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Research Proposal

SOCIAL MEDIA:
A PAKISTANI CONSUMERS
PERSPECTIVE

Submitted To:
Ms. Azra Maqsood

Submitted By:
Nida Aijaz (0835181)
Asad Dhanji (0835175)
Faizan Khan (0835176)
Rabab Sultan (0835184)
Faryal Wahab (0835160)

Date of Submission: August 31, 2009


1. Background of the Research

In present times, social media has become the buzz word for marketing of a company’s
products and services based on the growth social media has given to businesses recently. Nick
Nanton1 (2009) reports in “Real Examples of Business Success Using Social Media” that
HelpAReporterOut.com (HARO), Blendtec and KOGI BBQ achieved tremendous growth in their
company’s sales based on the benefits of social media. Although, critics argue that social media
cannot generate revenue itself but a greater consensus is available on the reality that social
media has brought new dynamics into the way of marketing & promotion which has made the
world to revise the traditional business processes.

Leading marketers world-wide are using this incredible viral networking tool to increase their
market penetration and to become known as experts in their niche. And as part of our MBA
thesis, we would like to identify the impact social media has created within the business markets
of Pakistan.

2. Objectives & Scope

The way social media has grown internationally has opened up a great number of doors for the
marketers (“2009 Marketing Industry Trends Report”, Equation Research, 2009). In Pakistan,
however it is still a growing phenomenon (“The green revolution "- by Bina Shah, Dawn
Magazine, 4 Aug ‘09). Hence the main objective of this research would be to understand where
social media stands in Pakistan and how deeply it is penetrated. For this purpose the research
would need to identify the different tools of social media people use and are familiar with, and
also the extent of their usage. It would try to gain an insight on the general attitude and
perception of people towards these different tools. By gaining the proper insight, future
prospects of this media in Pakistan and its implications could be ascertained.

1
http://www.copypastearticles.com/article/50364/real-examples-of-business-success-using-social-media/
3. Problem Definition and Research Questions

Although social media has grown worldwide but the main issue that marketers face is to gauge
the effectiveness of social media marketing ("2008 Keep the dialogue going", Marketing
Sherpa"). Another major problem that marketers face is getting consumers into the environment
of social media and engaging with them online, as these require resources and it is yet to be
decided if allocating resources to this medium is worthwhile or not – at least in the Pakistani
market where literacy rate and internet penetration are still at low rates.

Not only consumers, but a lot of brand marketers also don't know much about social media and
its types ("2009 Marketing industry trends report from equation research"). This research
reveals that among brand managers, 37% didn't know much about social media to begin. As
although a lot of brand managers have heard about this medium, or have even started adopting
it but many of them don't know exactly what are its types and how to use them. If the level of
awareness is low even among brand managers, one can only imagine its adoption rate by the
masses. Hence in our research we will try to find out the awareness and adoption rates of this
dynamic medium as well as its impact on an average consumer’s lifestyle within the Pakistani
context.

4. Research methodology

Primarily, our research would be a quantitative one whereby we would be carrying out a survey
to find out more about the usage and attitude patterns of our target respondents with regards to
social media.

We will also be using secondary data to derive trends and compare our market with others. It
would help us deduce meaningful conclusions.

4.1 Sampling: We would be using the simple random sampling approach for our study.
The sample would be designed using specific demographic quota controls to ensure
representative ness. We would try to match our sample with the target audience most
receptive to social media.

4.2 Instrumentation: We will be using a structured questionnaire, comprised mainly of


closed ended questions, for our survey.
4.3 Data collection: Our survey would be a person administered one whereby all the
group members would themselves take interviews and read out the questions to the
respondents to ensure there are no half filled questionnaires. This approach would also
be useful to explain the questions in case the respondents get confused somewhere.

The survey would be carried out in the second part of the thesis and we estimate a time
of two months for the entire process – questionnaire designing, data collection, data
coding and punching, data analysis.

The remaining two months would be spent on comparative analysis using secondary
data sources and deriving overall conclusions from the research.

5. Limitations and Delimitations

5.1 Limitations:

• The limitations of our study can be firstly defined in terms of the generic resource
constraints, restricting the extent of the research conducted

• The study would also be having geographic limitations, as audience from Karachi
would only be included in the survey. To ensure internet usage, SEC classes A, B
and C are selected to be a part of the survey

• The accuracy of the data collected can not be gauged through comparison with
secondary data sources

• Our research is also limited since a wide section of our public is not completely
aware of all the available tools in the interactive world of social media

• A major limitation of our study is the assumption that all tools of social media are
of a comparative nature in terms of their usage

5.2 Delimitations:
• To make the sample as representative as possible, the research group has
divided the sample demographically (age brackets) from with in all the SEC Classes
to be covered (A, B and C).
6. Significance of the study

There is a complete dearth of credible literature on rapidly growing social media in Pakistan. As
the marketing world of Pakistan realizes the increasing importance and effectiveness of social
media, the marketers would want to know the different tools available and their respective
usage.

This research study will firstly reveal the current tools used for social marketing, along with their
respective usage rates. The research would then gauge that which of the tools are most widely
used and the audience most receptive to marketing efforts on social media.

Hence the already existing body of literature on the tools widely used from the social media
world in the developed world would get a new extension, once we take this topic research on a
developing world like Pakistan.