Social media marketing strategies are being used in Micro small and medium enterprises and this is found to have an influence on the brand awareness this in-turn paves way for creating an impact on customer retention and acquisition. The results obtained were based on the information obtained from companies operating in India. There exists a direct relationship between sales and time spent on social media. This social media marketing strategy is also found to improve the market share of these small and medium enterprises (Srinivasan, Bajaj and Bhanot, 2016). Social media marketing being used in bed and breakfast inns, they are small businesses operating in the hotel industry. This marketing is found to play a vital role in improving the brand awareness among the target customers and online sales is also found to improve (Momany and Alshboul, 2016). Social media marketing strategies are being used in the restaurant industry and this is found to improve the brand equity of the firms. Brand loyalty, brand image and brand preference is found to be improved (Hanaysha, 2016). Social media marketing helps improve brand awareness among the customers of fast food restaurants (Karam and Saydam, 2015). Thus, it is seem from the above statements that social media marketing strategies are being used in MSMEs, fast food restaurants, restaurants and hotels. This strategy is found to create an improve brand awareness among the customers which in-turn leads to various other impact such as improvement in sales. With the help of this strategy the firms are found to improve their ability to acquire and retain customers and brand loyalty is also found to be improved.
As seen from the above case studies it is clear that social media marketing strategies are being used in food related industries and this is found to have an impact on brand awareness creation. However, there is no literature or case study that specifically analyses a particular food item or there is limited literature on Indian context for aiding the organisations in their market entry. Though social media plays a vital part in all the firms there is limited or no literature in Indian context. Hence, the current study aims to analyse the possibility of creating brand awareness in the Indian market with the help of social media marketing strategy. This would be crucial for the current dissertation topic to introduce and create brand awareness for the Butler chocolates.
The literature review consists of the secondary data source for this research which uncovers the set of primary themes and concepts of the topics that are researched (Maylor and Blackmon, 2005). It is stated that the integral utility of literature review is not only to support the research topic but also to help describe the research question. The literature review confirms that the research question proposed embedded itself in the existing research and also, the coherence between the literature review and primary research is maintained (Andrews, 2004). It is observed that it is nearly impossible to carry out a focused review without aimed research question.
The various themes of Literature review section analyse various set of primary and secondary research sources such as research papers and academic journals in order to identify and understand if the social media marketing has positive impact on the brand equity for a company by creating brand value. The theme one revolves around the various impact of social media on the brand equity and further describes the era of social media and its evolution till date also argues about brands, branding and social media describing the symbiotic relationship that they possess.
The theme two defines the types of social media platforms and channels and highlights the effective platforms that can be focused for effective connection and delivery of brand image and value to the target audience. Also, the theme attempts to uncover a various set of social media strategies to be practiced by the brand for effective branding in a new market which provide completive advantages. The theme three discuss the view point of social media marketing and the consumer behaviour by describing the consumers bonding with the brand by means of physical ads and strength of online reviews which possess crucial impact on brand’s image.
The theme four highlights the market value of Butlers in Irish and global market that helps in identification of strengths and weakness of the brand, which can be used for designing effective social media marketing strategies. Also, the theme further continues by analysing the current market of Indian confectionary market which helps to explore the various set of opportunities for creating of brand equity by means of tailored social media strategies focusing on target groups. The final theme analyses the previous outcomes of social media marketing on Indian market for various different products and understand the outcome of the strategies which very much helps in understanding of Indian consumer’s responses and engagements towards to social media marketing. Outcome of this analysis would be helping in choosing right social media strategy for effective branding.
Further, the literature review gives contextualization of all the above finding and this helps in drawing conclusion and recommendation for effective primary research.
- Theme one- Impact of social media marketing on brand equity:
Social media is coined as,“a group of internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technical foundations of web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user generated content”(Whiting and Williams, 2013).The social media gave a new dimension to marketing techniques by its popularity in very short span and various unique attributes the technology provides. It is evident the no organization does the promotion or marketing the same way 10 years the reason is social media has changed the whole dimension of marketing providing various options for analysing and understanding their consumers (Faulds and Mangold, 2014). Critically analysing the above literature it is revealed that social media has completely changed the dimension of marketing promotion. This has provided new opportunities for organisations in India. Since, social media provides a better platform for customer understanding this method is considered efficient for improving brand equity.
