Meta's Focus on Privacy and AI for Competitive Advantage Assignment Sample

A report describing and analyzing the strategic management style of Mr Mark Zuckerberg, founder, chairman and the CEO of Meta ( FACEBOOK

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Introduction of Global Strategic Management Assignment

The company Meta is platform in an American multinational technology company based in Menlo Park, California, it is formerly known as Facebook, Inc. The company changed its name from Facebook to Meta Platforms which shows the focus of the company which is building the Metaverse (Niyaz Panakaje, 2022). Metaverse refers to the combined environment which links the products and services of all the companies. Meta is one of the leading and valuable companies in the world. Meta platforms is a social media sites includes Whatsapp, Facebook, and Instagram along with other products and services. The company generates its revenue mostly from the sale of advertisement spaces and it consists of approx. 97.5% of the company's revenue (Grabco, 2022). The vision statement of the company is "To bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses." Meta's vision statement suggests that the strategic objective of the company is improving user experience with advanced technology. The mission statement also shows the strategic objective of the company to increase global market share by operating activies in the Metaverse. This report gives an understanding of global strategic management through the help of theories to contribute in the case study of Meta platforms'. This report describes and analyses the strategic management style used by the CEO of Meta platforms. The reports give information about various corporate and business strategies available to a company in the global market with a detailed study of Meta's business strategies. Strategic management is influenced by internal as well as external factors, to understand these factors a PESTEL analysis of Meta is covered in the report. The report also discusses the strategic planning done by the CEO of meta and the tools used in the strategic management of Meta platforms. In the last section evidence is provided based on research with some recommendations and suggestions about the future growth of the organization.

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The corporate and business strategies for competitive advantage

A corporate strategy is a strategy used by a company to state its vision and mission and ways to accomplish them. The corporate strategy is made while considering the size and nature of the company (Feldman, 2020). In other words, a corporate strategy is a long-term strategy to achieve a company's goals and objectives and it focuses on the success of the company.

There are mainly four types of corporate strategies which is adopted by the CEO of Meta resulting in competitive advantage are as follows:

  • Growth strategy- Growth strategies focus on the overall growth or maybe specific areas of growth such as revenue, sales, size of the company (Alcalde-Delgado et.al. 2020). Growth strategies used by the CEO of Meta are consists of two activities concentration and diversification. Concentration in growth strategy means a company focuses on its core business and on the other hand diversification means the company focuses on expanding its business in the new market.
  • Stability strategy - This strategy is used when a Meta is succeeding in its current market and industry. The stability strategies help the CEO to maintain the company position in the market (Hatfield et.al. 2017). However, at the time of low competency the company invests more in the well-performed sectors.
  • Retrenchment strategy – In this strategy the CEO of Meta removes the parts that are not working for the overall business. Retrenchment strategies can be used by changing business markets or models (Olson et.al. 2021).
  • Reinvention strategy - Reinvention strategy is used by the CEO to update the various current aspects of business such as design, product, or technologies. This strategy helps businesses to survive in the competitive environment by adopting innovations in the internal environment of the company.

Elements of Meta's business strategy

  • Revenue strategy- Meta's revenue comes from various sources but a majority of its revenue comes from the sale of an advertisement on social networks. The company's social network sites are Facebook, Instagram, and some sub-platforms as well. The company provides different types of ad spaces to its clients; these ad spaces include the news feed, the massages, and a section in the sidebar, the video contents, and a section in the stories (Larson and Vieregger, 2019). There is a part of revenue strategy which is very important, the pricing model of the company. Meta does not follow a static pricing policy; its pricing model is based on auction bids and the level of users' engagement in the advertisement. Meta is also exploring new ways to earn such as Meta is selling consumers electronic products by portal brands. Meta is also looking for opportunities to create another source of income from blockchain and cryptocurrency (deSoto, 2017).
  • Technology strategy - The technology strategy of Meta helped it to gain a competitive advantage over its rivals. Meta is a technology company and its business strategy mainly focuses on innovative solutions. In 2016, The Company has started a 10-year-long plan to expand the use of its flagship social networking site and improve its presence in the technology industry. The technology strategy of the company mainly depends on three technologies that are artificial intelligence, drones, and virtual reality (Kraus et. al. 2022). Artificial intelligence is a vital part of the technology strategy of Meta platforms artificial intelligence is intelligence presented by machines, not by humans or animals. AI includes web search engines, direction systems, personal assistants, self-decision-making, automated driving cars, etc. Meta is making AI capabilities to better the content delivery on its digital platforms.
  • Expansion strategy - This is one of the main elements of the business strategy of Meta, the company has done expansion by acquiring supplement companies and technologies. As a part of its expansion strategy, The Company has acquired social media platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp (Glick and Ruetschlin, 2019). The company acquired Instagram in 2012 for USD 1 billion and WhatsApp in 2014 for USD 19 billion. Other than these two big takeovers, the company also acquired the Israeli mobile app Snaptu and the technology stack of Facebook lite.

Meta Logo

Figure 1 Meta Logo

(Source: Sykes, 2021)

Strategic planning

Strategic planning refers to creating different business strategies through execution and evaluation. This process includes mainly three steps such as the formulation of strategy, implantation of strategy, and evaluation of strategy. In the first step, the strategy formulation is defined to evaluate the strength of the company with the help of SWOT analyses. A strategy can be a growth strategy, stability strategy, retrenchment strategy, or reinvention strategy.

