Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Primary Target Market Segment Buyer Motivation for Martial Arts Businesses
by Thomas, Jason E., Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2016, 175; 10143682
Abstract (Summary)

The martial arts industry is experiencing a period of immense growth, which has created a highly competitive environment where challenges in attracting and retaining customers cause substantial losses and an inability to compete effectively. Customer memberships are the primary revenue source for firms in the fitness services industry. Understanding buyer motivation is essential for marketing message creation and product development to attract and retain customers. The purpose of this qualitative, exploratory, single-case study was to investigate parent purchase motivation for children’s martial arts classes and to document internal buying motives in order to address the problem of acquiring and retaining customers in the commercialized martial arts industry. The qualitative, exploratory, single-case study consisted of seven parents with 6- to 12-year-old children enrolled in a martial arts school in Lakeway, Texas; two instructors working with the children and parents; and two owners of the school responsible for marketing. The data collection methods were semistructured interviews comprising open-ended questions that were audio-recorded. Interviews were analyzed using NVivo ® qualitative analysis software, which was used for coding and identifying themes. The semistructured interviews helped identify 10 themes. Seven of the themes validate and expand upon current themes discussed in the literature. Three new themes—ease of participation, alternative to team sports, and convenience—were uncovered. The findings of the study contribute to the theory of planned behavior, as well as other theories used to predict behavior, and may be used to predict purchase behavior. Recommendations for practice include refinements of product offerings and marketing messages and the creation of a new marketing segment, resulting in business alignment with customers and increased ability to attract and retain customers for commercialized martial arts schools, which is one of the largest challenges in the fitness industry. Future research is recommended to replicate this study in other geographies, to use the data gathered in this study to seed qualitative research studies, and to weigh the relative influence of the three types of behaviors influencing intention in the theory of planned behavior.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hipsher, Scott
Commitee: Hensley, Jessica, Shaw, Melanie
School: Northcentral University
Department: School of Business and Technology Management
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 78/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Business administration, Marketing
Keywords: Buyer motivation, Consumer behavior, Consumer motivation, Marketing, Martial arts, Purchase behavior
Publication Number: 10143682
ISBN: 978-1-339-98893-1
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