Table of Contents
In the advent of information technology, new platforms of general marketing have been born to replace the traditional ones. This is because a vast majority of consumers, who are in their youth, actively participate online. In the 80’s and 90’s service marketers heavily relied on the print and mass media to reach their customers. However, as the first social media platforms came into existence these methods became obsolete. Facebook, twitter, instagram and Whatssap have brought a great revolution to both product and service marketing. This report examines ways that this has happened so quickly in the last decade. By taking, Paypal an online business retailer based in the UK as a case study, there will be a bi-analysis of the role of social media in its marketing and a look at the general promotional strategies that can be employed.
According to statistics from online marketing sites, an average social media user spends almost 30% of their active day online. This is almost four to five hours a day either directly or indirectly used online. There are several uses that each consumer utilizes the social media platform. These include entertainment, research and education, careers while some visit the social media for the need of news and gossip. This is a perfect avenue for any marketer to promote their product. There are several ways that social media can be used to promote product awareness. These include establishing and enticing the target market, providing constant brand information and direct contact with customers according to Gregory (2007). These three ways summarize the ways that social media marketers can use to make the consumers to know and buy the brand.
By creating interesting websites platforms and facebook pages and providing active participation of the consumers, it becomes easier for product awareness campaigns. Online competitions, prices and other activities are a perfect way to create this awareness over time. The target market of a service company can easily be swayed because of the hundreds of competitors offering the same products over the internet. Proper enticement and psychological marketing can be executed using social media to retain the customers (Kracher and Corritore, 2007). These and other promotional activities are increasingly becoming convenient and cheaper yet very effective in brand and product promotion.
Secondly, Social media can be used to determine a correct target market for products or services. This makes it easier for a marketer to properly segment a given market hence push the awareness campaign in that direction (Gregory, 2007). For example, if a manufacturer of cell phones decides to create a product that appeals to the working class woman, they may not use the same tactics as those for a teenager. By use of social media platforms such as facebook and twitter, the marketers can create info-graphics that the target market can relate. Therefore, social media is a modern day platform for product awareness.
The new age consumers have a characteristic of having a short concentration span for a product or service in the market owing to the constant change that the technological market experiences (Colley et al, 2007). By providing constant information of updates, changes and modification of a brand, one is able to stay afloat of the competition. Almost all companies’ websites have direct links to the facebook, twitter and sometimes MySpace pages. These are used to make customers and other stakeholders aware of up to a minute information about a given product, service or news pertaining the product.
According to Molla and Licker (2005), consumers tend to buy a company’s brand and not the actual product. This means that the customer loyalty is important to retaining the market. This may not happen as effective if there is little information of both the brand and product at the consumer’s disposal. Social media provides this platform for the companies to provide the constant information to their consumers. Another way that has become very effective in online product awareness is provision of tips and user guides of products for free over facebook links. The information that is normally interesting, indirectly promotes the product while giving value to the consumer.
Ultimately, awareness of products and services over the internet is not only effective but efficient when using social media platforms. The frequency of relaying the information is supposed to be moderated and timely to avoid over and under information for the product and service.
Direct constant with loyal or potential customers is an effective way of marketing. Social marketing has replaced the traditional bulk mail that more often than not gets either ignored or gets spammed (Kolodziej, 2014). Service providers have sites and pages where customers can launch inquiries and chat with customer care staff in real time. This too can be utilized while conducting a product awareness campaign. Social media is an avenue that has changed the interaction and information relaying amongst users and service providers. It shortens the duration of user need and delivery of service through information.
Product awareness through social media can be taken into a higher level with the right strategies and personalities taken into consideration. By looking at the dynamics and aspects of the ever-changing social technological platform, witty marketers should incorporate social-media product awareness in their list of operation.
Customer satisfaction is the ultimate aim for any business. Paypal, as an organization has this consideration as portrayed in its website. The promotional strategies that are used are aimed at making the customer benefit in many aspects. For instance, by promoting its sales, lucky customers who open accounts of the company during get a free deposit of $10 for free. In addition to this, the corporate social responsibility benefits certain groups of people. This section discusses several promotional strategies for the company. There are several promotional strategies that have been used by online based retailers that have not been effective. However, some that have been used have given good results. These include online advertising, sales promotion such as loyalty rewards and public relations. Companies such as Paypal compete with other online money transfer such as Payoneer and Skrill. However, one aspect that each of these can have in its control is their level of promotion.
Online advertising is the most straightforward aspect of product promotion. It is a persuasive form of promotion because it gives an impression of the product in a brief yet powerful way. Through the use of video or pictorial adverts, many social media users can relate to that aspect because of the entertainment and information given by the piece (Molla and Licker, 2005). Sales promotion is another aspect of promotion that can be used by the company. Reward programs for loyal customers, service demonstrations are some of the methods that can be utilized. Consumer promotional strategies such as sweepstakes can be used to make online companies stand out from the rest in marketing.
Lastly, companies such as PayPal can greatly benefit from public relations as a way of promotion. By doing public partnerships with already established companies, participate in corporate social responsibility they can be greatly rewarded by their loyal customers.
In conclusion, this report has examined ways that PayPal an online business retailer uses social media inn its marketing strategy. There has been a bi-analysis of the role of social media in the company and the promotional strategy thereafter. As seen in the report in many cases, consumers tend to buy a company’s brand first before the actual product hence customer loyalty is important to retaining the market share. Ultimately the productive promotional strategies that have been used by online based retailers such as PayPal include online advertising, sales promotion such as loyalty rewards and public relations.
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