Marketing Strategies and Purchase Preference among Consumers of Smartphones in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Mwaniki, Irene Wairimu
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The study sought to establish the effect of marketing strategies among consumers of smartphones in Nairobi City County. The study was guided by Stimulus response model, Howard & Sheth model and Jerome McCarthy’ 4Ps, it applied descriptive and explanatory research design. Residents of Nairobi between the ages 18 and 35 years formed the target population, they were approximated to be 1,694,127 and a sample size of 278 drawn from this population. The research adopted area sampling method which is a form of cluster sampling and data was collected using self-administered questionnaires based on a 1-5 Likert Scale. Reliability was achieved by the use of Cronbach alpha which had an acceptable level of 0.749. Descriptive and inferential data was analyzed using multiple regression and data was tested using SPSS (22.0). Interpretation of descriptive statistics was done using the mean scores while that of inferential statistics was done using the p-value score. Findings reveal that product strategies had an aggregate mean score of 3.71 which implies respondents considered the smartphone features like battery life and processing speed to large extent in their purchase preference. At the significance level of p<0.05, product strategies with a p-value of 0.000 was found to have a significant effect on purchase preference. Pricing strategies indicators like everyday low pricing, free data bundles and high price for high specifications were found to be the most significant strategies. With an aggregate mean score of 2.68 and a p-value of 0.012 pricing strategies was found to have a significant effect on purchase preference. With an aggregate mean score of 2.93 and a p-value of 0.001 promotion strategies influenced purchase preference significantly. Social media reviews, family and friends, TV advertisements were the most effective of all promotion strategies items. Place strategies significantly influenced purchase preference with indicators like shops stocking a wide variety of phones, online presence and availability of warranty centers being the most significant. With an aggregate mean score of 3.19 and a p-value of 0.023, place strategies had an influence on purchase preference to a moderate extent and was found to have a significant effect on purchase preference. Customer characteristics (age, education and income) had a significant moderating effect on the relationship between marketing strategies and purchase preference. Based on these findings the study concluded that marketing strategies do have a significant effect on purchase preference. Key recommendations drawn from the research indicate that manufacturers should pay more attention on technological advancements and changing consumer preferences which affect how the consumer choses product features in a smartphone. Vendors should stock a wide variety of smartphones, embrace online marketing and invest in good aftersales services like warranty which ensures that the consumer gets absolute value for money. The study further recommended that government agencies like the Communications Authority ensure that the Kenyan consumer has access to good quality smartphones that will safeguard not only their health but investment in the purchase, enabling easy access to information and government services offered online.