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Understanding the SOSTAC Model

Question:

Discuss about the Spychaser Limited Marketing Strategy.

In Ghana, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in growing the economy. Indeed, according to the government, they contribute approximately seventy percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (Government of Ghana, n.d.).  Additionally, they create job opportunities which lead to community development. In this essay, a local smartphone application development company named Spychaser Limited wants to market its new smartphone application that can be used by SMEs in their day-to-day operations. The company aims to use SOSTAC model to analyze the viability of its marketing plan, use the RACE model to discuss its online communication strategy, and use AIDAR to evaluate the current consumer purchasing behavior.

The SOSTAC model is a marketing plan that was developed by PR Smith in the 1990s. The plan involves six phases that are used to create the acronym SOSTAC. The phases are situation, objectives, strategy, tactics, action, and control (Rupik and ?yminkowski, 2014).  There are various ways to use this model. To start with, the model can be used to review how the organization creates marketing strategies (Smith and Chaffey, 2012). For example, what they spend time on or are good at such as developing objectives using the SMART acronym. The second application is getting the right balance across each stage in the planning process. SOSTAC ensures that time is allocated to each phase in an effective manner. To support its use, a research carried out in Maryland revealed that having an internet marketing strategy can increase the performance and survival of small enterprises (Demishkevich, 2015).

The first phase of the SOSTAC model is situation analysis. The company is supposed to determine where it is at in relation to its customers and market (Reed FIDM, 2014). It includes a SWOT and competitor analysis. For instance, the company should outline its target customers and competitive advantage. In this case, Spychaser Limited is targeting small and medium enterprises in Ghana. In Ghana, ninety-two percent of the registered companies are small and medium enterprises (Government of Ghana, n.d.). This is an advantage for Spychaser since this is a large readily available market. The company is facing competition from application development companies around the world that offer business applications for SMEs such as WillowTree which is in Virginia.

The second phase is outlining the objectives. The objectives are supposed to be developed using the 5 key points (Smith, 2015). The first point is the selling point which determines which how many customers the company is aiming to acquire and retain. The second point is the serving point where the company sets the customer satisfaction target. The third point is the sizzling point which is the added value that the smartphone application has. The fourth point is the speaking point which determines how the company will engage the customers. The last point is saving point where the company measures its gains with regard to efficiency.  The objectives should also be SMART that is specific to the organization, measurable with regard to performance, actionable, relevant to the issue and within a given time period (Swan, 2017). For Spychaser, one of the objectives can be to increase product visibility and measure performance through Google Analytics between January 2018 and April 2018.

Using the SOSTAC Model for Spychaser Limited

The third phase is strategy which sets a plan to achieve the objectives outlined in the second phase. The focus is on the market segments and target customers. PR Smith developed the STOP and SIT acronyms (Smith, 2015). The STOP represents the existing segments of the market, the target market for the company, the alignment with the objectives and the positioning of the products. The positioning includes the online value proposition which acts as the unique selling point the business offers online. On the other hand, the SIT represents sequence, integration with the customer relationship management systems and the tools that are going to be used.  In Ghana, medium-sized enterprises are more likely to use internet advertising than small enterprises (Alliances for Action, 2016). Therefore, Spychaser can use the internet to reach out to medium-sized enterprises. In Spychaser, the objective is to increase product visibility online so this can be done by advertising on online channels that offer software products and software development programs. Additionally, the company can research and see the tools that the competitors are using to boost sales (Swan, 2017).  

The fourth phase is tactics which define the steps to take to implement the strategy. It includes the marketing mix which has the seven Ps of marketing (Smith, 2015). The first is the product where Spychaser should ensure the application is has been tested on some SMEs and meets the requirements. The second is the price and Spychaser should ensure the price is consistent with the prices of the competitors in the global and local market. The third is place where Spychaser should develop an online retail shop where it can easily sell and engage the customers. The fourth is promotion and Spychaser should utilize the available marketing tools and strategies such as email marketing and using social media platforms.


The fifth is people and Spychaser should offer satisfactory customer service in after sale services such as maintenance. It should also use Live Chat to interact with customers on the website. The sixth is process and Spychaser should direct consumers to their website through referrals or recommendations. The consumer can then engage with the staff to determine their requirements and whether the application will meet them. Lastly, through partnership, Spychaser can develop relationships with companies that are not its competitors but can be used to market its products such as companies that finance SMEs. In addition, the company can use marketing tools such as the Search Engine Optimization(SEO), Pay-Per-Click, and affiliate marketing.

