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Analysis Of The Different Marketing Mix Marketing Essay

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It is well known that Chinese real property industry is rapidly developing especially
in megacities. By November 2010, according to statistics published on the website of
the Beijing Real Estate Transaction Management Network (2010, cited in
Chinahourly, 2010), the total space of residential estate was 10,107 units in Beijing.
Furthermore, Cao et al. (2004) demonstrated that the middle-class consumers who
are a target group of high-end merchandises flock together in Guangzhou, Shanghai,
and Beijing in general, while the International Civil Service Commission report
(2010) showed that Beijing consumers spent 136.97 dollars on durable expenditure,
including furniture and household equipments.
Furniture retailers are confronting drastic and complicated competition in China
(Cao et al., 2004). Under these circumstances, IKEA, a multinational furniture retail
trader, will open its biggest wholesale branch outside of Sweden in Beijing (Stonebtb,
2009). As a domestic Chinese enterprise, Ilinoi started its business in 1995; after six
years' development, it has gained competitiveness in the market and set up its own
brand culture (Liu, 2007). However, there has been no research on the marketing
mix of its two originations.
Based on the current situation of current study, this research will investigate IKEA
and Ilinoi's enterprise marketing mixes from the aspects of the 4P's: product, price,
place and promotion (Pan, 2005). The primary aim is to compare the two companies'
marketing strategies and understand how they align with Chinese consumer demand.

Literature Review
In past studies, the research depends on previous primary data from the Ilinoi
Company (Liu, 2007). Liu (2007) used a SWOT analysis to obtain strength,
weakness, opportunities and threats of Ilinoi Company. Meanwhile an External
Factor Evaluation Matrix (EFE) and Internal Factor Evaluation Matrix (IFE) were
both used to enlighten company decision-makers (Liu, 2007). Liu (2007) showed
that although Ilinoi Company gained considerable achievement in Chinese furniture
industry, it should adjust its marketing tactics and organization structure. Liu (2007)
further found that the company should follow market development strategy and
horizontal integration strategy.

Datamonitor(2010) used the SWOT analysis method to determine that IKEA owns
considerable market share, higher consumer satisfaction relative to its peers and
centers on sustainability. They found that its disadvantages are unfavorable store
locations and decreased sales in the UK (Datamonitor, 2010).
Burt et al. (2008) investigated the level of standard in IKEA's marketing strategy
among different countries. They included the products, store position and format,
advertising and marketing strategy, purchasing environment and service aspects.
Burt et al. (2008) researched the measures which were used in the different
countries. Burt et al. (2008) found that although the standard marketing strategy is
used in different countries, special measures, to a small extent, are adjusted.
By means of SWOT analysis, the above investigations have both discussed and
determined the two companies' situation, provide the literature source and lay
foundation for later research. This research from diverse points of view will survey
the two furniture retail businesses marketing mix and analyze the disparity of their
marketing strategies.

Research objectives
To investigate key product categories of both IKEA and Ilinoi companies in terms of
price, assortment, design and availability in Beijing
To analyze consumers' attitudes and preferences regarding the IKEA and Ilinoi
To survey both companies' marketing tactics and examine their different strategies
To examine the alignment between consumer preferences and actual marketing mix

Product comparison
The product information of each store will be collected at different locations in
Beijing. This will answer the first research objective of this paper. Both IKEA and
Ilinoi have thousands of products in their ranges (IKEA 1999; Ilinoi 2009).
Therefore, in order to compare products between two companies, the products will
be compared across key categories. The different categories will be collected from
both companies, including durable and nondurable goods (Tsai, 2008). From these

assortments, the difference between the two companies' products, price, range,
availability and design will be analyzed.

Consumer perception
This study aims to get the consumers' attitudes toward both companies' products and
reflects the two companies marketing mix strategies. Consumer attitudes will be
collected by questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The results will be used to
answer the second research objective.

Pilot study
A pilot study will be used in the investigation so that sample size can be accurately
calculated. Twenty five consumers will be selected systematically at each company in
Beijing. Another advantage of pilot study is that based on the pilot study, the
researcher could adjust questionnaire so that it could advance test to find whether
designed questions or research methods are appropriate (Saunders, 2003).

Face-to-face structured interviews with systematic sampling will be used.
Respondents will be targeted systemically in the two furniture stores in Beijing
during a certain time period. Thirteen questions will be in the formal questionnaire.
The confidence level is 95%, which means the Z-score is 1.96 (Bruce et al., 2008) and
e which is a margin of error is 5%. Based on the statistical formula listed below, the
minimum sample size is approximate 385.
Sample size=
Source: Bruce et al. 2008, p.158

Semi- structured interview

For the purpose of reflecting in-depth opinions of consumers, ten consumers will be
selected by purposive sampling to receive an in-depth interview. In the interview, the
questions will be the same as those in the questionnaires. However, based on
respondents' answers, open ended and probing questions will be asked. The answers
will be recorded.

Data Analysis

Based on the collected data, research objective three and four will be addressed.
Firstly, quantitative data will be researched utilizing SPSS and Microsoft Excel. The
data from the respondents will be typed into the SPSS software. Secondly, according
to statistics, the comparison of two companies' products will be shown in a chart or
table, which will then be used to analyze both companies's marketing strategies.
Finally, the different attitudes of consumers will be compared using the Chi-square
test (McClean, 2000).

Firstly, because the self-administered questionnaire will be used to investigate
respondents, it is likely to have a lot of invalid answers and it could not receive the
adequate results (Cano, 2002). This issue has to be taken into consideration as a
factor influencing research result.
Secondly, in order to compare the two companies marketing strategies, the target
group should be familiar with the companies. However, respondents who know both
companies are limited in number which means it is possible that it could not find
enough sample size.
Thirdly, this research uses the semi-structured interview as one of the methods for
data collection. Respondents will be influenced by the interviewers' attitude and
literal meaning will affect their selections.
Lastly, this research will investigate the sample information of products in the two
companies. Therefore it will be necessary to obtain some pattern products to
compare. However, sometimes, a few product categories will be not available so it
may not be possible to directly obtain the necessary information.

Ethical issues
The privacy of respondents is confidential, including age, career, and attitudes
toward the two companies. When the inquiry is underway, all responses will be
recorded. After collecting the respondent data, all data will be anonymously
analyzed. In this study, some product information refers to commercial secret, such
as products price and pattern. That information will not be leaked to other
competitive furniture retailer company.