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Marketing Strategy Report: A Case Of Facebook Inc Add in library

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Question:

What Marketing strategy or strategies has Facebook adopted since it was created?

What marketing options can you describe for Facebook if it wishes to remain a successful organization throughout the next decade?

 

Answer:

Introduction

In order to make successful business model and  generate large amount of revenues all kinds of companies frame different marketing strategies like media marketing, mobile marketing, consumer based marketing and also product based marketing. Face book is a platform used by majority of the companies to initiate social media marketing (Stone, 2012). The report here deals with the analysis of the past marketing strategy of Face Book so as to provide recommendations for adoption of some different marketing strategies in future.

 

Background of the company

In February 2004 Mark Zuckerberg, a student of the Harvard University introduced the concept of Face book which is currently reported to have one billion members all across the globe. The major mission of this social networking site is to give the people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. As per the reports of Forbes January 2014 the following graph shows the number of Face book users in the different countries (facebook.com, 2015).

Face book users in different countries

Figure 1: Number of Face book users in different countries

(Source: facebook.com , 2015)

 

With the highest market share of 44%, Face book has no fixed business model for attracting the social media users. The main users of Face book consists generally of the teenagers and the target population between 22 to 45 years. Apart from that the company has also helped various universities, colleges and also SMEs to promote their products and services through online advertising.

Market Share of Face book

Figure 2: Market Share of Face book

(Source: Ivcevic and Ambady, 2013, pp-215)

The major resource of Face book is its 1 billion users and around 1,000,000 business pages. The company in the year 2013 also introduces the concept of Face book Home for the mobile devices to connect with friends (facebook.com, 2015). The introduction of the Face book messenger helped the users to use the easier version of the messaging app without formally logging into Face book. In the late of 2013 Face book also acquired Instagram for $ 1 billion to increase the app use of the users and also to introduce Face.com which is a Face recognition Platform for enabling auto tagging feature on shared pictures.

According to (_) Face books strives to make growths with the help of Talent acquisitions of the different innovative applications and companies. Some of the major acquisitions are as follows:

Year of Acquisition

Name of the company

Purpose of acquisition

2008

ConnectU

Social networking

2009

FriendFeed

Social networking aggregator

2010

Divvyshot

Photo management

2012

Instagram

Photo sharing

2012

Spool

Mobile marketing

2014

WhatsApp

Mobile instant messaging

Table 1: Important Acquisitions by Face Book

(Source: Hipperson, 2010, pp-96)

 

Marketing analysis

Analysis of the past and current marketing strategies of Face book

Despite of the growing rate of user traffic and high rates of share price in NASDAQ, managers at Face book are concerned about the expansion plans of the company (Hipperson, 2010). The company in its initial stages had adopted the General marketing strategies which included keeping focus on the market expansion, market share growth, and niche market targeting and market exit strategies.

Scaling strategy: Face book from its inception did not try to inculcate all the advanced features to attract huge customer base. At the initial stage the company positioned this platform as a normal communication channel for the college networks. The transformation from the college networks to the global scenario occurred in the year 2007. Face book with its basic features introduced the system of signing in and creation of account of any individual at any part of the world. The final transformation of the Platform occurred in the year 2011 when Face book introduced the Timeline concept where the user has the opportunity to organize the memorable content according to his wish. (Refer to appendix 1)

Market expansion: The Company from its very beginning had targeted the users of countries like USA, Brazil, India, Japan, Russia, Germany and South Korea. The expansion strategy related to focus on mass population of all these countries without any discrimination or selection of specific target markets. This allowed Face book to create around 900 million monthly active users and a global market share of 44%. (Refer to appendix 2)

Product focus strategy: Before the convention of Face book there was no relevant social media website (Ivcevic and Ambady, 2013). Hence the major focus of Face book was to make an innovative product strategy. Although Face book is basically a service company however the company focuses on creation of products for different segments of customers

Types of customer segments

Products offered by Face book

Users

· Free Face book messenger on mobile web and android platforms

· It launched the innovative concept of Timeline view in 2012 which allows organizing and displaying the major events of the user’s life.

· Face book News Feed for the user’s homepage to get regular updates

· Introduction of Instagram for easy and quick photo uploading system

Business Developers

· The use of the APIs and HTMLs helps the business developers to build social apps like games, desktop applications, and mobile applications.

· The company made partnership with online payment companies like PayPal to enable the collection of money for the use of the paid apps.

Advertisers and marketers

· Face book acts as a social platform for the promotions of the products and services of different companies, online stores, colleges and also entertainment sectors.

· The advertisements helps Face book to generate revenue and also helps the advertisers and the marketers to generate income from the promotional strategies. The advertisers pay for their ads based on either cost per thousand impressions or cost per click method.