The simple way to describe Social media is to state that it is a place or platform where a media of any form is created and shared among group of internet users (Fuchs, 2017). These social media contents can take various forms depending on their usage and circulation such as Blogs content, forums, wiki’s etc. The interesting fact of social media is that almost cent percent of the social media content creation are free to create and access by anyone (Kietzmannet al., 2011). Brands and companies on today’s world invest a lot of trust on marketing via Social media, most of the companies believe social media marketing is beneficial for their business growth and brand value creation. It is considered that any type of advisement or campaigns that includes social media have reported to produce benefit comparing legacy techniques.
As a result of time in today’s world the traditional marketing tools are considered not as effective as they once were. The integral reason to influence customers’ trusts in social media techniques is word of mouth. With the help of social media, it becomes relatively easy to access information of a required product or service. In the course of recent years, a significant number of brands, working in various distinctive markets and target consumer, have been investing their resources into social media marketing and it recorded to increase the revenue by online consumers (Ngai, Tao and Moon, 2015).The investment and involvement of organization in Social media helped in creation of new business opportunities. Also, helps in improvisation of their customer knowledge, consumer relationship and so on. Consequently, numerous brands and organizations have been integrating social media marketing analysis with CRM which helps in better customer relationship management (Foltean, Trif and Tuleu, 2018). From the research it is revealed that social media is used for improving word of mouth publicity, creating new opportunities for organisations with the assistance of customer relationship management.
Source: (Statista Digital Advertisement report, 2017).
From a study on 284 Twitter and Facebook users confirmed that the various set of individuals form stronger bond with social networks tend to possess similar characteristics. On further analysis the research revealed that relationship strength with a network not only leads to future interaction with network but also, recommend it to others. The key finding of this study is that business that invest on social network sites for marketing and promotion benefits from larger customer interaction and engagement also, increase in its brand awareness (Pentinaet al., 2013). The study reveals that an organisation with better social media strategy has a higher scale of market operation.
The term brand equity is coined as a marketing term that describes goodwill that a brand name possess among its consumers, thus increases the profit of the company’s turnover could be achieved just by brand recognition instead of actual product’s performance (Aaker, 2009). In today’s world, it is observed that people are in need to manage other people’s impressions or suggestions in order to essentially maintain their social self-image (Hudson et al., 2016). It has been observed that the social media marketing has been redefining the old concept of word of mouth in larger and wider perspective by not only delivering the brand name and image to people but also the advancement in social media allows brands to get insight and feedback on the reach to target audience (Hudson et al., 2016). The traditional and social media marketing both have a primary impact on brand equity. But it is noted that traditional marketing possess impact only on brand awareness, whereas social media marketing has a predominating influence on brand image and creation of brand value. The study by (Bruhn, Schoenmueller and Schäfer, 2015) on 393 data sets from three different industries have concluded that the companies that initiated social media marketing have proven significant impact on company’s brand image and brand value. Another survey-based empirical study conducted on 441 respondents analyzing the social media influence on brand loyalty suggest that social media marketing helps in the creation of brand loyalty towards customers which eventually leads to the development of brand value (Laroche, Habibi and Richard, 2016). The above research has highlighted that social media marketing has increased brand loyalty, brand name and image among the customers. This platform has increased customer base and contributed to brand equity of an organisation to a greater extent.
The research highlights that social media marketing has a better influence on the customers compared to traditional marketing. However, traditional marketing strategies contribute to primary stages of brand equity. Still, social media improves brand value and awareness. This indicates the impact of social media on a brand providing a better understanding on the importance and efficiency of using social media in business promotion.
2.3 Theme two – Types of social media platforms and strategies for effective branding in a new market:
Different social media channels serve different purposes. There are few platforms that focus only photos and videos. Few targets user responsive personal interests and people connection. It is crucial to identify the media social channel that can make can impact with the content. Social media considered to be way different and effective when compared to the traditional media (TV, bill boards, Newspaper, etc) the reason seems to be the various advantages social media provides such as flexibility in the nature of the ads or promotions, frequency and the reach is quite higher also quality ad content can be created (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). The crucial ability of social media is considered to be its two-way social communications, which allows the brand and its consumers to communicate and engage with one another.
