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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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Executive Summary

1. Overview

Guinness's managing sustainable financial growth is one of the three parts of their mission which eventually will increase profits, however, the company has its own unique and appealing manner in presenting itself online which is a contributing success for their brand identity. The parent company Unilever's strategy is aiming for effective digital marketing, one of the most effective approaches to improve brand identity nowadays. This is what the report will aim for, to analyse the current situation in the market and produce a clear and structured 6 month digital plan for the client (Ryan, 2017).

2. Problems

• Increasing competition & dynamic market.

• Low UK online social media engagement.

• External factors affecting digital single market.

3. Goals

• Enhance organic traffic to the website by 10% within 3 months.

• Gain 5,000 new followers on Instagram by July 2018.

• Increase Facebook engagement (comments & likes) by 15% by June 2018.

4. Recommendations

• Targeting Group A and create content aimed at them.

• Adapt different strategies that correlates with the TOWS analysis.

• Correspond with the Gantt chart marketing plan with an estimated budget of £19,500.

• Utilize various metrics, tools and KPIs to review and achieve milestones with digital objectives.

1. Situational Analysis


despite the four types of interaction between businesses and consumers B2B, B2C, C2B and C2C. digital communication is considered difficult between businesses According to (Chaffey & Smith, 2017).

Guinness Beer only offer in B2B context, the products can be found in local Pubs, restaurants, and a wide range of retailers across the UK. In order to create an effective and beneficial digital marketing plan for the business, understanding the client's operation is quite important. Moreover, SOSTAC Model, which was developed by PR Smith, is used in this report to seek ways of improving brands digitally (Chaffey & Smith, 2017). To organise and create a plan, a consideration of the external factors that can affect Guinness online activities using PESTLE analysis must be taken.

Firstly, one of the main, if not the most important political factor is Brexit, which could be linked legally as well that affect the businesses, multinational businesses are concerned by this step after the referendum in 2015 as it is affecting the country's economy. However, there is the issue of accessing the EU digital single market, as there will be slight changes in the regulation of shared data, tariffs, and transporting products and services between the UK and the European Union, which will affect the digital commerce sector. However, this is yet to be confirmed till UK officially leaves the European Union in 2019. A negotiation is being made at this time in the government for the trading deals to reassure businesses in the United Kingdom and provide attractive support. In addition, there will be a slight adjustment in the digital consumption products depending on the actions of the legislators, which means that businesses are recommended to restructure their targeted audience. especially as the company's online presence in the UK does not sell beer directly to the end consumer but a merchandise of clothing and beer accessories to only advocate brand awareness and customer engagement.

In the economic element for the macro-environment, Guinness Pints prices might be different in shop retailers than online, as an execution of potential VAT Tax on corporations may occur if there is no access to a single European market (Perrin, 2017). Moreover, according to (Statista, 2016) E-commerce revenue is predicted to reach 125 billion USD by 2021, which is more than 60% increase since 2015. It is an astonishing consideration for Guinness to increase the sales as the importance of online transaction is on rise.

Moving to sociological factors, which is often linked to aspects of culture and essential to identify consumer's attitude online to adapt a responsiveness approach. 90% of the present households have access to the internet in 2017 which grew from 73% in 2010 according to the Statista (2017), the utilization of mobile device increase more than other technological devices that has internet access. Furthermore, a report done by Statista (2017) on email marketing highlighted that content and special offers and contents attracts a large number of online users to subscribe but unfortunately the millennials (aged 15-30) do not find this method appealing comparing to the older generation. Moreover, it is quite difficult to attract the younger generation to the website in order to increase the rate of engagement online, hence the firm uses different tactics in order to achieve that by recommending to sign up for their email newsletter as soon as the user access the website,

a great potential about the Artificial Intelligence in improving the difficulty of different tasks in different sections in businesses. That means AI-Controlled marketing activities could be done easier than before by tracking the user's path across the website to organise algorithms and gain more detailed picture of the behaviour of potential customers.

Legal issues may cross by with political issues such as Brexit, regulations about data flow and access to talent are considered. A high skilled people are needed to sustain, accommodate growth, globalise, expand the digital sector. 18.4% of the work force in the digital sector are from the European Union. Which means businesses should acquire more visas for the European labour if the law came in action hence businesses may suffer in the legal and financial terms for their skilled workers.

Moreover, flow of data became another concern is believed to be the flow of data for the digital sector, as the European Union accounts for 75% of UK's cross-border data exchange. Accessing and sharing such information can come difficult and may harm businesses and is considered to be a risk for many multinational firms.

