Assessment item 2
Report: Digital Marketing Research and Audit
This assessment is to be completed in pairs.
As part of your overall Digital Marketing plan, you will now focus on research and completing a digital audit. You are to use the same organisation that you selected for Assessment 1. You are to include the following, and present in Business report format:
1. SWOT ANALYSIS: Note key factors in the report (place in an appendix and not part of word count)
2. PESTLE: Note key factors in the report (place in the appendix and not part of word count)
3. Sentiment Analysis: Detail what people's attitude/opinions are to the brand and their offering, and why customers have taken this position.
4. Channel Selection and Rating: Identify what channels the brand has used (websites, socials, apps etc) and how often the brand used/uses them.
5. Types of Communication: Critically assess and evaluate the type of communication the brand relies on to engage with stakeholders, the types of communication used by consumers to engage with the brand and each other
6. Evaluation of digital strategy: Critically assess and evaluate the digital strategy, including target audience selection and detail how this has impacted on the success/failure of the campaign and/or the brand.
Subject learning outcomes
This assessment task will assess the following learning outcome/s:
Rationale: The purpose of this assessment is to get you used to pulling apart a campaign or organisational digital and social media communications strategy. Evaluation is often not done well or not done at all. However, it is really important to be able to honestly and clearly review what has been done well and poorly, informed in part by the SWOT and PESLTE analysis, and build on this in your next campaign
Marking criteria and standards
|5||Explains and critically evaluates main findings and/or conclusions and answers well in own words. Key factors of each model highlighted with inclusions that are insightful and grounded in appropriate research.|
|Sentiment Analysis and insight||5||The sentiment analysis is appropriate, reliable and evidenced with highly insightful and perceptive comparisons, evaluations and support for a conclusion.|
|Critically assess and evaluate the type of communication they rely on to connect with stakeholders, the type of communication their customers rely on to connect with each other and the brand||5||Affordance: Student explains and critically evaluates all the key technical capabilities of the site(s) used by the brand.|
Student accurately identifies the channels used and their frequency.
Behaviours: Student explains and critically evaluates all the key behavioural practices of the brand
Composition: Student explains and critically evaluates all the tactics’ key compositional elements.
|Critically assess and evaluate how their digital strategy has impacted the success or failure of the campaign and/or organisation||5||Strategy: Student explains and critically evaluates all the key strategies/practices of the brand.|
Student presents an insightful, well supported critique of why the campaign was a success or failure.
|Communication skills -|
Professionalism of critique in relation to grammar, report matches the structure detailed in the task section and APA 6 referencing used.
|5||The report has minor or no spelling/grammar errors.|
The report structure of the critique is consistent with the outline in the task section.
APA referencing conventions in both in-text referencing and reference list have been accurately and consistently applied.
Business report format – refer to Resources provided in the Assessment section on Interact.
APA (6th Edition) Referencing must be used, including in-text citations and complete and correctly formatted reference list. More information can be found here
Title: Digital Marketing Research and Audit
The aim of the assignment is completing a digital marketing audit for GUESS. Therefore, a PESTLE analysis, SWOT analysis, sentiment analysis, channel audit, communication audit and evaluation strategy of the firm are discussed here. In the words of Heinze et al. (2016), digital marketing is any marketing effort that uses an electronic device or the internet. Marketing that occurs online is called digital marketing. With the development of digit advancement at the present day, companies are exercising everything they can for coordinating with the speed of benefit from the current role of digital marketing for corporations. They are shifting their channelisation into the digital platform or strengthening the current marketing processes with digital systems. Digital marketing approach facilitates business being an active part of incredibly specific and equally effective online marketing context.
The digital maturity model can be linked here. It is a suitable tool offers a guideline for a perfect way throughout the change process. It empowers business in all the steps of the transformation method (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). An online technique can be used for piloting the maze of digital change in GUESS. Therefore, there is a need for investing belligerently in the digital transformation of marketing for being digitally mature. Therefore, GUESS has decided to spend on the digital platform, so that it can derive better benefit from the change.
The buyer persona is developed using the opinions of real buyers. Ait tells a firm what a potential customer is thinking and doing as he/she considers his/her view to solving a problem that the firm resolves (Heinze et al. 2016). GUESS can develop personas regarding digital marketing for making the right decision. Obtaining digital maturity can help the firm engaging its customers and deliver on their demand and expectations of a seamless experience irrespective of place or channel.
