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Sample Undergraduate Business Dissertation Proposal

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Potential Title:

The research title is “The role of Influencer Marketing in increasing sales in the UK”.

Aim Of The Investigation And Related Objectives

This research aims to the role of influencer marketing in increasing sales. In this way, the researcher will investigate how Influencer Marketers impact the customer’s perception in the UK.

Related objectives of the study

The related objectives of this study are as follows:

  • To analyze the concept of influencer marketing.
  • To analyze the advantages and disadvantages of influencer marketing.
  • To investigate the role of influencer marketing in order to increase sales.
  • To provide recommendations for the improvement of influencer marketing to increase sales.

Rationale For Choosing The Research Topic

Gretzel (2018) mentioned that influencer marketing is a type of marketing technique associated with the endorsement and product placement by the influencers. It is beneficial to build up a large following in modern days and generate a new reputation in enhancing sales. Considering the importance of this marketing technique in modern days for increasing sales, it has been chosen as a research topic.

Literature Review

According to Glucksman (2017), Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing in which product endorsement and product placement are generated through the influencers. In modern days, it has been observed that organizations use these marketing techniques to develop their sales.

Through this, it is possible to reach the existing customer base by developing a strong brand reputation. From the Influencer matchmaker (2021) report, it is noticed that between 2017 and 2018, business organizations spent more than €750 million on Instagram influencers in the UK. It is also seen that among them, 23% of marketers have planned to increase their budget on this type of marketing techniques by 30% to 50% in 2019 (Influencer matchmaker, 2021). This figure can assess the importance of influencer marketing in the UK.

Influencer marketing is related to social media marketing. Per the view of Arora et al. (2019), business organizations use social media influencers for their expert knowledge in marketing to develop customer traffic in business. According to the report of Hebblethwaite, (2021), around 60% of business organizations have social media presence in the UK to promote their business and to achieve a customer base.

In this case, the social media channels which are used highly are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and others. These social media platforms are massively effective as a massive number of people are associated with this type of medium. Therefore, it is possible to inform customers about the business and influence them in their purchasing behaviour.

The report of Statista, (2021), shows that in 2019, the most active internet users are found on YouTube, which is around 78%. Apart from this, on Facebook, this figure was approximately 73% (Shown in figure 1). Therefore, it is possible to influence people at once in their shopping behaviour by using social media content in influencer marketing.

Figure 1: Social media channels which the British people use
(Source: Statista, 2021)

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As Sudha and Sheena (2017) mentioned, Influencer marketing strategy has great importance to drive the sales of the products as it works to gather customers for the business. There are different types of content format which are used in Influencer marketing such as Instagram posts, YouTube videos, blog posts and others.

From the report of Bailis, (2021), it is observed that around 78% of the influencers use Instagram posts for the promotion of the products among the target audience. Apart from this, 56% of people prefer to use YouTube videos for the rise of the products in influencer marketing (Shown in figure 2). These mediums are exceedingly useful to boost the company’s sales as many people can be aware of the newly launched products or about the existing ones.

Figure 2: A medium which is used in Influential marketing
(Source: Bailis, 2021)

In modern society, it is observed that a considerable number of people are involved with Influencer marketing. The report of Stargate, (2020); currently, there are around 35,256 influencers in the UK. Organizations majorly used Influencer marketing techniques due to immense benefits.

From the view of Sudha and Sheena, (2017), Influencer marketing techniques quickly build trust in the mind of the customer; therefore, it effectively increases the customer base in business. Along with this, it has been noticed that youth generation follows the Influencers highly in the social media site.

That is why, with the help of the Influencers, it has become possible to reach the target audience for the purpose of products or service selling. On the contrary, from the views of Lou and Yuan, (2019), Influencer marketing is used for generating brand awareness among the existing and new customer base. In this way, it is possible to improve the brand reputation in the market, which also adds a competitive advantage to the business.

Besides advantages, some drawbacks are associated with Influential marketing as well, which restricts the growth of the customer base in business. From the view of Zhang et al. (2017), organizations have to choose the Influencers correctly. Otherwise, the wrong influencer will provide false information to the customers that will negatively impact on the business.

