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Masters Degrees (Marketing)

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    Unhealthy food advertising to South African children through television: a content analysis.
    (2022) Bissoon, Tasvir Neeraj.; Arbee, Aradhna.
    The extensive advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages has been identified by the World Health Organization as a factor that contributes significantly to childhood obesity. In 2020, one in eight African children were either overweight or obese. The South African government has yet to establish a law that tackles the issue of food advertising to children. This study aimed to determine the extent to which children in South Africa are exposed to unhealthy food advertisements on television, as well as the advertising appeals and promotional strategies used by advertisers of such foods in an effort to appeal to children. Previous South African content analyses have only sampled free-to-air channels whereas this study incorporated one free-to-air channel (SABC 1) and one subscription-based channel (M-Net), thereby including children from different socio-economic backgrounds. This study used a descriptive research design and a mixed methods research approach that was largely qualitative in nature. A total of 41 hours (spread over 14 consecutive days) of television was recorded on M-Net and SABC 1, during popular viewing hours for children. Data was extracted from the recorded television advertisements and analysed using deductive content analysis, to address the research questions about the extent and nature of such advertising. The findings show that 67% of food-related advertisements involved unhealthy foods. Furthermore, fast foods were the most frequently advertised unhealthy food category. Therefore, this study serves as a rationale for the implementation of stronger regulations for food advertising to children in South Africa. This study also revealed that South African children are exposed to more unhealthy foods on free-toair television than on subscription-based television. This indicates that middle-to-low-income households view advertisements for unhealthy foods more regularly than middle-to-high-income households. The findings further indicate that, within unhealthy food advertisements, emotional appeals and jingles or slogans were the most-utilised advertising appeals and promotional strategies.
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    Exploring the efficacy of digital marketing to promote higher education using social media platforms.
    (2022) Oodith, Devina.
    In recent years, businesses have adopted different marketing strategies and digital marketing has become a frequent way that businesses connect with their customers. This research aimed to explore if digital marketing is an effective method of promoting higher education using social media platforms. The study was conducted within a private tertiary institution in KwaZulu-Natal. 224 students completed the online questionnaire comprising 5 sections. Section A was based on the biographical particulars of respondents, while sections B to E were related to questions dealing with the sub-dimensions of the study. The sampling method adopted in this study was non-probability sampling. The Validity and Reliability of the questionnaire were evaluated using Factor Analysis and Cronbach’s Coefficient Alpha respectively. Descriptive and Inferential Statistics were implemented to initiate the results of this study. The empirical findings of this study indicate that there is a positive relationship between the effectiveness of digital marketing, the impact of digital marketing in higher education through social media, the effectiveness of social media and prevalence, frequency, and purpose of social media in promoting higher education. There were no significant differences in biographical profiles (gender, age, race, programme of study, and level of study) regarding each dimension of the study except for the level of study at the 1% level of significance. A framework with recommendations for improving efficacy has been developed based on the key dimensions of the study. It is recommended that future research investigate the efficacy of other social media platforms in higher education and increase the scope and exposure to include a broader spectrum of tertiary institutions to gain a broader perspective.
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    Importance of cause-related marketing on consumer behaviour and brand consciousness: a University of KwaZulu-Natal student perspective.
    (2022) Padayachee, Chandini.; Oodith, Pravina Devpersadh.
    The study focuses on the impact of cause-related marketing (CRM) on consumer behaviour and brand consciousness from a UKZN student perspective. The study aims to uncover the effect of CRM on consumer attitudes towards brands, as well as whether or not CRM influences purchase decisions. Additionally, the study aims to determine whether or not CRM enhances the image of brands, creates brand awareness and encourages brand trial. Furthermore, the study aims to uncover whether or not consumers would consider switching to a brand that is affiliated to a CRM initiative, given price and quality were inconsequential to their purchase decisions. The study also aims to uncover the effectiveness of CRM in building and maintaining brand loyalty, as well as the influence of brand communication on social media on purchase decisions. Lastly, the study will determine what influence word-of-mouth (WOM) and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) have on UKZN students’ purchase decisions of brands that support certain causes. A sample of 261 students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville Campus were drawn using the convenience sampling technique. The data was collected through questionnaires, which were analysed accordingly using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of the study show that there is a significant positive relationship between CRM on students’ attitudes towards brands, the influence on their purchase decisions, their perceptions of brand image, their awareness of brands and brand trial and their brand switching behaviour. The results of the study show that CRM is effective in building brand loyalty and that social media brand communication, as well as WOM and eWOM about CRM initiatives have an influence on UKZN students’ purchase decisions of brands that support causes. Recommendations from the results of the study provide insights into how marketers can adopt creative strategies that may provide companies with a competitive advantage for successfully implementing cause-related marketing initiatives.
