UGB362; Global Marketing: Brands and Social Media

Global Marketing: Brands and Social Media
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Contents
*Executive Summary*. 3
*Part One*. 4
*Introduction*. 4
*Importance of Branding and Social Media*. 5
*Impact of Social Media Marketing and Branding*. 6
*Part Three*. 8
*Reflection of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Theories, Concepts and Techniques*. 8
*Conclusion*. 11
*References*. 12

*Executive Summary*

The increasing significance of globalization has compelled corporates to seek out international market shares in addition to their native countries. As such, the action has necessitated organizations to apply global marketing fundamentals to help increase their market presence and awareness. In doing so, companies are not only competing with the local industry but the international sector. However, similar to any company operations, global marketing can give rise to some challenges as it evolves to modern methods. Modern methods that have been utilized to streamline global marketing involves the use of online marketing services. The most popular online marketing strategy that is affluent with the most popular brands is the use of social media; hence, most businesses have replicated the purpose of social media marketing and branding.

Branding and Social Media *Part One* *Introduction*
Global marketing is necessary for corporate development as it accumulates the benefits credited to the growth and development of an organization. Various significant steps are involved in global marketing. Some measures include research, planning, production, and promotion. Global marketing avails opportunities to organizations as it propagates global reach hence, profitability. The evolution of global marketing has integrated the use of product and service branding as well as social media utilization. Social media refers to forms of communication via electronic means such websites. As such, social media users are then provided with a platform through which they can share personal messages, information, ideas, and other content via online communities established within the platforms. On the other hand, branding refers to product promotion through advertisements. The integration of social media marketing and branding has streamlined global marketing as it not only provides ease of access to a diverse market, but it is also cost effective and creates a direct interaction between clients and brands. In doing so, brands can build on the real experiences of the market, which they can allow them to improve their products and services in favor of their target market.
Today’s technology-driven world has availed social networking sites for organizations to utilize in the propagation of their marketing campaigns to a diverse client base in cost-effective ways compared to conventional marketing. As such, social media has provided organizations with an avenue of linking their brands to a diverse consumer base. Social media has disrupted the marketing industry with the provision of approaches and tools distinct to the platform (Valos et al., 2016, pp.20). Therefore, it is crucial for organizations intending to gain a competitive edge through globalization in the industry to incorporate social media marketing into their development strategies.
There are various platforms created to share and propagate information and global interaction due to the critical nature of brand presence in social media. One of the most popular platforms is Facebook. Facebook is one of the increasingly utilized social media platforms used by small businesses as an essential tool for brand promotion (Saravanakumar and SuganthaLakshmi, 2012, pp. 4447). As Facebook was the first social media platforms, it has a large user base, thus its ability to reach a large customer base for even small businesses. Twitter is also another popular social media platform that is utilized by at least a billion users globally, second to Facebook. Similarly, Twitter can also avail immense opportunities to small businesses when used appropriately and smartly. Other platforms that harbor at least hundreds of millions of users are Instagram, WhatsApp, and SnapChat. Similar to Facebook and Twitter, all social media platforms have to be smartly used as they can quickly build an organization’s market presence as when they contribute in the fight for gender equality (Saravanakumar and SuganthaLakshmi, 2012, pp. 4447). Moreover, social media can destroy a company’s presence due to misinformation or client complaints such as racism. Therefore, social media branding and marketing is imperative to the direction of an organization. *Importance of Branding and Social Media*
Branding is vital for the success of a business as it not generates customer awareness but retains it through a memorable impression, thus determines the purchasing power of the market. As such, product and service branding enables the target market to distinguish a particular service or product of a company from its competitors (Brennan and Croft, 2012, pp. 111). With the evolution of global marketing, branding has been integrated into social media to reach more extensive and diverse markets in sot effective and timely ways. Branding is also essential as it can also create customer loyalty, and as such branding has a direct impact on the generation of sales attained (Brennan and Croft, 2012, pp. 115). Therefore, when branding the products and services of a company, it is vital for a company to integrate the most effective marketing strategy (Saravanakumar and SuganthaLakshmi, 2012, pp. 4444). Hence, the application of social media on branding is formidable as it can easily break or make a company. *Impact of Social Media Marketing and Branding*
One of the main advantages credited to the use of social media, marketing, and branding is the access to a populous potential market. The social media in presence accounts for at least 3 billion of the total world population. As such, the opportunity can prove to be advantageous to the growth and development of a company due to the ability to generate awareness to masses of people simultaneously (Saravanakumar and SuganthaLakshmi, 2012, pp. 4445). Moreover, organizations are availed with the opportunity to reach new leads as well as engage them on various social media platforms simultaneously (Saravanakumar and SuganthaLakshmi, 2012, pp. 4445). Moreover, organizations can freely create organic content through the use of social media marketing and branding. Also, due to the affordability of the strategy, organizations can post as much organic content as possible to ensure audience engagement and familiarization.
Another benefit accrues to the use of social media is the ability to engage directly with the audience. Contrary to conventional marketing strategies, social media avails a distinct opportunity for an organization to connect directly with their audience. Firstly, in doing so, a business gets the chance to familiarize themselves with the market. As such, an organization can deal with arising concerns among its clients, which in turn allows them to build the organization’s brand positively (De Mooij, 2018, pp.8). Secondly, the organization gains insight from its clients, which help in strategy development, which can be adapted to improve customer experience. Lastly, the interaction with the clients directly allows the organization to gain a perspective of itself. As such, an organization can capitalize on the customers wants and needs and thus eliminating what they do not like.
