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Effectiveness of Social Media as an Advertising Tool UKCBC College BTECH Level 4

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INTRODUCTION

Digital technology has created a revolution in the business world with innovative technological tools. It offers an easy way of managing business activities which helps in the smooth management of all services. The tools provide the digital edge to businesses for creating value for 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 the implications of social media advertising as it is the most effective promotional tool which is used by the marketing team for online promotion.

Research title

“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 a 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 the 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?

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LITERATURE REVIEW

Terminology of digital technology and its implications in retail business activities

According to Westerman, Bonnet and McAfee, 2014, Digital technology is a revolutionary change in the business world where technology has assisted firms 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. There are various firms who have started offering their products on online platforms which has increased the number of buyers and moreover, assisted enterprises in boosting sales and innovation in services. Implementing technology helps in reducing manual work and aims at developing a strategy to minimize workload and manage innovation. However, Fitzgerald and et.al., 2014, have stated the impact of digital technology on the business activities of retail organisations, like it helps the management of firms in storing records of employees and consumers. Like, cloud computing is a technological advancement which helps the enterprise make a record of all necessary information in one place which aims at easy management.  Apart from this, the biometric system allows the firm to ensure employees' attendance which helps in analysing their efforts, performance and consistency. In addition, implementing technology aids enterprises in making optimum utilisation of resources which increases cost effectiveness.

Kim and Ko, 2012, have stated about implications of technological tools in retail business organisations where the author stated the use of social media advertising and online selling. For instance, Tesco is the leading retailer in the UK, which implements the use of online selling where the management offers grocery, food products, apparel, etc. According to the online purchase and selling concept, the scholar stated that it is the strategy which assists the consumers in staying in touch with the firm and its innovation.  Apart from innovation and online sales and purchases, marketing and promotion on websites and social media is the technique which helps the marketing team connect with consumers directly. Thus, it can be said that digital technology is also assisting organisations in customer relationship management which is a 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 organisations but are not considered part of digital technology like Trello, a tool which is used by businesses 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 is a technical tool that is implemented in organisations for internal communication to minimize problems which arise due to miscommunication or due to interaction gaps.

Social media advertising as a promotional tool

Packer, 2011, has discussed social media advertising which is considered a prominent way of targeting a large number of people at one time. It is considered cost-effective because it helps the firm create awareness about its products and services in the global market. Social media channels like Facebook are helpful to organisations in carrying out their business-to-business operations as they offer ideal formats for connecting with consumers. Apart from Instagram is another most trafficked social media platform which allows businesses 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 a 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 boost sales and profits by maintaining cost-effectiveness. Apart from this, it helps the marketing team in saving the audience by targeting only specific buyers. Like in this the enterprise first targets the global population and determines potential buyers. With the help of this strategy, the marketing team segments the market and aims at targeting potential buyers for specific products. It is the plan of action which helps in seeking the attention of specific people and helps the firm in determining the positive response to advertising on social media.

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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 the company. With the help of awareness, the firm is able to determine interested buyers of the enterprise. Further, consideration is about individual behaviours towards the company's products and its advertisements.  The third, step is the transaction which is sales sales-driven part where the organisation enable the last push to advertisements targets, to grab the attention of targeted and potential consumers.

Steps involved in Social Media Marketing

Illustration 2: Steps for Social Media Advertising (Source: York, 2017)

Benefits and Limitations of digital marketing and promotion

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

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

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Research methodology is the most critical part of the research process as it helps the investigator in choosing the appropriate way of conducting the research process. Prior analysis of research tools helps the scholar in developing a clear understanding of 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 an understanding of the research title which is to assess the use of social media advertising promotional tools, Marks and Spencer.  There are various types of research philosophy that is exploratory, explanatory, descriptive etc. Every tool offers a different way of understanding as per the title. Therefore, in this study, the scholar will apply exploratory philosophy as it allows the individual to derive and explore different ways and ideas of findings and draw conclusions.

