Marketing, Brand Image, Strategy, Social Media, Groundswell Energy, and Social Technographics Comparison

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Introduction

Organizations aim to enhance their sales in the long term. To achieve this objective, they use various tools. Zyman, and Li and Bernoff have presented their views concerning methods of achieving objectives of marketing. Zyman shows the importance of convincing customers to buy companies’ products. Li and Bernoff show how to achieve this objective. The work of Li and Bernoff accents on enhancing sales of the organization.

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The following table reveals similarities and differences between the works of Zyman, and Li and Bernoff. Zyman shows the importance of strategy and people. As the table 1 demonstrates he did not possess the knowledge of social media. His ideas are relevant to the domestic market. Li and Bernoff showed the importance of people including customers and employees. They believed that companies needed to interact with customers to improve their sales. The argument of Li and Bernoff is relevant to the current business environment.

Table 1
Topic / Ideas / Goals / Strategies / Tactics, etc. Zyman Li and Bernoff Similar Dissimilar
Marketing X X X
Customers/people X X X X
Strategy X X X X
Branding X X X
Objectives X X X
Groundswell energy X X
Social Technographics X X

Zyman

Sergio Zyman wrote the book The end of marketing as we know it, and it was published in the year 1999. The author of this book worked as Chief Marketing Officer of Coca-Cola Company. He has utilized his experience in this organization while explaining various principles related to marketing. The work narrates the end or objective of marketing, and ways to achieve its aims. The author aims to provide a few tips to the audience concerning methods of enhancing sales of company’s products.

An advantage of this work is that it combines theory with practice. Zyman faced various challenges while working for Coca-Cola Company. He responded to them by using diverse strategies. Fourteen years have passed since the publication of this work. The author believes that principles enunciated in the book are relevant for modern business enterprises. They can benefit by emulating examples of Coca-Cola and other organizations that could withstand various crises (Zyman 1999).

Zyman notes that a few companies fail because they are not able to concentrate on customer. Most of the organizations assume that they can persuade the customer to buy their products. At a particular juncture, organizations fail to innovate, and they lose market share essential to survive in the business. Marketing departments need to conduct periodic survey of the impact of their work on the sales. Such studies enable companies to evaluate their strengths and limitations (Zyman 1999).

According to the author, marketing is a process of enhancing sales of an organization. It is true that sales department is accountable for enhanced sales. Marketing department should support other sections in the organization to enhance company’s profitability. Through advertisement and product promotions, the marketing department is not able to enhance sales. Apart from such activities, this department needs to use additional methods to contribute to organization’s long-term growth. For example, there is a need to study changes in customer demands. This is essential because in the long term customer demands may change (Zyman 1999).

Organizations invest in marketing because they aim to enhance their sales. A marketing agency that fails to enhance sales through its activities may lose business. Companies need to increase their investment in marketing to enhance their profits. Investment in marketing enables organizations to withstand financial crises. A notable duty of the marketing department is to enhance demand for company’s products. Most firms have short-term goals. They lack long-term commitments. Such companies fail to augment their sales in the long term. Marketing department should be able to inspire workers to produce more (Zyman 1999).

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The book shows the importance of strategy, which enables the company to position itself in the business world. For example, Coca-Cola Company introduced Diet Coke into a large market. This is a significant development because Coca-Cola Company decided to break the tradition of introducing a new product into a small market (Zyman 1999, p. 29). The company cannot afford to invest its entire net worth in strategy and advertisements. There is a need for the most appropriate strategy to deal with competition. Microsoft followed the strategy of negating competition. Netscape gave considerable competition to the Internet Explorer.

Microsoft destroyed this competition by demonstrating limitations of Netscape Navigator (Zyman 1999, p. 34). Coca-Cola Company devised a strategy to deal with competition from Pepsi Company. Pepsi Company introduced a product called Crystal Pepsi. To deal with this competition, Coca-Cola launched its product Tab Clear. Pepsi Company was compelled to compete in the diet drink sector. The company failed to compete because Crystal Pepsi comprised sugar. The main objective of the new product introduced by Coca-Cola Company was to neutralize the product of the competitor (Zyman 1999, p. 36).

In some cases, Coca-Cola Company also competed with its opponent by introducing superior products. For example, a product called Snapple was introduced to compete with Coca-Cola, a sweetened and carbonated drink. Snapple positioned itself as a fruit-based drink. In the initial stages, the marketing department of Coca-Cola ignored Snapple. Gradually, Snapple gave considerable competition to the products of Coca-Cola. To deal with this problem, Coca-Cola Company launched a new fruit-based product called Fruitopia (Zyman 1999, p. 37).