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    Factors influencing the usage of multivitamin supplements in the greater Durban area: implications for marketing.
    (2022) Ahmed Suleman, Mohamed Yaseen.; Arbee, Aradhna.
    The South African market for vitamin supplements (VS) is due to reach 7,021 million South African Rand (ZAR) by 2026. Lifestyle diseases and active lifestyle trends drive this growth. Poor dietary practices are a great concern in developing countries such as South Africa (SA) and have the potential to cause long-lasting diseases and high public health spending. Multivitamin supplements (MVS) help address these issues; however, literature on the factors influencing the usage of MVS amongst South African consumers is lacking. Current studies reveal that other factors not considered in the existing research could be crucial influences on the usage of dietary supplements (DS). The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) framed this study and addressed the gap in knowledge by exploring the beliefs of South African MVS users and non-users towards MVS usage, their perceived health status and the value they place on health. Additionally, unlike many previous studies on DS, this study focused exclusively on the MVS subcategory and did not limit its focus to university students or females only. The study followed a descriptive research design that adopted a quantitative approach. Using the mall intercept technique, a convenience sample of 385 participants aged 18 years and over was selected from shopping malls in the greater Durban area. Self-administered online questionnaires were utilised to gather data on respondents’ multivitamin usage patterns and the factors influencing such usage. The main findings of the study indicate that MVS users had lifestyle characteristics associated with health. MVS user groups placed a high value on health; however, non-users tended to have a slightly higher perceived health status than users. Overall, users had stronger behavioural beliefs towards MVS consumption than non-users; however, both user groups showed positive attitude scores toward MVS consumption. Doctors were the only subjective norm to exert positive social pressure on users and nonusers to consume MVS. Non-users were more price-sensitive when picking an advanced MVS than users. Both user groups preferred a gender- and lifestyle-specific MVS.
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    South African young consumers’ brand attitudes and celebrity endorsement advertising: a case study at the university of KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2012) Ndlela, Thubelihle Namaswazi.; Phiri, Maxwell Agabu.
    This study investigated South African young consumers‟s brand attitudes towards celebrity endorsement advertising. The overall aim of the study was to investigate whether or not South African marketers can utilise celebrity endorsement to promote their products or brands to young consumers effectively. The perceptions and brand attitudes of young consumers are crucial to guide marketers in developing effective advertising campaigns. To the researcher‟s knowledge, no study has been conducted to address this question in South Africa. The study‟s objectives were fulfilled through the completion of self-administered questionnaires by 325 students between the ages of 18-24 conveniently selected from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Data were analysed using the SPSS programme. Based on the results of the study obtained in line with the objectives, it is evident that celebrity endorsement advertising contributes to or influences consumer brand attitudes and purchase behaviour. However, the influence of celebrity advertising is not equal for different brand attitudes such as brand awareness, brand recognition, brand loyalty and purchasing behaviour. The findings also reveal that, 18-20 year olds are more influenced by celebrity endorsement to purchase and to be brand loyal than 21-24 year olds. This knowledge will guide and educate marketing managers with strategic recommendations to execute celebrity endorsement advertising campaigns that trigger purchase intention.
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    The effects of cellular phone innovation on brand image and purchase intention amongst UKZN students.
    (2015) Osman, Dina Faisal.; Soni, Sanjay Shantilal.
    Abstract Given the rapidly and continually changing economy, innovation has become a necessity for companies that wish to endure and grow. This study approached innovation from a consumer perspective and aimed to discover whether innovation is associated with brand image and purchase intention in the cellular phone industry amongst Generation Y consumers. Brand image is important as it influences purchasing decision; when customers see one brand as more innovative as compared to others, they are more likely to purchase. The importance of purchase intention stems from its ability to determine actual purchase of a product and thereby to determine the success of innovation; therefore these two variables, brand image and purchase intention, were selected. The study also aimed to answer the question of which innovation factors - performance or appearance - are most valued by consumers, with focus on the cellular phone industry from the perspective of South African students. A quantitative approach was employed in the study to survey students and a four part questionnaire was physically distributed to 372 students at the Westville Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). A five point Likert scale was used with responses to questions ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). An interval scale was used to measure the responses. The data was captured and a software program, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), was used to analyse the data and create graphs to present the findings. Descriptive statistics, factor analysis, t-tests and regression were conducted so as to obtain comprehensive results. The highly competitive nature of the cellular phone industry and high penetration in South African markets has created a demand for brands to become more innovative and to differentiate their products in order to survive and maintain a competitive advantage. The findings of the study were consistent with the literature sources and indicated that features related to performance were slightly more important than those related to appearance. Based on the findings it was also concluded that by improving innovation in cellular phone technology, brand image is consequently improved. Enhancing innovation and strengthening brand image in turn increases purchase intention. This creates a further incentive to implement and practice innovative initiatives which have a positive trickledown effect.
