Social Media Marketing Plan: A Case Study Of The Iconic Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Social Media Marketing Plan for A case study of The Iconic.

Answer:

Introduction

The report focuses on development of a social media marketing plan. An Australian ecommerce company The Iconic has been chosen for this research. The Iconic is a growing online fashion retailer in Australia. This company started business in Sydney during 2011. The report analyses situational analysis on new product that has been launched by the company. The Iconic applies different marketing strategy for the development of new products frequently. Situational analysis on this company highlights the company’s capabilities in business operations and how this company influence customers. The report also analyses how internal and external business environment influence company’s business process. For the situation analysis, 5C model and SWOT analysis is followed in this study. The 5C includes company, competitors, customers, collaborators and climate of the business (Tuten & Solomon, 2014).

The Iconic changes strategy overtime when takes decision to launch new products in the market. Fashion industry is a dynamic industry, where customer’s choices and preferences tend to change rapidly. In order to compete with changing market, company needs to make strategic planning. Proposed strategy highlights plans of the company when lunching new products in the market or penetrates into new market (Saravanakumar & SuganthaLakshmi, 2012). The report mentions action plan of The Iconic for new product launch. The action plan highlights the steps that require to be taken by the company to achieve the goal. In the action plan, the manager considers time schedule, market promotion strategy, required resources, and possible expenditure for the new project. The action plan also includes predictable changes that are required for business expansion.

Situational Analysis

Situation analysis is useful to evaluate company’s internal and external business environment and their effect’s on business. The situation analysis has been done using SWOT analysis, which considers 5Cs of business.

Figure 1: Situation analysis: 5Cs of The Iconic

(Source: Heymann-Reder, 2012)

SWOT analysis

Strength of the Company

This part analyses company’s operational capabilities, vision and values. It also includes strength of the company in performing competitive environment (De Vries et al., 2012). Compared to other leading online business, The Iconic is younger. The mission of the company is to generate high satisfaction level within every customer providing high quality products. The vision of the company is to become one of the leading online fashion retail companies in Australia and New Zealand. The Iconic provides a large number of branded products of shoes, clothing and other fashion accessories (Theiconic.com.au, 2016).

As a part of marketing the company has demographic segmentation policy. The home page of the website is designed in the way that both men and women get there unique choices (Webprofits.com.au, 2016). The company uses sales metrics and market analysis to predict the market trend.

Customer satisfaction: Before launching new product in the market, market assessment about the choice of the customer is necessary. The Iconic efficiently uses online advertisement in own website with the collaboration of Criteo. The business strategy of The Iconic is very much customer oriented. They follows business-to-customer model. Therefore, customers find cheaper shopping in the website of The Iconic compared to other online retailer such as ASOS (www.theaustralian.com.au, 2012). The delivery and shipping process is convenient and less costly to the customers. New product launch is influenced by income of the customers (Kim & Ko, 2012). Therefore, assessment of target market is necessary.

Competitors: The iconic offers customer both refund, exchange and credit option to get competitive advantage over the competitors. Cost of returning product is free compared to other ecommerce business. In comparison with its close competitors, Iconic 100 days of return option to the customer, whereas ASOS gives return option only for 28 days. The Iconic uses value added service at the time new launch. It provides 110% credit option to the customers if they choose to get credit instead of cash. Otherwise, The Iconic holds the item for 14 days if the customer chooses to exchange the product. The target market of The Iconic is broader compared to its competitor ASOS. ASOS mainly focuses on young generation, whereas The Iconic wants to reach every kind of customers irrespective of gender and age.

Collaborators: The collaborators are suppliers, partners and customers, who are significant stakeholders of the company. In order to increase online sales of The Iconic has collaborated with a personalized retargeting company, Criteo during 2015. Criteo supports the Iconic in online personalized advertisement. The strategy has been taken to increase online sales and attracting new customers. Another objective of this strategy is to retain existing customer in business. The technology support of Criteo helps The Iconic to identify most valuable customers and also helps to bid the price of the products (www.adnews.com.au, 2015). When launching a new product, the company uses this strategy effectively.

Weakness

During 2012, The Iconic faced a loss in business due to economic turmoil. Being a startup company, The Iconic incurred high cost in operation. In competitive market, low cost structure is required to get competitive advantage. Low cost helps the business to keep product price low (Rae, 2012). However, despite having high cost, the company keeps product price, which affects the revenue of the company. Investment spending of the company is high in comparison to other competitors in the market.

Opportunity

The company has opportunity to increase investment in new product line. The company may increase product attractiveness to the customers. Moreover, there is opportunity to extend brands provided by Iconic. In present days, the company operates its business in Australia and New Zealand. Hence, opportunity is there to expand business globally in the fashion world.

Threat

Fashion industry is fast growing industry. Therefore, there is opportunity for other firms to enter into the market. In the Ecommerce industry, the elasticity of demand for product is high. Retaining existing customer is difficult task without robust business model. Entry of new firm is always there in the ecommerce business (Erdo??mu?? & Cicek, 2012).

Proposed strategy

The strategy of The Iconic is to create a social media plan for launching new product. The need for social media marketing plan is to mitigate issues faced by the company in online business. Entry of new competitors in the market is new treat for the Iconic. Therefore, SMM strategy may help the business to overcome the problems. Being an existing business in the market, the company has the advantage of first mover in the market. First mover indicates the firm in the oligopoly market, which takes first decision about market strategy. Being a leader in the market gives advantage to the firm over decision making. The first mover can take independent decision considering the strategy of other firms (Chiu et al., 2014).

