KeepCup Company: Digital Media Marketing Strategy

Introduction

The decision by the management of KeepCup to enter the Canadian market means that the firm has to manage the competition in the new market. According to Blythe (2013), one of the best ways of managing competition is to maintain regular and effective marketing campaigns. The marketing unit must ensure that it is not just the brand but also the products offered by this company that gain popularity in the new market. With a unique proposition in the Canadian market, the firm must ensure that the potential customers often hear about the brand and its products through various platforms.

The promotional campaigns should bring out the uniqueness of the products of this company and factors that make them superior to that of rival companies. The aim is to convince the audience that KeepCup is a unique brand with a special purpose of ensuring that its clients can take tea as much as they want but in a way that do not put a threat to the environment. One of the emerging platforms for promotional campaigns is the digital media. According to Epps and Trebilcock (2013), the digital media is offering companies a new and unique platforms through which they can reach the targeted audience than the traditional methods. In this paper, the researcher seeks to determine how KeepCup can use the digital media marketing strategy to gain unique position in the Canadian market.

Situation Analysis

It is important for the management to conduct a situation analysis to understand the firm’s strengths and weaknesses and the forces in the external environment that may be a threat or offer opportunities for the firm as it starts operations in the Canadian market. When developing a digital media marketing strategy, these forces must be put into consideration to ensure that the strategy chosen is in line with the internal and external forces of the environment.

SWOT Analysis

It is important to conduct a SWOT analysis of the digital media that KeepCup will use in the Canadian market. One of the biggest strengths of digital media is that it can reach a wide range of people within a very short time (Zeiser, 2015). The promotional campaigns used in Australia can also be used in Canada without making significant changes on the commercial as long as it is relevant in both markets. Through a platform such as Facebook, KeepCup can select Canada as its area of focus where its promotional campaigns must reach. Another benefit of the digital campaign strategy is that it is interactive in nature. It is a two-way traffic in terms of communicating with the customers.

The firm can easily get the views of its customers through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The ability to interact with the customers in the online platform makes it possible for this firm to adjust its products and product delivery methods in line with the expectations of the customers. It is also easy to identify a specific group of people to target when passing promotional messages. The firm can identify social groups on Facebook where its targeted audiences often visit. Through such a strategy, the firm will cut down the cost of operation. Lefebvre (2013) says that digital media is a fast way of communicating to the customers, especially in cases where there is an urgent issue that should be clarified to the customers.

The strategy is very effective, but it is important to appreciate that it has a number of weaknesses, which are worth noting. One of the weaknesses is that it may completely cut out a section of the market, especially those who are not regular users of the internet. The elderly and children who are not regular user of the social networks may not be reached effectively through this platform (Safko, 2013). Although they do not form the main target market segment, they can also be potential customers for this company. It is also important to note that the social media spreads negative news very fast. In case there is information that may harm the image of the firm, it will reach a large audience within a short time.

The biggest opportunity that the social media will offer KeepCup is the immediate response about the messages passed to them and the products that this firm offers. It will be conducting regular market research without spending a lot of time and financial resources to interview the audience. The ability of the firm to respond effectively to these comments will enable it to offer products that meet the needs of customers in the market. The management of KeepCup must also be ready to deal with the threat of using the social media.

According to Davis, Demirkan, and Motahari-Nezhad (2014), when a firm is using social media to promote its brand, there is always a threat posed by cyber criminals who can manipulate the message passed to the customers specifically to cause reputational harm to the company. Unlike in mass media where criminals cannot easily manipulate the message, it is easy for cyber experts to attack online operations of a firm and cause serious damage before a firm can find a way of addressing the issue (Lefebvre, 2013). The fact that many other rivals firms will be using the same platforms, the marketing unit of this company must come up with a unique message and in a different way that will make it stand out from the rest.

4C’s on Digital Media

The digital media has become a force that companies cannot avoid in the modern competitive business environment. According to Baack, Harris, and Baack (2013), forms are now moving from company-centric 4Ps of marketing mix to a more customer-centric 4Cs. It is an indication that companies are not only appreciating the importance of understanding the needs of the customers but they also appreciate that in the modern business environment, it is not possible to ignore the relevance of digital media marketing. The following 4Cs are very critical when analyzing the digital media strategy that KeepCup must employ in its new Canadian market.