The environmental factors of this analysis are fundamental for Guinness performance as the company highlight the issues of global warming and tried build awareness between the customers to help reduce the causes of this issue that may cause the brand loyalty the prices comparing to others in the market. Guinness is working among other firms to reduce CO2 emission in the UK to help reduce climate change.

 Overall, a consideration of the main concerns in the macro-environments evaluation should be done when trying reaching the online audience. The firm's strategy is unstable at the moment for the fact that Brexit made a turbulence in the Kingdoms economy, how the right people should get an effective content produced by the company. hiring skilled-workers and sharing data between the United Kingdom and European countries is changing consumers behaviour online. However, an internal analysis of strengths and opportunities is made to prove that not all the mentioned above came as negative trends for Guinness.


Customer Analysis & Behaviour

the most influential elements in defining the internal environment of any firm is believed to be the customer's behaviour, understanding their insight and behaviour for the firm is essential for building an effective digital plan (Chaffey & Smith, 2017). The first element to analyse for Guinness is the consumer's behaviour, different tools can be used to identify trends and data e.g. Similar web. Although the beverage is manufactured by Diageo and mainly consumed by adults. However, some of their customers are politically sensitive and involves in many environmental and ethical issues, arguably this content is appealing to the millennials and activists that are a big chunk of the consumers, can be loyal to the brand.

Buying personas is a functional tool for the researcher to understand the ideal customer and their behaviours, it will help tailoring specific marketing messages to the targeted audience.

Based on the previous demographics mentioned in the PESTLE analysis.

a specific persona was constructed (above picture) that gives a prefer audience for Guinness. Customers are related to company's online content and current campaigns on ethics in business and being a premium product, it can be outlined that firstly they are financially stable and willing to pay for more than a pint on weekends or on occasions due to the quality that Guinness offers.

Secondly, ideal audiences are keen into politics and ethical dilemma in operating a business, according to Similar-Web, the highest number of customers spend their time on Facebook using social media (preferably on smartphones) to spend their time.

Finally, the costumer is interested in going to Pubs and live in urban cities that have nearby access to local Pubs and Bars that Guinness supplies,

Competitor Analysis

One of the most famous models which are used when analysing the position of a company in the market is Porter's five forces, this model identifies the different capabilities and leverages through buyers, suppliers, new entries, substitutes and rivalries point of view (Clegg, et al., 2017).

However, to analyse the main competitors in the market, many companies use benchmarking as another technique to analyse the online services, followers, growth and conversions (Chaffey & Chadwick, 2016). By using porter's model for market analysis, Guinness is understanding the attractiveness of the current market before benchmarking. As the internet allowed the power of customers to increase immensely, it allows them to clear and compare prices between businesses, as a result of the company offering their beverage to pubs and bars and then to customers, it might affect Guinness indirectly (B2B context).

For the beer and beverages market, a Threat of substitute and barriers to entry are low, it is difficult for consumers to switch brands to new one for their brand loyalty, as well as a high capital is required to establish beer manufacture.

Within the beer industry there is a high completion not only when it comes to the materials but also for the consumers. The analysis also informs us how challenging it would be to set up a new beer manufacturer or brand due to various factors and how companies changes, revenue wise, when consumers have the power as the analysis outlined that.

In order to use benchmarking to analyse the internal and online capabilities, it is important to know who is the main competitor for Guinness in the UK. The answer to that will be by measuring the beer market share, according to MBAskool report (2017), the top 3 brands for beer in the UK is Guinness, Corona and Heineken respectively.

However, it is also fair to say the Corona Beer is the main rival strategically in this market. An interesting fact to highlight, the rivalry between Corona and Guinness has been going on for a long time and the main point for Guinness was the battle between the big brand vs the small one. As a result, consumers had a massive brand awareness for Guinness.

Guinnesss vs Heineken and Corona (Benchmarking)

Shifting to benchmarking, diverse elements will be compared to the competitors:

1. Site (online traffic, bounce rate and unique visitors)

2. Search (keywords positioning, SEO optimization and CPC paid or organic)

3. Social (engagement, followers and content)

These key performance indicators (KPIs) will be explained later in the online marketing plan, meanwhile, these metrics in the last couple of months have changed. From analysing the companies' websites (UK domains). Furthermore, their response on social media accounts is quite fast between all three of them, a value that contributes to CRM.

