INTRODUCTION: TOPIC, METHODS, TARGET, OBJECTIVE
Young people are nowadays a very easy target for selling products and services, because they represent a
huge market and a good place where to set up a marketing research study.
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In order to develop the analysis, we were looking for a product that was:
x well wide spread, that everybody has, uses and knows
x a subject that could be interesting for most of students, and also self motivating.
Therefore, mobile phones were the most suitable product; a tool used equally by male, females, French
and foreign students and, moreover, it is an increasing and profitable industry.
The purpose of our survey is to determine which are the elements that constitute the “perfect students’
phone”. Then, not to check the satisfaction of an existing product, but the development of a total new one.
At the beginning of our research, we defined 10 characteristics for such product:
6. games, music and tools
9. easiness to use
10. autonomy of the battery.
Already in the first draft of the questionnaire, we realized that they were generating too many questions
and we decided to group them together, including “size”, “weight”, “design”(in terms of aesthetic), “color”
inside the “outline” attribute and “games, music” and “camera” into “tools”. In fact, in order to define all
the secondary functions of a cell phone, we tried to consider just the main utilities, but from our point of
view, 7 attributes were a good balance between synthesis and reliability of the research. Our final
attributes are then:
2. Outline (size, weight, design, color,…)
4. Tools (games, camera, music,…)
5. Connectivity (Bluetooth, wireless, internet, …)
6. Easiness to use
7. Autonomy of the battery.
As a target, we chose IMUS students of both sex and from different nationalities, in order to have a general
overview of the product and observing if everybody has the same expectations for this item. To reach this
point we chose to draw two different versions of the survey: one French and the other English.
Our idea to get the answers was to contact directly the people and, just secondary, to address to the
university residences; places such as computer rooms and university restaurants have been good locations
to get answers. This simple approach presents two advantages:
x Quick reply
x Assisting recipients, if needed. Pagina | 3
On the other hand, local language has represented an obstacle in some cases.
THE QUESTIONNAIRE: DRAFT AND ANALYSIS
We decided to divide the survey into two separated parts in order to define different information to cross
First general part of the questionnaire – About you
Initially, we had to draw the profiling of our target group, that is to say, gender, country of origin and the
cell phone students are currently using. Information such as the nationality is quite important in such kind
of survey, as in different countries we can not only find diverging trends, but also observe different ways of
The sample we took into account includes the students of the IMUS, both the foreigners and the French.
More than 70% of the sample is composed by male and “only” 60% of it is French; we should underline that
when we talk about foreigners we do not only mean Erasmus students, but also students that study here in
Annecy but whose home country is not France. Moreover, 71,7% of the sample is male.
In this section we also asked to the respondents to give us some information about their actual cell phone:
most of them, 28,3% have Nokia cell phones, one out of five owns Samsung items and 13,2% have
Motorola or Sagem ones – see Figure nr 1.
Second part of the questionnaire – About your preferences
This section has been developed in order to find out all the characteristics that a “perfect” phone should
have according to tastes and needs of IMUS students.
First, we had to find out which are the main features that young people look at when choosing a cell phone.
Then, we asked the recipients to rank the major attributes; this information are useful for us to outline an
important comparison analysis, together with the following question in which the respondents are asked to
give a mark from 1 to 5 to the satisfaction with their actual cell phone.
To analyze the data, we used two different methods that provided us two different results. The first
method was the simple sum of every time that a feature has been chosen, without considering the position
in the ranking. This method gave us the results that are in the first column of the table (outline; price and
autonomy of the battery; brand; …). The second method takes into account the position that the
respondents gave to the feature; in that way we found a different, and certainly more reliable, solution.
The results are listed in the second column of the table and present at the first place the price, than the
outline, the brand and following the autonomy of the battery the easiness to use, the tools and the
connectivity – see Figure nr 2.
The question concerning the satisfaction was a bit tricky because not directly comparable: in fact, each
student has a different product and we had to take into consideration the answers just in relation to the
brands. The result has been very useful for us to implement one of the next questions about the best Pagina | 4
brands: 10 people out of 15 state to be very satisfied with their Nokia cell phone; the second ranked in
terms of general satisfaction, is Samsung with 3 very satisfied and 5 satisfied – see Figure nr 3.
To further identify the approach that people have to their cell phone we asked them how often they
change their mobile. At the beginning this information was meant to weight the information we were
collecting, that is to say, consider more important the responses given by people that buy the cell phone
more often. Unluckily the majority (83%) of the respondents change the phone not more than every two
years, and 47,2% even only when it breaks. People that change phone more than once a year are just 4, and
half of them (that is to say only two) spend for the cell phone between 150 and 200€, but these data are
not sufficiently relevant.
