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Title of paper: ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN AUTOMOBILE SECTOR

Authors:
1. Prof. Priyanka Shah
Asst. Prof.
Shri Chimanbhai Patel Institute of Management & Research

2. Prof. Anu Gupta


Asst. Prof.
Shri Chimanbhai Patel Institute of Management & Research

ABSTRACT
Automobile sector plays a very vital role in overall economic growth of any country. Two-wheeler
automobile industry in India has not experienced marketing activities based on the social media. In
todays world social media is omnipresent among consumers so taking advantage of wider
platform for companys marketing activities will be a great opportunity. This study was done to tap
existing and potential usage of social media in marketing & promotional activities in two wheeler
segment.
Market research was conducted within Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot to check the
awareness level of social media, existing usage of it in marketing of two-wheelers, consumer
preferences towards different forms of social media etc. Various statistical tools were used to
analyze the media habits and to check the consumer preference for two wheeler customers.
Findings show poor presence of social media in two wheeler segment. More popularity was
found among the young generation for social media preference. Beneficiaries of the study would
be faculty and research persons who would be getting insights into marketing arena like
fundamentals of marketing research, statistical testing concepts and social media marketing
concepts etc. Two-wheeler automobile companies would also be benefited from this study as
now they can refer the initial understanding of social media platform for implementing social
marketing campaign for acquiring more market share. This would further aid company to
develop business strategies and advertising programmes based on social media platform with
ease. Future research could be taken with a larger sample size and coverage of larger
geographical area. Research with the specific social media campaign could also be taken for
another sector.
Keywords: Social media marketing, Automobile sector, Innovative marketing

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

LITERATURE REVIEW
The social media phenomenon has a profound impact and has emerged over the years as an
innovative tool for marketing and promotion activities for numerous brands. With the emergence
of social media, also known as consumer generated media, the tools and strategies for
communicating with customers have changed significantly. This form of media describes a
variety of new sources of online information that are created, initiated, circulated and used by
consumers intent on educating each other about products, brands, services, personalities, and
issues (Blackshaw & Nazzaro, 2004, p. 2). A recent IDC survey in Western Europe discovered
that the number one reason for using social media was to increase awareness about the company
and its products in the market. This driver came well ahead of the following two managing the
relationship with customers and prospects, and gathering ideas and feedback for products and
services.

There have been some major changes over the years in the way consumers use media. The
Internet has now become a major source for consumer-sponsored communication and represents
the first media choice for consumers at work and second source of media at home (Rashtchy,
Kessler, Bieber, Shindler, & Tzeng, 2007). Consumers are now turning away from traditional
sources of advertising and are demanding immediate access to information at their own
convenience (Rashtchy et al., 2007; Vollmer & Precourt, 2008). Consumers are also frequently
using social media to conduct information search and make purchase decisions (Lempert, 2006;
Vollmer & Precourt, 2008). Social media is also perceived by the consumers as a more
trustworthy source of information compared to corporate-sponsored communication (Foux,
2006). This paper therefore tries to explore the perception of consumers regarding social media
in the automobile sector.
RATIONALE OF THE STUDY
The paper focuses on two wheeler automobile industry in India for studying the existing and
potential usage of social media in marketing & promotional activities. Two-wheeler segment in
India has a high potential to grow in near future. Proper means of marketing elements may elicit
the companys performance. Hence this study has been conducted to know the awareness level

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

of social media, existing usage of social media in marketing of two-wheelers and consumer
preferences towards different forms of social media.
PROBLEM STATEMENT
Social media usage in India is in primary stage and needs to be explored to strengthen marketing
activity or brand image of an automobile company for two-wheeler. For achieving marketing
goals, one should have the clear understanding of perceptions and preferences of consumers
about social media usage.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
To understand the concept and to study the current scenario of social media usage in
Indian automobile (two-wheeler) industry
To acquire understanding about consumer perceptions towards social media usage by a
company
To find out the consumer preferences for social media channels or activities of a twowheeler company
To derive consumer-centric methodology for doing social media marketing in Indian
two-wheeler automobile industry by utilising social media forms i.e. social networking
sites, blogs and forums etc.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Research Design: Descriptive Research
Source/s of Data:
1. Primary data has been collected by conducting survey of target Individuals.
2. Secondary data has been collected by referring to Marketing Journals, Research
papers, social networking sites and online blogs/forums/articles.
Data Collection Methods:

