Research Proposal On Evaluating Customer Response To Discount Offers On Magazine Sale


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To evaluate the customer response to discount offers on magazines sales: a case study of The Economist.

Background of the Study

Customer response is the reaction that buyers give when they are confronted with specific type of goods and services. In addition to this, Watson, McCarthy and Rowley, 2013 have stated that “Customer response is the reaction which buyers give after seeing the sales promotional activity of firm” (Watson, McCarthy and Rowley, 2013). In this context, it can be said that for any firm the techniques used for marketing the goods and services plays very crucial role. This is because, with the help of given means only organization will be able to direct its efforts with regard to attract large number of buyers in an effective manner. Thus, by complying with the given type of activity corporation performs significant improvement in their sales and profits.

Furthermore, it has also being examined by the researchers that the response as being carried out by the customers depend upon different type of instances such as positive and negative image about product, price and the quality of product offered etc. It is due to the fact that, these all given factors plays very critical role in terms of shaping the responses of buyers in an appropriate manner. In this regard, it has been stated by the Dung Paul, 2015 that “The responses being given by the buyers largely depends upon the price and quality of product offered” (Dung Paul, 2015). The given thing specified is correct. This is because, while making decision with respect to purchase the particular products and services of firm, customer gives importance to the given factors such as price and quality. Here, on the basis of given factor only customers carry out comparison between the products which is offered by number of firms. Through this way, they make the selection of an effective product.

In addition to this, among varied approaches to sales promotion the discounts offered by firm upon the product also plays very critical role in changing the responses of customers. In accordance with the given context, it has been seen that customer generally give positive response toward the products when it can be purchased by them at discounted prices. Thus, it can be said that discounting is the most common tactic which is employed by many firms for the purpose to increase the sales of their products and services. However, it has also being seen that the responses of the customers also depend upon the product on which discount is offered.

For instance, the buyers who do not like to read the particular magazine will not give positive response even if firm offers discounts upon its magazines (Balaghar, Majidazar and Niromand, 2012). Thus, it is correct to say that the responses as being given by the buyers vary from one industry to other.

For the present study, The Economist magazine is selected. It is the English language weekly newspaper which is owned by Economist group. Furthermore, the magazine was found in the year 1843 by James Wilson. The main problem of this study is to identify that whether the discount offers helps in raising the sales of magazines or not. Furthermore, the study will also determine the ways with the help of which the sales of The Economist magazines can be improved.

Research Aims and Objectives

The main aim behind conducting the given research is to evaluate the customer response to discount offers on magazines sales: a case study of The Economist. In order to achieve the given aim, following objectives are set:

  • To assess the behavior as being carried out by the buyers who purchase magazines.
  • To identify varied factors which leads to influence the behavior of buyers.
  • To recommend the ways to improve the discount offers as being made by firms with an aim to attract more readers towards magazine.

Research Questions

By framing the research question, the direction of researcher can be set towards the specific aspect. Thus, it is by complying with given type of activity only framed aims and objectives of the study can be met. In accordance with the given context, following research questions are framed:

  • How the buyers of The Economist magazine do behaves?
  • What are the varied factors which lead to influence the behavior of the Economist buyers? 
  • How discount offered by the company can be improved in order to attract more readers?

Research Rationale

The main issue of this research is to assess that whether the discounts offers given on The Economist magazines changes the responses of cited firm buyers or not. Here, researcher will basically assess that whether the sales of corporation is influenced through discount offers or not.

It is an issue because there are many firms that offer varied type of discounts. On doing so, the major problem which arises in front of corporation is that whether it helps in raising the sales and profitability related condition of firm or not (Danaher and Rossiter, 2011).

It an issue now because of the presence of varied changes in book selling market. Now a days consumers can download books or magazines via online means. This type of condition raises competition between firms who will not comply with given mean of selling. It is due to the presence of given aspect, corporation have to make decision with regard to offers discount upon their product (Greco, 2013). This is done with an aim to change the response of buyers.

The study will shed light on the positive and negative responses associated with the discount offers that corporation can use for the purpose to raise the sales of their goods and services.

