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“An investigation of selective factors affecting the buying decision about Direct-to-Home Services”

Milind Vora

(M.Com, PGDMSM, MBA)

Assistant Professor

C Z Patel College of Business & Management,

Sardar Patel University, VallabhVidyanagar

                       

Abstract:

Purpose:The very purpose of undertaking this research task on the given theme is to investigate the factors affecting the buying decision in Direct-to-Home Services from Customers perspectivein the select region of Gujarat State.

Methodology:The entire research is undertaken to investigate the various factors affecting selection criterion for DTH Services by using few select factors already analyzed earlier as literature. The total respondents in this frame were 430 from the mixed population. The conclusions have been drawn from the analysis of collected data. The primary data were collected through structured questionnaire. Various statistical tests likeNormality test, Descriptive Test, Frequency Distribution, Scale Reliability Test, Pearson Correlation Test, Factor Analysis, Communalities and Regression Analysis have been employed.

Findings:Thevarious factors and sub factors (items) were taken which could affect the selection decision about DTH Services. These factors are Effects of Advertising, Knowledge about DTH Service providers, Brand Image Perception, Customer’s Expectations and Buying Cycle are the identified factors that influence the customer’s selection about DTH Services.

Research Implications:There could be many more factors left to be studied for the further research needs. There could be significant gaps between the various regions of India, across the regions and may be at two different period of times. The researcher has left scope for further academic researchers in the field of Consumer related studies.

Practical Implications: The research paper shows that all the DTH Service Providers (DTHSPs’) should consider the factors analyzed by the researcher and should consider few practical implications as suggested by the researcher.

Key Words:Advertising Effects, Brand Image, Consumer Expectations, Knowledge, DTH Service Provider

Introduction:

The entire research work is carried out by the researcher at the most micro level.The title can be many sub parts just to have a proper understanding of the area. (1) Investigation of any topic deals with the detailing. (2) Factors that affect the decision. (3) Buying decision is nothing but the final outcome of entire marketing function. (4) Customer perspective could be different than seller’s perspective with the same services. The research is carried out by using simple random sampling technique which is a very crucial part of entire research work. The Universe and the target population is well defined by the researcher and henceforth a social science permitted sample size is followed with 95% level of confidence.

Significance of the study

The study may be contributing much to the knowledge of readers and other researchers. The DTH Marketers can always extract very useful information to be implemented through strategies. This analysis focuses on the selective factors affecting the buying decision regarding DTH Services.

Research Gaps

Indian DTH service industry is on adifferent stage in India. The industry has lots of to grow in terms of customizationof services. Few academicians/researchers as well as industry experts have studiedfeweraspects related to the selection of DTH Services. However, the following research gaps are identified.

a)      The consumer perception on brand image as a decision input is not examined in depth in context to selected City of the state of Gujarat.

b)      Knowledge on DTHSP and the decision input is not examined in depth in context to selected City of the state of Gujarat.

c)      The consumer perception on effects of buying cycle is not examined in depth in context to selected City of the state of Gujarat.

d)     The role of advertising on decision making is not examined in context to selected City of the state of Gujarat.

Research Objectives

·         RO1: To investigate the influence on consumer buying decisionabout Brand Image.

·         RO2: To investigate the influence on consumer buying decisionabout knowledge on DTHSP 

·         RO3: To investigate the influence on consumer buying decisionabout Customer expectations.

·         RO4: To investigate the influence on consumer buying decisionofadvertising.

·         RO5: To investigate the relationship between buying decision and Effects of Buying Cycle.

Hypothesis Formulations

·         HO1: No significant relationship exist between consumer buying decision and Brand Image.

·         HO2: No significant relationship exist between the influence on consumer buying decisionand knowledge on DTHSP 

·         HO3: No significant relationship exist between the influence on consumer buying decisionand Customer expectations.

·         HO4: No significant relationship exist between the influence on consumer buying decisionand advertising.

·         HO5:  No significant relationship exist between buying decision and Buying Cycle.

Review of Literature

Agarwal, (1998)1studied thata review of related literature is an essential aspect of investigation. The term “review” means revision or “glance over” or “refer back on”. It implies locating, studying and evaluating the reports of relevant researches, study of published articles, research abstracts as well as reports of casual observation and opinion that are related to the individuals’ planned research project According to Mouly, “the review of related literature promotes a greater understanding of the problem and it is crucial aspects and ensures the avoidance of unnecessary duplication.” Literature review is a “legitimate and publishable scholarly document”

LeCompte& colleagues, (2003).2The survey of related studies serves multiple purposes. It helps the investigator to acquaint with correct knowledge in the area of research. It furnishes the tried methods, techniques, priorities and importance about the similar related past studies and to help in the formation of hypotheses for the new study. By studying the works of other investigators, one can avoid futile and irrelevant topics, vain efforts and ineffective approaches already discarded by his/her predecessor. So the investigator has attempted to collect relevant information related to the work from literature available in the field.