GUESS is a clothing company and retail of America. Besides clothing for women and men, the company also markets fashion accessories like perfumes, jewellery, shoes and watches. The company was set up in 1981. Quickly, the brand became an icon of a sexy, adventurous and young lifestyle. Currently, it has 14700 employees as of 2019. Now, it is indeed an international lifestyle brand with a complete range of apparel denim and accessories provided in more than 80 nations across the world (GUESS (@GUESS) on Twitter, 2019). Guess uses social media as a part of its digital marketing strategy. In 2012, the company created 2 million fan base on Facebook. In 2015, the firm hired an Executive of Social Media, as it considers that would be suitable for spreading the modern brand image and in relation with the millennial through social media, fashion bloggers and others. The company is increasing its focus on digital marketing initiatives such as recruiting social media influencers for refreshing business (Forbes, 2019). In such context, the use of sentiment analysis can also be fruitful for the company. Sentiment analysis makes use of algorithms and advanced Artificial Intelligence to measure the sentiment and provides with in depth analysis of customer sentiment towards the brand (Gupta, 2018). The company is also needed to focus on this while making use of social media to attract new customers.
2. PESTLE summary
The political factors in the target market have a vital role in developing a buyer persona. The political considerations in the Australian fashion industry imply full support from the government. The government redefined the import duties and tariff barriers useful for Guess conducting its business here. As per the data provided by the World Bank, the Australian political stability index is 1.4 in 2017 that indicates an average place of the country (The global economy.Australia, 2019). The economic condition of Australia denotes the rising purchasing power of customers as their living standard has become improved. The only nation of the OECD that did not enter into the global financial crisis. It enhances the opportunity of rising sales growth in Guess. In 2018, the growth rate of GDP was 3.2%. Government spending drives economic growth. Moreover, the strong position of the dollar and higher demand for fashionable clothing globally are opportunistic for Guess (Santandertrade, 2019).
Figure 1: Political stability in Australia
(Source: The global economy. Australia, 2019)
Figure 2: Economic condition of Australia
(Source: Santandertrade, 2019)
In terms of social factors, Australians are craving for clothes made of eco-friendly materials. Thus, by designing clothes with eco-friendly products Guess can draw customer attention positively. Apart from that, the significant trends for summer are leopard print loose blouses, silky skirts and other comfortable styles, slip skirts teaming up with boots and t-shirt (Steiber, 2019). Considering these fashion trends, GUESS can design its apparel and accessories accordingly for appealing maximum customers. Australia has a robust technological infrastructure that can be used by Guess for increasing its maturity in digital marketing. It has risen prospects for design and innovation in business activities. The firm can bring change in its product design and marketing activities (Internationalstudent, 2019). Guess can adopt modern technologies for strengthening its presence in social media platforms and engaging with customers more effectively. The technological advancement in today’s world is such that a normal washing machine has more computing power than Apollo. In terms of the modern development in technology, around 40% of the global population is online with 30 billion connected devices (Mckinesy, 2019 ). Australia is also not different as most of its citizens also makes use of social media. It influences more customs shopping online. The country has a stable, transparent and democratic government with laws passed in a purposeful and orderly manner. However, sectarian conflicts in key parties create political instability that may hamper the business of Guess (Aig, 2019). The most critical environmental factors that may influence the activity of Guess is natural disasters such as floods and bushfires that causes a cognitive disturbance so many times a year. They affect the infrastructure and transport of the country as well (Aig, 2019). Moreover, environmental legislation encourages business conducting their activities in such a way that does not harm the environment (Business, 2019). Hence, GUESS needs adopting the environmental management system for running a Green business.
3. SWOT summary
One of the significant strengths of GUESS in terms of digital marketing is the company has been focusing on conducting digital marketing campaigns for years. The chain-wide online, digital and in-store marketing campaign facilitate the firm in achieving its mission of inspiring women and men recycling their wardrobe everywhere and providing it with a new lifecycle. The company is intended to promote resourced within community and customers by messaging-mail marketing, mobile marketing, www.GUESS.com/Resourced and shop.GUESS.com (Size et al. 2019). The firm uses digital marketing platform such as social media for connecting with young audiences. However, it is important to ensure that the digital marketing project initiated by the company is completed in 4 phases that is planning, acting, observing and reflecting (Heinze et al. 2016). The online store locators emphasise on the real-time marketing of GUESS. The company aims to expose its local products following intelligence data about the occurrences in the local market. The firm uses online marketing for streamlining communication. Further, technologies such as voice-activation are also utilised for involving customers online (Geomarketing, 2019). As of 2018, GUESS has AU$31.85 million minimum 35% of which need to be spent on digital marketing and 20% of the budget need to be invested on social media marketing. The weaknesses of GUESS include inadequate investment in digital marketing. Further, regular monitoring is needs for assessing the effectiveness of a digital marketing campaign. However, no such data is found regarding the proper management of digital marketing activities in Guess. It proves that the company does not put adequate attention in managing its social media campaign and other digital marketing activities properly.