Moreover, as shown on SimilarWeb, it provides evidences that the overall social media presence tends to be better for Guinness as they regularly engage and post new content which is relevant to the audience. On the other hand, Corona also possess a weak social media presence and it did not exceed some metrics. Which is quite unusual act for such a huge brand, as well as low followers and inactive posts on Twitter. However, despite the positioning in social media it is important to observe where the competition stands in the site segment.

Although it can be seen that Guinness is on top of major KPI metrics against its main competitors, it is important to note that Guinness does  have more than one dedicated UK domain, therefore it cannot be compared. However, the data for the main site were inserted to outline firm's position. Proceeding to search comparison, a list of different keywords was inserted in Google search to see the ranking of each words.

Although some of the keywords from Google Search Engine was quite favourable for Guinness, but many words that includes ‘Beer' and ‘Pints' ranked at the top of the list. After analysing various factors, how can other beer manufacturers be one step behind and what opportunities can be abstracted?

Evaluation of Threats & Opportunities (SWOT/TOWS)

A simple answer for the question above would be constructing a l ‘TOWS analysis' by developing a clear understanding of these factors, it can evaluate where the company should go from here. The capabilities and resources can be identified by the analysis for Guinness to find its position on the world wide web, as well as how to get the full benefit of the company's resources.

highlights that the political contents can be seen from two different ways, it could be an opportunity or a threat and it essentially depends whether chose a specific target or go on something broader. Moreover, it seems that much of the company's internal strengths and external opportunities lie within its social and environmental strategies. This gives evidence to purpose that Guinness's strategies are well integrated, and that this integration is crucial to the future success of its online presence, sometimes action and values speak for themselves.

1.2 Objectives

Now that the situation analysis was detailed earlier, setting a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-related) objectives in the marketing plan (Appendix 6). Using the 5S's Model can be considered when setting up goals and digital marketing plan for Guinness to specify the clear aim of the firm (Chaffey & Chadwick, 2016).

The 5Ss (Appendix 7) stands for:

1- Sell, this means that increasing sales through generating leads to secure online transaction. However, since Guinness offers products directly to businesses it essentially means that to promote in pubs and bars.

2- Serve, is all about adding value to the audience through online platforms, an example can be to make your own Guinnesss pint.

3- Speak, engaging through social media with consumers in an appealing way and receiving important feedback about either product or services.

4- Save, reducing cost by taking most of the action in-house and shift it online therefore implementing economies of scale.

5- Sizzle, developing the brand through online content or even innovation in a service to build an overall online positive experience for the consumer.

Relating back to the SMART objectives, based on the situation analysis the three key digital targets for Guinness to increase its online presence in the UK are:

1- Enhance organic traffic to the website by 10% within 3 months.

2- Attract 5,000 new follower on Instagram by May 2018.

3- Increase Facebook engagement (comments & likes) by 15% by June 2018.

These digital aims can be linked to different general business goals, reduce marketing cost, develop a stronger brand awareness and finally good CRM through effective online engagements.

1.3 Strategy

Now that the objectives has been set, the most difficult step is adapting a strategic approach directed towards digital objectives and tactics. According to Hanlon (2017) Using the STP (Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning) model helps to decide which consumers to aim for, thus it can achieve the objectives.

The three major segments that are in the market based on the demographics, behaviour and lifestyle researched by Ofcom (2017) and Acorn (2017) are:

Age group Devices lifestyle interests income

Group A 18-35 Phone Mainly Students and new employed staff Clubbing,

Going to Pubs and drink £25,000-£30,000

Group B 35-45 Phone, Laptop Family-person, quite busy Watching football leagues £40,000+

Group C 45-65 Laptop Retired, plenty of free time Reading Newspapers and chilling £15,000

Each group needs a different marketing mix and content that would appeal to their values and lifestyle, the last two groups can be classified as multi-segmented unlike Group A which is not mass marketing but actually concentrated because of their one common lifestyle which is drinking too many.

Targeting Group C seems the easiest since Guinness releases their products in different pubs and bars but not really highlighting them in the online content, which indicates an opportunity to target this specific market thus achieving more online engagements and traffic through various platforms which eventually increase offline revenue through retailers.

To emphasize more on the recommended target two consumer personas were developed to cover the background criteria for the most accepting audience.