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    The association between brand equity and consumer perceptions of smartphones among millennials in Pietermaritzburg.
    (2022) Oliver, Shanice Abegail Mary.; Soni, Sanjay Shantilal
    Mobile technologies, particularly smartphones, have become an essential part of millennials’ lives. It is imperative to understand the fundamental building blocks of the influence that brand equity and consumer perceptions have on the purchasing decisions made by millennials in the long haul. Therefore, offering and designing attractive smartphones is crucial to increasing sales and revenue in the mobile industry, especially because the purchasing decision of millennials is still indecipherable and hybrid. The purpose of this study is to determine the key brand equity associations between consumer perceptions of smartphones among millennials at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg) campus. This study employed a quantitative research approach. A sample of 165 students, between the ages of 24 and 39, who have a smartphone were selected to represent the population. The data collection process was conducted by means of analysing the respective constructs of this study. Furthermore, the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) was employed in this study. Descriptive statistics were presented in the form of graphs and tables, while cross tabulations and chi-square tests were used to present inferential statistics. Lastly, the essence of reliability was tested through Cronbach Alpha statistics. The findings of the study indicated that all key concepts were positively correlated, meaning that a relationship exists between the variables. There were moderate correlations between brand awareness and brand association (r=.537), brand loyalty (r=.518), brand image (r=.558), perceived quality (r=.604), product packaging (r=.649), online and offline presence (r=.538) as well as overall brand equity (r=.540). Weak correlations were shown between brand awareness and product pricing (r=.317) as well as brand values and ethics (r=.354). On the other hand, brand association was highly correlated with brand loyalty (r=.806), brand image (r=.745), perceived quality (r=.722), and overall brand equity (r=.744). The results obtained in this study had revealed that the overall brand equity in the smartphone industry continues to grow rapidly and the offering in the market becomes more multifaceted. Therefore, it is imperative that organisations incorporate more than just the handset and the whole package from software systems, applications, and network services. Most significantly, it is imperative to understand the fundamental building blocks of the influence that brand equity and consumer perceptions has on the purchasing decisions amongst millennials in the long haul. Hence, offering and designing attractive smartphones are crucial to increase sales and revenue in the mobile industry, especially since smartphones' purchasing decision among millennials is still indecipherable and hybrid. Keywords: Brand equity, consumer perceptions, smartphones, millennials, University of KwaZulu- Natal, Pietermaritzburg, brand awareness, brand association, brand image, perceived quality, brand loyalty, product pricing, product packaging and brand values and ethics.
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    Perspectives on the effects of ambush marketing: the case of Nike, the global ambusher.
    (2017) Sukram, Achal.; Ellis, Deborah Ann.
    Nike is one of the most recognisable brands in world. The brand has developed a reputation for its creative and imaginative marketing strategies, especially its effective and successful use of ambush marketing as a marketing tactic during major sporting events. Thus, it has been dubbed the global ambusher. The growth of ambush marketing as a marketing strategy during major sporting events has raised concern over the value of sponsorship. This is because the ambush marketer may receive similar benefits of sponsorship without the investment in sponsorship fees. As such, this may have a direct effect on major stakeholders in a sponsorship relationship. Therefore, this research is important as its primary purpose is to understand ambush marketing as a marketing strategy and the effects it has on major stakeholders such as the public, spectators and participants, event organisers, sponsors and ambushers. The study focuses on Nike as a case in point. Understanding the effects of ambush marketing is important for policy and law makers developing legislation to prevent ambush marketing. It is also important for event organisers trying to source sponsors to fund events and to protect those sponsors’ sponsorship investments. Then finally for competing companies, understanding the potential benefits and risks of ambush marketing is important as they weigh these up in the development of their competitive strategies. The literature review forms the foundation for this study. It has discussed sponsorship, in particular, sport sponsorship before introducing the concept of ambush marketing and engaging in topics such as ambush marketing strategies, ethics, legal implications and preventive steps. In accordance with the objectives of this study, the focal literature around ambush marketing focuses on the effects of ambush marketing on various stakeholders. The research methodology for this study has focused on Nike as a global ambusher. Data was collected from three different sources. The first source of data collection was academic articles from Google Scholar and the second source was from popular online press articles around the 2014 Soccer World Cup. The final source of data was collected via a website called Social Mention, which tracks data on social media websites. The findings for this study suggest that despite the presence of Nike as an ambusher, Adidas was able to counter-act with its own successful promotional and marketing strategies. iv However, Nike was able to achieve similar results and reactions from its target market without having to spend on sponsorship fees that Adidas had to spend in addition to their promotional and marketing campaigns. It can be concluded, that ambush marketing has a negative effect on various stakeholders, however one should acknowledge the creative and imaginative ability of ambushers to effectively compete with sponsors. In accordance, recommendations were made to the various stakeholders on how to oppose the effects of ambush marketing.