Investing aggressively in the social media campaign and other digital marketing practices, GUESS can connect to a more significant number of younger customers. From the total population of 7.676 billion active social media users are 3.484 billion as of January 2019 (Data Portal, 2019 ). There are 17.7 million social media users as of 2018 in Australia (Statista, 2019). As today's youth spend most of their time on social media, no other better option can be there for tracking their choices, preferences, expectations, demands and buying behaviour for showing the official online advertisement. By managing the digital marketing platform efficiently, GUESS can avail the opportunity of growing its customer base in Australia. In this context, use of social media optimisation technique can be helpful (Heinze et al. 2016).
GUESS can experience threat from other fashion retailers, who spend effort, time and money aggressively in digital marketing for engaging with customers. Also, the lack of management of digital marketing activities can lead to security and safety issues and loss of trust.
4. Sentiment analysis
GUESS has a strong presence if Facebook and Twitter that can be validated by considering the number of followers. In Facebook, it has 8215421 followers. In Twitter, it has 1954 followers. In different posts, different people have commented differently. Some show a positive attitude toward the brand and some have posted negative comments.
|Customer Experience||N= 24||N= 26|
|Customer Satisfaction||N= 40||N= 10|
|Product Quality||N= 40||N= 10|
Table 1: Customer review on a digital platform
|Comment||Theme||Positive or negative||Why|
|A customer of Guess wristwatch commented that she has been using the watch for four years that was gifted by her husband on her birthday. She has five different company watches; however, the watch of Guess brand is her favourite in terms of quality, looks, design. According to her, instead of using the watch for four years it looks as new as it was four years ago. Hence, this is the best watch for her.||Theme|
|The customer has been using the watch for four years, and she loves the way it is designed with diamonds around the dial. Among her five observations of different companies, she considers the Guess watch as the best one. It is because of the number of years she is using it regularly, and still, it looks like a brand new watch.|
|Another comment is of a customer, who bought a coat from Guess. According to his experience, the jacket worth $400 and he wore it for eight times. He shared an image of the skin that is in a lousy condition for hanging it in the closet over the winter.||1. Quality |
|The experience of the customer negative, as instead of buying the Guess coat for a considerable amount of money, he could not use it for too long. Therefore, he had an awful experience with both the quality and price of the coat.|
|Another customer commented about the rerun policy. She said that when she queried about the return policy, the associate told her not to return a product that smells that offended the buyer and she called the return policy a joke. Moreover, she suggested another brand named Macy's pointing the company out as a professional one with an easy return policy and excellent customer service.||1. Return policy||1. Negative||The customer care representative behaved very rudely with the customer that made her feel disrespected. Therefore, to make another customer aware, she commented.|
Table 2: A Sample of Comments
The above table shows clarify that there is much more to do with the digital marketing of Guess, as several customers are dissatisfied with product quality, customers service. While going through the comments in different digital platforms, it was found that some customers are delighted and happy with the quality of products offered by Guess while some have shared their terrible experience with the company. Some people like GUESS watch and clothes very much whereas some gave just 1 star to the products and service. Digital marketing is such a platform, where marketers need to plan everything very carefully, so that no negative comment comes from the customers, as it can ruin the brand image viciously. Therefore, developing a customer relationship should be the first step for Guess by offering the best quality products at the best price along with an excellent customer service, about which several customers have complained.
5. Channel audit-
|Site||Usage||Evidence for supporting position|
|Regularly||The following screenshot is of the post from 11th April 2019. Guess posts every day something new to Facebook. |
Source: (GUESS, 2019)
(Source GUESS (@GUESS) on Twitter, 2019)Daily posts are also done on Twitter as well. The last post is of 12 April 2019.
