Digital marketing has been defined as one of the best achievements in the world of business during the last several decades. Regular and unlimited access to digital media and technology enhances the use of online services and the development of effective marketing campaigns (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwich, 2019). As soon as technological advances were recognized, a new era of digital marketing was born, creating additional opportunities and evolutionary advertising methods.
Many companies demonstrate different approaches to marketing services or products and managing people. Some examples were successful, several projects needed elaboration, and certain ideas were failed because of a poor examination, evaluation of the cultural background, or the lack of attention to detail. The creation of a digital marketing strategy is not an easy task, and organizations must do serious work to succeed in business. Nike takes one of the leading positions in this type of marketing, and its practices are analyzed around the globe.
Nike Background and Position
Every company has its unique history, stages of development, and management strategies that are based on its mission, vision, and goals. Being founded in the middle of the 20th century, Nike remains a well-known international corporation in developing and manufacturing sports footwear, apparel, accessories, and equipment with the most captivating campaigns (Nike, 2019). Regarding an increased number of international customers, Nike has to make additional changes and improvements in different spheres.
For example, some stores should be re-designed, re-structured, or even closed because of the decline in brick-and-mortar retail, poor performance, or the necessity to evaluate new client- and employee-related costs (Nike, 2019). Recent revenues for the brand were increased by 10% ($9.7 billion), and selling and administrative expenses were increased by 9% ($3.4 billion) (“Investor news details”, 2019). Despite the existing challenges, this company continues to inspire people and motivate them to take the best from this life.
The success of Nike is predetermined by well-established goals and slogans for potential and regular customers. Today, its mission is to drive society to do everything possible and expand human potential (Nike, no date). Nike’s vision is unique because it helps to bring innovation to every athlete, and, not to promote inequalities in people, the company defines every person, who has a body, an athlete (Nike, no date). This year’s revenues (about $39 billion) serve as the best evidence for a properly chosen direction (compared to $36 billion in 2018 and $34 billion in 2017) (Nike, 2018, 2019). As the result of the work of an ordinary athlete and his coach (Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman, the founders), Nike takes the leading positions in the sports business, digital marketing, and the manufacturing industry.
Goals and Significance
This report aims to describe the essence of digital marketing in the 21st century, using the example of Nike. This company is an author of several successful marketing campaigns during the last years, and its new attempt to strengthen its position in the UK market deserves attention. “Nothing Beats a Londoner” is not an ordinary campaign with a properly developed digital strategy. It is a story of a Londoner that includes a variety of aspects of the British style of life. This short film represents how impressive and diverse a human life can be in case it is united but never limited to sport. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the peculiarities of digital marketing through the prism of “Nothing Beats a Londoner”. Market segmentation theory will be applied to explain the decisions made by Nike to develop a new, strong strategy and open a new perspective of digital marketing.
The Essence of Digital Marketing
To introduce an in-depth analysis of a company’s digital marketing strategy, several clarifications must be given. According to Todor (2016, p. 51), marketing is a process that includes all activities to place a “product or services in the hand of potential customers”. Companies need to develop trustful and good relationships with their clients and to predict what they could want today and tomorrow. Such concepts as brand awareness and customer retention determine the success of marketing and the effective choice between digital and traditional marketing strategies (Gupta, 2018; Todor, 2016).
Traditional marketing was frequently used in different epochs when people were not able to give clear definitions to this process. Technical progress has opened a new door to communication between organizations and clients (Bresnahan and Yin, 2017). Today, this process is called digital marketing and includes a type of marketing “to promote products or services and to reach consumers using digital channels” (Yasmin, Tasneem, and Fatema, 2015, p. 69). One of the common mistakes made by analytics is the belief that digital marketing includes Internet-related resources only. These strategies may be spread via mobile phones, radio, and TV.
Types of Digital Marketing Strategies
Internet expansion is a critical element in modern marketing activities that influences the way of how information is represented to customers and delivered by organizations. The creation of a website is one of the most frequently applied marketing efforts because this tool can be created by the company’s (either small or large) interests and possibilities (Gibson, 2018). Compared to traditional marketing where no interaction with the audience occurs, social media marketing allows customers to communicate with each other and sharing their opinions (Gibson, 2018; Yasmin, Tasneem, and Fatema 2015).
