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INTRODUCTION

Digital technology has created revolution in business world with innovative technological tools. It offers an easy way of managing business activities which help in smooth management of all services. The tools provide digital edge to business for creating value of products and services as well as for managing profits (Warschauer and Matuchniak, 2010). There are several digital tools used by enterprises across the globe to make systematic management of organisational functions like cloud computing, social media marketing, face prima, etc. Thus, research will be focused on analysing implications of social media advertising as it is the most effective promotional tool which is used by marketing team for online promotion.

Research tittle

“To ascertain implications of social media advertising as a promotional digital tool: a case study on Marks and Spencer”

AIM AND OBJECTIVES

Research Aim

 “To ascertain implication of social media advertising as promotional digital tool: a case study on Marks and Spencer”

Research Objectives

  • To assess the concept of digital technological tools in retail business activities of M&S
  • To evaluate the implications of social media advertising as a promotional tool in M&S
  • To explore the benefits and limitations of digital marketing and promotion in M&S

Research Questions

  • What is the actual concept of digital technology and its implication in retail business activities of M&S?
  • What is the use of social media advertising as a promotional tool in M&S?
  • What are the benefits and limitations of digital marketing and promotion in M&S?

LITERATURE REVIEW

Terminology of digital technology and its implications in retail business activities

According to Westerman, Bonnet and McAfee, 2014, Digital technology is revolutionary change of business world where technology has assisted the firm in managing smooth and successful business operations. The use of technological tools is assisting business organisations and entrepreneurial start-ups to boost their growth by collaborating services. Like there are various firms who have started offering their products on online platform which has increased number of buyers and moreover it assisted the enterprises in boosting sales and innovation in services. Implementing technology helps in reducing manual work and aims at developing strategy to minimize workload and managing innovation. However, Fitzgerald and et.al., 2014, has stated about impact of digital technology on business activities of retail organisation, like it helps management of firm in storing record of employees and consumers. Like, cloud computing is the technological advancement which helps the enterprise in making record of all necessary information at one place which aims at easy management.  Apart from this, the bio metric system allows the firm ensuring employees attendance which helps in analysing their efforts, performance and consistency. In addition, implementing technology aid the enterprises in making optimum utilisation of resources which increases cost effectiveness.

Kim and Ko, 2012, has stated about implication of technological tools in retail business organisation where the author stated use of social media advertising and online selling. For instance, Tesco is the leading retailer of UK, which implements use of online selling where the management offers grocery, food products, apparels, etc. According to online purchase and selling concept, the scholar stated that it is the strategy which assist the consumers in staying touch with firm and its innovation.  Apart from innovation and online sale and purchase, the marketing and promotion on website and social media is the technique which helps marketing team in connecting with consumers directly. Thus, it can be said that digital technology is also assisting organisations in customer relationship management which is core part of successful business activities. According to Fichman and et.al., 2014, there are various tools of digital technology which are commonly used by organisation but are not considered as part of digital technology like, Trello, tool which is used by business for project management. It helps the firm in managing projects within time constraints with innovation. In addition, there is, Sniply which is used for social media advertising and marketing. Slack, technical tools that is implemented in organisation for internal communication to minimize problems which arise due to mis-communication or due to interaction gap.

Social media advertising as a promotional tool

Packer, 2011, has discussed about social media advertising which is considered as prominent way of targeting large number of people at one time. It is considered as cost effective because it helps the firm in creating awareness about its products and services in global market. Social media channels like, Facebook is helpful to organisation in carrying out its business to business operations as it offers ideal formats of connecting with consumers. Apart from Instagram is another most trafficked social media platform which allow business in creating awareness about its products and services with high visual content and is preferred for business to consumer marketing.

Key demographics of facebook

Illustration 1: Key Demographics of Facebook

(Source: York, 2017)

As per the views of Saravanakumar and SuganthaLakshmi, 2012, social media advertisement is convenient way of targeting potential buyers. In this marketing the firm is easily able to connect directly with consumers which helps in sharing schemes and discounts online. Offering online schemes to global buyers is the strategy which helps the organisation in boosting sales and profits by maintain cost effectiveness. Apart from this, it helps the marketing team in saving audience by targeting only specific buyers. Like in this the enterprise first targets global population and determines potential buyers. With the help of this strategy the marketing team segments market and aims at targeting potential buyers for specific products. It is the plan of action which helps in seeking attention of specific people and helps the firm in determining positive response of advertising on social media.

In addition, the author discussed about steps which the marketing team needs to implement at the time of social media advertising which comprise awareness, consideration and transaction. The awareness is focused on making people know about the specific products of company. With the help of awareness the firm is able to determine about interested buyers of enterprise. Further, consideration is about individual behaviours towards company’s products and its advertisements.  Third, step is transaction which is sales driven part where the organisation enable last push to advertisements targets, to grab attention of targeted and potential consumers.

Steps involved in Social Media Marketing

Illustration 2: Steps for social Media advertising

(Source: York, 2017)

Benefits and limitation of digital marketing and promotion

According to Pittman and Reich, 2016, Digital marketing is the most promising way of promotion as it helps the one in connecting with consumers with click. Marketing via online channels helps in reaching maximum population which is the approach that aid in company in developing consumer base. There are various sources of Internet marketing and promotion like Pay per Click Advertising, where the firm asks designer to advertisement for their product which contains limited by specific information about product of firm. Further, the advertisement is launched at most trafficked websites and if the customers finds advertisement relatable or attractive than the person is free to check on more details. In this when consumers click to popped advertisement then person has to pays certain amount for visiting complete advertising details. Similarly, Lushey and Munro, 2015, has stated about online marketing via social media channels which is the most conspicuous way to reaching to consumers in modern era. Almost all the people across the globe access one or the social media platform and therefore according to scholar it is the most effective way of promoting business goods and services.

Digital marketing via social media assist the firm in increasing satisfaction of buyers, reducing selling cycle and cost of sales. In contrary Pros and cons of using social media for business, 2015, has argued that social media marketing lack details information about products and service of company. In addition, the author stated that online marketing by stating that not every person have access of social media channels and therefore this marketing technique limits organisation marketing and promotion. As per the views of York 2017, online marketing is effective technique of promotion because it provides targetted result which aid in predetermination of positive and negative consumer response. Moreover, internet marketing is most preferable technique because it denotes measurable and cost effective returns and responses. However, the scholar also discussed about cyber-crimes which are increasing and leading to scams due tow which consumers are losing their interest on online purchases, advertisement and pop ups.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Research methodology is the most critical part of research process as it helps the investigator in choosing appropriate way of conducting research proses. Prior analysis of research tools helps the scholar in developing clear understanding over research aims and objections.  Further, it assists in determining the best method to complete research within time constraints.

Research Philosophy

Philosophy is based on developing understanding on research tittle that is to asses use of social media advertising promotional tool, Marks and Spencer.  There are various types of research philosophy that is exploratory, explanatory, descriptive etc. Every tools offer different way of understanding as per tittle. Therefore, in this study, the scholar will apply exploratory philosophy as it allow the individual in deriving and exploring different ways and idea of  findings and drawing conclusion.

Research approach

Approach in research is based in systemic study which helps in establishing smooth flow of data collection and analysis. There are research approach that is inductive and deductive where in deductive approach the individual applies use of models and theories to derive findings and results (Geerts, 2011). Apparently, with the help of inductive approach the scholar draw logical representation of findings and analysis. Thus, in this study, the individual will implement the use of inductive approach to derive findings on social media advertising and digital