Source: (Nielsen, 2017)
Social Media further identified as five different types which are based on various levels of interaction they provide. There are found to be Blogs, Social networking sites, content aggregator, content sites, forums (Hanna, Rohm and Crittenden, 2011). In order to analyze the effective strategies for creating brand value and awareness in a market, it is essential to identify the types of social media platform that allows advertise and gain customer engagement for their social media marketing.
2.3.1 Social Networking sites:
Social networking sites (SNS) is a type of social media platform. It is based on structures that allows users to express their interest by means of user generated contents. The main utility of this platform is considered to be building social network and relations between people who tend to possess similar interests and real-life connections (Scott, 2017). Social networking sites are turned out to be interacting landscape for companies to connect with people as the network offers transparency. SNS has also proven in the expansion of globalization (Nooy, Mrvar, and Batagelj, 2018).
Facebook is a giant monopoly of social networking sites but it increases its horizon beyond social networking of connecting peoples of similar interest, the new features that the company have incorporated recently such as in-Facebook site or app purchase which allows companies to sell their products within Facebook by displaying the catalogue or products where user just have to just purchase make it easier for target audience (Pegoraro, Scott and Burch, 2018). In addition, new features there have been improvements on analytical tools provided by Facebook to manage brand’s follower engagement and activity which helps in obtaining clear understanding of promotions and campaigns carried out by the brand and response towards it by its consumers.
2.3.2 Micro blogging:
Micro blogging websites are type social media platform which allows users to share their views and comments also exchange elements over the network via a various medium such as website, phone application, etc. (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2012). The integral differentiation between a Blog and a Micro-Blogging Website observed to be the word limit restriction. Twitter and Tumbler are some of the leading micro blogging site (Veeck and Hoger, 2014).
Twitter, Pinterest are the largest micro blogging site in today’s world. From the time of launch since 2006 twitter has been well received. Currently Twitter has almost 350 million active users creating billions of micro blogs post every day. Brands and organizations run various campaigns in Twitter for consumer engagements and also to create direct communication with consumers which helps in effective service and product creation (Phua, Jin and Kim, 2017). Pinterest is a fast-growing social media channel most of brands started to explore it to identify the benefits it can produce for its products or service. It is gives set of boards of user with respect to their interest which gives scope for brand and organization for effective marketing scope.
2.3.3 Media sharing sites and blogs:
There are a set of specific social media websites that are predominately used for sharing media files over the network. YouTube, Instagram, Flicker are some of the social media websites that allow the user to upload share their contents and media files (Mangold and Faulds, 2009). Whereas Blogs are considered to be an effective tool for social media marketing due to its nature, the blogs allow extensive use of hyperlinks and other media files. Also, user engagement activities like subscriptions and reviews could be made possible over blogs comparing other platforms (Zhang and Mao, 2016).
Blogs are nothing but a simple webpage where people create and share opinions or content about a topic that they are interested, blogs are mostly wide open to public. Even though blog sounds simple it is very crucial marketing tool when people share their brand or product experience with peers. Its good blog post regarding a brand or product creates endorsement for the brand which helps in creating of loyal customers.
YouTube, Instagram, Vlog and Pinterest are few largest media sharing and blogging social media platforms. These platforms are considered to be effective source for online ads and campaigns as they promotion contents are served to the users along with other media contents which ensures maximum possibility of user engagement towards the ads. Also, the trends in these social media platforms creates a wave for the campaign or promotion by creating and spreading word of mouth in specific geo location. Thus, enables to attract the target audience (Toscani, Tosin and Zanella, 2018).
2.3.4 Social media strategies:
It is crucial for the brands or organizations has to follow certain set of strategies for its effective social media marketing promotions and ads. Here (Macarthy, 2018) suggest a few sets of social media marketing strategies and rules apart from social media ads. That are to be considered for effective development of brand value and image in a market.