Kotane, Znotina, and Hushko (2019) say that about 23% of small, 35% medium and 65% large organizations share social media profiles and links on their official websites. Nike is a large enterprise, and its history and international marketing relationships remain impressive today. Its digital marketing strategy includes social media and focuses on generating content where its brand is mentioned, and testimonials are developed (Nair and Shobana, 2018). There is always a good opportunity for Nike to develop campaigns on Twitter or via email (López García et al., 2019). Any decision is now effective and beneficial for the company.
Nike’s Plan to Success
Nowadays, many companies have become competitors in their intention to develop interesting and remarkable marketing strategies. Nike supports its super-brand by the correct choice of its target market, sponsors, and investments (Flynn, 2015). Its marketing strategies are based on properly implemented theories and background knowledge. For example, market segmentation theory helps to identify common characteristics of customers either at home or abroad and create a plan to attract new buyers through mass advertisement (Tang, 2016). Current technological advances contribute to gathering personal information and identify the most interesting customized services and products (Mandal, Joshi, and Sheela, 2016).
The chosen theory is based on the differences between long-term and short-term interest rates and proves that there is no connection between these ideas because the demand of customers and investors is rarely the same (Wanyama, 2017). According to the latest financial reports, Nike’s interest rate during the last 12 months is about 2.6%, which proves the success of its operations with investors and customers (“Effective interest rate for NIKE”, 2019). Digital marketing strategies play a serious role in the achievement of these results, and “Nothing Beats a Londoner” is an appropriate example.
There are many reasons for Nike to pay attention to digital marketing as one of the methods to manage the relationships between a company and a client. Despite the type of strategy, it is normal for Nike to expect the establishment of visibility, the creation of relevant insights for employees, and the management of goals (Kahlon and Mayekar, 2016). According to Knight (2016), Nike is not only a brand but a family for people who share similar values.
Therefore, a marketing plan should be based on thoughtful marketing mixes, pricing and penetration strategies, and segmentation (Pandey, 2017). “Nothing Beats a Londoner” is a result of the serious and effective work of the team of managers, analytics, designers, and managers. In 2017, Nike introduced its noteworthy “Breaking2” campaign to demonstrate its care for people and recognition of their problems, feelings, and future goals (Minár, 2018). In 2018, “Nothing Beats a Londoner” was introduced and proved the possibility to tell a story of the whole nation in about three minutes.
Not much academic literature about this particular campaign can be found at the moment. Some authors admit that Nike always introduces interesting advertisement steps in its aim to attract customers’ attention (Campbell and Marks, 2015; Grow, 2016; Sanders, Phillips, and Alexander, 2017). “Nothing Beats a Londoner” meets a majority of standards of digital marketing strategies. For example, the recognition of five forms of segmentation (geography, demographics, behavior, benefit, and psychographic factors) allows avoiding clichés in marketing and focusing on particular people at a particular place (Kingsnorth, 2019).
In “Nothing Beats a Londoner”, no one can find the expected Big Ben or famous stadiums. Local streets, routine restaurants and shops, and unremarkable basketball courts should be recognized. Nikes targets real people with their real problems, which strengthens the idea of the chosen strategy and underlines the desire of the company to support people, not their abilities (Smith, 2019). At the same time, Nike can invite several celebrities to be influencers for ordinary people and mix them up to prove that Nike’s users are from different social classes (Keshkar et al., 2019). The audience does not recognize people but enjoys a process.
Every year, small and large organizations get access to several new ideas on how to introduce their services and find more customers. Nike is one of the companies where millions of clients around the globe are ready to buy its products and observe its recent achievements (Jiang, 2019). Following the recommendation by Voorveld et al. (2018), consumers’ engagement may be improved in case appropriate social media platforms are chosen, and people get a chance to evaluate advertising and share their opinions. As it has already been mentioned, “Nothing Beats a Londoner” is not an ordinary ad where one product for a particular group of people is introduced.
