Marketing Research Report for Blackberry Smartphone

Table of Content

Phase 4 Individual Project Felicia Rateliff (Peck) Colorado Technical University Online Marketing Research Practices MKT350-1204A-01 Professor Kay Green November 5, 2012 Abstract This paper explains the profile of the target market for the Blackberry smart phone. After conducting secondary research on Research In Motion’s Blackberry smartphone and the target market, questions are answered about who, what and why this target is chosen. The importance of selecting a target market is discussed. The target market is identified, including interests, personality and other psychographic traits.

The resources used to determine the target market are outlined. Phase 4 Individual Project Table of contents Executive summary Problem definition Objectives of the research Research design Methodology Results Limitations Conclusion References Executive summary Background Information Research In Motion (RIM) introduced the Blackberry smart phone in 1999, putting together e-mail, wireless data networks, and a traditional Querty keyboard. The handheld device became so popular that some referred to it as the “Crackberry. ” In 2007, Blackberry subscribers grew to over 10 million users.

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Blackberry became popular because of its appeal to companies. The Blackberry smart phone has robust security features. It is loved by IT managers because of its reputation of being safe for email transmission. This, however is becoming less of the norm because employees are buying other smart phones with their own money and begging to use them for work purposes. Companies are seeing that they can save money by allowing the use of Android and iPhone simply because employees are footing the bill. The reasons for the popularity of the other two brands are the available apps that appeal to the average person.

Blackberry’s current app offerings are not comparable. (Montagne, 2011) In the last two years, the Research in Motion company has downsized tremendously. As of June 2012, the RIM company had a $518 million loss in the company’s first quarter. This is due to losing popularity because of Apple iOS and Android handheld devices. While RIM insists that they are not abandoning the consumer market in any way, and are introducing a new operating system in early 2013, the company is not doing very well. (Austen, 2012) Competition One of the biggest competitors for the Blackberry is Apple’s iPhone.

This phone has offered new versions almost yearly, has exclusive apps, web surfing ability, e-mail, text messaging, picture messaging, and stunning flat screen display. As iPhone offers more and more apps for business, it is becoming a popular option for companies. Recent interviews with owners of large businesses show that many employers who are currently using Blackberries are looking to expand the choices offered to employees to the iPhone. This is so that employees can use the smart phone they are most comfortable with, and only carry one phone.

The other big competitor of Blackberry is the Android operating system. Created by Google, the Android capable phones offer features similar to the iPhone. Android operating system allows users to multitask between applications, allowing many open operations at a time. The greatest appeal of the Android operating system is its integration of Google’s free apps such as Gmail, Google docs, Google drive and Google calendar. Android phones have clear, large touch screens that allow easy web browsing and video viewing. (“Blackberry as a business device,” 2012) Summary of marketing research plan

The need for marketing research comes because of the quick decline in popularity of the Blackberry smart phone. In order to determine the reasons for this decline, marketing research must be done. The target market of the Blackberry must be re-determined. If RIM and Blackberry are to survive, there must be a concrete plan to bring popularity back. This will be determined by analyzing the research data results. Problem definition Problems with present Blackberry marketing and sales: * Blackberry phones do not offer as many apps for entertainment and productivity as the competitors. Blackberry phones have a negative reputation among consumers * Blackberry phones are not as visually attractive as other smart phones * Blackberry phones have the reputation of being strictly for business use and not a combination of home and work use Objectives of the research To understand the needs of the smart phone user The main objective of consumer marketing research for Research In Motion’s Blackberry smart phone is to determine what the needs of the smart phone user are. If the reasons for purchasing certain brands of smart phones are etermined, a plan can be put in place to provide solutions that meet those needs. To gather data about the opinions of the smart phone user toward the Blackberry In part, the problems with Blackberry sales has been due to a negative view of the Blackberry phone. If the opinions of Blackberrys are compiled, then light can be shed on the decline in purchases. Although market trends can be due to general popularity and “trendiness,” there are usually underlying attitudes that sway purchasing among smart phone users. Research will show what those attitudes are.

To determine a new target market of Blackberry users Because of the shift in smart phone use to a household item, it is important to determine what the target market could be for Blackberry users, if more apps were offered. Research needs to determine who is actually in the market to switch to a Blackberry, or come back to one. Research design The survey questions were written in a way that collects data that will meet the objectives of the research project, thus solving the problems faced by the company and brand. Survey questions 1.

In a typical month, do you use your mobile or cell phone most often for work, for personal reasons, or about an equal amount on both? a. Much more often for work b. Somewhat more often for work c. Slightly more often for work d. About an equal amount for work and personal reasons e. Slightly more often for personal reasons f. Much more often for personal reasons 2. In the last five years, what brand of smartphone have you been most satisfied with? g. Answers are filled in by survey completer 3. What brand and model of smart phone were you the least satisfied with in the last five years? . Answers are filled in by survey completer 4. What feature is most important to you in your smart phone when using for work purposes? (choose 1) i. Security j. Available apps k. Ease in typing l. Price of phone 5. Who pays for your smart phone business usage? m. Answers are filled in by survey completer 6. Have you ever used a Blackberry Smart phone? n. Yes o. No 7. If yes, what features did you like most about your Blackberry Smart phone? (choose all that apply) p. Ease of use q. Keyboard r. Available apps s. Security t. Emailing ability . Provided by employer v. Size, shape, appearance w. Simplicity 8. If owned one, what features did/do you dislike about your Blackberry smart phone (skip question if not applicable) x. Surveyor lists features. 9. What apps do you most commonly use on your smart phone for business purposes? y. Surveyor lists features 10. What is your age group? z. 18-25 {. 26-35 |. 36-45 }. 46-55 ~. 55-65 . 66-over Methodology Method of distribution of survey After the survey questions were written, the survey was created on the website Surveymonkey. com.

