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This business report was requested by Mr. Zhang Lee, the Chief Marketing Executive of the company. The main area of interest to be covered is the effective use of social networking tools in the organization. The due date for the report is 22 October 2012.
This report was requested in response to a recent study, which found that organisations need to employ a different approach to ‘pull’ consumers in the social networking sites (SNSs) rather than ‘push’ marketing messages onto them (Diffley et al., 2011).
The problem with the latter approach is that consumers develop an unfavourable feedback to the marketing message and often express their dissatisfaction to their colleagues and friends in SNSs. This orientation can have an adverse impact on the organisation and weaken the potential of SNSs as a marketing tool, hence the need to develop the correct approach. The change of approach does not require any funds to be committed by the organization.
The organisation must be at the forefront in using SNSs to reach a wide coverage of consumers for our product and service offerings. As a marketing tool, SNSs are not only more cost-effective to employ, but have the capacity to reach a wider target audience and reinforce the marketing messages needed to drive sales. However, the SNSs must be used with caution so that we may avoid ‘pushing’ the marketing messages for our products and services onto the customers, hence heightening customer dissatisfaction and reducing loyalty.
Data on this topic has been collected using two avenues – Facebook analytics and SurveyMonkey.com. The Facebook analytics has been used to not only collect the profile of our target audience so that we may know how to orient the marketing messages to them to gain more appeal, but also to evaluate the audience statistics, including age, gender, preferences and country of origin.
These statistics are very important in designing marketing messages that will ‘pull’ consumers using SNSs into our product and service offerings. The online survey tool SurveyMonkey.com has been used to seek opinions on how the organisation should design its marketing messages to achieve more appeal among consumers.
The company has been placing pop-up advertisements in SNSs as the primary technique of marketing its product and service offerings online. However, findings demonstrate that pop-up advertisements has become rather frequent on SNSs and are becoming extremely annoying to consumers as they appear without warning, causing users to click on them by mistake.
Clicking these pop-up advertisements by mistake causes users to be redirected to a different site and away from what they were doing, causing further annoyance and dissatisfaction from potential consumers.
To achieve effective social networking, the organisation needs to restructure its advertisement strategy to ensure that advertisements for our products and services do not direct users to a new webpage. Additionally, the organisation needs to create online advertisements that are not only more relevant to the needs, wants and expectations of users, but also more trustworthy, noticeable, appealing and eye-catching.
To conclude, it is suggested that SNSs represent the next frontier for growth and competitiveness in this organisation. As more people join SNSs, the organisation needs to put in place strategies that ensure its online advertising messages have the capacity to ‘pull’ consumers toward its product and service offerings.
The organisation should consider the following recommendations
- Stop creating advertisements that directs users in SNS to a new webpage to minimise consumer dissatisfaction;
- Create online advertisements that are more responsive to the needs, demands, aspirations and expectations of consumers, and;
- Adopt necessary strategies to ensure advertisements in SNSs do not pose security threats to the audience.
Diffley, S., Kearns, J., Bennett, W., & Kawalek, P. (2011). Consumer behaviour in social networking sites: Implications for marketers. Irish Journal of Management, 30(2), 47-65.