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

1. Online Survey (Via Survey-gizmo tool)


2. Telephonic Interview
3. Personal Interview
Population: Two-wheeler owners (within age-group of 18 to 40) in Ahmedabad, Vadodara,
Rajkot and Surat
Sampling Method & Frame:
1. Sampling Technique: Convenience Sampling
2. Sample Size: 200 (Based on p=0.85, q=0.15, e=0.05, z=1.96)
Data Collection Instrument: Structured Questionnaire
Tools: SPSS, MS Excel
Scope of Study: Study is limited within four cities of Gujarat as it would be feasible to analyse
the population where awareness of internet technology is high. Sample units include mix of
students, professionals, businessmen etc. Following forms of social media are considered for the
market study.
Social Networking Sites (like MySpace, Facebook etc.)
Wikis (like Wikipedia etc.)
Micro-blogging (like Twitter etc.)
Blogs (WordPress, Blogger, TypePad etc.)
Forums (like Consumer forum etc.)
RSS feeds (like Google alerts etc.)
Content Communities (like YouTube, Flickr, and Slideshare etc.)
Hypothesis:
H1: At present, more than 85% of target consumers are aware about social media forms.
H2: There is a significant difference in social media rating for male & female respondents.

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

H3: There is a significant difference in preference of social media for marketing activities for
male & female respondents.
H4: There is a significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social media across
different age-groups.
H5: There is a significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social media for different
occupations.
H6: There is a significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social media across
different cities.
H7: Social media usage by consumer is dependent on his/her age.
H8: Social media usage by consumer is dependent on his/her occupation.
H9: Social media usage by consumer is dependent on his/her educational background.
DATA ANAYLSIS AND INTERPRETATION
Brand presence on social media platforms
Figure 1: Two-wheeler Brand Presence on Social Media Platforms
Brand Presence (%) on Social Media Platform
62.5

57.5

36

Bajaj
Auto

TVS

Mahindra
&
Mahindra

22.5

21.5

18

Yamaha

Hero
Motocorp

Suzuki

Honda

None

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

Users of social media give a signal of poor presence of 2W brands on social media platform.
22.5% of youngsters believe no 2W brand is having strong presence on social media platform for
2W products. On the other hand, it can be witnessed that only Hero Motocorp & Bajaj have strong
presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, You-tube etc. along-with high market
share. Correlation co-efficient between brand preference and brand presence on social media
platform is 93.13% and hence it is beneficial for other brands to improve presence on Social media
platform to increase customer base for 2W products.

Rating of Social Media Platforms


Figure 2: Rating of social media platforms

Rating of Social Media Platforms


4.21

4.00

3.52

3.05

2.43
1.87

2.31

Ratings for the social networking sites and blogs are high while ratings for the forums, wikis, and
podcasts are low respectively. Respondents give average rating for RSS feeds. It is observed that
young people who are doing business or service give higher rating to the social media platforms.

Preference of social media platform for marketing activities


Figure 3: Preference of social media platform for marketing activities

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

Agree
36%
Strongly Agree
30%

Strongly
Disagree
4%

Neutral
24%
Disagree
6%

Approximately 66% of people have agreed that social media platform can be used as a good option
for implementing the marketing activities for 2W automobile industry. Only 10% denied for it
while 24% give neutral response for social media platform. Overall social media ranking and
preference for social media to implement marketing activities is having a correlation of 73.9%
while correlation of 79% is there between preference for sharing information and preference for
social media to implement marketing activities.