The following section is focused on the specification of the features listed above; after having defined the
design, we cared about the price factor. In the end, we wanted to know something more about the uses of
the cell phone: for that reason, we listed six possible uses of the product and we asked to choose between
always, often, seldom, rarely and never. Finally, we analyzed the duration of the battery and at the end if
recipients had something to improve with their actual mobile.
In order to estimate the best brands, we asked to rank the first three best brands and these are the results
we obtained – see Figure nr 4. To analyze these data we used the same approach we applied to the
importance ranking; if we just take into consideration the frequency at which every single brand have been
selected, no matter the position in the ranking, the first three brands would be: Nokia; Sony Ericsson;
Samsung. If otherwise we weight these results with the positioning in the rankings, the best three brands
would be the same, but in a different order: Nokia; Samsung; Sony Ericsson. If we look at the same
information limiting the observation to French people, the results are the same: Nokia (29), Sony Ericsson
(23) and Samsung (20) according to the first method and Nokia (2,42), Samsung (1,29) and Sony Ericsson
(1,23) weighting the relative rankings.
The next step is to identify the design, first of all the type of mobile: the percentage of people that prefer
flat phones is the same of shell ones (44,2%) , but if we divide this information between male and female,
we find out that the last choose shell shape while men, on the average, flat. If we look at the French
market, we find out that flat phones are a little more preferred than shell type. As far as the size is
concerned, the preference, as could have been foreseen, is for medium sized phones. There is no big
difference between male and female: both prefer medium sized, 57% of the responding female and 66% of
the male. The design analysis ends with the observation of the most loved colours: the preferred one is
black (37,5%) followed by silver (30%) and blue (12,5%). It is interesting to notice that actually only 7,4% of
males prefer blue, as against 23,1% of females; blue is ranked as the second preferred colour together with
Concerning the price that people are ready to spend to buy a new cell phone, as predictable, more than
half of the respondents would pay less than 100€.
As expected, people use the cell phone mainly for calling (12,1% on the total, obtained by crossing “always”
together with “calling”) and for sending messages (10,8% “always” of the total). On the average, females
prefer messages to calling, and males the contrary. We can observe that taking pictures (4,6% “seldom”
and “taking pictures”) is quite important for students; we should compare this result with the last question
in which the respondents affirms that they would like to improve the quality of their camera. We will turn
to this point later on – see Figure nr 5. Pagina | 5
Concerning the duration of the battery, it seems that in order for a phone to be appreciated, its battery
should last, on the average, at least 4 days the median is 3,5 days and the mode is 2,5 days. The
expectations concerning the duration of the battery seem to be not high; in reality, as we can observe
through the responses to the last question, most of the respondents are quite unsatisfied with the
performance of the battery (13 people). After that, they would improve the quality of the camera (7
people), which could be one of the reasons that people do not actually use it very often, and after that the
capacity of the memory (5 people).
As last point, we would like to discuss the Importance/Performance matrix. The first chart we get – see
Figure nr 6 – has been developed concerning the average importance of the attribute and the average of
the related satisfaction regarding the phones our respondents are using. We found out something
interesting that has helped us to confirm some other data, such as the price: in fact, during the survey we
realized that people would spend, on the average, less than 100€ and this is one of the most important
attribute. Outline is also very important, and the related satisfaction is high.
It is quite interesting to look at the position of the easiness to use: it is the feature with the highest
satisfaction, but still the third last in terms of importance. What does it mean? Would young people begin
to give it more importance, if the software for cell phones changed, getting less instinctive? What would
the ranking be, if we asked this same question to older people? As everybody says, you just realize the
importance of one thing once it is missing … would it be the case for easiness to use? Another tricky point is
the one concerning the tools, like camera, the possibility of storing music, making video, and so on. It is
neither important, nor satisfied by the phones, but at the same time, many people would like to improve
the quality of the camera, showing an interest for this attribute.
The last analysis we have done on the data we collected, is to create the same Importance/Performance
matrix in relation to the most used brands, Nokia and Samsung – see Figures nr 7 and 8. Just looking at the
tables, we can see the best situation for Nokia: the features are all in the first and in the third quadrant. On
the other hand, Samsung has two features (price and autonomy) which are not satisfied, but still very
important, and the easiness to use, whose “performance level” is remarkable, but not important at all.
If we take a deeper look at the matrix, we can see a quite logical rule: the more the attribute is important,
the more consumers are satisfied with it; obviously, people buy the product that better fits their own needs
and tastes. Just to make an example, the brand is more important for Nokia consumers (2,60) than for
Samsung ones (2,27), and hence the related satisfaction is 4,60 for Nokia and “only” 3,90 for Samsung. The
opposite happens for the outline, whose importance and satisfaction are higher for Samsung than for
Nokia. The only feature that presents some incongruence is the connectivity: more important for Samsung
users, but more satisfied by Nokia. This could be explained stating that Samsung users pay more attention
to it and therefore their expectancies are more difficult to be met.