People in the marketing department should understand the basic principles of marketing. They should study the business environment that can affect prospects of the company. It is not advisable to depend on a single strategy. Marketing department may be compelled to change its strategy depending on various political and economic developments. A person in the marketing department should be prepared to learn from any individual and development.

A marketing officer should develop qualities such as listening and questioning abilities. It is important to listen to people around (Zyman 1999). Introduction of the new Coke was the result of constant research of customers’ expectations from the Company. The new product became a success as it represented American culture (Zyman 1999, p. 55).

Another responsibility of the marketing department is to create and execute a branding strategy. For the long-term growth of the company, it is important to create an identity for the company. By creating brands, it is possible for marketing agencies to enhance sales of the organization. For example, due to long-term and systematic efforts the brand of Coca-Cola was created. It enabled the company to ensure higher sales of its products. Zyman opposes mega branding as a strategy.

This is because mega brand hides identity of unique products of a company. Through branding, it is possible to give reasons to the customer to buy products of the company. By following this strategy, the company can differentiate its products from products of its competitors (Zyman 1999).

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The book suggests the need to stick to the local market, which can ensure enhanced sales in the long term. It is true that the company needs to find new markets. In the process, local markets should not be ignored. Zyman also advises that after introducing new products, the company should not neglect old products. There is a need to introduce innovative products and strategies to deal with competition (Zyman 1999).

Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

The book Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies discusses the concept called ‘groundswell’. It was published in the year 2011. The book aims to assist business leaders to utilize social media to market their products. The authors argue that business organizations could enhance their brand image by implementing their ideas related to the groundswell. The book has used the case study approach (Li & Bernoff 2011).

The authors interacted with company leaders to create strategies of exploiting social media that include websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others. The book shows that by using social media, companies can enhance their profitability and productivity. Social media allows individuals to improve their relationship with others. They can share information regarding companies that market various products. The users of social media are advised to improve their social relationship. The work gives inferior role to technology. It understands the importance of people for the growth of any organization.

This is because in the absence of people, technology loses its significance. It is not possible to ignore social media. This is because websites such as Facebook today comprise more than 500 million members. Organizations can use social media to expand their visibility in the virtual world (Li & Bernoff 2011).

The book uses the concept of groundswell to discuss ways of achieving specific goals of the organization. Groundswell is an energy that emerges from an interaction between customers who share their experience with each other. It is important to nurture groundswell and use it for company’s long-term progress. Organizations that ignore groundswell may fail to compete with other companies. Groundswell is important because it has the ability to affect branding strategy of the organization. The book gives the example of jujitsu master who is able to benefit by studying the opponent. Business leaders should be able to use groundswell technologies for their benefit (Li & Bernoff 2011).

The authors refer to the tool called “Social Technographics Profile” (Li & Bernoff 2011, p. 43). It enables organizations to categorize customers into various groups. Based on this activity, organizations can launch appropriate products. For example, organizations such as Fujitsu and NEC collected data concerning customers. They found that Fujitsu personal computer (PC) buyers were more active and creative when compared with NEC PC buyers (Li & Bernoff 2011, p. 51).

The book has created a strategy to exploit groundswell energy. The strategy is termed POST, and it comprises people, objectives, strategy, and technology. According to Li and Bernoff, there are various objectives such as listening, talking, energizing, supporting, and embracing. The list of objectives replaces the traditional list of objectives such as research, marketing, sales, support, and developments (Li & Bernoff 2011, p. 69).

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The new list complemented the old list of objectives in enhancing sales of the organization. Leaders of the organization need to listen to the groundswell energy to understand its features. Listening has considerable impact on branding of an organization. By paying attention to the views of customers, it is possible to collect valuable data pertaining to their behavior. Companies spend a considerable amount of money to obtain this information. For example, in 2009, companies paid more than $4 billion to obtain this information from Nielsen, a marketing research company (Li & Bernoff 2011, p. 80).

The next step in the use of groundswell energy is to talk to it by using tools available in the social media. The tools include audio and video programs found in the social media. By energizing groundswell, the company is able to obtain new customers. An attempt should be made to encourage interaction between customers. For example, Dell Company encouraged interaction between its customers through a blog. The message that Dell obtained was useful in creating a strategy to achieve objectives of the organization. The book considers customers as collaborators. The organization should take relevant measures to achieve its objectives. The use of Twitter enabled organizations to interact with customers (Li & Bernoff 2011).

Business leaders should implement principles pertaining to groundswell theory. Organizations can tap this energy from their employees. By providing an online platform for the employees, organizations are able to empower them, thereby contributing to their enhanced productivity. Over a period, companies are likely to create multiple applications. Organizations should learn how to handle large numbers of applications. The book suggests that in the future organizations are likely to comprehend the importance of groundswell energy. Companies may devise strategies to exploit social media to compete with other organizations (Li & Bernoff 2011).

