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Marketing | 市场与营销

 

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

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Executive Summary

Social media marketing is a marketing strategy where companies use social networks as marketing tools. These strategies have evolved with time enabling firms to evolve in their marketing strategies. John Lewis and Debenhams are large retail stores in the UK that have integrated social media in their marketing function. John Lewis is a great user of the Christmas Ad Campaign of use of films with soundtracks while Debenhams uses the FoundIt campaign. The former focuses on consumer sentiments by showcasing stories with particular soundtracks on social media as well as TV. The latter is an ad campaign that enables consumers to post pictures and videos of gifts they have found or receive that suit them. They both use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and online shopping in meeting consumer satisfaction. The two companies have innovated very many ways to integrate social media in marketing in order to meet these objectives. John Lewis has increased ad campaign spending in order to make it better. Debenhams has used strategies like GoRecommend that help in gauging consumer satisfaction through use of brand advocates and Co-buying that allowed the public to get rewards for posting deals with their friends on social media, low prices on particular products and rewarding the greatest influencer on social media with great prizes. The aim of this strategy was to increase online customer acquisition, increase average order value and promoting the brand across many social networks. The result of this is growth in strategies applicable in social media marketing and great innovations are likely to be revealed in the markets. The companies’ strategies will also lead to the development of better social media marketing strategies that are concerned with consumer sentiments and satisfaction rather than brand and/or product promotion.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 2

Introduction 4

1. Social Media Approaches 4

2. Uses and Effectiveness of Social Media Approaches 6

2.1 John Lewis 6

2.2 Debenhams 7

3. Lessons Learnt and their Implications 8

4. Conclusion 10

Bibliography 11

 

 

1.0 Introduction

Marketing is a fundamental management function in any business. Business need to create awareness of the products and services they are trading in order to sell them. This makes marketing a key function in a business which involves moving goods and services from concept to the customer (Palmer 2012). There are very many ways of marketing, rapid technological growth has evolved marketing.  Social media is now being used as a marketing medium where companies create awareness about their products. Social media refers to internet based tools that enable individuals and organizations to create information (pictures, videos and posts) and communicate this information with other parties. They act as a medium of communication and help in connecting people socially. They include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube among others (Dewing 2010).

The working of social media has allowed companies to innovate ways in which they can market their products by sharing and exchanging information on their products. This has led to the growth in social media marketing which is a strategy of obtaining website traffic or rather attention via social media. The likes, follows, shares, mentions depending on the social network enable businesses to track the level of awareness about their products. Businesses create information that attracts attention and motivates readers to share or talk about it across various social networks. The sharing and talking helps market company products to many people across all networks (Patino, Pitta & Quinones 2012). This report will include a discussion on various social media approaches used by two companies - John Lewis and Debenhams. The approaches will be analyzed to compare how each company adopts the approaches. Further, an evaluation will be done to identify issues that can be learnt from the companies’ experiences of using social media marketing. This will help in identifying the implications of these lessons in development of a social media marketing strategy.

2.0 Social Media Approaches

There are various approaches available for businesses to market their products to the public. They include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube among others. These approaches are very effective in creating awareness due to their wide spread use. Technology has allowed many people as well as companies to access social networks anywhere due to the mobile gadgets in the market. This is the influence that has led to continued growth in social media marketing (Kim 2015).

John Lewis is one of the largest departmental retail stores in the UK with 46 shops with a partnership with Waitrose.  The company offers a wide range of products in their stores, over 280,000 products. These include branded products from leading suppliers; own branded products as well as exclusive lines. Their main products are home appliances for every room in the house – bedroom, kitchen, living room. Their services are personal styling, nursery advice, product installation and technical support. Some stores have Bureau de Change and optical shops. The stores are just convenient for a one-stop shopping spree. The company has been awarded best clothing retailer, best electrical retailer and best home wares retailer in the year 2015. The company uses a number of social media to market their products. One can follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The company also has an App that is available on Apple store and Google play (John Lewis 2016).