• The basic thumb rule and the strategy for any company to produce effective social media marketing is to identify their compatible and matching social media platform for the marketing. Wrong promotion and branding activity on the wrong platform and lead to overall loss, thus it is mandatory to analyze and study the platform as much you study the product (Tuten and Solomon, 2017). While analysing the platform it is crucial to consider the previous outcomes of the promotions or ads on specific platforms to check it target audiences where addressed with right and message has been conveyed.
• Different types of social media marketing content should be created with respect to the social media platform and its nature. It is good to have standard content but it is beneficial to make certain changes to content type with respect to specific social media platform for effective customer interaction towards the content (Phua, Jin and Kim, 2017).
Ex: Quality and appearance of the image play a vital role in Instagram promotion model as it is photo (media) sharing site.
• Since almost all the social media marketing activity involves visuals and media, it is necessary to maintain the same colour, logo design, texture, font, and images across the entire social media platform thus gain consistency and quick brand recognition. In recent years Air Bnb largest online accommodation company rebranded their logo and promotion designs and made it consistent throughout their promotions and new campaigns as they believed it be to more attractive to their user engagements (Fuchs, 2017).
• Creation of quality content is a crucial part of social media marketing it is very important to create unique and customized contents with respect to the target market that engages more user interaction about the brand. There are few things that can be taken into consideration during the creation of these unique contents such as language, geo location, culture, events etc.
Ex. Creating social media content that involves concepts and ideas from the festival of the target audience.
• Companies should focus on paid promotion collaborating with social media bloggers with the high following in the target market as they help to reach more target audience and create a trust over the brand (Phua, Jin and Kim, 2017). The bloggers with high number of followers from specific geo location tends to create brand awareness in the specific region by creating content on specific products by brands.
• The online contest is one way of promotion activity that engages users towards to the content and helps the brand to get quick and larger reach in the target market (VanMeter et al., 2018).
Thus, some basic crucial strategies to be followed during social media marketing activities for brand value development in the new market.
2.4 Theme three – Social media marketing vs consumer behaviour:
Social media networks are being used by organisations for creating an impact on the purchase behaviour of customers. This serves as a lucrative communication channel that helps in linking the customers with the firm. Social media sites such as Facebook do seem to influence the behaviour of customers. Customers purchasing decisions are made by analysing the online social media networks which impacts their purchase behaviour (Alsubagh, 2015). Content used in social media is also vital in creating an impact on the behaviour of customers. Firm generated content in social media is found to have a positive impact on the purchase behaviour of customers. This is also being used for improving returns (Kumar et al., 2016). Social media marketing is found to have a positive impact on the satisfaction level of customers and this plays a vital role in impacting the repeated purchase behaviour of customers (Voramontri and Klieb, 2018). Thus, it is clear from the above statements that social media influences the purchase behaviour of customers. Analysing this aspect would help the current research where the Indian customers’ purchase behaviour towards social media marketing could be known for promoting the Butler chocolates in the market.
As a result of the transformation in buying nature of consumers from the physical outlet to e-commerce and other online portals in past decade, the need of social media marketing has been mandatory (Tuten and Solomon, 2017). There was a research conducted on the gap between social media marketing and behavioural band loyalty which concluded that brand-related social media engagement resulted in positive behaviour to words the brand (Yoshida et al., 2018).
In recent times it is observed that social media plays a major role in the purchase decision of an induvial and influence of social media seems to be high on this factor as a result of reviews and peer suggestion available over these social media platforms (VanMeter et al., 2018). There was a research conducted by Google in order to understand the various customer behaviour towards online purchase and its purchasing pattern, they named it ‘Zero Moment Of Truth’, as the result of the study it has been identified that the increase in the size of data available on web is proportional to the increase in purchase every year (Farfán, Cuevas and Rivera, 2017). As mentioned, there is a significant trend change observed among customer with respect to their shopping nature on comparison with last decade. Most of the shopping purchase were made on physical outlets which was well received along with traditional marketing strategies. In current trend as the result of digitalization consumers prefer online shopping as it is more convenient and cost effective. Thus, states the need and importance of social media marketing as it is evident that it makes impact on customers purchase behaviour. According to (Liu and Lopez, 2014) Social Media marketing tends to me more efficient and advanced platform that enhances the trend of online shopping but the final purchase decision making process of the consumer completely rely on the various insights provided by third parties user generated contents such as reviews and referrals also blog post (Fuchs, 2017) thus it is crucial a brand or organizations to understand various social media channels and platforms along with its operations. Allowing the consumer to have a direct communication with the brand helps to creation of customer loyalty towards the brand and this is made possible by creation of physical connection with the consumer this also results in competitive advantage. On final note there are set of entities and attributes plays a crucial role on consumer behaviour namely design of the product, information available online about the product or service also cultural factors (Pegoraro, Scott and Burch, 2018).