The RACE Model for Online Communication Strategy

The fifth phase is action where responsibilities are assigned to different individuals. The company decides whether to use internal or external agencies (Smith, 2015). It also decides the systems and processes that are going to be used. Moreover, the tactics that were selected in the fourth stage are implemented using actions outlined in this phase. For example, if Spychaser chooses to use SEO it will be required to define keywords that will be used for targeting such as SMEs and smartphone applications. The company needs to optimize web pages to get the best ranking. To enrich content, it can build relationships with top bloggers and websites. If the company chooses Pay-Per-Click, it needs to have keywords, a budget, a way to check whether its keywords are reaching the targeted consumers.

The last phase is called control and it focuses on monitoring and measuring performance based on the objectives that were set. This includes Key Performance Indicators, website visitor profiling, surveys on customer satisfaction and reporting frequency (Swan, 2017). Spychaser can integrate tools to measure performance weekly, monthly, or per year. However, companies are encouraged to measure performance frequently to ensure that the tactics that are being used are working. In addition, the model includes the use of the 3Ms (Smith, 2015). The first M represents men where the company focuses on the human resources to be used. The second M is the money where Spychaser must plan a budget for the launch of the application. The last M is the minutes and this means that Spychaser must set time frames for each phase to ensure that the project is completed within the given time period.

The RACE model represents a framework that is used in digital marketing. RACE represents reaching, acting, converting and engaging (Chaffey, 2016). In some cases, planning is included in the framework. This framework describes the lifecycle of a customer which starts by informing the customer of the product. It ensures the customers interact with the staff and repurchase products hence retaining them. For the model to be effective, it has to include traditional and digital channels of marketing especially in Ghana for small business owners. Spychaser intends to use the RACE model to develop an online communication strategy.

The first step is reach which the company will use to create awareness about the smartphone application (Chaffey, 2016). This can be done through the use of other websites and offline marketing channels such as word of mouth, television and radio adverts. Further, the company can use SEOs and the company’s blog posts to write about the application.  As a result, there will be traffic generated by the people who visit the main Spychaser’s website, microsites and the company’s social media pages. The marketing team can also use influencers such as top bloggers to notify SMEs about the product. To ensure the tools are working, performance can be measured by checking the unique visitors of your sites, and the number of followers.

Utilizing the RACE Model for Spychaser Limited

The second phase is act where the company focuses on interacting with the customer and encouraging their participation (Chaffey, 2016). Interacting with the customer means encouraging the customer to know about the application. For example, Spychaser can make customers to read about the application on their blog post or ask questions about it on Live chat. Participation occurs when the customer reviews the application or shares information about it on social media. All of the above can be achieved through content management. The content should be relevant, influential, and clear to make consumers to take those steps.  To measure the performance, Spychaser should monitor the number of likes, comments, shares and the time each visitor spends on the various sites. 

The third step is to convert the visits to sales. In this step, the company should focus on marketing tools that lead to sales (Chaffey, 2016). They can use e-commerce or offline selling techniques. In some other cases, the goals of marketing may be more than sales such as fans and leads. In all cases, this step ensures that they are converted into the marketing goals. Performance is measured by the number of sales and the revenue earned. The last step is engagement which involves building relationships with new and existing customers to create customer loyalty. Customer loyalty assures Spychaser that they can get repeat sales. This can be achieved through emails or direct interaction with the SMEs. This is measured through repeat purchases and how often customers share Spychaser’s content on social media. In general, the company should use key performance indicators in all the steps of the model to achieve the desired results.

Positioning defines the ability of a product to stand out and occupy the larger portion of the consumer’s mind compared to its competitors. Positioning is important since it can be used as a competitive advantage by Spychaser.  Positioning can be in two forms such as in excess when the company provides false information about features of a product. It can also be done in way poor manner where important features of a product are not mentioned. Factors that can ensure successful positioning are the price, product, place and promotion that are present in the market mix (Marketing, n.d.). The other factors are customers, competition, channels, and the definition of the company (Abinanti, 2015).  

In product, Spychaser should ensure the application is of the highest quality and it meets the customers’ requirements (Marketing, n.d.). It must also provide after sale services such as maintenance and installation if it is required. This will differentiate it from the other application in the market since it sends a consistent image. In addition, the prices must be similar to the prices that have been set by the competitors. However, it must be set to depict the uniqueness of the application. For example, if it has additional features and better compatibility it may be expensive compared to the other application. The price must be within the range that is affordable to the target SMEs. For instance, the application may be more expensive for large corporations since it may require more integration and host more users compared to small enterprises.  The company may also offer discounted rates to attract more users since it is the first product launch.

