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Business Case Analysis Memo: Qantas Airlines

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Question:

Write about the Business Case Analysis Memo for Qantas Airlines.

 

Answer:

Introduction

The recent attempt to use social media to promote Qantas’ brand name in Australia and around the world has not gone along as had been desired. While the idea itself was great, and had worked elsewhere, it was carried out in a manner that made it destined to fail, and prove to be a costly blunder for the company. Qantas had steadily built itself to become one of the most valuable Australian brands. It had successfully reinvented itself through trying moments such as the WWII, competition, and the labour relations which at times caused the company huge losses. However, operational and marketing issues were threatening to dilute the value of its brand, at a dangerous time where the competition was circling above keen to take advantage. The purpose of this memo is to discuss the issues which went wrong during the ill-fated social media campaign, future actions that the company can take, and recommend a communications plan template. The memo will underline the importance of having a well defined social media communication plan.

Key Issues

One of the first issues identified for the case is the lack of proper management of the social media platform. The company had the opportunity to arrest the outpouring of negativity by issuing a strong message to show remorse and appreciation of the negative messages received, and discontinuing the exercise. By being unable to do this, the organization exposed itself to a vicious backlash from the public, which had been awaiting the opportune moment to register dissatisfaction with company.  In addition to this, the company had been unable to show that it was actually keen on the messages it was receiving. It was clear that the company had not taken time to read the comments, and had instead sent out a message that may have been construed as a mockery of customer complaints.

The timing of the whole campaign was not right. The company was not having the best of times. Strikes had led to the inconveniencing of tens of thousands of clients, who had had to pay more, due to the industrial action that had been called by the labour unions representing the airline’s employees. The company was also barely recovering from several embarrassing incidents concerning its aircraft. Some had malfunctioned, forcing the company to at one time ground several of its aircraft. These issues were still fresh on the minds of passengers. The company had not gone the extra mile to placate the public, and thereby set the stage for a successful campaign. Instead, it was seen to be disregarding all these issues, to the chagrin of the public, home and abroad.

In view of the problems that the company had faced in the past, the nature of the campaign was also not advisable. The company was clearly aware that what people associated it most with were inconvenience and court battles regarding the industrial action by its employees. The company was able to ignore this, and instead focus on other things that ran contrary to what the public wanted to hear. Promising luxury at this time was therefore bound to elicit negative reactions from people who felt that the company had not done enough to ensure that the problems did not occur. They also felt that the company likely did not understand the magnitude of the issues it was facing, and that it was very poor in its communication.

 

Recommendations

Qantas should in future ensure that its social media and other campaigns are sensitive of the time and circumstances under which they are run. For instance, on the back of disastrous operations that saw the grounding of the entire fleet and delaying of flights due to issues such as engine failure, the message should not be about luxury aboard Qantas. Instead, the message should be tuned more effectively towards ensuring that the company takes responsibility for the actions, shows that it is genuinely sorry, and remedies the situation as soon as possible (Hajli, 2013).

The company should be more proactive in its communication policy. It should, for instance, desist from sending messages which are generic in nature, aimed not to respond to messages in real time, but to the expected results. The management should also ensure that all communication form the firm is conscious of all the factors discussed above, including social and economic issues that may damage the company. It is only with this that the company may then be able to carry out successful campaigns, and more importantly, help in repairing its image after the Twitter debacle (Paquette, 2013).

Factors to Consider when Using Social Media

One of the most factors to consider is the nature of the conversation or marketing exercise that the company intends to undertake. Some issues are not well tuned to the use of social media, through which negativity may easily take over, and thereby disrupt the original intention of the campaign. Secondly, the communication policy of the organization must be considered (Akar & Topcu, 2011). Many organizations may not have a vigilant online presence. They may therefore not appreciate the importance of listening and responding in online conversations, and generally, engaging online clients. If this is the case, the company should either first develop a comprehensive social media policy, or shelve plans to use social media as a marketing platform (Bamini, Dahnil, & Yi, 2014; Paquette, 2013)

Communication Plan Template

1.Timing

4th May, 2017

2.Audience

Olivia Wirth

3.Sender

 

4.Key Message

The nature, timing, and response to the social media campaign were not optimal. This should be rectified by carefully revising the content of the message in consideration of the time and circumstances. The company should in future adopt a more hands on approach in how it manages its social media presence, by actively engaging the audience, and resolving any potential sources of negative feedback or publicity.

5.Desired Outcome

The company will be able to better manage its social media platforms. It will be able too, to use the platform as a powerful tool to engage its market and drive its sales.

6.Medium

Since this is a social media problem, it still should be the medium to be used.

7.Materials

Material that is both proud of the firm’s Australian heritage, and also sensitive of the various social issues should be utilised. Appreciation of the positive and negative times in the company’s business should be harnessed for good.

8.Frequency

Messages should be sent three times a week. This will mean that, whereas the company does not inundate the internet with messages, it still remains a visible presence.

Summary

Qantas now appreciates, more than ever before, that the Twitter platform is a double edged sword. While it may sometimes be an ingenious way of getting the message to the intended recipient easily, it can also be used to hit back at the company, causing it losses. To ensure this does not happen, the company should ensure that it gets the nature and timing of any such exercise right. The plan recommended above will help the

 

References

Akar, E., & Topcu, B. (2011). An Examination of the Factors Influencing Consumers' Attitudes Toward Social Media Marketing. Journal of Internet Commerce , 10 (1), 35-67.

Bamini, K., Dahnil, M., & Yi, W. (2014). The Impact of Social Media Marketing Medium toward Purchase Intention and Brand Loyalty among Generation Y. Social and Behavioral Sciences , 148, 177-185.

Hajli, N. (2013). A study of the impact of social media on consumers. International Journal of Market Research , 56 (3), 387-404.

Paquette, H. (2013). Social Media as a Marketing Tool: a literature Review. Major Papers by MSC stdsts , 1-27.

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