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    Negative publicity effects on students’ perceived image, trust, and loyalty: South African universities’ recovery perspectives.
    (2021) Dladla, Bazi William.; Soni, Sanjay Shantilal.
    In recent years, universities in South Africa have been subject to a significant amount of negative publicity. The two main types of negative publicity experienced by South African universities include an increase in student protests that have led to many staff members, students and recently members of the public sustaining injuries. There has also been a vast amount of negative publicity regarding crime in and around some universities, as many staff and students have been victims of various crimes in and around universities in South Africa. In the contemporary marketplace, the multi-user two-way communication enabled by technological advancements such as social media, the availability of mobile devices and access to the internet encourages consumers to share and converse about issues such as negative publicity. Thus, students are exposed to this increased negative publicity regarding universities in South Africa. The current study aims to determine if negative publicity regarding student protests and campus crime negatively influences students’ image of the university, students’ trust towards the university as well as students’ loyalty to the university. The current study also aims to determine the responses students believe a university should use to recover from the negative influence of both types of negative publicity. Lastly, the current study aims to determine which communication mediums students believe would be most effective in communicating a university’s response to both types of negative publicity under investigation. Using a qualitative approach, descriptive research was conducted to undertake the current study. The researcher used video interaction via WhatsApp video calls and Zoom meetings to conduct in-depth interviews with a sample size of 30 participants. Non-probability sampling in the form of convenience and snowball sampling was used and the researcher used a thematic analysis to analyse the data that was collected. The results of the current study indicated that both negative publicity regarding student protests and campus crime would negatively influence most students’ image of the university, trust towards the university and loyalty to the university. In terms of responses to the two types of negative publicity under investigation, the current study indicated that universities should respond either by apologising for the negative publicity and assuring students that the problem has been dealt with, denying the negative publicity, or redirecting the students’ attention to the positive aspects of the university. Lastly, the current study has identified practical implications showing that communication mediums such as direct marketing, advertising and public relations are ideal communication mediums to communicate a university’s response to the two types of negative publicity under investigation in the current study. South African universities can use the findings of this study to understand which communication mediums would be effective in communicating a university’s response to negative publicity regarding student protests and campus crime. This will enable them to effectively communicate their responses to these two types of negative publicity in the long term.
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    Factors affecting environmentally preferable purchasing of sustainable fish products: a theory of planned behaviour perspective.
    (2021) Hlophe, Simphiwe Lincon.; Ellis, Deborah Ann.
    Fish stocks have been in crisis for a long time. Many fish species are on the brink of extinction due to exploitation. As per the Millennium Development Goals 2010, green consumption is one of the core pillars in achieving environmental sustainability. Given that there is a high level of unsustainable fishing and fish consumption leading to the depletion of fish resources, it is critical to understand consumers and their perceptions and behaviours in relation to sustainable fish products. Better comprehension of factors influencing sustainable fish product purchases can help improve green marketing efforts to achieve sustainable consumption of these products. The current study followed a causal research design and quantitative method. The target population for the study was working individuals. The study population was formed by consumers who are part of the South African LinkedIn community and who eat fish, whether concerned or not about sustainability. Judgmental and snowball sampling techniques were used to draw a sample of 200 respondents. Univariate, regression and mediation analyses which were carried out through SPSS 27, provided crucial insights. The extended TPB as a theory underpinning the current study, led to the discovery of the following key findings: the independent variables (attitude towards sustainable fish products, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control, moral attitude, environmental concern, health consciousness, subjective knowledge and objective knowledge) predict intention to purchase sustainable fish products when they are all together. However, other than attitude towards sustainable fish products, no variable on its own is significant predictor of intention to buy sustainable fish products. Therefore, other than improving attitudes towards sustainable fish products, marketers cannot focus on one specific variable to increase sustainable fish consumption. All variables need to be addressed to achieve the desired behaviour of sustainable fish consumption. Recommendations are provided to social & green marketers to do this.
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    The Fourth Industrial Revolution's influence on marketing communications: perspectives of practitioners in Gauteng, South Africa.
    (2021) Sussmann, Nomonde Patience.; Arbee, Aradhna.