Reasons for social media usage in two wheeler industry


Figure 4: Reasons for social media usage in two wheeler industry
Reason for respondents using social media
64

59
42

31

To browse
To make
two-wheeler comparisons
related
information

30

To search
preferred
dealer
network

37

To check
To refer
To check for
reviews
latest news promotional
about a two- about a twoschemes
wheeler
wheeler
brand
company

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

Based on survey, it can be assured that most of the respondents want to make comparisons between
different 2W brands or to check reviews about any 2W brand or product. 37% of them want to
check the promotional schemes online using social media platforms.

Correlation
Table 1: Correlation
Correlation

Sr. No.

Variable 1

Variable 2

Brand Preference

Brand's Presence on Social Media

93.13%

Social Media Rating

82%

Marketing Campaign Impact Rating

73.9%

Brand's Presence on Social


Media

Social Media Rating

Social Media Rating

Positive Impact of Social Media on


Buying Decision

Marketing Campaign

Positive Impact of Social Media on

Impact Rating

Buying Decision
Positive Impact of Social Media on

Coefficient

69%

62%

Preference for Sharing Info

Preference for Sharing Info

Social Media Rating

59%

Preference for Sharing Info

Marketing Campaign Impact Rating

78%

Buying Decision

69.5%

There is a high correlation (93.13%) between brands presence on brand preference as per
respondents across four cities of Gujarat.
High correlation (82%) between brands presence on social media platform and overall
social media rating indicates that respondents who have given higher rating believe that
more brands are having strong presence on social media presence.
Higher correlation (74%) between social media rating and marketing campaign impact
rating indicates that success of marketing campaign of any company depends on the
respondents liking of all social media platforms.
Respondents who have given more weightage to all social media platform ratings would
tend to have belief that referring or sharing the information on social media forms before

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

buying two-wheeler would have positive impact and helps a lot to make fruitful buying
decision.
Preference for implementing marketing activities through social media platforms would
have moderate impact on consumers mindset to believe that referring the information on
social media would help them to make good buying decision for two-wheeler.
Preference for referring/sharing the information would have moderate and positive impact
on ratings of social media, preference for implementing marketing campaign via social
media platforms and consumers mindset.

Hypothesis testing
Hypothesis 1: Ho: At present, 85% of target consumers are aware about social media forms.
H1: At present, more than 85% of target consumers are aware about social media
forms.
Table 2: One sample T-test for social media awareness
One-Sample T-Test for Social Media (Test Value = 3)
95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
t
6.760

Df
199

Sig.
.000

Mean Difference
.39583

Lower

Upper

.2804

.5113

Ttab = 1.96 < Tcal = 6.76


Hence, null hypothesis is rejected. Currently there are more than 85% youngsters who are aware
about social media platforms.

Hypothesis 2: Ho: There is no significant difference in social media rating for male & female
respondents
H1: There is a significant difference in social media rating for male & female
respondents.
Table 3: T-test for social media rating

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

Levene's

t-test for Equality of Means

Test

95% Confidence
F

Sig.

Df

Sig. (2-tailed)

Mean

Std. Error

Difference Difference

Interval of the
Difference
Lower

Upper

-.42150

.03865

Social Media
Rating (Equal
variances

2.899 .090 -1.641

199

.102

-.19142

.11667

assumed)

Ttab = 1.96 > Tcal = 1.64


Hence, null hypothesis is accepted. Men and women respondents give similar rating to social
media platforms and no marketing strategy should be devised based on gender.

Hypothesis 3: Ho: There is no significant difference in preference of social media for marketing
activities for male & female respondents.
H1: There is a significant difference in preference of social media for marketing
activities for male & female respondents.
Table 4: t-test for social media preference
Levene's

t-test for Equality of Means

Test

95% Confidence
F

Sig.