The use of social media marketing and branding enables a company to evaluate and assess its performance. By doing so, the company’s leadership can establish, execute, recognize, and replicate activities that generate profitable and valuable results (Ruediger Kaufmann et al., 2012, pp. 195). Results can be extrapolated from likes, comments, reposts, and shares (Saravanakumar and SuganthaLakshmi, 2012, pp. 4446). As such, the opportunity to evaluate an organization’s strategy performance which can be optimized and improved on to supersede the set goals ((De Mooij, 2018, pp.19). Another recognizable benefit attached to the use of social media marketing and branding is the affordability and cost-effectiveness. For one, joining social media is free of charge since they do not charge sign-ups. Moreover, the paid options offered by the social media platforms are affordable and less time-consuming in reaching larger audiences as they do not have a set time of day for execution as social media users can access their platforms at any time of the day. As they do, they can share the content which enables it to go viral. Hence, social media use is better compared to traditional marketing methods due to their ability to reach larger audiences at favorable costs.
Despite the affluent use of social media for marketing and branding, the use of social media and branding can also result in disadvantages. One of the most prominent problems of using social media is the negative public feedback received from the market. The use of social media catalyzes feedback from their product and service consumption (Okazaki and Taylor, 2013, pp.60). As such, when the negative feedback is voluminous, it can be detrimental to the company’s overall performance as people tend to be dependent on the experiences of other people before using the same products or employing the services (De Mooij, 2018, pp.20). Furthermore, too much negative can cripple any marketing prospects by the organization, thus hindering the company’s prospective clients.
Another disadvantage associated with the use of social media marketing and branding is an embarrassment. Embarrassment can predispose a company to potential embarrassing moments which can be equally detrimental (Okazaki and Taylor, 2013, pp.62). For instance, one of the recent Dove campaigns was interpreted as racist. One of the models, who was black, was revealed as white upon the use of Dove products. In doing so, the company was forced to take down the advert as a contingency tactic because it appropriated racism, which is a sensitive social and cultural topic. Consequently, in response to the backlash on its tone-deafness, the advert was taken down from all of Dove’s social media platforms. As such, it is vital for companies to research thoroughly on their campaign before releasing them to the public. *Part Three* *Reflection of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Theories, Concepts and Techniques*
The unit on entrepreneurship has introduced me to various theories, concepts, and techniques which are vital for the growth and development of a company. One of the most critical concepts availed is branding and social media to propagate global marketing by enabling a company to establish a competitive edge. The idea of marketing is imperative for the success of organizational growth. Researchers and authors have supported the concept through evidence collection from research studies conducted. One of the vital lessons that social media marketing provides is the opportunity to engage with clients directly (Tiago and Veríssimo, 2014, pp. 705.). A chance to interact with clients enables the company to prioritize products and services, which equally favor their clients. In doing so, companies can establish a loyal customer base, which in turn will improve and maintain sales.
Another vital lesson learned in entrepreneurship and innovation is that social media can be utilized to protect and build on a company’s reputation. Social media platforms enable the companies to respond to negative feedback or defend itself from misinformation regarding the company (Ashley and Tuten, 2015, pp.19). Also, companies share their undertakings of CSR activities which mirror positively on the company in the public eye. By sharing their CSR activities online, companies also show they also are indebted to society for their growth by inputting efforts to improve it (Ashley and Tuten, 2015, pp.20). In doing so, social media platforms help companies also increase awareness on issues that affect the society that sensitizing the public on them as well.
Another interesting lesson that is availed is the importance of market research to a company. Market research can help a company recognize what the consumer needs are without being conformed to what is available (Hudson et al., 2016, pp.30). Companies can initiate research by directly engaging their clients or even by sending them surveys which they can partake at their convenience. In doing so, companies can establish a loyal consumer base as well as provide products to the market that are high quality, which they can capitalize on to the maximum. Moreover, market research enables the company to seek out what causes them to lose favor with the market in contrast to fellow competitors.
Another significant teaching is the importance of establishing a contingency plan. In dealing with social media marketing and branding, developing a contingency plan is vital due to the ease of spread of misinformation regarding the company which can be significantly disruptive to its operations (Ashley and Tuten, 2015, pp.25). As such, an effective contingency plan is essential to allow the company continues its scheduled operations as intended. Also, companies can choose to duplicate the contingency plans of competitors which have proved effective. For instance, in dealing with social media, the most effective contingency plans so far include acceptance for any wrongdoing, issuance of an honest apology and withdrawal of offensive content from social media platforms.
Through entrepreneurship and innovation, I have also learned that market penetration also necessitates branding. Branding is essential as it also creates awareness and familiarization with the audience. As such, branding is intended to leave a lasting impact on its clients. When branding, it is vital to consider features which can resonate with the target market (Ashley and Tuten, 2015, pp. 24). For instance, an advert on detergent should highlight the various incidences which happen at home, which necessitate its use. Moreover, brands can place a representative in outlets distributing their products, which can deal with the clients on a face to face basis. Also, branding is reflective of what the products and services are intended to deliver to the client. As such, when focusing on branding, it is vital for the company to address issues that go beyond the product design.
Dealing with competition is also a vital lesson learned. For a business to thrive and survive, it has to adjust to and tackle competition. In dealing with competition, however, the company must ensure that its products and services are not compromised so as not to reduce market share (Felix, 2017, pp. 122). Also, to compete effectively, the most effective strategies must be employed. As such, it essential for businesses to evolve with technology. For instance, the present world is heavily dependent on technology. As such, in regards to the generation of company awareness, establishing an online presence is inevitable for a company.
*Conclusion*
Entrepreneurial ventures are demanding due to their distinct features and evolving nature. As such, the success and prosperity of any entrepreneurial venture are dependent on its ability to adapt to modern technology. As such, with the onset of social media, most conventional advertising methods have been eliminated to create a way for technologically-based advancements such as social media marketing and branding. Also, companies should not disregard inputting extra effort as in resonating with the primary target audience to propagate market share. Additionally, social media presence has enabled companies to be more aware of their customers’ needs which have helped them to add, fix or eliminate product features in their branding and marketing which may offend their market. Conclusively, recognition of the customers’ needs is a fundamental need for the survival and thriving of a company.