(Source: Youtube, 2019)GUESS uses YouTube irregularly. The last post is of 9th April 2019.
|Site/Channel||What the GUESS did with the site||What can be done on the website [reference] – opportunities that have been missed|
|Guess posts pictures and videos of its products daily for promoting them to the customers and managing a connection with them.||Lack of interaction with the followers and customers is seen. Guess can interact with its customer by replying to the comments posted by the users. It can help the firm keeping its customers connected with the brand always.|
|In Twitter also, the company is regular with its posts on different products and services through images, videos and memes. Further, it also uses the site for promoting events.||The company can post reviews of the customers for gaining trust and developing a better relationship with the buyers.|
|YouTube||Guess uses this channel a bit irregularly and does not post things daily. The brand posts different attractive videos on its products.||Posting regularly on YouTube could have provided more followers and customer base to the company.|
From the above information, it can be stated that the social networking sites both Facebook and Twitter worked well for Guess, as the company maintained giving new content and posts regularly to the followers. However, the interaction between the company and the current and potential customers is very limited in the social media platforms that need to be improved. Further, on YouTube, Guess is irregular in posting videos of its products that need to be developed, as customers like regularity and out of sight for too long can become out of mind. In this context, Ryan (2016) commented that any organisation needs adopting a long-term approach that focuses on the most beneficial direction for the firm over a specific time. A digital strategy can be used as a roadmap for maximising the impact of digital channels, data and content for supporting the corporate mission, vision and objectives. Here, the buyer persona spring can be used for understanding the buyer persona. It is based on the research and knowledge regarding customers, influencers, collecting quantitative and qualitative data mixed with a combination of storytelling and reporting. The three categories of content, data and channel are interconnected to each other tightly. However, each of them shows a distinct level of involvement with the buyers.
For example, in Facebook, Guess posted a video that shows four perfect looks for spring consider the buyer persona that includes buyers, go out daily for different purposes. They can try these four different looks to look fabulous in the season. Ryan (2016) stated that a good digital presence could be created by concentrating on particular content offered through specific channels.
6. Communication audit of the organisation
Guess uses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and other social networking sites for targeting the millennial as and young customers worldwide. The messages or contents that they post on the social media channels are targeted and specific considering the buyers' persona specially. The materials are posted informally. Kannan (2017) stated that with over 2.5 billion active users every day, Facebook is colossal in the social space. Therefore, using Facebook as a medium of marketing product and connecting with buyers can be an amazingly effective way. Using it accurately for promoting business and distributing contents to the targeted audience, organisations can develop a stronger base of digital marketing.
Therefore, Guess is utilising the channel for promoting its content and products. The firm shares post every day on Facebook. However, the quality of the material is more critical to quantify. Therefore, instead of posting several posts daily, Guess shares limited posts that are focused on specific content such as its post on spring. Similarly, on Twitter, the firm also posts the same photos and videos and sometimes, different videos on events. It creates urgency among customers to have the products immediately. For instance, a recent post on Facebook named ‘iconic for a reason’ influenced customers to grab the products peaked from across the world quickly.
However, while using different channels, lack of cohesion is evident, as Guess post repeated ads around all the social media channels. According to Stephen (2016), marketers need to know that social media platforms stay one of the most vital and unifying platforms. Therefore, marketers must depend on over just emoji and hangtags for making the most of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Developing a multichannel approach and using it cohesively and uniquely for encouraging customers following the brand across services. Further, for declining what contents to e showed and what not, user engagement is necessary.
However, it is found that Guess posts repeated posts in all the social media platforms that lacks cohesion. Moreover, the company does not respond appropriately to the comments for developing interaction with the users that must be taken into consideration. Further, the company must regularly analyse for finding out the touch points, where the customer finds the most trust.
7. Evaluation strategy-
After carrying out the entire analysis, it is seen that Guess has been using social media for some years for promoting its products, services and events. However, the company needs investing more in developing social media campaigns as today's customers trust ads on non-paid channels comparing to traditionally paid advertisements. Therefore, for gaining their trust, developing original contents that are targeted to the buyer's persona is necessary. The company is yet to mature digitally. Thus, here the digital business maturity model can be linked here. Todor (2016) stated that the four phases of the model guide a business developing its digital marketing platform and reaching the maturity stage. GUESS has already crossed the first two stages of the model, and now it is in the third stage, where the company involves sharing images, videos on produces and service to the customers. Now it is time to appear in the fourth stage of the model for being digitally mature. Baltes (2015) stated that engagement marketing is required for developing engaging content and using tools for bringing predictions into profound contact with the firm.
It is found that although GUESS posts regularly in the social media platforms, there is a lack of engagement with the customers through direct interactions. Companies that respond to the comments of users promptly and regularly are more likely to be connected with them. However, Guess does not interact with the customers directly (GUESS, 2019). Therefore, besides developing targeted content based on buyers’ persona, engaging directly with the customers is essential for Guess for gaining digital maturity.
|Strengths- ||Weaknesses- |
|Opportunities- ||Threats- |