The two personas got 2 different view of alcohol products, for Sara, it is essential for her to have products with alcohol to practice her interests. But unfortunately, she does risk her health which can lead to delaying her studies and serious life issues. On the other hand, Fred is more relaxing and loves to chill at night with a pint of Guinness. In addition, He can also influence B2B sales with Guinness since he works in a high-end retailer as a medium-high position, it indicates another target to achieve while using the strategy aimed for Group B.

Finally, after producing specific targets it is fundamental to think in terms of how to positon the brand from a customer perspective, how can it add online value proposition to them (OVP) and what is the unique selling proposition (USP). shows where the Guinness stands in positon map based on two factors, price and quality.

However, the competitors are close to each other without a doubt, it shows what really makes the difference for these brands, it is all about service, product or simply the taste. companies should think how a customer sees the brand and what makes it different. having a strategy that emphasizes and develops content for product differentiation is essential, moreover, call actions buttons are considered essential on for the direct engagement with the consumers and being appealing at the same time.

 1.4 Tactics

To ensure that the tactics are aimed for Group A and relates directly to the objectives that has been set, it is the marketing mix that is the main key for the tasks followed by marketing tactics.

Product: Guinness offers one type of beer, however it should ensure that the stock for these beverages is secured through pubs and bars so that Group A can purchase these products after being influenced by the new online content.

Price: Offers and review a fixed pint price in small pubs and bars, exceptions can be made in restaurants and high-end pubs.

Place: Utilizing the distribution channels to deliver the stock to wholesalers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Promotion: There is many strong online tools & channels to support the brand and utilizing their USP through:

Social Media – Using the different UK and Ireland accounts to advocate & produce online content.

SEO – Enhancing on-site keywords the specifically relates to people with alcoholics, in return it could increase organic traffic and more targeted audiences.

Advertisement – Utilizing SEM & retargeting methods, Google AdWords can be used for a short- term to increase Click-through-rate to the website.

People: to provide a high quality customer support and engagement, Introducing live chat is beneficial, storing information about products and answering questions for both businesses (retailers, wholesalers, etc.) and consumers.

Process: The customer would be directed to the website through either social media platforms or SEO directly to the home page that shows more on one click purchase and shows the nearest location of the customer to buy or find their product

Partnerships: This can be opportunistic for Guinness as they could sponsor different events that is related to sport lifestyle and in clubs. In addition, on a strategic level, they could collaborate with online retailers to list their products.

Many tactics can be used with the marketing mix through content, social media and search marketing.

Moreover, there are few actions to be taken by Guinness to attract more online customers:

> Post a fun Instagram post related to partying once a week.

> Engaging with audiences on Facebook, by hiring more staff to reply faster hence Increasing the response rate.

> Post Facebook content at rate of 3 a week

> Engage more on Twitter by performing an petition so people can vote and engage more on their accounts.

> Advertise on SlideShare highlighting the new products to promote B2B sales.

> Linking the one click purchase as a landing page for Google AdWords campaign on the new products.

> Run Facebook Advertising at late night for the people who loves to drink/party at night.

 > Run online banners on different social media channels.

In order to give a good overview of time and resources for the tactics effectively, Creating engaging tactics with relevant data that follows the RACE model would be effective and direct.

1.5 Action Plan

The Digital Marketing plan budget (table above) is how the budget is distributed and how it is going to be spent for the next 6 months, it elaborates where the money is being spent and when starting from May 2018 till September same year. The budget is spread across 9 different categories to advertise on. It is considered a quite low budget for a firm of the size of Guinness.

1.6 Control & Measurement

On regular basis, KPI's are difficult for measuring effectiveness of tactics, relating back to the digital objectives that has been set. mainly, developing a stable performance management system, it can be executed through evaluating various metrics and tools to see if it is achieving the desired milestones (Chaffey & Chadwick, 2016).

The tools that directly affects the tactics is Google Analytics and AdWords, this will provide more in-depth analysis of how different metrics perform in search and site such as:

• Bounce rates.

• Unique visitors.

• Cost-per-click.

• Cost-per-acquisition.

• Average visit time.

• Organic traffic.

• Keywords position.

• Total Conversion.

On the other hand, social media can be measured either through CRM software (Social baker) or even the platform itself provide the data for businesses. Metrics that should be measured on a weekly basis are:

• Engagement rate (Likes, followers & comments)

• Brand mentions (Twitter hashtags, retweet and Instagram tags)

• Inbound links

In conclusion, Guinness's have different options of controlling their digital tactics, however, a critical review of these KPIs is fundamental on a routinely based in order to reach the optimum effect and gain a competitive advantage over their competitors.

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