Segmentation Targeting and Positioning (STP) process: Face book adopted the general STP process for approaching the target market. The company segmented the overall population of the basis of internet ad computer users. Based on this Face book gradually focused on its target market and planned its services accordingly. The original positioning strategy adopted by Face book was to show Face book as a social space online for communication of college students (Flores, 2013).

Factors

Target customers

Geographic factors

Targeted countries like Turkey, Mexico, Indonesia, Italy, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador etc. (Refer to appendix 3)

Age

The largest groups of Target customers for Face book are within the age range of 45 to 54. The report of Forbes shows that around 65% of the users are above 35 years. Although Face book is a platform for the young generation but still only 14% of the total population using Face book are below 24 years. (Refer to appendix 4)

Gender and education

60% of the Face book users are female and rest male among them 92% are seen to be highly educated and college graduates since the use of Face book applications require basic and advanced computer knowledge.


Brand development strategy: Face book adopted two different types of Branding strategies namely the direct customer branding and the indirect customer branding. According to Parkin (2009), through direct customer branding Face book was able to create huge user traffic and also build a strong database from the personal information of 900 billion users. (Refer to appendix 5)

Moreover the company with the help of the indirect customer branding was able to gain revenue from the networking activities and also from the online visits and likes of the users. Face book presented itself in the mind of the users as a trend setter as well as a social advertising platform. (Refer to Appendix 6)

IMC strategy: Face book uses both online and offline IMC strategies to increase the market share and the revenue. The online IMC strategies include website, blogging, paid search, social networking sites, search engines and the offline marketing channels include Traditional print media like magazines, newspapers both international as well as local, TV commercials, Billboard, Signage, Poster and items like T-shirt ads, Souvenirs etc (Parkin, 2009).

 

Recommendations of future strategies for Face book

Expansion in China: The Company can further adopt the expansion strategy by targeting the population of the highest populated country that is China. China being the largest internet market of the World will enable Face book to generate high revenue and increase the estimated user traffic by 1.51%. The presence of censored firewalls in China regulates the internet content of various sites and also prevents the users from using Face book, you tube and Twitter. Hence it is recommendable to the managers at Face book to adopt the product penetration strategy and customize the content of Face book in accordance to the internet rules of China. This will help the company to capture a large market share.

Product customization and expansion: With the acquiring of Whatsapp, Face book targeted an expansion plan in the product innovation strategy. However the company should focus on the reduction of the large number of political protests that are being showcased in its site. The censorship of the content is necessary for Face book to flourish in countries like China. However with majority of the population who identifies themselves with the present services of Face book, any change in the services of the company will not be readily accepted by the users. The surveys conducted by Face book about their services showed that around 62% of the users are if the opinion that the company should consolidate the Face book fan pages and Face book app pages in a more comprehensive manner.

User satisfaction strategies: Since Face book is a social platform for communication hence the users are required to put their personal information in the platforms. The surveys of Forbes suggests that around 93% of the users  are of the opinion that the platform should develop the privacy settings and should also focus on providing better web search and improve the email and the chat options.

Conclusion                                        

The report shows the different strategies adopted by Face books showing the revenue growth and the market expansion that the company has been able to sustain due to the use of the marketing strategies. From the analysis of the present and the past strategies it is clear that Face book made a steady and gradual growth in the field of social media with the help of product innovation and successful talent acquisitions. However the stagnancy of Face book in the recent years in the field of innovation maybe a reason behind the decreases in the number of user traffic hence the report also focuses on some of the strategies that Face Book should adopt in order to maintain its place as a trend setter in the minds of the users.

Reference list

Books

Flores, L. (2013). How to measure digital marketing. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Parkin, G. (2009). Digital marketing. London: New Holland.

 

Journals

Hipperson, T. (2010). The changing face of data insight – And its relationship to brand marketing. Journal of Database Marketing & Customer Strategy Management, 17(3-4), pp.262-266.

Ivcevic, Z. and Ambady, N. (2013). Face to (Face)Book: The Two Faces of Social Behavior?. J Pers, 81(3), pp.290-301.

Stone, M. (2012). Reflections on a life in database marketing. Journal of Database Marketing & Customer Strategy Management, 19(4), pp.214-218.

Websites

facebook.com (2015). Facebook for Business. [online] Available at: https://en-gb.facebook.com/business [Accessed 7 Jan. 2015].

Appendices

Appendix 1: Scaling strategy of Face book

Appendix 2: Face book Search Traffic

Appendix 3: Top regions for Face book users

Appendix 4: Age group of target customers of Face book

Appendix 5: Direct customer branding of Face book

Appendix 6: Indirect customer branding of Face book

 

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