SMM goals

During the new product launch, The Iconic takes two strategies such as product differentiation and change of high cost business model. The product differentiation strategy can be implemented by creating self brand. Creation of self brand may give the company different recognition in the market (Morris et al., 2015). SMART analysis is useful tool for market analysis. The objective of the strategy is to launch new brand of shoes for both men and women. Customer retention record of the company is good. Starting journey from 2011, the company has been able to create good recognition in Australian fashion market. Customer friendly marketing policy has helped the company to acquire significant market share.

SMART analysis

The target achievement is measurable through analysis of product, quality, and how frequently the company develops its product line. The Iconic generally follows high cost business model. To retain existing customer and attract new customer the company the company gives facilities to the customers. The product return policy is customer friendly however costly. Shift of high cost model can help the business to increase revenue. The company may follow other customer retention policy such as product differentiation; value added service, discounting etc (Colla & Lapoule, 2012). In the development process of new product, the company takes help of Criteo. Criteo presents products to the customer in an innovative, which helps to increase demand for the product.

Creation of new brand helps the company to shift from high cost model. Keeping branded products with high quality may increases expenditure of the company. If the company is able to create brand recognition, it will increase value of the company. Unique product may help the company to explore business internationally. To get brand recognition, the company can use other social media apart from personal advertisement. Face book, YouTube, Twitter etc can be used for the market promotion (Healy & Palepu, 2012). These are useful tools for business-to-customer model, which is followed by The Iconic.

To review whether the customers accept the new product or not the company can use white paper. White paper is an online business review paper prepared for audience. Other business audience, who is interested in ecommerce business, can follow the white paper. This paper highlights product information, product design, quality, issues, difficulties faced by company in product launching (Fleisher & Bensoussan, 2015).

Action Plan

The action plan is involves identification of tasks, analysis of planned tasks, implementation and predicted results. The action plan involves changes in previous strategy and formulation of new task schedule. New product development has several stages. Every project needs to be dividing into different several tasks. For every task, different time frame is allotted. Planning of tasks helps proper implementation of tasks. Project planning helps the project manager to monitor and implement the tasks accurately. Every task requires both time and resources. Therefore, delay in tasks than allotted time causes wastage of resources (Toufaily et al., 2013).

The action plan for new brand of shoe launch is as follows.

Tasks

Time schedule

Predecessor

A

Goal setting

5 days

-

B

Market research

30 days

A

C

Meeting of product development team with company’s top manager

1 days

B

D

Budget planning

5 days

C

E

Product design

7 days

B

F

Physical resource allocation

15 days

D

G

Financial resource allocation

25 days

D

H

Product manufacture

10 days

F

I

Advertisement

60 days

E

J

Product launch

H

Gantt chart

Days

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

Budget planning is important tasks of a project of product launch. The Launching new shoes in the name company’s own brand require creation of logo and attractive design. Therefore, after doing market research by product development team, the next stage in budget allocation. Budget allocation is necessary, as the stakeholder associate with the project gets an idea about project tasks and expenditure. In this budget planning stage, sales forecast is required based on market research. Budget allocation helps in maximum utilization of resources (See-To & Ho, 2014).

Development of products requires resources. Financial resource is important part of project. Existing business can use internal assets for financing new project. The Iconic can use retained earning to finance the project. The iconic is growing business company. The growth rate of this company is high and thus sufficient current asset is available to the firm to meet shot term finances. If the dividends are high, then sufficient funds may not available o the company to launch the product at a large scale (Pardalos & Tsitsiringos, 2013). Therefore, external finance can be used. The company can take business loan from banks. Joint venture with another business firm is another option. The venture capitalists can be easy source of finance. Collection of funds requires time. Application for loan, approval of loan requires some time. Physical resource allotment is also require time. These two tasks can be done simultaneously.

Launch of new product require creating awareness to the customers. One-day advertisement is not feasible. Hence, social media marketing is useful tool for product promotion. Social media marketing requires a long time to create awareness (Koh et al., 2012). 3months advertisement on different social media and personal website is effective for the company.

Recommendations

The business model followed by The Iconic is customer oriented, which is good policy this business. To sell finished products in the market, business to customer is effective policy. Customer satisfaction is important aspects of any business. However, the high cost model of The Iconic is not feasible to achieve sustainability in business. In competitive market, cost needs to be minimized in order to achieve economies of scale. Economies of scale are achieved by achieving cost advantage. Price is important factor in competitive market. If average cost of a firm remains high, it cannot be able to lower price of product compared to other firm. In price completion the high cost firm fails to operate by making profit. Therefore, shift from high cost business model is not feasible for long term sustainability.

The Iconic can remove the policy of offering full cost exemption in case of product return. Refund is good option. However, exemption of transportation cost can be removed. Alternative policy such as bundling strategy is effective in business. Bundling strategy is to offer different products in one package at low cost. This can be attractive policy. When developing new products, some exiting products can be offered with the new product at relatively low cost. This can be good business strategy.

Conclusions

The Iconic is a leading fashion and sport wear online retailer. The company is to launch a new shoe product in the market to attract more customers in business. Customer satisfaction always remains a goal of the company. The company follows business to customer business model. Social media marketing is useful tool in new product lunch. The situation analysis has been made to assess the online retail market and external business environment before launch of new product. The SWOT analysis shows that company has strong branded product line and recognition in the market. The Iconic enjoys competitive advantage over its rival in the online retail market. Despite being younger company, The Iconic has been able to acquire significant market share in Australia.

The company has strong financial positive in terms profitability. These are all positive factors, which helps in market promotion for new product. The recognition in the market increases the possibility of acceptance of new product to the customer. The iconic has one weakness, which can hinder the growth of the company in future. The company follows high cost model. Investment cost of the company is higher compared to other existing ecommerce business entity. The Iconic has business operation in only Australia and New Zealand. Therefore, there is opportunity to the company to explore business outside Australian territory. New product launch in the name of own brand can give the company an international exposure. Social media marketing has important role in development of business model.

References

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