Strategic Profile and Case Analysis Purpose
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia offers consumers a variety of products and services in publishing, Internet, broadcasting media platforms, and merchandising product lines. With a global multimedia reach of around 100 million a month, MSLO still does not have a significant online presence. The company’s main focus continues to be selling books, utility applications, television and video programs, and lifestyle products to its main consumer demographic, middle-aged American women. Although this is a relatively reliable and loyal market, the company remains in an uncertain business state and requires strategic alternatives. The purpose of this case study is to analyze the current internal and external factors of the evolving media and merchandising industry. As a result of the environmental analysis, several strategies and alternatives to meet these demands will be explored.
General Environmental Analysis
- Demographic trends:
- positive dynamics of the birth;
- rate constant migration of the population;
- Sociocultural influences:
- consumers are more educated and knowledgeable;
- more criticizing consumer base;
- Technological developments:
- expansion of the Internet and online business;
- growth of e-commerce;
- increased influence of social networks;
- Macroeconomic impacts:
- interest rates;
- inflation rates;
- savings rates;
- Political-legal pressures:
- tax policy changes;
- developing countries privatizing state monopolies;
- Global trade issues:
- enhancing media platforms;
- increased focus and awareness of health and wellness lifestyles.
The most crucial criterion for MSLO will be the development of technologies. Companies that use new technologies get the opportunity to expand their potential, increase customer loyalty and generally notice good prospects. Today, a person consumes a considerable amount of content, so it is necessary to provide it quickly, easily, and understandable. Thus, it is advisable to improve boundary calculations. Only technologies are able to ensure the transmission of information in a convenient form for a person and expand the possibilities of perception.
- High Rivalry – Because there are many firms and much competition, large product differentiation, and exit barriers, there is a high rivalry for MSLO.
- Hard to enter industry – Because of the Martha Stewart name and the brand loyalty that comes with that, it is harder to enter this particular industry of celebrity brands.
- Low threat of substitute products – Because there is less competitive threat from substitutes it does not affect price as much.
- Bargaining Power for Supplier – Supplier has some bargaining power because there is only one manufacturer per product type of Martha Stewart labeled goods.
- Bargaining Power for Buyer – Buyers do not have as much bargaining power as the supplier because there are many different buyers of Martha Stewart labeled products, while there is only manufacturer. However, these buyers have many other relationships with other celebrity brands.
As for social networks, initially, it may seem that this is an excellent platform for experiments. However, since Real Simple is a brand, whose image has been formed over the years, the SMM strategy should be no less thoughtful than the main marketing plan. If people look at the publication’s pages on different social networks, they can see that the editorial board takes into account the specifics and audience of each social network, and the publications on the pages will differ. The development of social networks is necessary not only for companies producing consumer goods but also for the media, as it is a great way to promote the brand and attract additional readers. Regular customers of Real Simple will be the first to learn about all the news and trends due to the prompt communication between the magazine and the audience. Real Simple’s marketing strategy provides the presence of a website and communication with subscribers in social networks and for sending notifications by email.
MSLO incorporated the complementary strategic alliance by going on television and radio to promote her products. Magazines also became a popular way to sell her product and develop Martha’s name into a worldwide brand.
Business-Level Cooperative Strategies
Martha’s Stewarts Living Omnimedia utilized a business-level corporate strategy to create a competitive advantage by doing business with multiple retail, marketing, and media businesses to grow her products. With the implementation of horizontal and vertical strategic alliances, MSLO was able to create a business relationship with various retail firms such as a major retailer in J.C.Penny’s Company and a major network like HULU and HULU plus.
Internal Governance Mechanisms
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is privately owned by Marquee Brands which is an investment management company. Marquee Brands actively monitor and influence company actions. Marquee Brands works with management to coordinate practices of the business with the alignment of Marquee Brands’ interests.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia can redefine its brand, so the company is not reliant on anyone. In addition to brand issues, the company needs to change its internal structure to protect shareholders better and improve its profitability and sustainability. At this time, Martha is the sole holder of Class B shares of stock in MSO, which give her ultimate decision-making power. In order to alter the direction of the company, something must be done to dilute her authority to direct the course of MSO. One possibility is for the company to buy her out of her majority ownership. Martha will also have to confront the public once the investigations are complete and make a decision about her communication strategy.
Strategy Formulation – strategic alternatives
This Martha Stewart living ad attempts to increase product usage, frequency of use, and consumption of Martha Stewart Living Gardening Products by taking the same tools and marketing them as tools for Sustainable Living. During a time when Sustainable Living and Organic Food has become a growing lifestyle and an individual’s part in helping the environment, Martha Stewart Living focuses on this growing trend and promotes further use of her products in this more significant way.
The concept behind this Martha Stewart advertisement is that men too are consumers of Martha Stewart products, including grilling supplies, cookbooks and course her TV show and magazines. The visual attempts to expand and develop the Martha market by opening up new ideas and specifically reach out to men, a market that has received little attention from MSO.
Strength/Opportunity (S/O) Based Strategy
MSLO’s strong hold on four major industries affords increased capitalization based on elevated obsession and awareness of celebrity brand into the children’s arts and crafts market
Strength/Threat (S/T) Based Strategy
The fact that MSLO’s “omnimerchandising” platform has a strong presence in the home improvement market affords the brand to reduce fiscal effects from the housing market slump by emphasizing the easy “do-it-yourself” home improvement products.
Strategic Alternative Implementation
It is necessary to combine qualitative and quantitative research at this stage to solve specific research tasks. Qualitative methods (focus groups, in-depth interviews) and quantitative tests are used to obtain data. Focus groups and in-depth interviews allow you to identify spontaneous reactions of consumers to a new product and get a general idea of their attitude to the product and its parameters.
Quantitative tests are used to refute or confirm hypotheses that arise as a result of qualitative research, or hypotheses about a product, regardless of the results of qualitative research. Usually, quantitative tests are underestimated by the client, who often justifies his decisions with data obtained from the results of focus groups (which are relatively cheap). However, the quantitative assessment allows you to choose the most optimal product formula from several formulas.
In the process described, it is essential to analyze the situation with a particular product. The formulation and implementation of the strategy should be carried out carefully so that potential goals can be achieved. It is necessary to maintain the attractiveness of profitable products. Products that cause losses should be excluded from the offer. When developing a product strategy, it is always necessary to understand the stage of the cycle because an acceptable course of action depends on it. While at the initial stage, the company may decide to reach a group of innovators in society and offer them a high price, it is difficult to expect that such a strategy will be correct at the maturity stage, when there is fierce competition in the market, and the client can choose from a variety of similar offers.
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