The Internet as Part of Marketing Strategy
The beginning of the multinational organizations dates back to the initiation of foreign trade. A global corporation or multinational corporation has extensive international operations in many foreign countries.It derives a substantial portion of its sales and profits from international sources (Schermerhorn, 2009). Many newspapers and magazines publish annual lists of the world’s largest multinational corporations. Two of them were chosen to examine the impact of the Internet on their marketing strategy.
Nike Nike is the world’s leading sport and fitness Company. Its headquarters are located in Beaverton and Oregon. Nike has used its trademarks in connection with a broad range of athletic footwear, apparel, and equipment. Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) was the first name of Nike, Inc. In January 1964, Philip Knight and Bill Bowerman, established the BRS.
. At first, the company operated as a local distributor for the Onitsuka Tiger footwear brand. Bowerman agreed to promote the shoes to college athletes and Knight handled everything else. Most of the pairs of running shoes were sold out of the trunk of Knight’s car at regional track meets. Later, Jeff Johnson, the company’s first employee, pushed Blue Ribbon Sports into the apparel business when he started handing out T-shirts with the Tiger name printed across the front to promote the shoes. Because of its high popularity, they decided to sell them, as well, when the first retail store was opened.
Meanwhile, Bill Bowerman was tinkering with footwear designs, hoping to make the shoes lighter and better-performing than anything else on the market (Frisch, 2011). Around this time, the BRS and Onitsuka partnership was falling apart. Knight and Bowerman were developing the Company from being footwear distributor to designing and producing the brand of athletic shoes. In 1971, Carolyn Davidson was hired to design the classic “swoosh” logo, which symbolizes the wings of the Greek Goddess of Victory who inspired the most courageous and chivalrous warriors at the dawn of civilization. By the end of the decade, BRS officially renamed itself to Nike, Inc.
Since then, Nike has expanded its product line and spread around the world. Today Nike is a well-known brand for many reasons. In addition, it is a top designer of athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for numerous sports and fitness activities. It is even better known for its association with world’s top-ranked athletes and a worldwide recognized slogan, “Just Do It” (Carbasho, 2010). Nike has always had a huge influence on the athletic-shoes market and impact on the field of marketing, using all the latest innovations in this sphere to promote the company. One of the most strong points of the targeting strategy is the establishment of emotional ties with the consumer segments.
To leave the competitors far behind, Nike has jumped in feet first and only gained from it. In order to meet the demands of customers in the mobile era, Nike+ platform was created in 2006. This platform allows Nike to have a persona conversation with customers. It also acts as a laboratory that lets Nike study its customers’ behaviors and patterns. Scott Cendrowski (2012) wrote about the launch of Nike Digital Sport. New devices with cutting-edge technology allow tracking the personal statistics in any sport, in which the users participate.
Its best-known product is the Nike+ running sensor, the blockbuster performance-tracking tool developed with Apple. Some 5 million runners now log on to Nike to check their performance. Recently, Digital Sport has released its first major follow-up product. A wristband that tracks energy output had a name the FuelBand.
It is worth mentioning, that today traditional advertising is being replaced by interactive digital campaigns. Nike still runs major outdoor advertising campaigns. Ittakes the form of a 30-story billboard that posts fan headlines from Twitter. Nike spends its advertising on television and print sources in the U.
S. It has dropped by 40 percents in 3 years. Its total marketing budget reached a record point. Its amount was approximately $2.4 billion last year (Cendrowski, 2012).
Now major commercials were first launched on the Internet, not on the primetime television. Millions of people watch videos on Youtube, which has become a great platform for a viral marketing campaign. This statement was confirmed by promotion of Kobe Bryant’s new basketball shoes. A video uploaded to YouTube got millions of hits within days and became a phenomenon as nothing similar was done before. Nike is not being hesitant to use the Internet to the full.
Starbucks Starbucks is one of the most successful companies today. It has grown from a single coffee shop in Seattle to a huge international company. Three friends, English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegl, and writer Gordon Bowker, dreamed of opening a store, where premium coffee beans, tea and spices will be sold. Their business was launched in 1976.
The company has its name after the main character in the novel “Moby-Dick”. In 10 years after Starbucks history, Jerry Baldwin hired Howard Schultz as a head of management. He became interested with a coffee producing company and started represent some of Starbucks’ suppliers. Schultz was the one, who wanted to introduce the passionate coffee culture he admired in Italy. It was all about the cozy atmosphere where customers can relax, chat, read and enjoy the wonderful coffee. His colleagues did not share his enthusiasm.
In 1987 Schultz managed to buy Starbucks from Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker. Eventually, Howard Schultz was right. Starbucks started to grow and enjoy wide popularity. Today, according to the official site, with more than 17,000 stores in 55 countries, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of special coffee in the world. The success of the company is based on a well-crafted marketing strategy. The use of the Internet allows the well-recognized brand to stay focused on customers needs.
The web experience is tailored to the audience. The content is focused on education and information, not promotion. Video is used to tell masterfully the storyy of ordinary people and, at the same time, ties in an appropriate brand message. Starbucks uses social media to engage customers. The key is listening and responding to feedback.
The company not only utilizes existing social media networks, but also creates one. Inspired by the great success brought by interactive platforms, a special site “My Starbucks Idea” was designed to present users with different suggestions on how to improve products and services, allowing them to make suggestions and respond to existing ones. They also provided a regularly updated blog with news on progress, allowing users to see how their feedback was used throughout the development process. Starbucks was among the first to offer Wi-Fi in their stores. Customer satisfaction is a very important issue for this company. As the Internet has expanded, the companies have the opportunities for marketing online.
Internet marketing provides many benefits. Mannion and Sullivan (1999) state that homepages act as image. They create tools and as gatekeepers control information about the company, which the potential customer may receive. The company homepage is a multi-purpose genre used to construct the company’s identity and image by giving selected information related to the company. It persuades potential consumers to use the company products or services. The different elements that may occur in positioning of the company in the Internet can be classified into four groups according to their function: a) creating a positive image of the company; b) introducing and offering products; c) strengthening the relation with thecustomer; d) asking and giving information about the page itself (Marco, 2002).
The executable internet marketing strategy gives many advantages to the company. The measurability, flexibility and affordability are the benefits of internet marketing. Marketing professionals are better able to track what marketing campaigns are by working and quickly allocating their spending towards higher producing media placements. The key to success is a wise usage the obtained information. To stay popular companies need to invent new ways of communicating with their audience, because people get bored quickly. Although, it is important to stay in touch with the consumer, it is highly not recommended to pester with new offers.
Efficient marketing strategy must be full of surprises, ready to fascinate and entertain. That is the only guarantee of a long and happy relationship with the customer. Unfortunately, modern technologies bring some problems as well. Some of them are being solved, others may arise in future. Safety is the complex problem that needs attention now. Hiring first class IT specialists may also help with solving another complicated situation.
With the growth of company’s popularity, the amount of users grows also. This may cause problems with accessibility of the site. The last one may even flatter. Anyway,to make customers satisfied not only the product must be of a high quality, but each aspect of the company’s image must be at level.