Df

Sig. (2-tailed)

Mean

Std. Error

Difference Difference

Interval of the
Difference
Lower

Upper

-.334

.270

Preference of
Social Media 0.352 .554 -0.209

199

.835

-.032

.153

for Marketing

Ttab = 1.96 > Tcal = 0.209

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

Hence, null hypothesis is accepted. Men and women respondents give similar preference to social
media platforms to do marketing activities hence generalized marketing strategy should be applied.

Hypothesis 4: Ho: There is no significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social
media across different age-groups.
H1: There is a significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social
media across different age-groups.
Table 5: ANOVA for social media ratings & preference across age-groups
ANOVA
Sum of Squares

Df

Mean Square

Sig.

1.506

.502

.729

.536

Within Groups

134.963

196

.689

Total

136.469

199

3.131

1.044

.894

.445

media for marketing Within Groups

228.869

196

1.168

campaign

Total

232.000

199

Feature Rating

Between Groups

1.219

.406

1.230

.300

Within Groups

64.723

196

.330

Total

65.942

199

Social Media Rating Between Groups

Preference of Social Between Groups

For Social media rating,


Ftab = 2.60 > Fcal = 0.729 Hence, null hypothesis is accepted.
For Preference of Social media for marketing campaign,
Ftab = 2.60 > Fcal = 0.894 Hence, null hypothesis is accepted.
For features rating,
Ftab = 2.60 > Fcal = 1.203 Hence, null hypothesis is accepted.
Across all age-groups there are no significant differences for ratings and preferences towards social
media.

Hypothesis 5: Ho: - There is no significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social
media for different occupations.

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

H1: - There is a significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social


media for different occupations.
Table 6: ANOVA for social media ratings & preference across occupations
ANOVA

Social Media Rating

Preference of Social media


for marketing campaign

Feature Rating

Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

Sig.

Between Groups

2.119

.706

1.031

.380

Within Groups

134.350

196

.685

Total

136.469

199

Between Groups

10.343

3.448

3.048

.030

Within Groups

221.657

196

1.131

Total

232.000

199

Between Groups

1.643

.548

1.670

.175

Within Groups

64.299

196

.328

Total

65.942

199

For Social media rating,


Ftab = 2.60 > Fcal = 1.031 Hence, null hypothesis is accepted.
For Preference of Social media for marketing campaign,
Ftab = 2.60 < Fcal = 3.048 Hence, null hypothesis is rejected.
For features rating,
Ftab = 2.60 > Fcal = 1.670 Hence, null hypothesis is accepted.
Across all type of occupational groups there are no significant differences for ratings but
preferences towards social media for doing marketing activities are significantly different.

Hypothesis 6: Ho: - There is no significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social
media across different cities.
H1: - There is a significant difference in ratings & preferences towards social
media across different cities.
Table 7: ANOVA for social media ratings & preference across cities
ANOVA
Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

Sig.

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

Social Media Rating

Preference of Social media


for marketing campaign

Feature Rating

Between Groups

5.914

1.971

Within Groups

130.555

196

.666

Total

136.469

199

Between Groups

3.620

1.207

Within Groups

228.380

196

1.165

Total

232.000

199

Between Groups

2.795

.932

Within Groups

63.147

196

.322

Total

65.942

199

2.959

.033

3.036

.378

2.892

.037

For Social media rating,


Ftab = 2.60 < Fcal = 2.959 Hence, null hypothesis is rejected.
For Preference of Social media for marketing campaign,
Ftab = 2.60 < Fcal = 3.036 Hence, null hypothesis is rejected.
For features rating,
Ftab = 2.60 < Fcal = 2.892 Hence, null hypothesis is rejected.
Across all cities there are significant differences for ratings and preferences towards social media
for doing marketing activities.
Hypothesis 7: H0: - Social media usage by consumer is not dependent on consumers age.
H1: - Social media usage by consumer is dependent on consumers age.
Table 8: chi-square test for age
Value

df

Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)

Pearson Chi-Square

.627

.890

Likelihood Ratio

.642

.887

.286

.593

Linear-by-Linear
Association
N of Valid Cases

200

X2tab = 0.216 < X2cal = 0.627


Hence, null hypothesis is rejected. Social media usage by consumer is dependent on his/her age.