Research approach

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

Data collection

Data collection is a critical part of the study because in his process the individual aims at collecting information from different sources. There are two different sources of data collection that is primary and secondary wherein the researcher collects information through surveys, interviews, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups etc. However, in the secondary data collection process the researcher gathers data through, governmental publications, articles, reviews etc. (Fiegen, 2010) Thus in this study, the individual will collect information from both sources whereas for primary the researcher will conduct interviews on the basis of a questionnaire and secondary sources will be articles and reviews by different authors on digital technology and marketing and social media advertising.

Data Analysis

In data analysis, the researcher aims at findings solutions and conclusions from collected data.  Data analytic thinking can be done with the help of two methods that are quantitative and qualitative where in the quantitative the person aims at analysing information with the help of numerical terms by implementing mathematics. However, the qualitative analysis is done on the basis of assumption which is made by observing the views of respondents. Thus, in this study, the scholar will implement the use of qualitative analysis which will be done on the basis of observation of primary collected data.

Sampling

Sampling is a complex process as in this the investigator needs to select a small group of sources from collecting information from a large group (Zumitzavan and Michi, 2015). There are various types of sampling methods that is cluster, random, stratified etc. Thus, in this research, the scholar will implement the use of a random sampling method where the sample will be 20 employees of Marks and Spencer.

Ethical considerations

Ethical consideration is the basis of the research process where the person needs to keep some facts in mind like, seeking permission from authorities before conducting interviews with employees. Further, the researcher will ensure that every employee will be informed before the interview.  Also, the individual will ensure the confidentiality of data.

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EXPECTED OUTCOMES

As per the analysis of the research aim, the focus is findings which will be based on social media advertising, and digital marketing which is the most prominent tool revolutionary business world. It is assumed that it will help in deriving specific results which can help in further studies related to digital technology.  The assumption after observing employees' views on digital technology will help in developing knowledge on techniques used by Marks and Spencer. Moreover, the research will help in developing knowledge of various uses of technological tools. Apart from this, the expected the result from study is focused on analysing positive outcomes of implying technology in an organisation to increase the consumer base and boost sales in order to maintain the cost-effectiveness of business operations

Time plan

Time Plan
Time plan

REFERENCES

  • Fichman, R.G. and et.al., 2014. Digital innovation is a fundamental and powerful concept in the information Systems curriculum. MIS quarterly. 38(2).
  • Fiegen, M. A., 2010. Systematic review of research methods: the case of business instruction. Reference Services Review. 38(3). pp.385-397.
  • Fitzgerald, M. and et.al., 2014. Embracing digital technology: A new strategic imperative. MIT Sloan management review. 55(2). p.1.
  • Geerts, G. L., 2011. A design science research methodology and its application to accounting information systems research. International Journal of Accounting Information Systems. 12(2). pp.142-151.
  • Kim, A.J. and Ko, E., 2012. Do social media marketing activities enhance customer equity? An empirical study of luxury fashion brands. Journal of Business Research. 65(10). pp.1480-1486.
  • Lushey, C. J. and Munro, E. R., 2015. Participatory peer research methodology: An effective method for obtaining young people's perspectives on transitions from care to adulthood? Qualitative Social Work. 14(4). pp.522-537.
  • Packer, R., 2011. Social media marketing. The Art of Conversational Sales. WSI.
  • Pittman, M. and Reich, B., 2016. Social media and loneliness: Why an Instagram picture may be worth more than a thousand Twitter words. Computers in Human Behavior. 62. pp.155-167.
  • Saravanakumar, M. and SuganthaLakshmi, T., 2012. Social media marketing. Life Science Journal. 9(4). pp.4444-4451.
  • Warschauer, M. and Matuchniak, T., 2010. New technology and digital worlds: Analyzing evidence of equity in access, use, and outcomes. Review of research in education. 34(1). pp.179-225.
  • Westerman, G., Bonnet, D. and McAfee, A., 2014. Leading digital: Turning technology into business transformation. Harvard Business Press.
  • Zumitzavan, V. and Michie, J., 2015. Research Methodology. In Personal Knowledge Management, Leadership Styles, and Organisational Performance (pp. 27-34). Springer Singapore.
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