    This research focuses on how prepared marketing communications practitioners are for the influence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), with emphasis on the challenges they face and how they attempt to address them. Such issues have received scant attention in research thus far, particularly in South Africa. The study included 10 practitioners drawn from both advertising agencies and client companies, and attempted to answer the following questions: How prepared are practitioners in the marketing communications discipline for the influence of the 4IR? How does the 4IR influence their marketing communications? How have practitioners addressed challenges of the 4IR? It is postulated that in the context of the 4IR (Schwab 2017), marketing communications is impacted by the 4IR through theories of digital communication (Guizzo 2003), innovation diffusion (Daraza 2016) and polymedia (Madianou & Miller 2012). The study adopted an exploratory qualitative approach and where semi-structured in-depth interviews were used to collect data. Data was analysed using thematic content analysis. Four themes were identified in the data, which are: general understanding of the 4IR; advantages of the 4IR; disadvantages of the 4IR; and strategies to address challenges of the 4IR. Overall, findings show that the 4IR was seen as beneficial if it assists marketing communications practitioners to understand the consumer better and provide improved and quicker solutions. Although practitioners felt that jobs might not be severely affected by the 4IR and machines taking over (due to the importance of the human and creative elements in marketing communications), there was agreement that change is a constant, and that recent technologies require marketers to be a step ahead of the curve. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown an additional challenge for marketers, demonstrating that the future is uncertain and that brands and agencies that have future-proofed themselves for success are likely to survive whatever changes are thrown at them. Some of the recommendations from the study include adapting to the changes, devising clear-cut strategies and maintaining an always-on attitude to cope with the 4IR. Recommendations for future research include understanding the perspectives of practitioners in other provinces.
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    The extent to which corporate social responsibility activities in South Africa address invasive alien plants.
    (2021) Mdletshe, Mapule Nomvula.; Ellis, Deborah Ann.
    The problem posed by Invasive Alien Plants (IAPs) threatens all sectors of society. Government’s limited budget and resources to address issues necessitate the involvement of businesses. This can be implemented through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), however, no study has established the extent to which businesses get involved in IAP management using CSR. There still is no study even comparing the extent to which CSR is focused on environmental versus philanthropic causes. Literature indicates that there have been successful (CSR) initiatives which give an indication that environmental CSR can be a useful tool which private companies can utilise to assist in the problem of IAPs. From the top 200 Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed companies the research investigated the extent to which environmental preservation and specifically IAP management are incorporated into the CSR activities. The types of existing partnerships held with local organisations to carry out CSR activities as well as the stakeholders involved in and beneficiaries to, the CSR activities were identified and discussed. Stakeholder theory formed the basis for identifying active stakeholders. Qualitative research analysis was selected for its use of analytic strategies to make sense of trends from research findings. Research themes related to CSR types and participating stakeholders identified in the literature and stakeholder theory were used in a deductive content analysis of the websites of the top 200 JSE listed companies. Key findings showed that, majority of companies participate in CSR related to climate change with very little attention given to IAP management. Private companies are given recommendations on ways to incorporate environmental CSR, specifically IAP management. There are recommendations also to government to incentivise CSR active companies through tax policy transformation. Further research is recommended to investigate the cost of sourcing indigenous plants as a result of native locations being dominated by IAPs.
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    Factors affecting intention to buy organic personal care products: a comparison of generations X & Y in Cape Town.
    (2021) Mhlamvu, Mbali Noluthando.; Soni, Sanjay Shantilal.
    Organic personal care products are deemed to provide more benefits to consumers and the environment, with the provision that manufacturers have ensured a rigorous certification process. In previous studies, research on organic consumption has placed a significant amount of focus on organic food in comparison to organic cosmetics. A gap in knowledge exists in understanding the consumers underlying motivations to purchase organic personal care products versus conventional products, more so in the South African market. The purpose of this paper is to research the factors affecting the intention to buy organic personal care products among generation X and generation Y in Cape Town. A conceptual framework integrating the Theory of Planned Behaviour, Kim and Chung’s consumer values, and Chen’s green trust metric has been developed and applied for this study. For this, a quantitative online survey using Google Forms was distributed to a sample of 150 respondents, which generated 123 valuable responses for further analysis. Descriptive statistics were conducted to display frequencies and mean of the study’s variables. Cronbach’s alpha scores for all variables were all above the acceptable reliability criteria of r=.06, which indicated they all capture the same underlying construct. Thereafter, principal component analysis was conducted to pinpoint the item with the largest variance on an underlying construct. From the findings, environmental consciousness was the consumer value that significantly influenced consumer attitudes, for both generation X and Y. For generation X, subjective norms had the strongest influence towards purchase intention, whereas for generation Y, the findings revealed that consumer attitudes were significant and positively influenced purchase intention towards organic personal care products. This study provides tangible insights to environmentalists and marketers of green products on ways of effectively conveying their green message to the intended target market in South Africa. As the study focused on generation X and generation Y, a combination of those actively and not actively engaged in environmental practices and issues; future researchers could consider a nationwide survey covering samples from other generation groups who are actively organic cosmetic purchasers.