Parasuraman et al. (1985)3supported that SERVQUAL scale can provide an instrument for evaluating service quality. There are five dimensions which are tangible, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy. SERVQUAL scale can be applied to fit the characteristics or the requirements of a specific investigation of a particular organizationThere are many models are also available in this regards but only two models are taken into consideration which are on perceived service quality.

Grönroos's Service Quality Model, (1984)4argued by that consumer behavior is influenced by the perceived service quality dimensions /brand image.

Zineldin (2000)5 expanded SERVQUAL models into a framework of five quality dimensions: quality of object, process, infrastructure, interaction and atmosphere. 

Forgacs (2003)6 argued that hotel industry is heavily used branding strategies because of their success.  Consumers perceive the same service quality in different ways. This difference in perception is most likely influenced by corporate image.

Snoj et al. (2004)7 defined perceived service quality as how well the client's measurement of the overall of the service. It acts as the mental comparison between price and quality that is offered by service providers.

Ford et al., (1998)8argued thatthe communication method between the service provider and the receiver of a service is affected by the environment in a specific location where they work together and operate.

Kotler and Armstrong (2005) 9 said that consumers regard product as the combination of product attributes which are capable to satisfy their interests or requirements.

Aibara, H. (1999)10 had studied India’s trade potential in audio – visual services and the gats. The study observed that audio-visual service sector is one of the fastest growing service sectors in India and India’s exports of audio – visual products have shown a rapid increase in the past decade. The study has examined India’s trade potential in audio – visual services within the GATS frame work.

Parasuraman, (2005)11 quoted that resulting literature, supplying the service quality body of knowledge has evolved from studies that are dispersed across multiple disciplines, drawn from a wide range of situations,  and subject to numerous, and at times contradictory analytical treatments This dimension will consist of four elements membership card, parking lot, baby areas and delivery of goods.

Vargo S.L., Lusch R.F. (2004) 12studied thatSuccessful marketing of services is only possible if Service providers know the answers of questions like what types of expectation standards do customers hold about services? Which factors most influence the formation of these expectations? What role do these factors play in changing expectations? How can a service company meet customer expectations?

(Philip Kotler, 2004)13 examined that the buyers form their expectations from past buying experience, friends advise competitor’s information and promises. If service providers raise expectations too high buyers are likely to be disappointed. However if the company sets expectations too low buyer will not get attracted. A customer’s decision to be loyal or not is the sum of many small encounters with the company.

K. Rama Mohana Rao (2005)14 studied on the knowledge of customer expectations helps the marketers to design comprehensive service packages that are capable of delivering satisfaction. There are at least two levels of expectations of services one is minimum level and other is maximum level. In the process of service production and consumption, five levels of performance might result. In this study, customer expectations towards DTH services provided by the service providers are evaluated for the expectation level through the questionnaire.

Hoffman & Novak, (1996)15 found that information search is positively related to enjoyment of shopping. In the Internet environment, the extent to which potential goal-directed shoppers can find relevant and reliable information with ease should be a key determinant in their repeated use of the Web. Those browsing for fun (intrinsic enjoyment), without any shopping purpose, will be less concerned with ease of access or with reliable information. However, they may be more concerned with whether the process gives them sufficient stimulation, new interests and fun to keep them coming back.

Schmidt and Spreng (1996)16 defined motivation as the desire to expend effort in gathering and processing information, which is characterized by both direction (which pieces of information are collected and processed) and intensity of the effort (the level of goal-directed arousal). Internet users appear to be primarily motivated by communication/ information needs, but do not necessarily feel shortage of time compared to non-users. Perceived cost and perceived benefit of have an impact on information search by influencing motivation to search.

Research Results and Interpretation

Demographics

Sr. No.

Demography

Category

Frequency

Percentage

1.         

Gender

Male

322

74.9

Female

108

25.1

2.         

Age

21-35 Years

268

62.3

36-50 Years

94

21.9

50+ Years

98

15.8

3.         

Education

< Graduate

8

1.9

Graduate

221

51.4

PG

185

43.0

PG+

16

3.7

4.         

Marital Status

Married

385

89.5

Unmarried

45

10.5

5.         

Occupation

Service

110

25.6

Business

320

74.4

6.         

Income

<5 lakh

240

55.8

5-10 lakhs

142

33.0

>10 Lakhs

48

11.2

7.         

DTH Service Provider

Dish TV

183

45

Reliance BIG TV

87

20

TATA Sky

60

13

Sun TV

25

5.3

Videocon DTH

25

5.3

AirTel DTH

50

11.4

8.         

Monthly Consumption

< 300Rs

295

68.6

300+ Rs

135

31.4

Scale Reliability

Factor

Total Respondents

Excluded

Valid

Items

Measured Cronbach Alpha

BI

430

0

430

10

.620

ADTHSP

430

0

430

10

.918

CE

430

0

430

10

.682

EA

430

0

430

10

.786

BC

430

0

430

10

.673

Descriptive Statistics

Factor

Total N

Excluded

Valid

 Items

Mean

Variance

SD

Minimum

Maximum

PPBI

430

0

430

10

3.3372

2.709

1.64586

1

5

ADTHSP

430

0

430

10

3.2930

2.790

1.67045

1

5

CE

430

0

430

10

3.3465

2.683

1.63789

1

5

EA

430

0

430

10

3.4349

2.627

1.62090

1

5

EPBC

430

0

430

10

3.1349

2.562

1.60065

1

5

 

Conclusion

The evaluation is conducted by applying appropriate statistical techniques like parametric tests. The objectives of this investigation are satisfied and narrated in the following manner.