CONCLUSION: PROBLEM FACED AND THE BEST POSSIBLE CELL PHONE
Very interesting results have been found in our analysis; nevertheless, we also thought about how to
improve this questionnaire and the mistakes we should avoid next time:
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x We have to take into consideration the comparison between our sample and the total population;
in this case, we had about 30% female recipients and 40% non French students;
x We also faced national differences on few points, for instance about mobile prices: in France, is
used to sell it together with a phone operator contract, generating diverging methods of payment
and ownership that could influence the perception of the price;
x Sometimes we used open questions but the software is not able to take into consideration more
than one single word and we had to change the questionnaire; for example, the question regarding
the actual mobile phone and the preferred color.
About the aim of our research, we draft a profile of the best phone cell for the IMUS students. We have
listed all the main features in order of importance, weighted with the related positioning:
x Price: low price (under 100€)
x Type of shape: female, shell; male, flat (French, flat)
x Size: medium
x Color: black or dark colors
x Brand: Nokia
x Battery duration: about 3 days
x Easiness to use: not important, but nevertheless satisfied by Nokia
x Tools and Connectivity, not important and not satisfactory (neither by Nokia); in relation to the
camera, as already mentioned, many respondents asked for a better quality of the picture. It is
something that could be improved, taking into consideration that price is the most important
attribute, that is to say, it is better to have a low price instead of a good camera.
After analyzing the results, other than expected, we found out that there are not many differences within
countries and neither within males and females. Thanks to university programs like Erasmus, to global
advertising, to new technologies like the Internet and to the consequent global trends, nowadays young
people from different countries have the same approach and expectations concerning, such as in our case,
mobile phones. It would be interesting to develop a deeper analysis of the market and, maybe, to look if
such trend can be observed even in relation to other products.
Figure nr 1 Figure nr 2
m obile phone
Nb % cit. Pagina | 7
Nokia 15 28,3%
Samsung 11 20,8% im portance
Motorola 7 13,2% Please rank the first 5 main features you pay attention to
Sagem 7 13,2% w hen you buy a cell phone
LG 3 5,7% Nb Imp.
Sony 3 5,7% Brand 35 2,26
Sony Ericsson 2 3,8% Outline (size, w eight, design, color, ...) 47 3,08
Alcatel 1 1,9% Price (total cost of ow nership) 46 3,19
Benq 1 1,9% Tools (games, camera, music, ...) 29 1,30
HTC 1 1,9% Connectivity 30 1,38
Panasonic 1 1,9% Easiness to use 28 1,42
Siemens 1 1,9% Autonomy of the battery 46 2,19
Total 53 100,0% Total 53
Figure nr 3
brand / m obile phone
Unsati Quite Very
unsati Satisfied Total
sfied satisfied satisfied
Nokia 0 0 1 4 10 15
Samsung 1 0 1 5 3 10
Motorola 2 0 3 1 1 7
Sagem 0 0 4 1 1 6
LG 0 0 0 1 2 3
Sony 1 0 0 1 1 3
Sony Ericsson 0 0 1 0 1 2
Alcatel 0 0 1 0 0 1
Benq 0 0 1 0 0 1
HTC 0 0 0 0 1 1
Panasonic 0 0 0 0 1 1
Siemens 0 0 0 1 0 1
Total 4 0 12 14 21 51
Figure nr 4
According to you, w hich are the best brands?
(Please rank the first three)
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Nokia 48 2,49
Samsung 31 1,22
Sony Ericsson 36 1,14
LG 10 0,35
Panasonic 6 0,14
Motorola 15 0,49
Others ____________ 6 0,16
Figure nr 5
What do you use m ainly your cell phone
Alw ays Often Seldom Rarely Never Total
Calling 12,1% 2,9% 1,3% 0,0% 0,3% 16,7%
Sending messages 10,8% 5,2% 0,7% 0,0% 0,0% 16,7%
Playing games 0,3% 1,6% 2,0% 6,2% 6,5% 16,7%
Listening and storing music 0,3% 2,0% 2,0% 4,2% 7,8% 16,3%
Connecting to the Internet 0,3% 0,3% 1,6% 1,6% 12,7% 16,7%
frequency 0,3% 4,6% 5,9% 2,0% 3,9% 16,7%
Others _____________________ 0,0% 0,0% 0,0% 0,3% 0,0% 0,3%
Total 24,2% 16,7% 13,4% 14,4% 31,4% 100,0%