2.5 Theme four – Comparison of Confectionery market of India with global Market.
India is one of the world’s largest growing confectionery market, it has been observed and recorded the confectionery market in India seems to be steady and growing while there is a decline is global confectionery market.
With refence to (Chocolate Confectionery in India – Mintel Market Sizes, 2018) statistical analysis on Indian confectionery market it states that the sales of chocolate confectionery in retail market during 2016 and 2017 has been spiked to 13%, whereas, Poland witnessed sales spike of about 2%. On comparing with rest of the global market. It is only Poland and India were the only two markets to witness sales growth in the confectionary industry during the year 2017. The sales in other global markets such as US UK and other European countries where flat. On other hand Russia, Brazil and China fell by 2% to 6% respectively. The study from (ltd, 2018) “Indian Confectionery Market Analysis” states that the Indian confectionery market currently undergoing rapid transformation with respect to the current trends and consumer behaviour.
As a result of country’s development, the confectionary industry experience benefits. In current years high spending by consumers as been observed which might also be due to economic boom. In the year between 2012 and 2017 Indian confectionery market have experienced a firm compound annual growth rate of 19.9% which is expected grow more in upcoming years (Chocolate confectionery market grows in double-digits again – The Economic Times, 2018).
Confectionery industry is estimated to experience spike of 4% retail value CAGR at standard 2018 prices for the estimated period it is projected to reach about INR148 billion in 2022. Foreign confectionary companies penetrating into Indian market expected to experience growth in rural areas as Indian consumers consider chocolates as alternative healthy snack (Chocolate Confectionery in India (2018) – Mintel Market Sizes, 2018).
There are three segments in confectionery market of India they are namely chocolate, gum market and sugar confectionery. These are further sub dived into different segments, out of all the segments gum industry is expected to experience faster growth rate. Considering the consumption of chocolate confectionery in India the nation consumed around 228k tonnes worth of chocolate in the year 2016-2017. Meanwhile other nations such as Australia and Indonesia consumed around 95K tonnes. The analysis by (Chocolate Confectionery in India – Mintel Market Sizes, 2018) further states an interesting fact that the 43% of Indians consume confectionary as part of their meal.
2.6 Theme five – Outcome of social media marketing on Indian market:
India has the world’s second highest internet users which results in a high number of social media user as well (Bullock, Hotho, and Stumme, 2018). The research paper on social media stats in India helps us to analyze the current trend and stats of the emerging country, with reference to (Ilavarasan, 2018) findings highest social media network traffic is being recorded from Mumbai, whereas almost 60% the traffic is recorded from non-metros. This helps us to understand that urbanization has no major impact on people accessing social media in India.
The mentioned earlier even though the Indian market tends to possess high levels of nationalism and preference for indigenous manufacture, things don’t work the same for luxury chocolate products. It has been observed that the Indian consumers happy to perceive foreign brands and they believe the brands to produce higher and superior to local brands this already provides a competitive advantage towards this research (Neelam Kinra, 2015). A case study done by (Kumar and Mirchandani, 2013) on Hokey8 Pokey premium Ice-cream brand narrates social media campaign performed by them on the Indian market. The main objective of the company during this social media marketing campaign was to spread brand identify and create strong brand awareness among customers creating social engagement. This social media marketing resulted in a 49% increase in brand awareness and development for the company in the new market along with sales profit and return on investment (Kumar and Mirchandani, 2013). It is evident from the research that social media marketing plays an important role in attracting customers and influencing their behaviour. This projects that organisations in India are using social media extensively to promote and research large customer based. Spontaneity of social media influences customers’ behaviour in the organisation.