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

Hypothesis 8: H0: - Social media usage by consumer is not dependent on consumers occupation.
H1: - Social media usage by consumer is dependent on consumers occupation.
Table 9: chi-square test for occupation
Value

df

Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)

Pearson Chi-Square

8.119a

.044

Likelihood Ratio

8.303

.040

Linear-by-Linear Association

.260

.610

N of Valid Cases

200

X2tab = 0.216 < X2cal = 8.119


Hence, null hypothesis is rejected. Social media usage by consumer is dependent on occupation.
Hypothesis 9: H0: - Social media usage by consumer is not dependent on consumers educational
background.
H1: - Social media usage by consumer is dependent on consumers educational
background.
Table 10: chi-square test for educational background
Value

df

Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)

Pearson Chi-Square

8.276

.219

Likelihood Ratio

8.366

.213

Linear-by-Linear Association

5.386

.020

N of Valid Cases

200

X2tab = 1.237 < X2cal = 8.276


Hence, null hypothesis is rejected. Social media usage by consumer is dependent on his/her
educational background.

RESULTS AND FINDINGS


It is witnessed that youngsters who are doing service or business are more prone to buy 2W in
near future. Hence using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc. for the marketing
activities would be preferable to promote 2W in Indian market. It can be witnessed that only
Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

Hero Motocorp & Bajaj have strong presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter,
You-tube etc. along-with high market share. Correlation co-efficient between brand preference
and brand presence on social media platform is 93.13% and hence it is beneficial for other
brands to improve presence on Social media platform to increase customer base for 2W products.
73% of them want to check the promotional schemes online using social media platforms. Hence
social media platform is a better option for doing marketing campaign. Men and women
respondents have similar ratings or preferences for social media platforms hence no marketing
strategy should be devised based on gender. Irrespective of age-group or occupation differences
across sample units, ratings and preferences towards social media usage are similar for
promoting two-wheeler products in India market. But reverse is the case for different cities.
Social media usage by consumer is dependent on his/her educational background, occupation
and educational background. Hence marketing strategy should be devised based on
demographics of respondents to take benefit in terms of increase in market share and sales
revenue.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Validity of data depends explicitly on individuals preferences or liking towards social media.
Survey has been conducted at Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara due to time constraint
and hence sample size is restricted for 200. Research findings might not be applicable for whole
India as sample is representative for Gujarat region explicitly. Respondents, who are less familiar
with internet and latest technology developments, may not be able to give appropriate answers
during survey.
FUTURE SCOPE OF RESEARCH
The current study has been conducted only in Gujarat region specifically for two wheelers. The
study can be extended to other regions to get a holistic perspective of Indian consumers. Also the
study can be done for four wheeler market as the growth rate of four wheelers is also good. Thus
the role of social media usage in marketing and promotion of four wheelers can also be studied.

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector

BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Blackshaw, P., & Nazzaro, M. (2004). Consumer-Generated Media (CGM) 101: Wordof-mouth in the age of the Webfortified consumer
2. Foux, G. (2006, May 8). Consumer-generated media: Get your customers involved.
Brand Strategy, 3839.
3. IDC; Social Media Tools in Western European Vertical Markets: IDC Survey 2010
4. Lempert, P. (2006). Caught in the Web. Progressive Grocer, 85(12), 18.
5. Rashtchy, F., Kessler, A. M., Bieber, P. J., Shindler, N. H., & Tzeng, J. C. (2007,
February). The user revolution: The new advertising ecosystem and the rise of the
Internet as a mass medium. Minneapolis, MN: Piper Jaffray Investment Research.
6. Vollmer, C., & Precourt, G. (2008). Always on: Advertising, marketing, and media in an
era of consumer control. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Role of social media marketing in automobile sector