Debenhams is UK’s leading departmental store with a wide variety of products. It is an international, multichannel brand trading from over 240 stores in 27 countries. Their products range from clothes for women, kids and men as well as shoes, home appliances to toys and other designer items. The company offers unique own brands, international brands and concessions. In the UK, the company has top market share in menswear, womenswear and kidswear. It is a market leader in health and beauty. It has had special interest in British design for 20 years through its exclusive designers. The company uses Facebook, Twitter, Blog, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram in marketing their products (Debenhams 2016).

Both companies have most social media approaches being similar.  YouTube is a video sharing website where advertisements are made to suit the target market. YouTube allows companies to promote their products using videos that are synced with the content and also provides a platform where a company can sponsor a video. Facebook is an online social network that enables people to interact. The network provides a detailed profile where videos, photos, testimonials can be shared while other followers get to comment or like. This network enables users to link to other networks like Twitter and Instagram. Twitter is also a social network that works almost the same as Facebook but is less detailed. It allows product promotion using short messages – 140 characters only. The network also allows users to link to other sites just like Facebook. Instagram is a photo and video sharing network that is efficient in boosting visual marketing strategy. Companies are able to post their products and back the up with hash tags to relate to them. Pinterest is also like Instagram but enables one to pin related items to a relevant board. Photos are posted in related boards where followers can like and pin what they like to their boards. A blog is an informational site that enables users to express certain posts (Kim 2015). Companies can use them to talk about their products and give consumer advice. Likes and feedback are acquired in such a platform (Pernisco 2010).

2.1 Uses and Effectiveness of Social Media Approaches

2.1.1 John Lewis

The YouTube account, with username John Lewis, has a wide variety of videos on products, consumer advice and various events relevant to the company. They have created videos on home and garden products, fashion, cooking, and nursery advice. There are also videos on consumer feedback and clearance sales available. The company has 6363 subscribers and 37,319,926 views on their YouTube page.  The most popular ad on YouTube relating to the company is the John Lewis Christmas Ad Hashtag. It is a series of Christmas ads with sound playback relating to Christmas. This approach has improved the company mentions since 2011.

Hashtag

 

 

 

 

2015

Onthemoon

In the past 7days, video not even launched

2066

2014

montythepenguin

Over 24 hours after launch

97,257

2013

Bearandhare

Over 24 hours after launch

6,826

2012

snowmanjourney

Over 24 hours after launch

649

2011

thelongwait

 

Too low

 

Soundtrack

 

 

 

 

2015

Half the world away

Past 7 days before launch

266

2014

Tom Odell

Over 24 hours after launch

3,670

2013

Lily Allen

Over 24 hours after launch

3,303

2012

Gabrielle Aplin

Over 24 hours after launch

817

2011

Slow moving Millie

Over 24 hours after launch

60

Source: (Digital Strategy Consulting 2015)

This data shows the effectiveness of the Christmas ad campaign in John Lewis in the past five years. In 2011 and 2012, the hashtags were lower because the company did not provide an official Hashtag. The introduction of a Hashtag has improved the mentions in that, in 2015, mention began prior to the launch. The same applies to the soundtracks. People now talk about the ad more than they do the music due to the unique story accompanied by the music. The ad is usually posted on social media before it is launched on TV thus most people get to watch the initial launch.

On the other hand, the Facebook page has quite a number of followers and likes, 113,416 and 989,163 respectively. This page has numerous photos and videos accompanied by attractive messages for every post. It is also used for the same purposes as the YouTube page. According to Econsultancy Blog, the company posts 3-4 updates per day and is quite responsive to consumer concerns. This page really engages its customers by running promotions and/or competitions on this page. The Twitter Account is for news and views from the company with numerous captivating photos of their products. Instagram is also used to post videos and photos relating to company products and events. The company also has a Pinterest page where creative pinboards have been created. They all promote certain products with splendid images to attract many. The company app is there to provide customers with a convenient way of shopping. The app contains all details on their numerous products to enable consumers to shop on their own conveniences.