This survey method was chosen for many reasons. Survey Monkey provides a free means of surveying for up to 10 questions. Those questions can be shared via email or social media channel such as Facebook. Because Survey Monkey is on the internet, it is very convenient to use, and easy to convince people to take the time to do it. The survey was emailed to people that were known to have smart phones. It was also shared openly to over 700 Facebook users. The users were invited to take the survey with the requirement that they were smart phone owners.

Demographics and Psychographics of Survey takers The psychographics of survey takers were determined prior to survey distribution. Survey takers were required to be an owner or previous owner of a smart phone. They also needed to be employed. A prerequisite that was established due to the distribution method was to be either an email user, Facebook user or both. This narrowed the pool of survey takers because the survey was only available through those channels. The demographics of the surveyor that was determined prior to the survey was that they be over the age of 18.

Through the survey answers, the age groups of the surveyors was determined to be primarily people aged 26-35 and 46-55. There were not limits on the area of the country that surveyors lived in. Results Explanation of results Question One: smart phone use 11% of those surveyed used smart phones much more often for work. 11% used smart phones somewhat more often for work. 22% used smart phones equally for personal and work reasons. 11% used smart phones somewhat more often for personal reasons. 44% used smart phones much more often for personal reasons.

This is significant because a requirement of the survey was to be a businessman. Question 2: smart phone satisfaction 55% of those surveyed listed Android as the type of phone they were most satisfied with. 33% said that the iPhone was the most satisfying type. 11% said they were most satisfied with the Blackberry. Question 3: smart phone dissatisfaction 38% of those surveyed said they were least satisfied with the Blackberry phone. The reasons listed were “not as easy to use and less options” and “It was the cat’s meow five years ago but now it’s crap. ” 25% said they were least satisfied with iPhone products.

No reasons were listed. 25% said they were least satisfied with Android products, namely the HTC phone. The reasons were, “battery didn’t last” and “very low internal memory storage. ” Question 4: most important features for work purposes 16% said that security was the most important feature for a smart phone. 16% said that ease in typing was the most important. An overwhelming 66% of those surveyed said that available apps were the most important work features in a smart phone. Question 5: payment of work phone 85% of those surveyed said they pay for their own smart phones.

This is significant data considering that one of the main reasons people own Blackberry is because a company pays for them. This data shows the shift in company phone purchasing to individual purchasing. Question 6: ownership of Blackberry phone. 55% of those surveyed said they had used and/or owned a Blackberry phone. This is significant because prior questions stated that a majority of people disliked the Blackberry more than other phones they had owned. Question 7: features most liked in Blackberry phone The most popular features of the Blackberry phone were ease of use, keyboard and size, shape and appearance.

Available apps, security and emailing ability were significantly lower rated features. This data shows that the Blackberry has strong features that should be accented in future marketing campaigns. Question 8: features least liked in Blackberry phone The comments of this question were “small screen size,” not able to connect to office computer,” “the track ball,” “quit developing software and hardware,” and “performance was surpassed by Android and iPhone. ” This leads to believe that the Android and iPhone physical characteristics of flat touch screens are more desirable.

This is contrary to the previous question that answered the keyboard was a feature most liked about Blackberry phones. Question 9: apps most commonly used for business purposes 90% of those surveyed said that email was the most used application on a smart phone. Drop box, Facebook and Twitter were also listed as business used applications. Again this is interesting data considering the Blackberry’s strong points in the past was the keyboard ease of use and security in emailing. Question 10: age group 11% of surveyed people were 18-25. 33% were 26-35 years old. 2% were 36-45 years old, and 33% were 46-55 years old. There were no survey answerers over the age of 55. Limitations The limitations of the survey were that it was only offered to people that used email and Facebook. In order to have more thorough, well-rounded results, the survey should have been given through other avenues such as kiosks in cellular phone stores, magazine ads, and text messages. A limitation to the survey was that it was not given to very many people. Although it is assumed that the results were a reflection of the entire population, it is not factual.

In order to really understand what the target market is, what people really want, and what they don’t want, the survey should be given to thousands more people. Conclusion The results of the survey show that people over all are not happy with the app offerings of the Blackberry phone. While those surveyed said they enjoyed the keyboard and email capabilities of the Blackberry, and the biggest use of smart phones for work was email, the available apps for personal use outweighs those things. Even though business customers are buying their own smart phones, they are using them primarily for personal reasons.

Even though business use may be more important for productivity, personal apps are more enjoyable to those surveyed. Because of these findings it is recommended that the Research in Motion company find a way to combine the ease of keyboard use with a bigger screen and at least as many app offerings as Android and iPhone, if not more. Blackberry has to become as sexy as Android or people are not going to switch back. When companies are now offering those phones instead of Blackberry, there must be something new that will cut through the status quo in smart phones and regain Blackberry popularity.

References Austen, I. (2012, June). In Setback, RIM Delays BlackBerry’s Next Version. Retrieved from http://www. nytimes. com/2012/06/29/technology/blackberry-maker-rim-posts-518-million-loss. htm Blackberry as a business device. (2012). Retrieved from http://www. ca-bbb. org/are-there-competitors. php Montagne, R. (2011). Users Drop BlackBerries For Competitors’ Apps. NPR. Retrieved from http://www. npr. org/2011/08/24/139901540/competitors-apps-sour-blackberry-users

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