Integrating Digital Tools and Traditional Marketing Methods
This paper recognizes the fact that digital marketing is an important strategy for businesses that wish to create brand awareness, ensure higher sales, and establish extended market operations. Even though digital marketing, especially the use of Facebook, is a common concept in different markets across the world, food companies in Taiwan seem unaware of the benefits of using Facebook or any other social site as a marketing tool. From the recent studies, it appears that most food companies in Taiwan prefer using traditional marketing methods to the more current digital marketing methods. For several years, Taiwan has remained to be one of the countries known to offer a good market for food companies based on the different brands produced and sold. However, the sole focus on traditional marketing tools could limit the companies’ operations and ability to venture into new markets. In other words, the focus on traditional marketing methods used by the Taiwan food companies are factors that inhibit technological growth in the field of marketing and the need for globalization. This means that there is still need to introduce food companies in Taiwan to the most current digital marketing tools, preferably Facebook. Based on the results of the research conducted one of the food companies in Taiwan, this paper proposes the needs to integrate digital tools like Facebook with the traditional marketing techniques for the purposes of increasing brand awareness both locally and across international markets.
Relevant background information about Garret Popcorn
International brand of foods is an important area of focus when it comes to adjusting to the demand of consumers of delicacies. Taiwan is a land of great unique food, and smart food brands are developed from the needs to enhance market growth. Taiwan offers varieties of cuisines ranging from Chinese and Taiwanese food to Japanese and aboriginal cuisines (Ashe-Edmund & Media, 2015). This status means that competition is very high in Taiwanese food industry, hence, the calls for strategic measures to break into other new markets. Adequate and relevant techniques like integrating digital marketing techniques with traditional marketing methods can help food companies to compete fairly in the market alongside establishing a brand name that sells across international markets.
As already mentioned, food companies that wish to realize the goal of market growth should integrate digital marketing with their current traditional marketing techniques in order to capture the attention of the growing local demands and global demands food brands. Other than integrating the two marketing methods, it is also important that the food companies in Taiwan consider their target markets before deciding on the marketing strategies to for the purposes of increasing the amount of sales and revenues. After considering the nature of business in Taiwan and conducting sufficient research on the factors that inhibit brand promotion, the food companies must design new strategies that incorporate the use of technology to communicate their different brands (Ashe-Edmund & Media, 2015).
Even though Taiwan is known for its ability to offer diverse business opportunities, Garret Popcorn has had a fair share of challenges ever since starting its operation in the foods industry. Popcorn grew out of Wisconsin family competition about 65 years ago and has today become one of the staple foods in Chicago and across USA. With its first establishment in 1949, Garret Popcorn Company has grown in its operations with more than 30 shops across the world. The attempt to establish a market in Taiwan is only one of the strategies the company uses to establish stronger market base for continuous operations with the sole purpose of gaining competitive market advantage over other food brands. Since its establishment at Madison Street in Chicago, the Garrett Popcorn Company has maintained its dedication to customer by producing fresh and delicious Popcorns. The challenges the company is currently facing are due to the fact that during its establishment in Taiwan, there were already a large number of brands that had graced the field before Garret Popcorn, and due to lack of appropriate marketing techniques, the company found competition to be high and unfavorable for new businesses (Assaad & Gómez, 2011). Therefore, to effectively match the competition levels that were already set, the company has to employ good marketing strategies, preferably digital marketing, so that there is creation of brand awareness. Integrating digital marketing with the current traditional marketing techniques can offer greater opportunities for the company. Just like any other multinational corporation, Garret Popcorn aims at expanding its production and delivery processes in different markets across the world by opening new branches in as many countries. The company’s operations within the Taiwan market are limited since the market already has three companies in the same business posing as major threats to Garret Popcorn.
A clear articulation of the problem, people and resources affected
It is clear that effective marketing strategies are always the determinants of whether an organization would make profits or losses in its sales. It is worth noting as well that integrating digital marketing techniques like Facebook with the different traditional marketing methods is always a major boost in business since it creates brand awareness among consumers. This is because, the percentage of audience reached by information passed through the integrated marketing method is higher compared to the number of individuals reached when only traditional methods of marketing is used (Brown, 2015). In most cases, marketers overlook digital marketing, especially the use of social sites like Facebook and often pay more attention on the commands of traditional methods. Marketers in this line of brand advertisement argue that the costs associated with digital marketing are higher and higher-level knowledge is required for one to run digital marketing. Even though traditional marketing offers a platform for marketers and the company to interact directly with the customer, the incorporation of Facebook and other social media source will increase the number of customers attracted to the company’s food brands.
Otherwise, the attention given to traditional marketing methods by the Taiwanese food companies is a major challenge since the methods do not allow for the establishment of an interactive platform. This means that the customer’s base is narrowed, there is reduction in the amount of sales, and customer’s tests of preferences often ignored. With the traditional marketing methods, it becomes hard for the food companies in Taiwan to get immediate feedback from consumers about their food products and this, therefore, limits the chances of improving the brands in ways that fulfil the tastes of consumers. The fact that companies in Taiwan ignore reporting products based on the needs of customers means that most of the messages passed through the traditional marketing methods do not reach a good percentage of potential customers who in most cases prefer engaging in online transactions (Brown, 2015). Apart from the areas mentioned, it also true that companies that engages in traditional marketing methods use lot of energy and resources since the method may involve many traveling or hiring teams of marketers. Even though digital platforms may be expensive to run and maintain, the costs associated with traditional marketing is overwhelming and without maximum energy being put to cover the costs of marketing, companies may end up registering negative profits. By integrating digital marketing with the tradition marketing methods, food companies in Taiwan will be able to register higher sales from both the users of digital sources and non-uses.
Different perspectives related to the problem, and alternative solutions
For instance, Garret Popcorn’s marketing strategy, language barrier could be a clear challenge when interacting with customers from different parts of the world. At times, it becomes disturbing when the marketing team from the company constantly addresses their customers in a language that is not consistent with their primary language, for example, the Taiwanese who are not English speakers being addressed is English or English speakers in Taiwan being addressed in Taiwanese language (Rinehart, Cooper & Wagenheim, 1989). Under traditional marketing, language barrier is a common challenge, but with the incorporation of digital marketing like Facebook, there is an automatic translation from the primary language to a language that the customer understands best. In addition, creativity is always key in ensuring that digital adverts attract the attentions of potential customers and through the different animations designed for advertisement, consumers may get the concepts being communicated even without reading the actual words. At the same time, Facebook games such as Coconut Climb, Bingo Bash, Facebook Invites, Christmas wishes, and posts meant for thanksgiving offer platforms that can be used to entertain customers and through such games, the interactive session between customers and marketers is prolonged. There are also higher chances that customers will be motivated to share these games with other potential customers, and this process makes the company to create brand awareness among other secondary consumers. However, translation, games and images posted may not be enough to convince customers that the products offered by the company are the best compared to other companies, and this calls for the application of both the digital advertisement and traditional marketing methods (Rinehart, Cooper & Wagenheim, 1989).
For Garret Popcorn, Facebook is highly considered as one of the marketing tool in Taiwan. The decisions to consider Facebook over other digital marketing tools are based on the 2015 statistics, which indicated that Taiwan has the highest penetration rate when it comes to the use of Facebook among the Asian countries (Assaad & Gómez, 2011). The 2015 statistics also indicated that Taiwan has the largest number of active Facebook users with close to 13,240,660 individuals. This means that through Facebook as the main digital marketing strategy, Garret Popcorn Company will be able to attract more customers for the products alongside creating a stronger market base.
Even though integrating both digital and traditional methods of marketing works best. Social media marketing is vital in this digital world. To achieve this, one needs to create a social medial channel for customers’ services. This channel can be used in promotion, content marketing and customers’ interaction. Integration of emails and social media also aids in marketing (Prasad, Ramamurthy & Naidu, 2001). The company can as well include social media icon linking business to social media platforms. Sharing button can also be added to enable sharing of information by friends on social media. Sharing content in social media and targeting of journalists can also pay off well in online marketing. Therefore, it is relevant for Garret Popcorns to include journalists to market their product after setting up in Taiwan. Other types of marketing campaigns like e-commerce merchants, offers, and discounts can also be conducted in social media. Rating of customers can also work positively in ensuring that the business engages its customers.