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    The impact of brand elements on the purchase behaviour of University of KwaZulu-Natal students in relation to fast-moving consumer goods.
    (2021) Singh, Verushka.; Oodith, Pravina Devpersadh.
    Branding, as well as its counterpart brand elements, plays an important role when it comes to a product or company. Branding is not a new concept and has been around for several years; however, the role of branding has become important over the years owing to changing business environments. Therefore, this study focuses on the impact of brand elements on the purchase behaviour of UKZN students in relation to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs). The study focuses on four main objectives. The first objective is to determine the impact that brand elements (brand names, URLs, logos, symbols, slogans, jingles, characters, packaging and spokespeople) have on the purchase decisions of UKZN students in relation to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs). The second objective is to understand the perceptions of UKZN students about the effectiveness of brand elements in building brand awareness, brand image and customer loyalty. The next objective focuses on uncovering the evaluative criteria that UKZN students rely upon when making purchase decisions of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs). Finally, the study focuses on formulating creative competitive advantage strategies that marketers can adopt for successful marketing of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) to university students. A sample of 210 students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus were drawn using the convenience sampling technique. The data were collected through questionnaires, which were then analysed accordingly. The data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of the study show that there is a significant positive relationship between the impact of brand elements on purchase decisions and perceptions of the effectiveness of brand elements, as well as the evaluative criteria used when making purchase decisions. There is also a significant positive relationship between perceptions of effectiveness of brand elements and evaluative criteria used when making purchase decisions. Recommendations from the results of the study provide insight into how marketers can adopt creative competitive advantage strategies for successful marketing of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) to university students.
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    The impact of customer loyalty programmes on consumer decision-making and brand loyalty: a University of KwaZulu-Natal student perspective.
    (2021) Singh, Kavish.; Oodith, Pravina Devpersadh.
    Due to the rapid increase in competition in the retail market, retailers offer several types of loyalty programmes and frequent-buyer programmes to increase sales of products through customer repeat purchases over a period of time. This study sought to determine the perceptions of University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) students on loyalty programmes as a means of influencing consumer decision-making, as well as increasing brand loyalty. Furthermore, this study investigated the type of loyalty programmes that were most influential in students’ purchase decisions. The sample size consisted of 375 students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus. A probability sampling technique was used to achieve a higher generalisation of results. The sampling method that was the simple random sampling method. The respondents completed a questionnaire consisting of 2 sections. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire were assessed using Factor Analysis and Cronbach’s Coefficient Alpha respectively. Descriptive and inferential statistics was employed to generate the results of the study. The results of this study showed that there are significant intercorrelations among the key dimensions (consumer decision-making, increasing customer loyalty, perceived value and brand loyalty and types of loyalty programmes) of the study relating to UKZN students respectively. There is no significant difference in the perceptions of UKZN students, varying in biographical profiles (gender, age, race, educational level and college) regarding each dimension of the study (consumer decision-making, increasing customer loyalty, perceived value and brand loyalty and types of loyalty programmes). The results further indicated that UKZN students are influenced by customer loyalty programmes in terms of consumer decision-making. The recommendations generated from the results of this study provide insight into how this goal could be achieved. Furthermore, recommendations for future research suggest that this research should be done in other universities across the country and globally to compare the differences.
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    An examination of the barriers in the effective use of outsourcing in the public sector.
    (2020) Msiya, Mondli Victor.; Okeke-Uzodike, Obianuju Ebele.
    The government of South Africa has strived to centralize the procurement of goods and services, to address inefficiencies in the outsourcing of non-core activities in the public sector. This is deemed necessary to improve the efficiency of outsourcing processes in the public sector. Public sector outsourcing has faced various challenges, including unethical practices such as corruption, fraud and price inflation, resulting in inefficiency and increased operational costs. This study examined the barriers facing the outsourcing of functions at the South African Social Security Agency, Umzumbe Local Office. The design of this study was of an exploratory nature and the researcher used a qualitative approach and a non-probability, purposive sampling method. The sample size for the study comprised forty-one employees from the South African Social Service Agency, in Umzumbe Local Office. Primary data was collected via in-depth face-to-face interviews with six senior government officials, and focus group discussions involved thirty-five discussants. The research instrument used for the study was an interview schedule. Data was analysed using content analysis. The findings of the study reveal inefficiency in daily operations, a lack of accountability, poor communication and proper planning, non-compliance with supply chain laws, poor monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, and a shortage of capable human resources. As such, the outsourcing of activities in the public sector does not achieve efficiency in its operations. The study recommends the hiring of skilled personnel in the SCM unit, that the department must work closely with law enforcement agencies, and that a consequence management approach be adopted to deal with inefficiency in the procurement unit, unethical practices, non- compliance with SCM laws, and poor monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. The study contributes to the existing body of knowledge on the barriers facing the outsourcing of functions in the public sector.