*References*
Brennan, R. and Croft, R., 2012. The use of social media in B2B marketing and branding: An exploratory study. *Journal of Customer Behaviour*, *11*(2), pp.101-115.
De Mooij, M., 2018. *Global marketing and advertising: Understanding cultural paradoxes*. SAGE Publications Limited.
Okazaki, S. and Taylor, C.R., 2013. Social media and international advertising: theoretical challenges and future directions. *International marketing review*, *30*(1), pp.56-71.
Ruediger Kaufmann, H., Vrontis, D., Czinkota, M. and Hadiono, A., 2012. Corporate branding and transformational leadership in turbulent times. *Journal of Product & Brand Management*, *21*(3), pp.192-204.
Saravanakumar, M. and SuganthaLakshmi, T., 2012. Social media marketing. *Life Science Journal*, *9*(4), pp.4444-4451.
Valos, M.J., Haji Habibi, F., Casidy, R., Driesener, C.B. and Maplestone, V.L., 2016. Exploring the integration of social media within integrated marketing communication frameworks: Perspectives of services marketers. *Marketing Intelligence & Planning*, *34*(1), pp.19-40.
Felix, R., Rauschnabel, P.A. and Hinsch, C., 2017. Elements of strategic social media marketing: A holistic framework. *Journal of Business Research* , *70*, pp.118-126.
Hudson, S., Huang, L., Roth, M.S. and Madden, T.J., 2016. The influence of social media interactions on consumer–brand relationships: A three-country study of brand perceptions and marketing behaviors. *International Journal of Research in Marketing*, *33*(1), pp.27-41.
Ashley, C. and Tuten, T., 2015. Creative strategies in social media marketing: An exploratory study of branded social content and consumer engagement. *Psychology & Marketing*, *32*(1), pp.15-27.
Tiago, M.T.P.M.B. and Veríssimo, J.M.C., 2014. Digital marketing and social media: Why bother?. *Business horizons*, *57*(6), pp.703-708.

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