Customer. KeepCup will use digital media to reach out to the target audience with its products designed to meet its specific needs. The primary targeted customers in this company are young people, especially those in college and the working class who regularly buy coffee on their way to work (Albarran, 2017). The firm targets individuals who are concerned about ecological issues. These people are keen on protecting the environment from the plastic menace and as such find, the products offered by KeepCup very appropriate in meeting their needs. KeepCup’s customers are also sensitive about their health. Studies have shown that using cheap plastics for hot drinks may pose health problems such as cancer. The materials used in manufacturing our products are special and poses no health threat to the users. The product also targets clients who want to create a unique personality. The product will not just give them a class but also pass a message that they are keen on preserving the environment.

Company. KeepCup must understand the digital media marketing needs to achieve the expected success in the new market. According to Ballantyne and Packer (2013), a firm must always conduct internal audits on a regular basis to understand its core competencies, areas of weaknesses and strength. It should understand how it could deal with external threats while at the same time taking full advantage of the opportunities that it presents. As a firm that prides in meeting the needs of its customers in an environmentally conscious manner, KeepCup should be keen on ensuring that its clients get the message about its proposition in the best way possible. The message should emphasize on the firm’s commitment to the health of its customers and security of the environment. However, Azevedo (2013) warns that it is not advisable to come up with a message that creates a perception that the firm is doing its clients a favor. Suspicion should not be created in the minds of the audience that the firm is hiding something from them. It should be clear that the relationship would be beneficial to the environment, to the customers, and the company. Such sincerities help in creating loyalty among customers.

Competitors. Competition in this industry is becoming stiff, especially in North America where consumption of coffee is high (Louw, 2012). A number of companies, which are now offering similar products in the Canadian market, have picked the concept. One of the biggest competitors in the Canadian market is Starbucks. This American company has dominated the North American market with its coffee and related products. It has now started manufacturing its own reusable cups. Given that, it is a strong brand that is already known and with loyal customers in this market, it is easy for it to acquire a huge market share within a short period. JOCO is another significant competitor that is offering similar products under the name JOCO Cup. Although the brand is not very powerful, it is a competitor that the management of KeepCup cannot afford to ignore. E-coffee cup is another brand that is penetrating this market. The choice of the name was deliberate to emphasize to their customers that their products are eco friendly. The management of KeepCup should monitor the market trends of these major market rivals to ensure that its market share remains protected.

Change. Change is a force that a company cannot avoid. Change often occurs in various areas and it is the responsibility of the management and the entire team within the company to ensure that operations and products are in line with the changing forces in the environment. The political environment in Canada has been changing as a given regime hands over power to another in terms of policies. However, it is reassuring that the political environment in the country has remained stable for the local and foreign companies. The economy of the country has also been changing. Canada is one of the leading economies in the global market (Moran, 2015). The purchasing power of its citizens has been on the rise, which means that the market is increasingly becoming attractive, especially to firms whose products help in protecting the environment. The market size of the country has not been growing very fast, especially due to the falling birth rates in the country. However, the increasing rates of immigration witnessed over the recent past shows that the market is likely going to expand with time.

The social environment is also changing in line with the emerging trends. A new trend is emerging where people want to continue taking coffee but in a way, that poses no significant threat to the environment. This change will help the company achieve success in this market because its products meet the desired needs of the customers. Significant changes in the technology sector are also beneficial to the company (Oplatka & Hemsley-Brown, 2012). Technology has facilitated marketing in the digital platform. Clients can easily be reached in the digital media and most of the transaction can be done online in case the clients want the products delivered to a place of their desire.

Summary of key issues. Understanding the 4Cs in the digital media marketing is just as important as understanding the 4Ps of marketing mix. It is a clear indication that the business world is changing and for a firm to survive, it must understand and manage these changes. A firm can no longer afford to ignore the digital media platform when planning its promotional campaigns, especially if its primary target market segment includes the teenagers and young adults. These people are known to spend most of their time in the social media and as such, using the digital platform is the best way of reaching out to them.