Apart from this, in influencer marketing, measuring the outcome in business is impossible as it cannot be assessed to find out how many customers increase from the influencers. Also, according to Campbell and Farrell (2020), Influencer marketing is a cost-effective marketing strategy as business organizations need to invest enormous amounts for making contracts with the Influencers.

That is why risks are highly involved with this type of marketing techniques as choosing the wrong influencer may decrease the profitability of a business. An influencer marketing strategy could be advantageous to achieve a competitive advantage; therefore, any risks will affect the desired results of a business. For these reasons, businesses organizations think several times to use Influencer marketing in the industry.

However, it is a fact that there are many drawbacks in Influential marketing, but all these can be improved, and business development is possible as well. Identifying the target market to achieve the best outcome from Influencer marketing is highly needed.

In this way, marketers can choose Influencers accordingly for the purpose of Influencer marketing. Along with this, it is also required to use attractive contents such as attractive tweets, short and meaningful YouTube videos and others as these attract the customers exceedingly towards the products.

Arrangement of campaigns is another way to influence the customers in the product purchasing as in this way it is possible to reach to the customers directly with the products or services. Influencer marketing demands creativity positively to grab the attention of the customers.

In the market of the UK, a considerable number of businesses are operated; therefore, it is hard to achieve a competitive advantage in the industry. However, with the application of Influencer marketing strategy in the proper way, it is possible to develop the sales by achieving a competitive advantage in the market.

According to the view of Hughes and McDonagh, (2017), methodology in research enables a researcher to conduct a study in an organized way by following some specific methods. Research methodology helps the readers identify the research study’s validity and reliability. This study will be conducted using primary research methods.

The researcher will use primary data which are related to the Influencer marketing in the UK to achieve an accurate outcome. A qualitative data analysis process will be used in this study to analyse the gathered research data. In this way, the researcher will conclude this research study.

Research Questions And Related Methodology

Research questions

The questions of this research are as follows:

  • What is influencer marketing?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of Influencer marketing in the area of business?
  • What are the roles of influencer marketing for improving the sales of business?
  • What will be the recommendations through which influencer marketing can be improved for developing sales?

Philosophical approach

According to Kennedy, (2017), research philosophy is a belief through following which data of the research phenomenon is gathered and analysed in a study. Different types of research philosophy are used in research studies such as positivism, interpretivism, objectivism, and others.

The following will be conducted by using the positivism research philosophy to analyze the influencer marketing for increasing sales in the business of the UK. As mentioned by Park et al. (2020), in the positivism research philosophy, the researcher adheres the factual knowledge of study through the observation process for achieving an outcome. Through this philosophy, the researcher will investigate the research issue by observing the accurate outcome.

Relevant Data Required And Data Collection Methods

Data collection method

According to Schobel et al. (2016), in the data collection process, research information is gathered by following either primary or secondary data collection methods. The current research will be conducted using primary data collection method. The specific data collection method will be followed to collect the most authentic data for the study. This method will adopt an interview approach to achieve detailed data on the research topic.

Data sampling method

Data sampling is used to sample the research respondents for the research study by considering the research phenomenon. This study will adopt a probable data sampling method to choose the respondents randomly. The sample size of the study is 4.

Target population

The target population of this study are the UK marketing managers who use influencer marketing techniques to increase sales.

Research instruments

The required research instruments for this study are consent form, open-ended questionnaire for the interview.

Data analysis process

As in this study, qualitative data will be collected to analyze the research topic; therefore, qualitative data analysis will be used to analyze the collected research data.

Accessibility, Reliability, Validity And Ethics

As per the view of Gearon and Parsons, (2019), ethics has great importance in research study as it enables the researcher to maintain the reliability and validity of the research study. That is why the researcher will follow all the ethics to conduct this research study in the UK. The significant ethics of this research are as follows:

  • The researcher will send the consent form to the respondents to seek their permission for this research study.
  • The researcher will ensure that no respondents will be harmed during this research study.
  • All the researchers will acknowledge all the researchers whose work will be used in this research study.