1.      Consumer buying decision and brand image is correlated with each other. It can be said that there is a relationship between buying decision and brand image of company. Thus,objective RO1 is satisfied.

2.      Consumer buying decision and knowledge about DTH service providers are correlated with each other. So that, it can be said that there is a relationship between the two.As a result, RO2 is satisfied.

3.      Consumer buying decision and customer expectations are correlated with each other. Social influence, after sales services, customer happiness, promotional offers, and sense of interaction are correlated with buying decisions. It can be said that there is a relationship between buying decision and customer expectations. Thus, result, RO3 is satisfied.

4.      Consumer buying decision and effects of advertisements are correlated with each other. Company representative’s friendly approach with customer is correlated with buying behavior. Thus, RO4 is satisfied

5.      Consumer buying decision and effects of Buying Cycle are correlated with each other. Company representatives` promptness with customer is correlated with buying decision. Thus, it can be said that there is a relationship between buying decision and buying cycle. Thus, RO5 is satisfied.

Recommendations

1.      The DTHPs can influence the customers by building strong brand image which can retain the customers.

2.      The Marketers should consider reliability factor in priority.

3.      The DTHPs should focus on their promotional effortsthat can create the strong customer attraction.

4.      DTHSPs should advertise their services that can help the emotions transfer to the brand and shape the strong brand and should advertise their services that can help to generate engagement.

5.      The DTHSPs should be more market oriented rather than product oriented.

6.      DTHSPs should be more transparent in terms of their pricing strategies.

Limitations

Acknowledgement of limitations also suggests new directions for future studies.  Although every effort is made to undertake a representative study, still the following limitations could pep in the course of the present study.

1.      The major limitations of this research are constraints of academic time frame, resource and access.

2.      The finance and material resource needed for the larger sample size for this study is in future.

3.      Sample distribution is conducted and the results on the same are discussed in terms of normality test formula as a thumb of rule.

4.      This study is carried out in selectregion and findings of the research may not be fully applicable and generalize to other cities of India.

Scope for Further Research

1.      To conduct another study within the same area of research, with the incorporation of more samples which will give more integrated result to the topic and better utility to the DTHSPs and their users.

2.      By incorporating only demographics and its effects on DTHSP in urban and neo-urban area of other cities.

References:

1.      Agarwal, R and Prasad J(1998), “A conceptual and operational definition of   personal innovativeness  in the domain of Information technology”, Information system research, Vol 9, No2, pp 204215.

2.      LeCompte, M. D., Klinger, J. K., Campbell S. A., &Menke, D. W. (2003). Editor’s introduction. Review of Educational Research, 73(2), 123-124.

3.      Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V.A. and Berry, L.L. +(1985), “A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 49 No. 3, pp. 41-50.

4.      Grönroos, C. (1984), “A service quality model and its marketing implications”, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 36-44

5.      Zineldin, M. (2000). Beyond relationship marketing: Technological marketing. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 18(1), 923

6.      Forgacs, G. (2003), "Brand asset equilibrium in hotel management", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 15 No.6, pp. 340-342.

7.      Snoj, B., Korda, P.A., Mumel, D., (2004), “The relationships among perceived quality, perceived risk and perceived product value”, Journal of Product & Brand Management Volume 13, pp. 156-167

8.      Ford, D., Gadde, L. E., Hakansson, H., Lundgren, A., Snehota, I., Turnbull, P. and Wilson, D. (1998). Managing Business Relationships. Wiley & Sons, Chicheste

9.      Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G. (2005). Marketing: An introduction, New Jersey: Pearson Education Incorporation.

10.  Aibara, H. (1999), Trade in Tourism Services, Report for the project on Trade in Services: Opportunities and Constraints, Sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India and Executed by Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations.

11.  Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V., Malhorta, A., 2005. E-S-QUAL: a multiple-item scale for assessing electronic service quality. Journal of Retailing 64 (1), 12-40.

12.  Vargo S.L., Lusch R.F. (2004): Evolving to a New Dominant Logic for Marketing. Journal of Marketing, Vol. 68, (January), pp. 1-17.

13.  Philip Kotler, “Where do we go from here ?”, Mastering Marketing, Part One, 21st Century Marketing, Business Standard, Friday 12th October, 2004, pp.2

14.  K. Rama Mohan Rao (2005), “Service Marketing”, Pearson Education, Delhi, First Edition PP.256.

15.  Hoffman, Donna L., Kalsbeek, William D., & Novak, Thomas P. (1996). Internet and Web use in the U.S. Communications of the ACM, 39(12), 36–46

16.  Schmidt, J. B., &Spreng, R. A. (1996). A proposed model of external consumer information search. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 24, 246-256.

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