Social Media – the Modern Medium for Marketing

Many businesses did not anticipate the Internet’s influence on individuals. These businesses lagged even further as internet usage hastened due to lower expenses and greater accessibility. They may be unable to take advantage of this trend to extend their marketing reach and maintain a lasting advantage in the industry. Larger businesses with deep rooted promotion processes have a tendency to be more irresolute in embracing the shift to online media. Recently, an incident took place in which a big corporation was suffering from enormous losses due to a number of factors. Fortunately enough, they daringly turned to digital marketing in order to save themselves from absolute failure. The business we’re talking about here is none other than the famous Oriental.

Oriental was a vital player in the supermarket retail and Fast Moving Consumer Goods industry; this market dominance allowed Oriental to be lucrative. There was a Oriental store in practically every town, and had little or no competition with exactly the same reach and scale. Despite this success, Oriental was dealing with huge difficulties in October of 2011.

Oriental’s Troubles
First problems arose with an expensive business restructuring plan that was put into motion by a recently hired Chief Executive. This was set off when Oriental failed to secure a grip on international grocery markets. An additional issue is the perceived decrease of out of town malls in Singapore. The largest challenge comes from the rise of competitors Merchantas and Trapeze. These business newcomers happened to be more digitally savvy with fresh new marketing strategies. They could raise their market stronghold by targeting highly specialized segments of the business. Regardless of whether a consumer was budget or quality aware, there was bound to be an appropriate retailer nearby to satisfy that person’s needs.

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All the while, Oriental’s reputation as a household name was amongst its strong suits. Regrettably, these inherent worth inevitably failed to protect against falls in revenue and investments. By the year 2013, Oriental’s net gains had dropped by a tenth and their biggest shareholders publicly declared that their 5.4% investment in the FMCG corporation was a “massive error” which cost them nearly 500 million within a year. The recently appointed Chief Executive highly advocated using technology so encouraged hiring staff to raise their web existence. An e-commerce store was already in place, but the new rivalry meant that they need to be more proactive.

The recently appointed CEO started the restructuring process by assembling an in-house digital marketing team. The objective was to merge the different aspects that formed Oriental’s digital marketing strategy to produce a strong unified image. Nonetheless, an internal team was not able to achieve optimal results spontaneously. A recommended possibility in this scenario was to collaborate with a capable marketing agency with digital capabilities to optimize productivity and increase output.

Subtly Reaching Out with Branded Content on Social Media Channels
Because of the efficiency of leveraging on digital media, budgets for traditional advertising were reduced with time and allocated there. Improving the sales figures of the e commerce site was the primary objective at hand. Marketing via branded content was chosen as the means to go to increase web traffic and involvement, therefore resulting in more revenue.

By altering their online store structure like introducing a Cuisines button, Oriental was able to direct users to a microsite named “Oriental Cuisines”. The website contains food-related content such as recipes, inspirational publications, and wellness-related posts that are related to food.

The microsite demonstrates that by engaging in proper the design and development of a website, they are able to greatly benefit their customers. The microsite’s connection to Oriental also increases brand loyalty while gently encouraging more online sales. They’re raising the likelihood for users to flow from the microsite to Oriental’s main online store instead of a competing on-line grocery store.

Aside from the microsite, Oriental used another tool within its digital marketing plan: advertising through social media. As the company was big enough, they didn’t want assistance from a third party marketing agency specializing in social media. It kickstarted this strategy with the essential but essential job of creating their own official social networking accounts. Having their own official social media accounts allows Oriental to use them in two different manners. To start with, it acts as an avenue to spread worthwhile advice including promotions to the objective consumers. They went as far as to create special Twitter accounts for each of their sections. Distinct accounts were created to share info on promotions, various types of food, wines and so on.

More significantly, Oriental retained complete control over their on-line brand image. There’s very little impediment – and too much vested interest – for any person evil enough to sign up for fraudulent accounts to attack the supermarket giant. The creation of an official accounts instantaneously prevents this risk and functions as a reliable source of info.

Customer care is the backbone of creating prolonged connections with customers. How a customer views a business is greatly determined by how the latter leaves support to the former. Oriental’s is a great example of what to imitate. A Facebook profile for customer care is used merely for connecting with shoppers and various other non marketing related agencies because they’ve another profile committed to special deals and promos. This means the customer attention channel is not littered with sales pitches or unrelated dialogs. If customers would like to connect with support, they understand which place to go and what to expect.

Unique training is provided to the Oriental After-sales Support staff over the best ways to interact with consumers. A happy and down-to-earth approach is encouraged while being helpful and resolving matters immediately. An all natural and friendly approach strengthens connections and confidence in the brand, very different from the robotic responses by an automated “customer service” bot.

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Did it all work out as expected?
The revamping of its strategy in digital marketing proved to be incredibly valuable to Oriental. As of data compiled by a number of research websites in June last year, Oriental holds about 29.1 percent of the share of the market. This would be nearly double the share of the next biggest market enterprise that currently commands less than a fifth. Such results would definitely spur Oriental to build on its success and further improve its strategy in digital marketing to capture a bigger share of the market. This would definitely allow it to be easier for customers to purchase more from Oriental and improve its profitability.

We’re left with quite a few key lessons from the Oriental example. Firstly, the digital age disrupts and shakes all organizations, irrespective of how big they are. Digital marketing and social media marketing has equalized the arena to the stage where new companies can grab the market share of a market giant that has been complacent with its place. Also, companies cannot afford to persist with their old ways in this era. Online presence is no longer periphery to guarantee the success of a business in Singapore. Its existence within a business and ability to turn a company’s fortunes around like Oriental is demonstrated and well-documented; any business expecting to live must have digital media included in its corporate strategy.