 2015, is a multitude shop and a marketplace for consumers to find the right product out of different retailers. The company can be seen as an online version of an offline department store, where different parties can offer a diverse range of products under the same roof. In a time where new stores and services pop up every week, Company X wants to help its customers by finding their way through this e-commerce jungle. The company is a one-stop shopping destination which will higher the ease of finding the right product online. Company X is getting a commission from every order made coming from its website from the retailers owning the product, a so called “pay per order” principle.
With an initial focus on fashion, now the company is mastering a more complete shopping experience for its visitors by also having the possibility to find electronic and Home and Living products online. In the six months the company has been operating, it managed to start collaborating with some of the biggest e-commerce players in the Asian market, including Groupon, Lazada and Zalora. At the moment, the company has about 20 to 25 employees, with an expected growth to 50 by the end of the year.
2.2. The assignment and the benefit for the company
Mastering the Malaysian market, a highly promising yet competitive market, will be the key business of the company for the coming months. The assumption that every Southeast Asian country is the same and therefore should be handled in the same way, would be wrong. The Malaysian market could be considered as a different one than the other countries the company is currently operating in, mainly due to cultural differences and westernization matters. Understanding the local consumers and its behavior will be the first and main question to ask. Instead of having a business model and approach applicable for all Asian countries, a more specific approach is wished and demanded. Customer behavior in Malaysia should be researched and made understandable.
The assignment will therefore be to get a better understanding on how to target and reach the right customer on the Malaysian market.
Company X is an ecommerce company, dealing with consumers on the internet. While gathering retailers online together, Company X is trying to get the right offers for the right company. The communication between online shops and its customers is in a lot of ways different in Asia than in Europe. Moreover, even between different countries in Asia lots of different communication strategies are being used. The fact that even within countries so much different regions and habits occur make it even more challenging for companies to bring the customers the right message and to determine and overall working communication approach in different countries. The research will help and steer the company reaching out to the Malaysian customers on the preferred way.
The market environment in the different countries Company X is operating in is also different. Malaysia and Singapore are the most well known for their high internet penetration and are both rapidly growing in terms of e-commerce turnover. While only having 8% of the total inhabitants in the whole region of Southeast Asia, Malaysia and Singapore manage to have more than 50% of the complete ecommerce turnover. (Source: http://www.payvision.com/cross-border-ecommerce-singapore-malaysia)
The first determined, temporary problem statement is stated as following:
- Which marketing communication strategy should Company X apply to fit and answer the Malaysian customer’s needs and wishes?
|Marketing communication strategy||Overall strategy including all marketing communication channels|
|Malaysian customer||Active internet users in Malaysia|
|Needs||The basic needs for a customer to find the shop trustworthy and to be able to make a purchase|
|Wishes||Which communication strategy, style or tools is appreciated for customers|
5.1 Target / goal setting
The goal of the research is to get a better understanding on how Company X needs to communicate with its Malaysian customer.
The conclusions of the research will be the base for a strategic marketing communication plan (advisory plan). This plan will include a description of the target group and the target itself. By applying the marketing communication plan, the goal is to increase the amount of customers for Company X Malaysia.
General market landscape
- Which relevant macro trends and developments are noticeable in the Malaysian e-commerce market?
- How does the competitive landscape look like and how are the competitors positioning themselves?
- What are the relevant needs and demands of Malaysian customers when buying online in a shopping environment like Company X?
- What do customers in Malaysia highly appreciate from ecommerce shops? (best practice)
- What categories, type of products and styles are best converting online in Malaysia?
- How does the current marketing communication strategy of Company X Malaysia look like?
- How is Company X handling external communication with its customers?
- How are customers behaving onsite and what parts of the website are getting the most traffic?
- On which categories, type of products and styles is Company X focusing on?
5.3 Research methods
In the table below is described which sub questions will be answered via which method. The research will consists of desk research, online field research and qualitative research.
|3||Desk research, qualitative research|
|5||Qualitative research, online field research|
|7||Qualitative research, online field research|
|8||Online field research|
|9||Qualitative research, online field research|
The thesis will consists of two separate parts: A research and an advisory plan. Please keep in mind that the structure is tentative and might later be adapted based on the outcome. Also, the standard attributes that should be added to a report (index, management summary, introduction etc.) will be included. The thesis would be structured as following:
1.1 Background to the study
1.2 Objectives of the research
1.3 Research question
1.4 Definitions and demarcations
1.5 Research methods
- Theory and desk research
2.2 Desk Research
- Qualitative Research
3.1 Method: procedure, materials, random sample and respondents
- Quantitative research
5.1 Limitations of current research
5.3 Recommendations for follow-up study
- Advisory Plan
6.1 SWOT analysis (If needed)
6.2 Target group
6.3 Marketing communication objectives