The Social Network: Small Business’s New Advertising Tool

According to the marketing guru, Philip Kotler, “marketing research is systematic problem analysis, model-building and fact-finding for the purpose of improved decision-king and control in marketing of goods and services.” Marketing research is very important to a business as the research helps the business to understand the needs and wants of the targeted customers. Besides, a good marketing research helps business to make marketing decisions, survive competitions and increase sales.

A news from BBC which entitled “Restaurant chain’s recipe for social media success” gives us an insight on how a small business uses social media to do marketing research in order to increase reputations and sales.

Clover Food Lab is a trendy food truck and regional restaurant chain in Boston. The social media marketing culture of the business began when a chef used Twitter feed and blog to solicit opinions about the sandwich’s flavour. Surprisingly, the responses from customers help to improve Clover’s food and increase sales. Mr Muir, the founder of the Clover Food Lab started to realize the influence of social media. Hence, he started spending about an hour blogging and tweeting every day to collect customers’ response. After that, he also encourages his employees to participate in it.

Besides responding to customers’ complains and questions, the chain will use social media to alert customer to new products. Clover Food Lab is currently expanding Boston-area chain, including six food trucks and two restaurants. The strategic use of social media has not only helps Clover to improve its products and increase sales but also build customer’s loyalty.

Business Alliance Makes a Better World

As we have learnt about the SWOT analysis, no matter how big and strong a company is, it has its own weaknesses and threats. In order to surpass competitions and increase profit, two companies could actually work together, sharing their comparative advantages with each other. This agreement is so-called business alliance. There are several types of business alliances, such as sales alliance, geographic-specific alliance, investment alliance and joint venture alliance.

In the case below, two Japanese-based conglomerates, Sony and Olympus have demonstrated an example of investment alliance in which they agree to join their funds for mutual investment.

According to BBC news, Sony has agreed to invest Olympus 50bn yen ($640m) to take an 11.5% stake in Olympus in return for the investment. The two companies will set up a new business together later this year, which will be 51%-owned by Sony. The new business will be working on developing a variety of new high-tech surgery devices, such as endoscopes used in keyhole surgery. Sony and Olympus merger aims to attain more than 20 percent of the medical-equipment-for-surgery market by 2020, when the sector is predicted to grow to as much as 330 billion yen ($4 billion).

*Olympus had suffered a loss of $1.7 billions from an accounting scandal while Sony has reported losses for 4 straight years. Therefore, both of the companies are seeking for a turnaround strategy to regain profits.

There are some other good examples of business alliance, such as Microsoft-Facebook advertising partnership and Sony-Ericsson partnership. Find out other interesting examples by your own 🙂

Link to the news :

Apple’s Magical Marketing Strategy

Do you own an Apple product? According to Forbes, Apple is the most valuable company in the history with a market capitalization of US$623.5-billion. Inevitably, Apple is one of the most successful and innovative corporate ever. The company’s best-known product is the Macintosh, the first personal computer in the market. Besides, under Steve Jobs’s leadership, Apple has marketed a variety of other amazing IT products, such as iPod, iPad, iMac and iPhone.

What is the secret to Apple’s long term success? What makes Apple products to be so tempting?

The answer is the good brand positioning and value propositioning strategy of Apple. In branding positioning, the point of difference of the Apple products are the aesthetical design of the Apple products, iTunes and easy-to-use operation system called iOS. None of the rivals can copy its remarkable products’ design and elegant interface.

In value propositioning, Apple promises its customers high quality, most innovative and beautiful designed IT products which grant the Apple product users a “better lifestyle” and a high level of user experience. Furthermore, Apple has a branding strategy that focuses on the emotions. Apple provides meticulous customer support which is parallel to the objective of the company of “putting the customer first”. Once Apple product is discovered as defective, Apple will act as soon as possible to fix the problem. This earns Apple customer’s loyalty.

Also read ” Why Apple is now No.1 company in the world”: