Blog Post 2 – Investigating one of the channels
The channel which I am going to be investigating in this case, will be ‘Social media marketing’ within the fashion retail industry. In recent times, social media has become a massive part of our day to day lives, with most people having accounts on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and more. This global usage gives way to opportunities, as now there is an audience all around the world which your products can reach.
‘Social media creates the possibility in marketing to move from blasting our messages to interacting with our prospects’ (Evans, 200?). What this means is that, rather than on a billboard or advert on the TV, they have space to advertise their products over social media. However, with the other forms of advertising it is a strictly one sided thing, on social media it allows the customers to interact with the company itself, which gives them somewhere to voice their opinion on the service/products. ‘Allows customers and prospects to communicate directly to your brand representative or about your brand with their friends’ (Vinerean, 2013). This is another argument for the case of social media, as people already use it to communicate with their friends, so when there is a new product they like, it can be shared over social media, and from there, and word of mouth can take it even further.
‘Two of the exceptions are Distribution and Energy firms, which adopted on average less than one application’ (Culnan, 2010). This is an indicator that marketing over social media is not fool proof, and there are obviously instances where it is not necessarily a good addition. For energy firms for example, the product is not varied from customer to customer, meaning there is a lack of things for most customers to talk about, and overall it has a wider base of business customers. However, this varies industry to industry, as with fashion retail I feel it is much more prominent. The industry as a whole attracts a generally young adult audience, who are the main users of social media, so it would appear that the two go hand in hand.
Boohoo, the online fashion retailer with an army of 16 to 24-year-old fans, has nearly doubled its profits, helped by paying celebrities and other “influencers” to promote its products on Instagram (Neate, 2017). What the firms will do in situations like this, is pay public figures to showcase their products to their fans, who tend to be in the retailers target audience anyway, which builds traction for the products, as people seem more likely to trust something if somebody they follow promotes it.
Source: The Guardian (Neate, 2017)
One of the main elements for social media being such an important part of a companies’ marketing these days, is that it provides them with no just another platform to promote, but also gives somewhere else for them to receive feedback. Almost all companies will have a ‘live chat’ or customer contact station, however social media essentially gives them a forum for customers to interact with themselves and one another. ‘Finally, they need to develop absorptive capacity so they can learn from the content their customers generate’ (Culman, 2010). This enforces my previous statement that they must adapt and learn from the feedback generated by the customers, so they are able to change with the times and stay on the ball, providing exactly what the customers are looking for.
And finally, we come to the conclusion ‘trust and purchase intention were highly related. Customers’ trust was strengthened via interaction with other users as well as brand on social media sites. Trust gained while enjoying entertainment and communication provided on the sites seems to contribute greatly toward a luxury brand’s profit’ (Kim & Ko, 2010). From the research I have been doing into this channel, it is clear that there is a strong correlation between social media emerging, and companies incorporating it into their marketing campaigns. The article by Kim & Ko tells us that when customers gain trust, there is much more intention to purchase, and trust was fuelled by interactions with other users, alongside the websites providing entertainment. The last move in a change toward more social media interaction, would be trying to get customers to discuss their experiences amongst each other, on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Also, if they are active on their social media, posting some things for entertainment, and also things like special offers, they could become even more successful in their overall campaigns.
Culnan, M. (2010). Retrieved 7 January 2018, from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mary_Culnan/publication/279893388_How_Large_US_Companies_Can_Use
Evans, D. (2008). Social Media Marketing. Google Books. Retrieved 7 January 2018, from https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=CZcS7JZEqrMC&oi=fnd&pg=PT7&dq=importance+of+social+media+marketing&ots=YZo1gZ_Bgf&sig=1W2KbD1IS5yhdNbllaj_gqPnM5I
Hays, S. (2012). Social media as a destination marketing tool: its use by national tourism organisations. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved 7 January 2018, from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13683500.2012.662215
Kim, A., & Ko, E. (2010). Impacts of Luxury Fashion Brand’s Social Media Marketing on Customer Relationship and Purchase Intention. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved 7 January 2018, from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/20932685.2010.10593068
Neate, R. (2017). Fashion retailer Boohoo nearly doubles profit after celebrity Instagram tie-ups. the Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2018, from https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/apr/26/boohoo-profits-nearly-double-celebrities-instagram-online-fashion-retail
Vinerean, S., Cetina, I., Dumitrescu, L., & Tichindelean, M. (2013). The Effects of Social Media Marketing on Online Consumer Behavior. Retrieved 7 January 2018, from http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ijbm/article/view/25378