An investigation to determine the effectiveness of exhibition events as a marketing tool for a retailer, using the case study of Leekes department store
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The nature of this research is to critically assess the effectiveness of exhibition events as a marketing tool. It utilises a case study approach of Leekes department store, with intent to make recommendations to the company for the future. Leekes department store is a family run business, which has been successfully trading in home and DIY products for over twenty five years. There is more information on Leekes, available in the case study over view in Appendix A. The use of promotion to publicise an event is common place, however the use of an event for promotion lacks research and academic literature. The goal of this research is to fill in the gaps in the literature, and extend the knowledge base for the retail industry and its consumers. To begin, this study will examine literature about retail marketing and the use of exhibition events as a promotional tool. The research will investigate the competitive marketing environment, through an evaluation of Leekes' introduction of exhibition events as part of their marketing strategy. It will establish the success of the use of these exhibition events, given the harsh reality of its competitive setting, and lack of experience in the modern market. This research has been collected through the use of interviews and questionnaires. The interviews are semi structured, which were completed by key members of staff within the marketing departments. This is a qualitative method which allows for in-depth knowledge to be acquired, giving sound examples which relate and show clear demonstrations within the industry. Self completion questionnaires were completed by a sample of one hundred customers, who were approached in-store. This is a quantitative method, as the results are shown in percentages in pie charts for ease of analysis and comparison. This assisted in discovering new ideas, diagnosing situations and screening alternatives. It generates insight into complex behaviour patterns and motivations within the retail industry, and proved valuable for the exploratory nature of the research. The findings of the research determine how consumers are influenced and reached by exhibition advertising, and show factors which influence purchase decisions. The data confirmed that Leekes are succeeding in retaining their existing customers, but are not attracting the new markets they aspire to, to sustain their competitive edge. This research contributes to advertising reaching customers through the development of an evaluation of the effectiveness of exhibition events, in improving attendance to the store. It will offer recommendations for possible improvements for Leekes marketing strategies. It was found that exhibition events are not the most effective way of increasing visitor numbers. However a detrimental effect would take place if the attendance of exhibition events, and Leekes' involvement in them were minimal or non existent.
BA (Hons) Events Management
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