2.1.2 Debenhams

YouTube is used for sharing videos on products with customers. They have numerous videos on beauty, their designers, and Christmas gifts as well as gift and beauty advice. It has more than 4,000 subscribers and over a million likes. Just like John Lewis, Debenhams has a very popular promotional YouTube theme called Found It. It enables customers to post videos of themselves or others in the moment when they receive gifts that they like. This is a way of creating an emotional connection with its consumers.  . On Facebook, the same kinds of videos as well as photos are posted for consumers. They are shared using some message captions that captivate consumers to read and share their views. Customers are able to interact with the company using this network. Its Twitter page is also utilized in the same way as the two above. This creates awareness on various products and issues relating to the company. Their Instagram page has many photos and some videos relating to their products and advice on how to wear or use them. The blog, The Daily Debrief, gives fashion stories, stories on beauty, new arrivals, home and lifestyle, gift guide and fashion advice. The blog also has photos and videos shared to the public.  Many other stories relevant to the company products and services are posted in this blog to share information with the public. They also have a Pinterest page that is used in the same way as the Instagram page.

The company also had a social selling campaign called Co-buying in 2014. It allowed the public to get rewards for posting deals with their friends on social media, low prices on particular products and rewarding the greatest influencer on social media with great prizes. The aim of this strategy was to increase online customer acquisition, increase average order value and promoting the brand across many social networks. It is a backup of the online Christmas marketing campaign of the company (Retail Gazette 2014). The company is always coming up with new social strategies in preparation for holidays like Christmas. According to (BBC 2016), the company had increased sales more than expected due to Christmas sales and online shopping.  The increase was 1.9% which was stronger than the expected 0.3% increases that was forecasted. This in turn increased the company’s share value by more than 15%.

Debenhams also uses a strategy called GoRecommend for customer experience. It uses the strategy to gauge consumer satisfaction in their products. The social media strategy focuses on brand advocates on social media, Facebook and Twitter, which use GoRecommend to recommend the use of their products on these networks. This network helps the company gauge its overall consumer satisfaction level by basing their evaluations on consumers that scored the company’s 5 out of 5. This has allowed the company to check on customer concerns and making improvements in them. This therefore leads to consumer satisfaction as well as their staff (FashionUnited 2011).

3.0 Lessons Learnt and their Implications

John Lewis has been on the news as the greatest user of Christmas ad campaigns. The company creates short stories with beautiful soundtracks to attract consumers. According to a recent post on Campaign, the Christmas ad, Man on the moon went viral hours after it was posted online. The roaming news of the short film had broken publicity even before the launch of the film. This shows a great deal of impact of social media on marketing. According to Wales Online, social media will play a major role in marketing in the times to come. This prompted John Lewis retail store to increase their spending on social media (Campaign 2015).

The company uses these films and soundtracks to tell short stories on sentimental issues relating to the consumers. They are not aimed at brand or product promotion but rather on the satisfaction that consumers gain from using their products. They use these two strategies to promote satisfaction and consumer sentiments in an attractive way. This is what has made the films to gain great popularity to the public. According to analysts, marketing campaigns that tap into consumer sentiments like John Lewis’ are more successful than those that aim at product and/or brand promotion (Hajli 2013).

Just like John Lewis, the growth in social media marketing has led to companies taking a great step in using social media to market. Debenhams also uses the Christmas ad campaign and so does Mark and Spencer. News on Draper showed that John Lewis was the leading winner in Christmas social media battle compared to Mark and Spenser and Burberry. This major competition in the use of social media is likely to lead to greater innovations by companies (Drapers 2014). The growth in technology also takes a toll in promoting the use of social media in marketing. John Lewis is a great influencer on the use of captivating short films on social media and TV. The company also takes a great turn on traditional marketing – brand promotion to promotion of consumer satisfaction and enjoyment. It emphasizes marketing on the sentiments of consumers rather than increasing sales.

Debenhams is well known for its Co-buying campaign launched in 2014 and GoRecommend in 2011. The company uses the former to promote consumer advocacy while the latter promotes company engagement in social media. The company is aimed at tapping into the needs of its consumers while carrying out these ad campaigns (FashionUnited 2011). The popular Found It strategy is also a great ad campaign that enables consumer to share their satisfactions on Instagram and the social networks with the world. It is based on consumer sentiments, that is, the feeling of receiving a gift that one likes. The company is also a major user of social media to allow for online shopping hence growth in online customer acquisition (PRWEEK 2015).