Evaluation of Consumer Purchasing Behavior using AIDAR

When considering the place, the company should look at distribution. This is how it will ensure the application reaches the target customers (Marketing, n.d.). It may be available through a download link after payment has been made. It may also be available on the websites freely for customers to install and test its functionality for a certain time period. Promotion refers to the advertising techniques that the company uses. For this case, the company will use traditional and digital methods. Overall, in the marketing mix creating consistency creates a brand image.

On the other hand, when referring to channels, the company should consider the channels of distribution (Abinanti, 2015). Positioning allows the company to use the channels to learn more about the customers’ needs and the purchase process. Consequently, the information can be used to look for a channel that minimizes cost or to use a channel to its full potential.  Customers are an important part of positioning since a clear understanding of their needs assists in differentiating a product. Spychaser should understand the needs of the SMEs in order to attract and retain them. Finally, it is important for the company to understand its competitors. Studying the competitors allows the company to understand the niche in a particular market hence design a product that fills it. For Spychaser, they should look out how other global competitors are launching their products and what channels they use to reach their customers. Competitors information can be found on the company’s website and marketing channels such as blogs.

The AIDAR model is used to represent the purchasing cycle involved after product development. The first stage in the model is awareness where the customer finds out that the product exists (Tedesco, 2011). The aim is to target as many customers and influencers as possible using techniques that have minimal cost. The next stage is interest where the company must establish itself is a trusted brand that meets the needs of the customers. The company must make sure that when potential customers search social media they find reassuring information about quality. This is because potential customers tend to trust the reviews on social media than the company’s website.

The next stage is desire where the customer learns about the benefits of the product. This means connecting with them on a personal level which is better achieved on social media than the company’s website (Tedesco, 2011). Action is the next stage where purchasing occurs. This is done through testimonials and case studies to move the customers to purchase the product. Spychaser should use social media to engage the customers and gain their reviews and complaints and reinforce their trust. The last stage involves the retaining the customers and earning their loyalty. This cycle is going to impact the sales of Spychaser’s application. Therefore, Spychaser needs to make implement the same strategy in their marketing plan and make use of social media to interact with the SMEs.

Conclusion

Generally, all the models provide a way for Spychaser to use marketing strategies to launch its product. Upon launching, it needs to continue using the marketing strategies in the Race model to continue attracting customers and retaining them. The AIDAR model provides a way for the company to use social media to attract customers, make sales and retain them. The marketing team should remember to outline the action plans as outlined in the SOSTAC model. Overall, using the three models allow Spychaser to traditional and digital methods of marketing.

References

Abinanti, L. (2015). The Key to Successful Positioning: '3 Cs' Research. [online] MarketingProfs. [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].

Alliances for Action (2016). SME COMPETITIVENESS IN GHANA. [eBook] [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].

Chaffey, D. (2016). Introducing RACE: a practical framework to improve your digital marketing - Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice. [online] Smart Insights. [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].

Demishkevich, M., 2015. Small Business Use of Internet Marketing: Findings from Case Studies (Doctoral dissertation, Walden University).

Government of Ghana (n.d.). Empowering SMEs in Ghana for Global Competitiveness. [online] Eservices.gov.gh. [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].

Marketing (n.d.). Successful Companies Master Positioning and Distribution. [online] Bizfilings. [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].

Reed FIDM, D. (2014). SOSTAC: The guide to the perfect digital marketing plan. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 16(2), pp.146-147.

Rupik, K. and ?yminkowski, T. (2014). Analytical and Behavioral Elements of Marketing Planning Model – Empirical Evidence from Polish Firms. International Journal of Economic Practices and Theories, 4(5), pp.668-676.

Smith, P. (2015). The SOSTAC guide to your perfect digital marketing plan. [Place of publication not identified]: P.R. Smith.

Smith, P. and Chaffey, D. (2012). EMarketing eXcellence. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Swan, S. (2017). A SOSTAC® Plan example - Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice. [online] Smart Insights. [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].

Tedesco, T. (2011). Do You AIDAR? Master the Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action and Reorder Stages of Buying -T.J. Tedesco. [online] Printing Impressions. [Accessed 29 Sep. 2017].

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My Assignment Help. Marketing Plan For Spychaser Limited's Smartphone Application For SMEs, Essay. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2018 [cited 16 June 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/spychaser-limited-marketing-strategy.

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