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With the evolution of technology, the appearance of Internet which had developed from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and later on into social media platforms, blogs and others had become a very essential part of human life, which had now been use as the source of information. The rise of new media has seen people nowadays shift to Internet news and different forms of social media to get the information and news they are looking for. (Caumont, A. 2013)
According to Michaelian, B. (2012), social media is a subset of new media. In recent report by eMarketer (2010), it was estimated that 57.5% of Internet users or 127 million people will visit a social network at least once a month. The report further state that with these rising amount of users, it is estimated that by 2014, nearly 164.9 million people or two-thirds of all Internet users will be active and regular users on social network site.
Social networking can be defined as the use of internet-based social media programs to make connections, to share their activities or their interest in a particular topic with family, friends, classmates, colleagues, customers and clients. (Investopedia, 2010) According to Lombardo, J. (2014), social networking can also be used for the purposes of develop business relationships, connect with customers, conduct niche marketing or even used to find jobs. The example of popular social networking sites would be Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn and Tumblr.
Social media which originally created to allow users to build relationships and stay connected with friends and family have become an essential and vital part of most modern marketing strategies due to their beneficial impact of being able to showcase the brand, increase exposure to the user, enhance company trustworthiness as well as develop a loyal community of prospective customers. (Angelova, V. 2013)
This report aims to study the new media marketing strategies used by a company and examine how the company has incorporated the new media to become a core section of their marketing strategies to build a strong brand identity among consumers. The chosen company for this report is Samsung Mobile, which is operating under Samsung Electronics, subsidiaries of Samsung Group. The company
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background, products and services, and marketing strategy will be identify and analyze.
Samsung is a South Korean based company that was formed in 1938 by Lee Byung-Chull as a trading company based in Taegu which primarily focused on trading goods and export fruit, vegetables and fish to Manchuria and Beijing. Samsung was later gradually developed and get into different types of businesses. The company grew and rapidly expanded into the insurance, securities, as well as retail business. The diversity of businesses had become a successful growth strategy for Samsung.
In 1969, Samsung entered electronics industry and Samsung Electronics was formed. The company started off with producing of black-and-white televisions in a joint venture with Sanyo. While in the 1970s, it started to produce other home appliances, such as washing machine, refrigerator and microwave ovens.
During the 1980s, Samsung expanded its business into personal computers, semiconductors, and entered the telecommunication industry with the purchase of Hanguk Jenja Tongsin. (Burris, M. 2014) The company started initially with building of the telephone switchboards, but was later expand into telephone and fax systems which later on switch to mobile phone productions. Throughout the 1980s, Samsung invested heavily in the research and development department. While in 1993, Samsung reorganized and focus in electronics with invested in the LCD technology. By 2005, Samsung became the world largest manufacturer of LCD panels. Nowadays Samsung Electronics has become one of the world's largest semiconductor manufacturers and it is also the top electronics company in South Korea.
Besides that, Samsung has also emerged as market leader in some of product categories, which including Smart TVs, LED TVs and monitors, mobile phones, DVD players, refrigerators as well as washing machines. In 2009, Samsung introduced its company first Android smartphone, the Samsung i7500. Samsung which has continued to grow and expand in the mobile phone market, had overtaken Nokia to become the world largest manufacturer of mobile phones in 2012. (Mundy, J. 2012)
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The marketing mix are the strategic decision made by the company. Marketing mix are refer to the product, pricing, place and promotion strategy made by company to satisfy the demand of the target market. Samsung which effectively applies the fundamental 4P's of marketing mix with its wide variety of product portfolio and presence in different categories of product had successfully dominate the global mobile market. According to Hoch, D. (2013), data from Localytics shows that Samsung dominate the mobile market with account to a staggering 63% of all Android mobile devices in the world, which includes smartphones, phablet and tablets. No other competitors comes close to the market share owns by Samsung.
Product and services are the main focus of Samsung. Samsung had a wide variety of product portfolio which includes featured phones, smartphones, phablet and tablets. All their products are customized with uniquely and outstanding features. Besides that, Samsung also regularly introduces new models in all segments of its products in a life cycle of every 3 to 6 months. Products vary greatly in Samsung's phone department. Samsung Galaxy series are based on Android operating system, which is also their most popular products, while some other series are based on Windows operating system and Tizen operating system which is co-developed with Intel. Samsung was also the first company to introduce the concept of “mini”, “mega” and “zoom” in mobile industry, which has now been followed by other company. They created the benchmark with their Galaxy series smartphone being a flagship smartphone for power users. Galaxy Note series for professional's user who want multitasking and take note features. While Galaxy Zoom series smartphone is for photo enthusiasts.