Digital and Social Media Strategy

Objectives

When developing a digital and social media strategy, French and Gordon (2015) advises that one must clearly define the objectives. It should be clear what a company seeks to achieve in the market using the social media strategy. Defining the objectives makes it easy to come out with action plans designed to meet the specific objectives. The following are the objectives that should be achieved through digital and social media strategy:

  • Creation of awareness for the products and the brand of the company within the Canadian market. The brand name KeepCup should be known within the market, especially among the teenagers and the young adults. The targeted clients should be informed about the products under this brand, the average market price, and places where they are available.
  • To create conversation in the social media about the products of this company, their availability, quality they offer, and price in relation to the products of the rival firms. Through such conversations, it will be possible for the firm to know areas that need change to enhance customers’ satisfaction.
  • The feedback that the company will be getting regularly through the digital and social media will enable it to conduct market research on a regular basis without necessarily making extra investment to conduct such an important activity. The feedback will enable the firm to acquire new knowledge about emerging market trends.
  • The firm should be capable of converting its online traffic into sales. The message passed through these platforms should be convincing enough to attract customers to the products of the company.

Tactics

The digital and social media offers a huge opportunity for KeepCup to penetrate the Canadian market as it seeks to create a pool of loyal customers. The marketing management unit of this firm must understand the social media networks popular among the targeted population. Choosing the appropriate platform will assure this firm of reaching out to its intended audience in the most appropriate way (Gbadamosi, 2016). The chosen platform should not only support the nature of campaign the firm plans to launch but it should also be specific in terms of reaching out to the intended audience in the market. The following platforms and strategies will be useful:

Facebook. It is a very popular social networking platform that is used by the Canadian teenagers and young adults on a regular basis. This platform will offer KeepCup a rare opportunity to reach out to the customers with promotional messages on a regular basis. It is an efficient way of informing the customers of any changes in the products or product delivery approaches that the firm is introducing. Facebook is a good platform that can enable this firm to get regular feedback from its customers about its products or marketing strategies. According to Gbadamosi, Bathgate, and Nwankwo (2013), Facebook offers its users a unique opportunity to create a page where a firm can pass its promotional messages to the customers. Customers can go to these pages and post their complaints or complements so that a representative of the firm can respond immediately.

Twitter. It has gained massive popularity among the working class as it is considered appropriate to engage in discussion over issues that are relevant in the society (Hardina, 2012). Twitter will used to ensure that the brand and products of the company is promoted in the Canadian market. It is a perfect platform to engage customers in constructive conversation about the improvements they feel are necessary.

LinkedIn. It has come out as a social networking platform where different professionals meet and share views they find relevant (Ravens, 2014). While using this social media platform to reach out to the targeted audience, KeepCup need to design promotional campaigns that meet the standards of these professionals. It must be appealing enough for them to consider taking a few seconds of their time to listen to the messages being presented.

Instagram. This social networking platform offers its users opportunity to share photos and videos. It is a perfect platform for KeepCup to promote its brand and products. It can share unique photos of people using the cups and conserving the environment. It can also take photos of its employees engaging in environmental conservation efforts just to demonstrate its commitment towards having a clean and sustainable environment. The strategy will endear the brand to a section of the market that values the need to protect the environment. It can also share relevant videos in this platform.

Online purchase payment. KeepCup will be targeting the working class and college students, as explained previously. The targeted customers are often very busy individuals who have very little time to spare. As such, they prefer making their purchases in the most convenient way possible. According to Agarwal, Selen, Roos, and Green (2015), online sales offers them the best way of making their purchases without wasting time. This company will allow its customers to make online purchase payments. The products will then be delivered to the location that is referred by the customer. Online payments and delivery will be offered in major cities where high numbers of customers are concentrated within a specific geographic area.

Online sales. As the firm expands its market operations in the Canadian market, it will expand its digital sales beyond the cities and move to other upcoming urban centers. The defining factor when embracing the online strategy will be the population. To be sustainable in its online operations, the firm must ensure that it has significant number of customers who can purchase the products in a way that will assure it of profitability (Tate, 2015). That is why sparsely populated areas in the urban settings will not be ideal for the strategy.

Budget

The strategy proposed above must be implemented using a very strict budget. It means that activities must be prioritized and the expenses carefully planned for in respect to the available resources. Facebook and Twitter marketing will be given priority because they offer effective means of reaching out to the targeted audience on a regular basis. LinkedIn and Instagram will be expected to support the other two social media platforms. The budget will also cover activities that will facilitate digital sales and payments within the Canadian market. The table below shows a breakdown of the budget.

Table 1: The budget

Item Budgeted Cost {$}
Facebook Marketing 200,000
Twitter Marketing 110,000
LinkedIn Marketing 90,000
Instagram Marketing 60,000
Facilitating online sales and payments 40,000
Total 500,000

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