Literature Review


This section of study will examine number of secondary sources with an aim to get in-depth insight into the given study. The main behind the formation of this section is to analyze and examines the past studies as being given by varied other researchers upon the given topic. For the present study, secondary means such as books, company magazines and online articles are selected.

Meaning of Buyer's Behavior

According to the view point of Albuquerque and, 2012 “Buyer behavior is the systematic approach or process which customers follows while making the decision about the purchasing of specific goods and services” (Albuquerque and, 2012). In addition to this, Runfola, Rosati and Guercini, 2013 have stated that “ Buyer behavior consists of number of activities which manager of firm uses with an aim to get information about the behavior as being carried out by the buyers” (Runfola, Rosati and Guercini, 2013). In accordance with the given context, it can be said that for the firm it is very essential that it must improve its employee's knowledge regarding the purchase decision making process which is being followed by its buyers. This is because, through this way corporation can gather information about the factors which leads to influence the behavior of their respective buyers. Thereby, the firm can make measures with regard to change the behavior of its customers in an effective way. Through this way, corporation can also gain benefits in the form of increased profits and sales.

Factors Influences the Buyer Behaviors

There are number of factors are assessed which leads to influence the behavior of buyers.In this regard, as per the view point of Watson, McCarthy and Rowley, 2013 “The behavior as being carried out by the buyers is largely influenced through the social factors which involves the friends and family members of customers” (Watson, McCarthy and Rowley, 2013).The statement as being depicted by the given author is correct. This is because, it has been seen that the buyers preferences with regard to purchase the specific product of firm is thoroughly depends upon the peer group.For instance, the family members of buyers like to purchase specific type of magazine. At that time, while making the decision of purchase the customer will also give first preferences to the particular magazine which is being used by its family members.

In addition to this, Balaghar, Majidazar and Niromand, 2012 have stated that “The social group of buyers plays very crucial role in terms of shaping the attitude of respective customers” (Balaghar, Majidazar and Niromand, 2012). The thing which has been specified by the particular author is also right. For instance, family members of buyers believe that the firm which offers discount upon its products does not give high quality of goods and services. The given type of thing leads to develop the negative attitude of buyers towards the discounting related sales promotional approach. This causes direct impact upon the sales and profitability related condition of firm.

In addition to this, as per the view point of Dung Paul, 2015 “The behavior of buyers is also influenced through personal factors which includes age, lifestyle and personality etc” (Dung Paul, 2015). In this regard, it has been seen that the buyer's preferences with respect to purchase specific magazine also depends upon their age. For instance, the individual who ages between 15-25 years prefers to read fashion and other interesting magazines. In the similar way, the customer who is old generally prefers to gather information about the conditions prevailing in different and their own nation. Thus, with an aim to assemble the given information they use varied sources of means. However, the selection with respect to the particular sources largely depends upon their preferences which is influenced by peer group (Runfola, Rosati and Guercini, 2013). Overall, it can be stated that these are being regarded as the major factors which leads to influence the behavior of buyers. Thus, for the corporation it is essential that it must gather full-fledged information about the given factors while formulating their business strategy.

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Research Methodology


This section involves discussion regarding the methods and tools that will be used at the time of conducting research as part of attaining the results. Here, discussion is done on research approach, philosophy, design, data collection and data analysis section.

Research Approach

Research approach can be articulated as a mode through which research can be conducted in order to attain the actual outcomes. In this respect, there are two sort of approach namely inductive and deductive that supports researcher ion framing the path for research. Considering the present research that focuses on evaluating customer response to discount offers of magazine sales, inductive approach will be taken into account. This is so because it will aids in gaining specific data from the readers of The Economist through which appropriate results will be attained (Flick, 2011). Also, it will support in gaining insight about the customer response towards the products which is been purchased by customers from interest irrespective of its price.

Research Philosophy

Philosophy refers to perception of researchers towards the investigation that been carried by him/her. It acts as an assumption based on which whole research is carried out. In this regard, positivism and interpretivism are two usually used philosophies. In present research, interpretivism paradigm will be used so that researcher can able to interpret the response that attained from the readers of cited magazines. Based on it, appropriate results will be developed that aids in conclusion whether customers attracted towards discount offers of magazines or not. Also, it will help in answering each of research questions (Hoy, 2009).