Price is the amount that customers willing to paid for the product. Samsung adopt pricing strategies for different markets with different products. In this competitive market, Samsung is also aware of customers who are price sensitive. They want a quality product with reasonable pricing. Samsung satisfy customer need with Galaxy Grand series smartphone for budget friendly buyers. Samsung with it
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wide range of products with different price range to satisfy different customer need had made Samsung became dominance in world wide mobile market.
Place can also be known as distribution channels. Samsung uses variety of distribution channels to helps the company to launch its products and deliver to the consumer. Samsung will distribute from national wholesalers to regional wholesalers. They will distribute to mobile carrier company such as AT&T, Sprint, and Maxis as well as to large retailer store like Harvey Norman and SenQ. Besides that, Samsung will also distribute to their Elite partner and Gold partner that open exclusive showrooms in shopping mall. Samsung also offer online purchasing options as well in some country like UK and India which is very convenient.
Samsung uses various forms of promotional tools across different media to promote its products. Samsung uses television commercial, social media, print media and billboard to advertise their smartphone and tablets. Samsung's commercial mainly emphasized on the theme of fashion. The company uses pull and push strategy to attract customer. They believe in pulling customer to themselves through commercial but at the same time push the product to the target customer through sales promotions. (Bhasin, H. 2014) Besides that, Samsung also provide many offers and incentive to its business partner to motivate them to sell their products.
McDonald and Dunbar (2004) defined market segmentation as the process of splitting customers, or potential customers, in a market into different groups, or segments, within which customers share a similar level of interest in the same, or comparable, set of needs satisfied by a distinct marketing proposition.
Samsung segments their customer groups by geographic and demographic segmentation. Geographic segmentation is based on geographical regions such as Northern America, Southern America, Asia and Europe. Whereas demographic segmentation is based on factors such as age, gender, income and lifestyle. In
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geographic segmentation, Samsung target different countries with different kind of product. For example, model of smartphone that launch specific for the market of China might not be able to use in United States of America (USA) as it might not be compatible with the frequency in USA. Samsung demographic segmentation is based on age such as kids, teenagers, adult and old people. They mostly focused on teenagers with latest smartphone and tablets, as teenagers tend to spend their time on social media in their smartphone and play games with tablets. For example, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids are specially designed for kids' education and entertainment purpose. Besides that, Samsung also focused on income segmentation as they target both high income family and low income family. Samsung produces high quality product with premium material to satisfy high income people. For example, Samsung Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4 that comes with premium metal frame in a sleek design with soft-textured back cover. In addition, Samsung also produces affordable product to lower income people. For example, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite and Samsung Galaxy Ace Style.
New Media Marketing
Samsung uses new media marketing through various ways. The first and the major one would be its official website (as seen in appendix 1). Samsung has a main official website and a few sub website for different products separately. For example, a customer who wishes to get more information about the latest tablets, he would be able to access to the tablets web page with ease without confusing of all products mix together in a single page. Samsung website is crucial to its customer as it enable customer to view their products and do research for the information about their smartphones and tablets. According to Gregory Lee (2012), Samsung's President and CEO for Asia, website has becomes a very important tools to the company as he stated that, “ The vast majority of customers use digital channels to conduct research prior to their purchase, either by visiting websites or relying on digital word of mouth. Hence, digital channels are critical for driving sales but also for connecting our customers with our brand experience through content and services.” Therefore, websites is very important as it able to build relationship with customers and generate revenues for the company. The website is also served as an information hub that
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enables customers to browse for their products and services. Other than that, Samsung official website is also been used to promote its company core values and vision with slogan such as “Inspire the World, Create the Future” as well as create a premium brands image towards their customers.
Samsung provides all the information it should include on the website. The website provides almost everything to the visitors, the website include store locator functions to assists customers to locate the nearest Samsung store, information for respective models of Samsung products, product registration for warranty purpose and also contact page which allows visitors to contact product's support personnel for assistance. Besides that, the website also provides Live Chat functions on the support page that allow customer to consult the support team for any enquiries which is very helpful for the visitors. In addition, Samsung also include a brilliant compare tools in the website (as seen in appendix 2). It enables customers to do comparison of different products in a single page. This does not only assist customer to make decision on purchasing which models but it also enhance the experience of customers.
