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Wal-Mart Changes in Business Practices
Marketing in 2012 Demands a Rapid Pace of Change Affecting Business Practice
Over the years, there has been a change in the way organizations market their products across the globe. These changes are influenced by the dynamic nature of customers as well as changes in consumer behavior. It is pertinent to note that the introduction of social transparency has promoted the aspect of customer service in e-marketing. The social media is now considered an instrumental aspect of the marketing of any organization. This study will elaborate the significance of social media to Wal-Mart's marketing strategy. Through social media, customers become the influencers regarding the product consumption and purchase decisions across the market. Additionally, multiple aspects of an organization can be incorporated. These include advertising, public relations, marketing, customer service, as well as e-commerce. Social media website form multidimensional platform for different client engagements.
This study comprehensively articulates the demands of the marketing strategies with the rapid developments in the market. The changes have significantly influenced the practices of much business across the globe as competition stiffens. The use of different social networking sites as channels of communication for different business engagement is also clearly discussed. It is pertinent to note that the discussion is in relation to the retail chains market. The company at the center of the discussion is Wal-Mart. Over the years, the adoption of social media as a marketing platform has reduced the costs of reaching out to the masses. A comparison is drawn between the traditional media and the social media platform effectiveness. It is pertinent to note the rise of social media is based on the strength of new media platforms such as the Internet and mobile networks (Christian, 2011).
The retail industry is characterized by stiff competition and aggressive marketing. The industry has multiple players across the globe with many of the multinationals conducting its in many regions. Wal-Mart is a leading retail store multinational with operations in multiple countries across the globe. It is pertinent to note that the organization has a workforce of about two million in its more than eight thousand stores. The organization has multiple divisions with different target markets. The Sam's club is recognized as a wholesale outlet for the organization whereas the department stores are known as the Wal-Mart discount stores.
The organization faces competition from different types of retail outlets such as Target, K-Mart and other local retailers in the different countries of operation. It is pertinent to note that stiff completion in some countries such as Germany led to the folding of operations. In Germany, the organization had implemented multiple advertising strategies mostly through traditional media, which include print, radio, and television. However, the efforts did not bear fruits with a remarkably small market share gained after the entry of the retail giant in the German market. The outlets were later sold to another company after Wal-Mart terminated its operations. The organization failed to adopt new techniques of marketing and instead replicated the old approaches it had applied in North America and the United Kingdom. This served as a key lesson to the organization expansion planners. The role of social marketers is to develop social content that is relevant to the retail markets to promote the organization. Some of the areas that social media plays a significant role in organizational development include branding, product launches, public relations, customer services as well as satisfaction surveys (Clow, 2012).
Wal-Mart's Social Media Marketing
The organization has adopted a number of strategies to enhance its brand recognition and reputation in the society through the social media. It is pertinent to note that the core objectives of any of the social media strategies are based on brand promotion. Social media platforms enable Wal-Mart to interact as well as develop relationships with customers as well as prospects. This enhances the image of the organization in the public as well as strengthening bonds with customers. Moreover, these efforts encourage brand loyalty. The use of RSS feeds is an instrumental strategy used for content distribution in the social media. Syndication of social content through this strategy effectively ensures that customers are continuously updated regarding new deals in the retail outlets. Through bookmarking of web pages and tagging, information can be easily distributed across the Internet to enhance brand presence and recognition.
The organizations also pay keen interests on the online conversations across different social websites that affect its reputation within the communities it serves. Wal-Mart serves societies with different needs and preferences. The organization also identifies the principal parties in its areas of operations and the most influential figures within the region. These influencers can be used to enhance the brand image through social media endorsements or positive comments left by these characters. The organization aims at generating captivating content within its different social media platforms to ensure that the reputation of the organization is cemented.
The organization applies multiple social media tools to enhance its presence in the social media. Moreover, Wal-Mart maintains an impressive update record on its Facebook page. The organization also has an established network of professionals in its LinkedIn circle. Regular monitoring of social media comments and conversations is a central aspect of its interest in social media. Its activity on Twitter is also impressive with frequent posts on changes affecting consumers (Mainwaring, 2011).
Brand management through the social media has presently taken a center stage in many organizations. The marketing plans of Wal-Mart comprehensively cover the objective of each of the marketing activities implemented by the organization. It is pertinent to note that the organization can engage its customers in useful conversations through the social media. It is pertinent to acknowledge that social media support traditional media in different ways. Television networks currently rely heavily on social media to popularize their shows. Organizers of television shows and campaigns have even used the social media to promote their viewership. Through social media, marketing Wal-Mart has attained a high level of transaction in its e-commerce platforms.
Online media opportunities need to be utilized to the maximum to ensure high brand performance. The use of videos over the social media platforms to enhance marketing strategies has also provided instrumental opportunities for success. The use of social television is an instrumental aspect of social media marketing that is cheap to implement and has a considerable impact on brand relevance. Wal-Mart has appointed successful marketing agencies to maintain its social media presence and marketing campaigns. These agencies liaise with the in house marketing, public relations, sales, customer service, as well as content development teams to ensure that the organization is well represented. However, the agencies must be well informed regarding the marketing objective of Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart is an organization, which has a vision of making other people's lives better. Therefore, it has come up with several initiatives, which are meant to make a difference in people's lives. This has made it come up with a slogan, "save money, live better." It has used this slogan in the social media to market itself. For this reason, Wal-Mart has gained a significant recognition from all parts of the world. This has helped it grow to where it is today.
Initially, when social networks like Twitter and Facebook were not common, advertising, or marketing for Wal-Mart was a serious challenge. This occurred when it came to the cost of advertising and the ability to reach as many clients as possible across the globe. One of the key marketing strategies that Wal-Mart has used in the social media is Every Day Low Cost, which has invited people to purchase different products from them. This is because people have used this strategy and saved their money, stretch paychecks, and at the same time provides reasonable lives for their families.
However, the strategy of helping people live better lives goes beyond the company's store walls. Through social media advertising, the company has been able to extend to different societies and around the world and have a positive impact on the lives; some of the company's employees and executives will never meet such people may not meet these people face-to-face.
In addition, it is still through the social network that the company has been able to educate people on the importance of conserving the environment, providing access to healthy and affordable food, empowering women and fighting hunger. Through this network, Wal-Mart drives meaningful changes in the lives of different people across the world that no other organization has been able to change.
Based on this, some of the commonest pages that Wal-Mart has shared with the world in both Facebook and Twitter networks are environmental sustainability. In this case, the company has declared that it is committed to sustainability of the environment because that is the appropriate thing for them to do and the right thing for the company. Secondly, they have shared a page on nutrition and hunger whereby the company is committed to providing more healthy food, while the…[continue]
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