It is a story that is based on several digital marketing platforms and meets multiple purposes. In this advertisement, the authors use a city (London) and the elements of filmmaking as a promotional tool for the brand (Nike) (Masrani, 2018). “Nothing Beats a Londoner,” tells what it means to be a citizen of London and struggle for victories, achievements, and recognition in some activities.
On the one hand, the chosen campaign is characterized by evident features of content marketing. Its essence lies in the necessity to attract targeted people and introduce valuable and relevant content to convince people to buy Nike’s products (Baltes, 2015). In modern digital marketing, people expect to define and solve problems, gain alternatives, and share knowledge along with emotions. Nike’s campaign combines all these elements in a short-film marketing project.
There are many reasons why Nike uses content as its weapon to conquer competitors and amaze the audience. First of all, this ad helps to get involved personally because modern people can recognize themselves in the behaviors of people in the video. Secondly, learning and education are possible through the ad, and this strategy shows that it is always interesting to develop within the frames of the favorite city. Finally, the offered style of communication between the audience and the ad’s characters remains friendly and supportive. There are no diversities or inequalities because Nike unites all people using sports activities.
The second specific strategy that can be observed in “Nothing Beats a Londoner” is social media marketing because, in the majority of cases, this ad is found on YouTube or other online resources. Several decades ago, all companies needed to organise face-to-face meetings and spend hours on communication and analysis. Today, it is enough to create an interesting video, share it online, and make sure social media works for a firm.
Alves, Fernandes, and Raposo (2016) state that social media turns out to be a new tool in providing people with opportunities for assessing, choosing, and sharing products. “Nothing Beats a Londoner”, as a social media marketing strategy, is addressed to every person in particular and the entire world in general. As a rule, consumers are welcome to share their unique opinions or observe some public discussions about the offered product. Nike gains many profits and additional ways to gather information about customers, learn their opinions, and understand what improvements can be made.
Although Nike decided to use both celebrities and ordinary people in their ad, neglecting the idea of diversification, its influencer marketing strategy remains remarkable in business. The essence of this strategy is not just to hire a well-known person to gain public attention. To succeed in influence marketing, a company must be aware of who an influencer is, and what duties should be performed. Brown and Hayes (as cited in Stubb, Nyström, and Colliander, 2019, p. 109) state that, in social media, influencers are users “who have established credibility in a specific industry through their activity”.
Therefore, it is not necessary for a person to be a well-known figure, sportsman, or leader to be a core element of the chosen strategy. Nikes understood that it is enough for an individual to have access to a certain group of people to become a good influencer and make sure consumers follow the offered activity. YouTube is a perfect media platform for influencer marketing implementation (Xiao, Wang, and Chan-Olmsted, 2018). The exchange of personal information and opinions through comments is an effective way to keep the necessary consuming atmosphere.
The example of “Nothing Beats a Londoner” proves that several digital marketing strategies can be successfully implemented within the same ad. Masrani (2018, p. 165) calls the tactic “poignant, given the current uncertainties surrounding London’s demographics and, as a result, its global image in the post-referendum era”. However, instead of thinking about Nike as a negative or ineffective changer, one should accept it as an additional motivator and inspirer, a new source of information, or a fresh perspective on routine English life. The major elements of every strategy were perfectly observed in Nikes’ ad, including the brand, living principles, sport, habits, athletic people, and the British environment. Nike establishes innovative ideas and standards on how to represent products and services in a country.
The development of digital marketing strategies is one of the priorities set by modern organizations. The essence of this activity is to study the customer, understand his or her demands and expectations, choose the best resources, create a product, and introduce an interesting marketing story. The decision of an individual to buy a product or use a service depends on how well a company succeeds in marketing.
During the last several decades, Nike has created several interesting ads and shared its vision and missions through the prism of digital technologies. The analysis of content marketing, social media marketing, and influencer marketing strategies proves that Nike’s “Nothing Beats a Londoner” is not only a beautiful picture with people and actions on it, but a story of a city or even a nation, with its interests, abilities, and beliefs.
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