The work has used various case studies to prove principles related to groundswell strategy. Case studies show that companies such as Ernst & Young, HP, Procter & Gamble, Constant Contact, Lego, Dell, and Unilever benefited by implementing principles mentioned in this work. Companies have used wikis, blogs, and websites to approach their actual and potential customers to obtain their feedback. Dell Company, for instance, launched a blog to interact with its customers.

Similarities

The two works have common features. They have understood the goal of marketing. Marketing does not relate to an advertisement alone. Traditionally, marketing experts believed that marketing departments needed to create advertisements in print and electronic media. Zyman showed the need for coordination between marketing and sales departments to achieve the end of marketing. The books have suggested different ways of achieving this objective.

The works also understand the need for enhanced sales of products in the long term. The works suggest the use of different methods to achieve objectives of marketing. Authors of both books believe that through marketing it is possible to enhance profitability and productivity of the organization.

Organizations need to observe strategies of their competitors. Companies need to introduce new products and strategies to deal with competition. In a short-term companies may not achieve success, but they need to have a long-term view. These works provided a new definition of marketing. They showed that marketing department performs varied functions.

As shown in the table 1, the authors believe that the customer is important for the organization. This is because customers may decide not to buy goods produced by a company. Such decisions would affect the growth of the organization in the long term. There is a need to obtain information regarding the customer. Companies need to obtain data concerning customers’ views with reference to companies’ products. Organizations cannot take customers for granted.

It is not possible to expect that customers would continue to buy company products in the long term. The works stated that business leaders should develop listening ability to understand customers’ needs and aspirations. Companies need to observe the response of customers to their products. Depending on the customer feedback, organizations can launch new products. Companies need to divide customers into various categories. This is necessary to offer pertinent products to appease customers.

As shown in the table 1, the authors understand the importance of creating strategies to deal with competition. With the assistance of strategies, companies are able to achieve their long-term missions. Strategies are created based on the study of the behavior of customers and competitors. The works suggest the need for a branding strategy. This is necessary to improve sales of the organization. Organizations should use various tools to achieve this objective. The authors have used the case study approach to prove their theories. For example, Zyman gives various examples from the Coca-Cola Company. Li and Bernoff, on the other hand, studied Coca-Cola Company, Dell, HP, and others that implemented principles suggested in the work.

Zyman, and Li and Bernoff realized the importance of innovation to increase the number of customers. For example, they did not depend on advertisements alone. They realized the importance of interacting with the customers. According to them, interaction with the customer allowed organizations to improve their sales.

Differences

The work of Zyman is based on the personal experience of the author in Coca-Cola Company. Zyman worked in this company in different capacities. He played an important role in devising strategies to neutralize competition from companies such as Pepsi. Most of the examples given by Zyman relate to Coca-Cola Company.

The work of Zyman is applicable to large enterprises while it may not suit small and medium business enterprises. This is because the Coca-Cola Company could introduce strategies due to its domination of the soft-drink market. The company was in a position to introduce innovations to suit its strategies. The work of Li and Bernoff is useful for organizations belonging to different categories. This work is useful for small, medium, and large organizations.

Li and Bernoff wrote their work based on their experience of working with social media. They comprehended the importance of websites such as Facebook and Twitter for organizations. The work of Li and Bernoff is convincing when compared with the work of Zyman. This is because Li and Bernoff presented details, which can be considered as relevant to modern organizations.

The work of Zyman was published in the year 1999. During this period, scholars did not envisage the impact of social media on organizations. The work of Li and Bernoff, on the other hand, was published in the year 2011. By this time, social media had emerged as a major platform used by customers to express their views concerning the products of various companies.

As shown in table 1, Zyman did not envisage the emergence of social media as a popular medium of interaction among consumers. It is true that he respected the autonomy of customers, but he did not imagine that they would interact with each other by using social media. Li and Bernoff comprehended the importance of social media in enhancing or reducing sales of the organization. The work of Zyman does not discuss the need to involve customers in the decision-making process.

Zyman does not advocate active interaction between the marketing department and customers. Li and Bernoff, on the other hand, understood the importance of active interaction between the company and customer. Zyman was aware of the importance of customer for the company, but he could not create a reliable plan to implement this idea. Li and Bernoff are able to create a reliable plan to improve the relationship between the customer and the company. They suggested the use of wikis, blogs, and social media websites to improve sales of the organization.