Yet, there are traditional marketing communications tools still useful today. Anybody starting a business must understand that magazine ads, TV spots, billboards among other things are marketing strategies (Prasad, Ramamurthy & Naidu, 2001). They are marketing subsets. Use of traditional marketing avenues like print publications in form of magazines and newspapers care useful even today. Even in promotion, traditional means such as in-store signage posts, discounts and leaflet distribution can still be employed in marketing. Utilization of public relations is also a traditional marketing technique. Sending press release to a local newsroom about products and services one provides is a good marketing attempt. Creation of a seasonal media plan, like annually, can also assist in marketing. This can allow one to choose the right proportion of traditional and digital marketing communication in business promotion.
Last but equally important, it is worth noting that social media helps in the improvement of marketing organization to new insight concerning the brand and other factors. Social media also helps companies to monitor conversations of customers across the internet on their services and products (Goi, 2009). This aspect of conversation monitoring helps companies to gauge customers’ reactions and act appropriately. The challenge of social media management always lies with the company. It can be used in marketing products through direct engagement with customers online.
The above-mentioned recommendations are all possible means and ways that if correctly put into practice can make Garret Popcorn compete highly in the popcorn industry in Taiwan. As earlier mentioned, strategy is key in ensuring success in all business operations; the above recommendations offer some clue about how strategic the company ought to be in order to match competition (Chaney, 2014). For instance, magazine ads, billboards, and TV adverts are always followed by a larger number of people. Information advertised through such channels also have a tendency of going viral if done well and creatively, so, the company should capitalize on such forums to gain popularity in Taiwan after setting up the business. Additionally, monitoring of customers comments mostly through social media posts is a plus to the marketing strategy of the company. This is very helpful in analyzing deeper feeling about customers with regards to your product. This should be followed by general improvement in cases where the customers’ reactions are negative.
Qualitative and quantitative evidence supporting the above reasons and conclusion
According to a survey conducted by Millward, over 70% of the executives in marketing field thinks that they can increase their spending on mobile, digital and on social platforms provided there exists better ways of evaluation investment returns. Similarly, 79% of respondents said that they could invest more in mobile with 78% saying that they can increase spending on digital marketing if returns on investment are traceable (Chaney, 2014). Despite all these, it is important to consider many online and offline factors when attempting to conduct effective media marketing campaign. This clearly shows that the world currently is digitalized, in fact, the same report suggested that, at least 77% of a countries total population, not excluding Taiwan is in social media. On top of this, approximately 89% of Taiwanese are active on social media sites, and using Facebook in advertisements would therefore mean that a large number of customers get the company’s information about its brands.
A second case that presents the comparative use of digital marketing is that of the US-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Through the use of digital media (Facebook), the company was able to launch its flagship store in Taipei, which attracted close to 500 shoppers of the free-offer donuts. It is also true that the company’s digital marketing plan has provided the opportunity to attract consumers from different age groups and social status. For instance, a local media channel reposted a middle aged girl and her boyfriend to have been lucked out after conducting several campaigns in the company’s premises for close to three nights. The two individual were allowed to take a box of Krispy Kreme and a free sugar treat every weak for a period of three years. The combined advertisement programs such as the use of Facebook and free offers to winning persons have allowed the company to increase the amount of sales and now planning to establish two or three more stores in Taipei towards the end of 2014 and several other store in Central Taiwan by the end of 2015. However, the company has not yet succeeded in its objectives of establishing more stores in Taipei and Central Taiwan following the higher competition of created by some of the local food companies.
According to Brown (2015), there are eight factors that must be considered for successful digital marketing. One of the most important factors according to Brown (2015) is the incorporation of traditional marketing methods into the digital marketing system. The proposal by Brown (2015) is, therefore, holistic and useful in establishing a new Popcorn business in Taiwan. All these sources highlight tips that can be used in marketing a new business. Just like any other place in the world, Taiwanese are using social media as one of the techniques in online marketing. This is because online marketing is useful towards improving the level of sales, especially when used simultaneously with traditional marketing. For successful business, the above mentioned factors have to be considered and effectively implemented.
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