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Reference List

Arora, A., Bansal, S., Kandpal, C., Aswani, R. and Dwivedi, Y., 2019. Measuring social media influencer index-insights from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 49, pp.86-101.

Bailis, R., 2021. Influencer Marketing Statistics In 2019 (Trends + Key Takeaways). [online] The BigCommerce Blog. Available at: <https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/influencer-marketing-statistics/#10-most-important-influencer-marketing-statistics-for-2020> [Accessed 4 January 2021].

Campbell, C. and Farrell, J.R., 2020. More than meets the eye: The functional components underlying influencer marketing. Business Horizons.

Gearon, LF and Parsons, S., 2019. Research ethics in the securitized university. Journal of Academic Ethics, 17(1), pp.73-93.

Glucksman, M., 2017. The rise of social media influencer marketing on lifestyle branding: A case study of Lucie Fink. Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 8(2), pp.77-87.

Gretzel, U., 2018. Influencer marketing in travel and tourism. Advances in social media for travel, tourism and hospitality: New perspectives, practice and cases, pp.147-156.

Hebblethwaite. 2021. Only 60% Of UK Businesses Using Social Media – Marketing Tech News. [online] Marketing Tech News. Available at: <https://marketingtechnews.net/news/2018/jan/04/only-60-uk-businesses-using-social-media/#:~:text=Company%20formation%20experts%20Turnerlittle%20have,to%2057%25%20for%20small%20businesses.> [Accessed 4 January 2021].

Hughes, J. and McDonagh, J., 2017. In defence of the case study methodology for research into strategy practice. The Irish Journal of Management, 36(2), pp.129-145.

Influencermatchmaker. 2021. 15 Influencer Marketing Statistics You Need To See To Believe. [online] Available at: <https://influencermatchmaker.co.uk/blog/15-influencer-marketing-statistics-you-need-see-believe#:~:text=Influencer%20Marketing%20Budgets%20Are%20On,50%25%20over%20the%20coming%20year.> [Accessed 4 January 2021].

Kennedy, A.M., 2017. Macro-social marketing research: Philosophy, methodology and methods. Journal of Macromarketing, 37(4), pp.347-355.

Lou, C. and Yuan, S., 2019. Influencer marketing: how message value and credibility affect consumer trust of branded content on social media. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 19(1), pp.58-73.

Park, Y.S., Konge, L. and Artino Jr, AR, 2020. The positivism paradigm of research. Academic Medicine, 95(5), pp.690-694.

Schobel, J., Pryss, R., Schickler, M. and Reichert, M., 2016, June. Towards flexible mobile data collection in healthcare. In 2016 IEEE 29th International Symposium on Computer-Based Medical Systems (CBMS) (pp. 181-182). IEEE.

Starngage. 2021. Top 1000 Instagram Influencers In United Kingdom In 2021 | Starngage. [online] Available at: <https://starngage.com/app/global/influencer/ranking/united-kingdom#:~:text=We’re%20currently%20tracking%20a,between%201%2C000%20and%2010m%20followers.&text=END.> [Accessed 4 January 2021].

Statista. 2021. UK: Most Active Social Networks 2019 | Statista. [online] Available at: <https://www.statista.com/statistics/284506/united-kingdom-social-network-penetration/> [Accessed 4 January 2021].

Sudha, M. and Sheena, K., 2017. Impact of influencers in consumer decision process: the fashion industry. SCMS Journal of Indian Management, 14(3), pp.14-30.

Sudha, M. and Sheena, K., 2017. Impact of influencers in consumer decision process: the fashion industry. SCMS Journal of Indian Management, 14(3), pp.14-30.

Zhang, Y., Moe, W.W. and Schweidel, D.A., 2017. Modeling the role of message content and influencers in social media rebroadcasting. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 34(1), pp.100-119.

APPENDICES

Updated Research plan (Gantt chart)

 

Draft Data collection

  • Define the influencer marketing.
  • What are the advantages of influencer marketing in terms of increasing sales?
  • What are the disadvantages of influencer marketing in business?
  • What is the role of influencer marketing to develop sales?

⦁ University’s ethical guidelines