Research Design

Design refers to the blueprint of the study through which researcher can able to progress. It acts as a path that supports researcher from getting deviate from the key aim and objectives. In this regard, there are several designs namely descriptive, exploratory, case study, causal and experimental. Since, present research focuses on evaluating customer responses therefore descriptive research will be carried out. This is so because it will help in describing the responses of customers through which actual results can be attained. Additionally, descriptive study will help in analysing the factors that influences readers to buy particular set of magazine at discounted price (Saunders and et. al., 2006).

Data Collection

Data need to be collected for any research so that it can be analysed as part of developing results. In this regard, primary and secondary are two sources through which data can be accumulated. In present study, both sources will be used so that research required set of information can be attained. Under primary source, data will be collected through survey method in which questionnaire will be used as research instruments. Questionnaire will be floated through email ID of readers of The Economist so that their responses can be collected. Email ID will be collected from the Facebook fan page of The Economist. Focus will be laid here to choose readers that belongs to UK region so that appropriate and streamline findings can be attained. Apart from this, data will be collected from varied secondary sources as well such as books, journals, magazines, online articles, newspaper and other related.


Sampling is a practice of dividing whole population into small number so that data can be collected it. Here, probabilistic and non-probabilistic are two sort of options that can be used for sampling and it depends upon the nature and perception of researcher (Jonker and Pennink, 2010). With this scenario, present study will incorporate probabilistic sampling in which systematic technique will be engaged. Under this, specific number of email ID will be selected in order to develop a sample. In this regard, sample size of 50 readers has been determined by the researcher so that handful amount of information can be attained.

Data Analysis

It is required to analyse the data that collected from varied sources so that effectual results can be developed through it. Data can be analysed either qualitatively or quantitatively. In present research, quantitative measures will be employed in order to attain unbiased and rationale results. To conduct the quantitative analysis, SPSS will be used in which varied statistical tools can be applied. This will aids in attaining actual results through which whole motive of this research can be completed (McBurney and White, 2009).

Ethical Consideration

In present research, focus will be laid on ethical aspects also so that it can be conduct without hampering the interest of any participants. In this regard, data will be stored in secured manner so that it cannot be accessed by unauthorized individual. Further, data will be used for research purpose only and same will be destroyed once the research purpose will gets completed. Also, no biased and manipulation of data will be done (Golafshani, 2003).

Research Limitation

Time and finance will be regarded as the two major type of limitation for this study. In order to carry out the research in an effective manner researcher will require the sufficient amount of time. Here, time is needed in order to collect and interpret the data of the given study. Furthermore, in order to conduct the research sufficient amount of finance is also required by scholar.

Gantt Chart

Gantt Chart


  • Albuquerque, P. and, 2012. Evaluating promotional activities in an online two-sided market of user-generated content. Marketing Science.
  • Balaghar, A., Majidazar, M. and Niromand, M., 2012. Evaluation of effectiveness of sales promotional tools on sales volume (Case study: Iran tractor manufacturing complex (ITMC)). Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research.
  • Danaher, P. J. and Rossiter, J. R., 2011. Comparing perceptions of marketing communication channels. European Journal of Marketing.
  • Dung Paul, G., 2015. An Experimental Investigation of Factors Affecting Consumers Perceptions of Digital Sales Promotions. Global Journal of Management And Business Research.
  • Flick, U., 2011. Introducing Research Methodology: A Beginner's Guide to Doing a Research Project. USA: SAGE.
  • Golafshani, N., 2003. Understanding Reliability and Validity in Qualitative Research.The Qualitative Report.
  • Greco, A. N., 2013. The book publishing industry. Routledge.
  • Hoy, K.W., 2009. Quantitative Research in Education: A Primer. SAGE.
  • Jonker, J., and Pennink, B., 2010. The Essence of Research Methodology.Springer.
  • McBurney, D. and White, T. 2009. Research Methods. Cengage Learning.
  • Runfola, A., Rosati, M. and Guercini, S., 2013. New business models in online hotel distribution: emerging private sales versus leading IDS. Service Business.
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