Zyman gives importance to strategy when compared with people including customers and employees. For Li and Bernoff, strategy is important, but it is secondary to people. This is because company obtains new ideas based on its interaction with the customers. Zyman suggests that companies should form a long-term strategy to neutralize the moves of other companies. Li and Bernoff believed in concentrating on customers. Zyman believed in the need to improve brand image of the organization. To achieve this, he suggested that marketing companies should evolve strategies. Li and Bernoff, on the other hand, believed that people or groundswell energy could improve or diminish brand image of an organization.

As shown in table 1, Zyman was aware of the importance of data concerning a company’s product and the feedback of customers. He uses traditional methods of data collection by approaching companies that conducted market research. He could not comprehend the importance of customers to obtain data. His method of data collection is expensive when compared with the method suggested by Li and Bernoff.

This is because Li and Bernoff suggest the use of social media websites to obtain data concerning the behavior of customers. Such studies show that customers exhibited different behaviors after purchasing products from various firms. For example, customers of NEC showed passive behavior when compared with customers of Fujitsu. The customers of Fujitsu showed creative abilities. This study allowed organizations to create a strategy to impress customers. In this way, companies can respond to changes in the aspirations and demands of their customers.

As shown in table 1, Zyman understood the importance of customers for organizations. He suggested that organizations needed to convince customers to buy their goods. By giving large numbers of reasons, it is possible to impress customers. For example, Coca-Cola Company gave 35 reasons to buy its product. Zyman believes in the role of employees in enhancing sales of the organization. Li and Bernoff, on the other hand, believed in the use of customers’ interaction to improve sales of the organization. They have given evidence to show that customers can become a real strength of the organization.

The work of Li and Bernoff created new terminologies such as groundswell energy and Social Technographics. Groundswell, for example, refers to people or customers and employees. Social Technographics can be used to obtain relevant data concerning customer behavior. This tool enables the organization to divide customers into diverse categories. Different products can be offered to customers belonging to diverse categories.

The work has given examples to show the effectiveness of this technique in improving performance of the organization. Zyman, on the other hand, was not aware of these tools. Zyman provides large numbers of case studies to convince the reader concerning the need to implement the principles mentioned in the work. He used most of the case studies related to Coca-Cola Company. This is because Zyman worked for this company, and obtained valuable experience in the marketing department. Li and Bernoff have provided case studies related to various organizations.

The work of Zyman is suitable to a local market. He does not favor a strategy of expanding the sales at the cost of the domestic market. This is because it takes time for any organization to understand a new market. The work of Li and Bernoff is suited to local and global market. This is because in the age of globalization, social media is used in various regions such as the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa. Companies can use social media to reach customers living in various parts of the world. For example, the Dell Company could expand to Asia by using its websites and blogs.

Conclusion

There are similarities and differences between the works of Zyman and Li and Bernoff. Zyman wrote his book in the year 1999 after he resigned from the Coca-Cola Company. The work has large numbers of case studies related to this company. He understood the importance of marketing, customers, strategies, and branding. Zyman has given a new definition of marketing. He showed that advertisement is not the only purpose of marketing. It needs to enhance sales in the long term. It is not possible to justify any marketing agency that fails to enhance sales of the organization. He also suggested the need to create innovative strategies to deal with competition.

Strategies can take various forms. For example, Coca-Cola Company introduced a new product to compete with the Pepsi Company. Over a period, Zyman suggests the need to introduce varied strategies to deal with competition from other companies. A major problem with this work is that it gives considerable importance to strategy when compared with people. The work does not assist modern organizations in improving their sales. This is because organizations in the modern period face complex problems and they need complex solutions. Zyman was not aware of the impact of social media on the performance of organizations.

Li and Bernoff have used new concepts such as groundswell energy and Social Technographics to achieve marketing objectives. They realize the importance of the customer for the long-term growth of the organization. People are at the center of discussion related to the groundswell energy. It is possible to tap groundswell by using social media websites. The work gives a practical guide to organizations in interacting with customers. For these authors, people are more important than strategy and technology. This work is more useful to modern entrepreneurs when compared with the work of Zyman. This is because modern organizations cannot perform without the support of customers. They also need to tap information from employees. Li and Bernoff have used non-traditional methods of improving sales of the organization.

References

Li, C & Bernoff, J 2011. Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies, Harvard Business Press, Boston, MA.

Zyman, S 1999. The end of marketing as we know it, Harper Business Press, New York, NY.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "Marketing, Brand Image, Strategy, Social Media, Groundswell Energy, and Social Technographics Comparison." September 9, 2022. https://business-essay.com/marketing-brand-image-strategy-social-media-groundswell-energy-and-social-technographics-comparison/.

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BusinessEssay. "Marketing, Brand Image, Strategy, Social Media, Groundswell Energy, and Social Technographics Comparison." September 9, 2022. https://business-essay.com/marketing-brand-image-strategy-social-media-groundswell-energy-and-social-technographics-comparison/.