Netflix Company’s Strategic Communication and Success in the UAE

Introduction

Communication is one of the critical tools for success in any competitive business environment. According to Holtzhausen and Zerfass, the ability of a firm to remain sustainable in its operations depends fundamentally on its internal and external communication strategies (90). A firm should know how to engage with the public at the corporate level, not only through advertisements but also through the public relations angle when trying to promote their image and brand.

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Successful firms have learned the importance of developing effective strategies of communication as ways of overcoming challenges in the market and realizing growth. In this paper, the researcher seeks to investigate how Netflix can achieve success in the new market of the United Arab Emirates through effective communication and other strategic management concepts.

Discussion

Netflix is an American company that offers media services both within the local and international market. The company was founded in 1997 and currently has its headquarters in Los Gatos, California (Lobato 78). To date, the company has made a successful entry into the European market and in some parts of Asia. However, the United Arab Emirates has a huge potential that the company should not ignore. The large population of foreigners in major cities such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, along with the strong economy, are significant factors that could help the firm to succeed in this market if it employs the right marketing strategies. The management should be convinced that this market has the potential to increase the future revenue stream of the company.

The Concept of Strategic Communication

The concept of strategic management has gained popularity over the past few decades as firms struggle to gain a competitive edge over their rivals in the marketplace. According to Lobato, strategic communication refers to the discipline of public relations, advertisement, and management communication (54). It involves sending a clear and concise message to employees and shareholders within the firm, customers, and the public in the external environment.

The ability of a firm to convince its customers to remain loyal to its brand and products defines its capacity to overcome various challenges in the market. When faced with a major scandal or an issue that may have a negative image on the brand or image of the company, the management must come out and address the issue and assure the public that it is still committed to serving their interests. Netflix should understand that when operating in a foreign market, communication is one of the most effective tools to ensure its success.

Strategies that Netflix Can Use to Enter the UAE Market

The United Arab Emirates is currently one of the most preferred destinations for foreign companies seeking to expand their operations within the Middle East and African markets. Its strategic location as a gateway to the region and impressive infrastructure makes it easy for foreign companies to establish their branches in the country. According to Holtzhausen and Zerfass, foreigners who are working in various industries or operating their businesses dominate the city of Dubai (112). In such a highly cosmopolitan city, an American company would not need to worry about the local culture as a hindrance to their business operations. The government has liberalized the local economy, making it easier for foreign firms to establish their branches in the country.

In an effort to diversify the economy of the country, the UAE government has invested heavily in transport and communication infrastructure over the last two decades. The city of Dubai currently has one of the best road and rail infrastructures in the world and Dubai International Airport is one of the busiest globally. Foreign firms can also enjoy political stability and improved security in the country despite the growing political challenges that some of the neighboring countries face.

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The purchasing power of people in the country is high because of low rates of unemployment and booming oil and tourism sectors. Netflix will enjoy these benefits in the external environment if it makes the decision to enter the UAE market.

Netflix will need to find an effective market entry strategy that would enable it to achieve success in this new market. The market entry choice often depends on the financial capacity of the firm, local forces that the company has to face, and preferences of the top management unit (Holtzhausen and Zerfass 67). The most appropriate approach that the company should consider is direct market entry. Netflix has the financial capacity to open its offices in Dubai and hire employees who will work under the strict guidance of the top management unit. In this strategy, the firm should establish a team with a proper mix of host and parent country nationals to ensure that the company would gain acceptance in the new market.

The chief executive officer, who is always the image of the firm in the market, should be an Emirati national (Lobato 32). The officer should undertake training so that they can understand the firm’s culture and practices, management policies, and the specific aims that should be realized in the market.

A number of top executives, especially the chief operating officer and chief financial officer, should be parent country nationals from the company’s headquarters. They will help the chief executive officer to instill the firm’s organizational culture. While the chief executive officer will promote the acceptance of the brand in the local market, the other executives would be tasked with ensuring continuity and protecting the interests of the company.

Success Factors in the New Market

When entering a new market, management should understand that success will be determined by the specific actions taken to address challenges. They should also be ready to take advantage of any existing market opportunities (Botan 78). The UAE market presents opportunities for success that Netflix can take advantage of if it makes the right management choices. From the strategic communication perspective, the following will be critical in enabling this company to realize success in the market.

Public Relations

Public relations is one of the most important concepts of strategic communication. Holtzhausen and Zerfass explain that a firm must have effective ways of engaging with the public other than solely through promotional campaigns (36).

The primary goal that should be achieved through public relations is the establishment, and maintenance, of a positive image with members of the public. One common strategy is for the company to engage in public events such as popular sports. The firm should also ensure that the PR department has highly skilled and talented individuals who can deal with any scandal that may arise during normal operational activities. Lobato advises that the best way of dealing with negative issues that may affect the image of the firm is to confront them with facts as soon as they emerge (52). Sincerity is often important when dealing with such issues.

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Advertising

Promotional campaigns are also critical in ensuring that the firm achieves success in the market. According to Holtzhausen and Zerfass, when a firm has developed a product that targets a specific market segment, the next important step that has to be taken is to inform customers about its existence (41). The marketing unit will have to develop promotional messages that explain the nature of the products it offers, its superiority compared with rivals, and the competitiveness of its price. Advertisements should help strengthen the brand and its products in the market. Customers should know how they could access Netflix products in the country. Lobato (49) warns that when developing a promotional campaign, extra care should be taken to avoid promising anything that a firm cannot deliver. The message should reflect on the value that the product delivers.

Conclusion

Netflix is a growing media services provider that has registered impressive market performances over the last decade. The company is a success in North American and European markets. However, its management should consider exploring new markets as a way of expanding its market share and increasing its future revenue stream. When entering a new market, the management of this company should understand that the concept of strategic communication would be critical in enhancing success. This study shows that the most appropriate approach to entering the UAE would be a direct market entry.

Such a strategy would give the top management unit of the firm full control of activities carried out in this new market. However, the strategy requires the firm to embrace effective communication strategies to achieve the desired success.

Works Cited

Botan, Carl H. Strategic Communication Theory and Practice: The Cocreational Model. John Wiley & Sons, 2018.

Holtzhausen, Derina and Ansgar Zerfass, editors. The Routledge Handbook of Strategic Communication. Routledge, 2015.

Lobato, Ramon. Netflix Nations: The Geography of Digital Distribution. New York University Press, 2019.

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