Other than that, Samsung also utilizes most of the social networking channels to provide information and stay connected with the customers. There are several of social networking accounts created by Samsung. Samsung mainly uses Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for marketing purpose to promote their latest products.
According to statistic by Facebook (2014), as of June 2014, there are 1.32 billion of active users on Facebook. Facebook, being one of the largest social media networking site with such large user base would definitely be a good marketing tools for Samsung to create a page on it (as seen in appendix 3) and spread their news and updates to their customers. The difference of Facebook page and official website is that it allows Samsung Company to interact with their customers. Customers would be able to communicate with Samsung through posts, personal message or shared links, while Samsung would be able to reply to their follower and customers. This two way communication among customers and Samsung also benefits the company as it helps the company to better understanding the markets and demand of customers. Facebook page of Samsung Mobile has manage to gained 39 million likes, which is very impressive for Samsung which indicates its online marketing is successfully reach a huge number of Facebook users.
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In order to maintain its active user on Samsung Facebook page, Samsung will posts information, photos as well as videos in the page on everyday basis and maintain a high interaction with the followers. Besides that, Samsung also communicate with their customers effectively by giving reply to customers' feedback as well as helping customers who had problem with their devices. Samsung is practicing Customer Relationship Management (CRM). According to Margaret Rouse (2014), CRM is a term for methodologies, software and usually internet capabilities that help an enterprise manage customer relationships in an organized way. Samsung is customer-oriented as they will often seek for customer's opinion or communicate with their follower by asking questions on their Facebook page.
Apart from that, Samsung also have accounts on Twitter (as seen in appendix 4). Twitter is a little different from Facebook as it is more on statement update. Samsung manage to gain 9.5 million followers on Twitter. Samsung who practice CRM has done their marketing job quite well as they attentively reply user's tweet, handling customer complaints as well as give tips and suggestion to help solve customer problem (as seen in appendix 5).
Samsung also practicing viral marketing strategy to promote it brands. Duermyer, R. (2014) defined viral marketing as the act of promoting information or products that causes viewers of the promotion to spontaneously spread it by sending or give to other friends, colleagues and family. Samsung are the main sponsor of the Oscar Academy Awards. During the ceremony, Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres snapped an epic selfie with the Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone. The photo which taken together with a lot of famous actors including Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence, it became effectively snagged as the “Best Picture”. The photo share and tweet on Twitter as Oscar selfie then went viral. The post on Twitter which generated over 3 million retweets, earned huge publicity for Samsung. (The New Zealand Herald, 2014)
Samsung YouTube channel (as seen in appendix 6) is also another important tool for Samsung. Samsung had utilized this video sharing platform to advertise and promote their company by sharing their products in video forms to the followers. Samsung joined YouTube in 2006, up to now; it has had 1 million subscribers and more than acquired more than 580 million views. This video sharing platform also
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enable viewer to voice their opinion on the comment box provided below the videos. This video sharing platform also provided subscription function. Viewers can subscribe to Samsung YouTube channel so that they will not miss out the video that posts by Samsung. Mostly Samsung posts videos about their products commercials; however sometimes they will use these platforms to broadcast their event footages.
Crowdsourcing is another strategy use by Samsung to promote their products. Lake, L. (2014) defined crowdsourcing as using collective intelligence gathered from the public and using that information to complete business-related tasks. Samsung use social and online communities to promote Samsung Galaxy S4 in the campaign of “#OverToYou”. Samsung gave each 12 prominent bloggers, sports people and YouTubers a Samsung Galaxy S4 so they could create content with using the phone and share it with their friends and followers. With the usage of Samsung Galaxy S4 to come up with creative and exciting video, these 12 people were demonstrating the potential of the new devices. (Moth, D. 2014) With the crowdsourcing strategy, Samsung successfully manage to gain additional exposure outside of its normal marketing channels.
Samsung as one of the biggest technology company are renowned brand that has a strong management and marketing team. The company had also adapted and implements the new media marketing effectively. The risen in sales and company revenues can be seen as the results from the effective and successful social media strategy. Turner, H. (2013) state that, “According to Vivaldi Partners, the secret of Samsung Mobile marketing success is their use and understanding of social currency, or the “degree to which customers share a brand or information about a brand with others,” to drive business results.” Through the outstanding social media marketing strategy, Samsung has managed to lead ahead of its competitors.
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