Further evaluation on recent social media marketing campaign done by various different international firm in India and its outcome Adidas international sports shoe manufacturing company felt that they never actively engaged in cricket where as their products do really well in other sport such as football, basketball, etc. On initial research they have identified Indian market to be the largest market with Cricket fans and they opted for social media marketing in order to attain their objective of creating long term engagement with target audience of age 14 to 25 and also to increase the sales value in Indian market. They used various social media marketing strategyideal one was to identify the right social media channel and they decided Facebook to be the right medium due its popularity among target audience. By means of the channel they created engaging marketing contents and promoted it by conducting various events on social media channel. The result of the whole social media campaign aiming the target audience was very successful; Adidas was identified as most popular brand across nation with tremendous increase of followers in its social media channels as reported by (How clubs and brands can drive revenue via social media, 2017). Also, in another study conducted by (Khan and Khan, 2013) on brand awareness through social media in India and its impact on purchase decision have observed that there is a huge relation and positive impact on customers purchase behaviour with respect to the company’s social media marketing campaign in the Indian market.
An Indian organisation has specific social media practices that influence employees’ behaviour and contribution in the organisation. For instance Sapient India used Facebook page to showcase its operation function and internal environment to the world. They operated internal talent hunt via social media and employees are allowed to vote online to choose their representative (Verghese, 2011). Cultural values are self driven in India and the concept of knowledge accumulation is harmonious in the work environment. Implementation of social media minimised the gap between subordinates and superiors (Liu and Rao, 2015). Therefore, it is revealed that social media has improved internal operation environment of the organisation and has improved its performance lowering the level of difference between the staffs in the organisation. Hence, it is evident that social media implication in Indian organisations has shifted operation performance of organisations to a different level.
It is known from the above research papers and case studies that there is an importance for analysing the impact of social media marketing tool for improving the brand equity or brand awareness of Butler chocolates. The social media marketing strategies being used by firms is found to improve brand awareness which eventually leads to increase in customer retention, sales and satisfaction. These social media marketing strategies are also found to impact the behaviour of employees. Thus, it is important for the current study to analyse the effectiveness of this tool in improving the brand awareness in Indian market since, literature pertaining to the Indian construct is less.
The above literature review acts a secondary resource finding for a primary study that helps in understanding the impact and importance of social media marketing in building brand equity in the new market. Also, the previous studies and research carried out in various academic journals and research papers with positive impact add confidence to the primary research of building brand equity for the luxury chocolate brand in the Indian market. Also, the literature review suggests a set of basic strategies that Butlers chocolate has to adhere and follow for effective social media marketing to accelerate brand value development, the further suggestions will follow in the overall conclusion analysing the current statistics of Butlers chocolate’s social media insights.
Hitherto findings on consumer behaviour for social media marketing in literature review enhance the research’s ability to assess the strategies and its expected outcome. The final theme revolves around the Indian market provides the relevant information regarding the market size and value. Also, the case studies and its success stories mentioned in the literature regarding the past social media campaign done by various international brands helps as roadmap for planning effective social media marketing strategies to Butlers chocolate in the Indian market to develop brand equity.
2.8 Contextualization of Literature review:
Apart from the analysed secondary resources, the indented primary research of this study will help to fill the gap in knowledge and examine various points mentioned below:
- Role of social media marketing in building brand equity for the luxury chocolate brand in Indian market.
- To understand different types of social media channels for effective social media marketing with respect to the product and service along with expected outcome.
- Analyse the Indian market for luxury chocolates and find right social media marketing strategies for Butlers chocolate to addressing target audience.
- Consumer behaviour towards brands by means of different social media channels and marketing strategies.
- Understand current social media strategies of Butlers chocolate and suggest effective changes required in order to develop brand equity in the Indian market.
- To obtained a overall insights of current Indian confectionery market and its performance estimation for upcoming years.
- Indian consumers view point and preference for international luxury chocolate brands and products.
- Understand Indian consumers behaviour towards social media marketing and analysing the purchasing pattern for various promotions in the past.
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