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    Assessing water management practices within the KwaZulu-Natal region: a case study of eThekwini Municipality.
    (2020) Samuels, Alexander Bradley.; Ramluckan, Trishana.; McArthur, Brian Walter.
    Our primary source of supply of water is through rainfall. It can be simply said that water is stored in dams, purified, and released at a cost to the public. Municipalities purchase water from their suppliers, and in the case of eThekwini, from Umgeni Water. Rainfall patterns have changed over a period and we are experiencing the effects of El Nino, a phenomenon that warms the Pacific Ocean and leads to drought in the southern hemisphere. The climate change scenario means lower and erratic rainfall and reduced water supply. The country will get drier, supply will be reduced while at the same time population increases, and economic and other activities create a huge water demand. Failure to supply water and failure to develop effective and adequate mitigating strategies carry grave human costs in the modern era. Economic losses due to water shortages are immense, impacting food supply, manufacturing, tourism, and other activities. The social cost includes a negative impact on the wealth of people and increasing the gap in living standards in society. The current water crisis affects millions. One of the main objectives of this study was to investigate the accessibility of water supply to consumers within the eThekwini Municipality region. The focus is on investigating the challenges experienced when trying to access water during erratic rainfall patterns. The rationale for conducting this study is therefore to help familiarise citizens of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) with the various restrictions and remedies that can help them conserve and utilise water more effectively and efficiently. This study emphasised the importance, causes, impacts, and current quality management system used for the limited water supply that is affecting not only the KZN province but South Africa. The study utilised an exploratory case study method to assess the water management practices within KwaZulu- Natal. A qualitative research approach was used which provided more value when determining the critical issues experienced during the supply of water. The research study was conducted in KwaZulu-Natal at the eThekwini Municipality Water and Sanitation Department. Purposive sampling was employed, with the sample size consisting of nine participants. Face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were used as a data collection tool. NVivo 12 was employed as the software tool for thematic analysis for this qualitative study. This research study contributed to the creation of knowledge on a new implementation of a quality management system and how ISO 9001 can be used to ensure effective and efficient ii quality by implementing new practices that will ensure continuous improvement. Findings revealed that water accessibility is seen as a continuous water supply despite the implementation of water restrictions. It was noted that the current water scarcity situation has had an impact on the current water supply and dam levels. Findings also indicated that the eThekwini Municipality and Umgeni Reservoir had a very strong and healthy business relationship and that Umgeni Reservoir was supplying approximately 790MR litres of water daily. The SCADA system was the only criterion that could be used in the implementation of water restrictions. Water management practices were effectively managed in high consumption areas such as Umlazi and Tongaat. There was no actual quality management system in place and the eThekwini Municipality water and sanitation department were using various measures to meet the required quality standards. SANS241 and aggressive awareness programs were suggested to assist sensitive consumers. Revenue leakages were identified within the water supply system and recommendation for smart water metering was suggested for better reading, identifying water flow interruptions and illegal connections.
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    Use of electronic supply chain management in overcoming uncertainty constraints: South African textile industry.
    (2020) Adam, Muhammad Hassan.; Ramasamy-Gurayah, Jayrusha.