The company strategies play a major role in making social media a great marketing tool due to its popularity. It also promotes a better way of brand promotion by tapping into what consumers seek from their products. This sets a trend where marketing will evolve into consumer oriented strategies rather than brand oriented strategies. Its use of social media to promote consumer advocacy where influencers are used to gauge consumer satisfaction level in company products is another evolution in marketing (FashionUnited 2011). The company has been able to increase its level by use of this strategy and aims at shifting from mystery shopping to a full scale consumer experience management programme. The implication of this is that most businesses will tend to shift from the traditional marketing-to-marketing strategies that aim at increasing and managing consumer satisfaction.

4.0 Conclusion

Businesses need marketing in order to meet their sales objectives in the long run they have to be cautious on the marketing strategies they use in order to achieve maximum efficiency. Social media has become a great tool used in marketing where companies use the most appropriate social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, among others. The social media marketing strategies have evolved with time. Companies no longer use social networks to promote their brand and/or products in the market, they use them to meet consumer satisfaction and involve consumers in their functions. John Lewis and Debenhams are retail stores that sell a wide variety of products, they use social media marketing to meet consumer satisfaction and improve their experience.

They both use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and online shopping in meeting consumer satisfaction. The two companies have innovated very many ways to integrate social media in marketing in order to meet these objectives. John Lewis is a great innovator of use of short films accompanied with soundtracks that tap into consumer sentiments when they choose their products. Debenhams, on the other hand, use Found It, GoRecommend and Co-buying for more or less the same purpose. Marketing, therefore, seems to have evolved from mere brand and product promotion to consumer satisfaction. Social media marketing therefore plays a major role in meeting these objectives and creating shopping conveniences for consumers.

Bibliography

BBC 2016, Denenhams Posts Stronger than Expected Christmas Sales, viewed 6 March 2016, <http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35289958>.

Campaign 2015, John Lewis Christmas Ad: Social Media Reaction, viewed 6 March 2016, <http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/john-lewis-christmas-ad-social-media-reaction/1371673>.

Debenhams 2016, About US Overview, viewed 6 March 2016, <http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=196805&p=overview>.

Dewing, M 2010, Social Media: An Introduction, 1st edn, Library of Parliament, Canada.

Digital Strategy Consulting 2015, John Lewis Christmas Ad; A Social Media Analysis, viewed 6 March 2016, <http://www.digitalstrategyconsulting.com/intelligence/2015/11/john_lewis_christmas_ad_a_social_media_analysis.php>.

Drapers 2014, John Lewis is Early Winner in Christmas Social Media Battle, viewed 6 March 2016, <http://www.drapersonline.com/news/john-lewis-is-early-winner-in-christmas-social-media-battle/5066167.fullarticle>.

FashionUnited 2011, Debenhams uses Social Media for Customer Experience, viewed 6 March 2016, <https://www.fashionunited.co.uk/fashion-news/fashion/debenhams-uses-social-media-for-customer-experience-2011122913720>.

Hajli, N 2013, 'A Study of the Impact of Social Media on Consumers', International Journal of Market Research, vol 56, no. 3, pp. 387-404.

John Lewis 2016, John Lewis Partnership, viewed 6 March 2016, <http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/about/john-lewis.html>.

Kim, L 2015, The Best Social Media Networks for Marketers in 2015, viewed 4 March 2016, <http://www.inc.com/larry-kim/the-best-social-media-networks-for-marketers-in-2015.html>.

Palmer, A 2012, Introduction to Marketing: Theory and Practice, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York.

Patino, A, Pitta, DA & Quinones, R 2012, 'Social Media's Emerging Importance in Market Research', Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol 29, no. 3, pp. 233-237.

Pernisco, N 2010, 'Social Media: Impact and Implications on Society', Student Journal for Media Literacy Education, vol 1, no. 1, pp. 1-17.

PRWEEK 2015, Debenhams uses Instagram Competition to Engage Customers in Christmas Campaign, viewed 6 March 2016, <http://www.prweek.com/article/1371664/debenhams-uses-instagram-competition-engage-customers-christmas-campaign>.

Retail Gazette 2014, Debenhams Plans New Social Strategy in Preparation for Christmas Rush, viewed 6 March 2016, <http://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2014/09/13003-debenhams-plans-new-social-strategy-in-preparation-for-christmas-rush>.

 

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