The purpose of this reflective work is to focus on the academic knowledge accumulated from the strategic marketing module and the professional benefits received while critically analyzing Amazon’s case towards marketing strategies during the completeness of the first submitted summative assignment.
The University of South Wales’s Strategic marketing module aims to equip participants with skills and ability to evaluate the key concepts associated with strategic marketing in the overall business strategy and to critically evaluate the difference between a good practice strategic marketing and a short professional practice. While marketing was a new but interesting field to me, I ensured to apply a deep learning approach in order to capture the most essentials. Interestingly, my first course assignment attempts to evaluate Amazon’s digital marketing strategy, which pertains with the recent development that led to a renewed interest in digital (UK Essay, 2018) and rendered marketing more challenging. Amazon was used in my first assignment to primarily help understand how rewarding internet marketing is, and then appreciated customer-centric marketing strategies, a reflection that is presented in this work.
At first, I was a little stuck in the many relevant weekly readings for a limited time and found myself skimming, but later I tried to reduce my tension. With a lot of expectations, I was also a little challenged to find the relevancy of the readings in the real world and to my previous experience and view of marketing, but later found the course very comprehensive and helpful. Finally, with Amazon’s case study going beyond the course materials, insufficient support and lack of information was very important
The main reasons behind facing the above problems were my previous perception on marketing and a lot of expectations on the course, which included the designing of communication tools, running successful marketing campaigns, developing apps and ads for online marketing, etc.
Although I put a lot of effort into it, I could not have understood or done quality work without working in a group. The early formed peer groups now made sense and my peer brought new ideas and insights into the course, hence our complementarity led to success. Prioritization has also privileged my time management, in addition to proper application of my research skills, previously gained from the research method module.
The first course assignment criticized Amazon’s digital marketing strategies that focused on the customer, but also inside and out. Upon reflection on how I approached the course with my faulty understanding, I used to perceive marketing as a sole responsibility of the marketing department which deals with pushing customers to pay for the company’s products / services. This misconception also took marketing as a fix function which exclusively depends on the organization needs. While I couldn’t relate the marketing function with the overall business strategy, I realized that its tactics are in line with the company’s overall goals, hence a cross-function activity that needs cooperation among different departments that work to satisfy the customers’ needs and wants.
As result of the course I realized that marketing effectiveness is achieved only and only if the company’s employees are all involved in the realization of it marketing strategy. More specifically as an aspiring entrepreneur, I understood that there is a need for close working relationship among marketing, finance, production, R&D and human resources departments. Since the best marketing is customer focused, successful marketing managers should know their customers (Heidi, 2013) where the best way is to cooperate with the R&D department. A closer work with the production engineer will help determine the appropriate feature, while the finance department will be responsible for funding the production process (UK Essay, 2018). If the human resource department ensures to employ adequate labor who are committed for the marketing of customer-choice product, the marketing process becomes now successful and therefore, an activity of interdependent departments that work together to effectively meet the needs and expectations of customers. Rather than pushing customers to buy what the producer deems suitable for the customer, I learnt that marketing is effective when there is cross-functional cooperation within organization, focusing on the needs of customers to provide customized products / services.
More specifically with Amazon case study, I understood how the evolution of technology is changing business conditions and people’s behavior. In the current social media era, there is no longer any entry barriers, hence offline companies are using available platforms and digital tools to come online (Rajapat, 2009; Thevenot, 2007). However, what sets digital business apart is neither having appealing website with different ads nor updated softwares but setting up a unique business. For example, using digital technology to design new value propositions for clients, invent new ways of creating profits and achieve the strategic differentiation (Slywotzky, et al., 2000). Paula (2018) also argues that marketing should be a two-way interaction where companies leverage the wisdom of their customers to get a better product / service, better relationships, greater brand loyalty and increased sales. Amazon achieved this by appraising the fact that “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a critical element for business reputation and overall performance” (Du and Bhattacharya, 2010). The company was then able to position itself as global digital company, practicing proper segmentation for different classes of social groups and doing product/service diversification. As part of the search, retention and growth of profitable customers, the company used technology to collect a large amount of customer data, whose data has been transformed into valuable information about customer behavior. From their use of different internet marketing tools that optimizes their website content (search engine optimization, engine optimization, banner advertising, pay-per-click, email marketing, social media marketing, content media marketing), I could then appreciate how each of them is advantageous in promoting brand visibility, website hit, target the better audience and in controlling the cost of internet marketing campaign.
I would say that my point of view on marketing has positively changed during upon this marketing course. My next step is a move into practice from channel-centric to consumer-centric approach. The course has triggered a questioning of the hype that dominates my profession as well as many assumptions that I used to accept without analysis. With my recently opened real estate company, it time to tailor a comprehensive marketing strategy and plan based on an audience research. Coming online has been my absolute decision to ease networking, data record to tactically focus on the broader goals and objectives of our organizations.
The assignment dealt with internet marketing where the concept was explored. I was then able to understand various strategies that are used to promote internet marketing, researched and accumulated knowledge on the use internet marketing tools and got insight to develop my company’s internet marketing strategy and plan.
Du and Bhattacharya. (2010). Maximizing Business Returns to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): The Role of CSR Communication. Available online at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228118694_Maximizing_Business_Returns_to_Corporate_Social_Responsibility_CSR_The_Role_of_CSR_Communication [Accessed on 27 May 2018]
Essay UK (2018). A Critical Reflection of Marketing in the Digital Age within the Retailing Business. Available online at: http://www.essay.uk.com/free-essays/marketing/a-critical-reflection-of-marketing.php [Accessed on 15 May 2018]
Heidi C. (2013). 10 Content Marketing Best Practices for Greater Efficiency. Available online at: https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2013/07/10-content-marketing-best-practices-efficiency/ [Accessed on 26 May 2018]
Insightly. (2016). 10 Best Practices in Marketing. Available online at: https://www.insightly.com/blog/10-best-practices-in-marketing/ [Accessed on 26 May 2018]
Paula, S. (2018). Strategic Marketing MK4S34: Marketing Strategies for the Future. Available at: file:///C:/Users/Dell/Downloads/USW%20%20-%20A%20brief%20overview%20of%20the%20Future%20of%20Marketing%20Strategy.pdf [Accessed: 27 May 2018].
Rajapat, V. (2009). Social Media: Trends & Growth of Digital Media. Siliconindia, 12(6), 28-30. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Slywotzky, et al. (2000). Pattern thinking: a strategic shortcut. Available online at: https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/10878570010335930 [Accessed on 27 May 2018]
Thevenot G. (2007). Blogging as a social media. Available online at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1057/palgrave.thr.6050062 [accessed on 27 May 2018]