    Background: The impact of the internet and other technological advancements of the 21st century have improved business capability through speeding up global supply chains, driving innovation and widening the geographic scope of purchasing activities. However, such enhancements have detrimentally affected labour-intensive industries including the South African clothing and textile industry which has faced multiple job losses. Problem: Economies of scale, enhanced technologies and lower labour costs have put international competitors at an advantage. Increased import tariffs have had a marginal impact. The impacts of Covid-19 have negatively impacted the spending power and confidence of consumers, causing demand uncertainty. Purpose: It was proposed that the alignment of industry operators with the electronic supply chain management (eSCM) activities of worldwide industry leaders may provide respite to operators in the sector amidst uncertainty. The purpose of this study was to study the truth of this proposal. Methodology: This proposal was tested in three stages. Firstly, a review of previous literature set out to explain the current uncertainties faced in the industry before providing an understanding what the possible forms of eSCM implementation are. Highlighted technologies included ERP, e-marketplaces and automation. Thereafter, the study shifted toward qualitative primary research. First, a case study was conducted to the perspective of a selected company which had implemented eSCM practices. Comprising of open-ended questions posed to managers at the company, the case study studied the uncertainties it faces and eSCM activities used to thrive amidst these uncertainties. The second part of the primary research involved face-to-face interviews with industry experts on the generalisability of the case study. Results: It was evident that eSCM technologies positively impacted business’ aims for efficiency, flexibility and improved communication to manage amidst uncertainty. However, participants cite that inadequate commitment often rendered technology futile. Participants cited that gradual implementation would be fruitful. Contribution: ESCM adoption has been studied in numerous industries globally. Not much literature focuses on local eSCM adoption, with previous research focusing on customer-facing organisations in the sector. This study included multiple tiers in the supply chain, with the company performing both retail and manufacturing activities. Implications: SMME’s nationwide should adopt needs-based eSCM practices, whether they are customer-facing or are involved in the transformation of clothing and textile goods.
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    The impact of mobile marketing on consumer decision-making, brand equity and customer relationships: a UKZN student perspective.
    (2020) Masiya, Rutendo.; Oodith, Pravina Devpersadh.
    The rise of new technology continues to present marketers with new ways of marketing their brands to consumers and mobile marketing has become part of these new advertising mediums. A number of issues continue to rise with regard to the effectiveness of mobile marketing as a means of enhancing communication and customer relationships and its effectiveness as a promotional tool. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the perceptions of UKZN students towards the use of mobile marketing, the impact of mobile marketing on their purchase decisions and also the perceptions of UKZN students in terms of the efficiency of mobile marketing in building brand awareness, brand image and customer loyalty. The other aim of the study was to uncover the perceptions of students regarding the use of mobile marketing and developing a certain understanding of the effectiveness of mobile marketing when targeting young consumers such as students. A sample of 359 students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus was drawn for data collection using the simple random sampling technique. The data was analysed in order to test the hypotheses of the study and the researcher utilised both descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of this study show that there exist significant intercorrelations among the key dimensions (types of mobile marketing, convenience, credibility, informativeness, entertainment, attraction and retention, consumer-decision making, brand equity and customer relationships) of the study relating to UKZN students. It was also revealed that there is no significant difference in the perceptions of UKZN students, varying in biographical profiles (gender, age, race, educational level and college) regarding each dimension of the study (types of mobile marketing, convenience, credibility, informativeness, entertainment, attraction and retention, privacy, consumer-decision making, brand equity and customer relationships). The results also show that students believe that mobile marketing has an impact on their purchase decisions. The recommendations generated from the results of this study provide insight into how marketers can use mobile marketing to successfully target university students.
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    Consumer-to-consumer influence on attitude towards, and intention to buy South Korean food: an Instagram study.
    (2020) Ramjathan, Shéfali Rokush.; Ellis, Deborah Ann.
    Background – With the emergence of the internet and the introduction of social networking services, opportunities for consumer-to-consumer (C2C) communication have expanded exponentially. Virtual communities enable consumers to access and exchange information with each other, independent of companies, allowing consumers to influence each other’s attitudes and behaviours. Instagram, a free photo and video sharing mobile application, is a platform with great potential and growth and has caught the attention of marketers seeking to understand and use C2C influence. With the increase of user-generated content (UGC), interest has shifted onto consumers and what factors influence them in a C2C context. Purpose – The purpose of this research was to investigate the factors of Source Credibility, Tie Strength, Informational Quality and Consumer Susceptibility to Interpersonal Influence (CSII) in the C2C context of Instagram and their effect on consumers attitudes towards and intentions to purchase South Korean food. The contribution is for marketers to better understand C2C influence. Research Methodology/Approach – A quantitative approach involved an Instagram account called @shaynanigans_sk being specifically set up and images and videos of South Korean food consistently posted. Research data on the constructs in the conceptual framework was collected using an online survey, with a total of 163 Instagram followers who made up the final sample. Findings – The research found that Source Credibility and CSII significantly impact consumers’ attitudes towards South Korean food, and Informational Quality was found to significantly impact consumers’ purchase intentions towards South Korean food. Managerial implications – Marketing practitioners spend a significant amount of time determining the driving forces that influence consumer behaviour. The outcomes of this study confirmed that the relationships between Source Credibility, CSII, and Attitude; and Informational Quality and Intention were significant. These results emphasise the need for marketers using consumers in Influencer marketing strategies on Instagram to consider and pay attention to the chosen consumers’ credibility, their content quality, and the types of other consumers they target, as these factors will influence the success of Influencer marketing on this platform. Research limitations – Limitations and recommendations for future research are identified.