The second step in the strategic planning process is the implementation of strategy; it means putting a plan into action and distributing resources for the execution of the formulated strategy. This is the main step of strategic planning because the effectiveness of implementation will result in the accomplishment of goals. The success of this stage depends upon the top-level management and the communication structure in the company. Effective strategy implementation consists of optimum utilization of material and human resources of the company.

The last step in this process is the evaluation of strategy, after the implementation phase managers evaluate the result of the strategy. The evaluation is done in three parts; first managers check the factors which are influencing the execution of the strategy. The next is gauging the performance, and then lastly taking corrective measures if needed.

These three steps of strategic planning are performed by three different levels of management in a hierarchy that is the upper level, middle level, and lower level management. Successful Strategic planning needs good coordination and communication at all levels of management.

Strategic plan of Meta platform

Facebook was developed with the straightforward mission of creating a world more connected with each other on an open platform. The inception of the strategic plan was the goal to rise in the global community through the company's social network services. This goal can be achieved when everyone will have access to the internet, accordingly Meta strategy mainly focused on the internet. The CEO has been related in various campaigns to ensure that more and more people connect to the internet. The strategic plan of the company also includes expansion in different social networking platforms In order to achieve this goal Meta uses an acquisition and diversification strategy. Therefore, the company has acquired many social media platform two of them are Facebook and Instagram. The current strategic plan of Meta includes mainly three points that are planning, privacy, innovation are explained in details:

  • Plans to beat the competition - Major competitors of Meta platforms are TikTok, YouTube LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest. To beat TikTok, CEO Zuckerberg disclosed the integration plans for its reels short video content platform. Meta's goal is to provide the best services to young people through its apps. In addition to this, the company also announced that the company is working on FaceBook's news feed to improve the experience of the users and also working on monetization tools to improve its business-to-business function. Hence, to improve the B2B function, Meta will add tools related to e-commerce which helps a brand connect with Facebook-based consumers.
  • Privacy concern and Artificial intelligence – Previously Meta was in the controversies related to its user's privacy policies. As a part of its current strategic plan, Meta is making huge investments to improve its privacy policies on various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp (Rosenthal et.al. 2016). The company will introduce a backup that will be end-to-end encrypted and the feature is launched in recent time of “delete” for disappearing messages on WhatsApp.
  • New fascinating technology – The CEO revealed the company's upcoming product Oculus 3 virtual reality headset. The headset can be used to play games, study, work, etc. The next aspect of the strategic plan of the company is developing Project Nazare, which is a smart glass related to amplified reality.

External and Internal Environment analysis of Meta

The strategic planning of a company is done based on its internal and external environment analysis. The management can control factors in the internal environment that can impact a company's financial and operating results. However, the main hurdles are created by the external environment of the company, a brief explanation about the internal and external environment of Meta platforms is given below:

Internal environment analysis – Internal analysis refers to the assessment of the company's internal components such as assets, resources, and processes. The internal environment analysis helps managers in decision-making and strategy formulation. The internal analysis of a company includes an understanding structure of the organization, HR framework, organization culture, value statement, research& development, etc (Faryadi, 2017). Internal analysis helps to know about the strength and weaknesses of the company. The strength of the Meta includes the best HR management not only on the ground of social media but also in other sectors (Baborska-Narozny et.al. 2016). In Forbes ranking, Meta secured 71st rank in America's best employers 2019. Meta's strengths include its focus on R&D and the visions of its leaders. The leadership of the CEO, Zukerburg brings many benefits to the company such as innovations, an increase in profits, minimum internal conflicts, etc. However, there are some weaknesses also involve such as it includes privacy concerns related to user information and overdependence on the advertisement.

External environment analysis – external analysis of a company refers to the analysis of changes in the environment in which the company operates its business. Managers need to undertake an external analysis to form a business strategy. It helps in the identification of threats and opportunities at an early stage; it helps the company to direct its resources in the right direction (Gollay et.al.2016). For understanding the external environment of the meta platform, PESTEL analysis is given below:

PESTEL analysis includes the analysis of the macroeconomics factors which affect the performance of Meta platforms. PESTEL stands for the political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal factors which affect the company.

  • Political factors – Meta is affected by different political factors such as political barriers, government support, and attitude. Some political factors create opportunities for the company such as political stability in developed nations (Pan et.al. 2019). This helps a company to diversify its business in new markets. The company has another opportunity of expanding its social network services because the government supports globalization. Meta platforms also face some political barriers such as Chinese censorship and other countries' data privacy policies.
  • Economical factors – The economic factors and the global economy have a great impact on the earnings of the companies like Meta. In the case of a recession in the global economy, all business cut their marketing and advertisement cost. The cut in cost by businesses impacts the revenue of the meta from social media networks (Martínez et.al. 2022) .
  • Social factors - The acceptance of social media platforms like Facebook is varying from society to society and nation to nation. Some societies have better living conditions and financial capacity; these societies provide opportunities for the growth of Meta. The company can improve its services and charge a good amount from the users.
  • Technological factors – Meta is a technology company, it needs to timely analyze technological factors which influence its business. Meta is investing more in technology and trying to attract more consumers. The company's expenses in research and development have increased in the last few years (Lee et.al. 2016). In 2017 the R&D expenses were $7.75 billion and grew to $18.4 billion in 2020.
  • Environmental factors – Environment factors are emerging as the important external factors that affect the technology industry. In the case of Meta, the company already accomplished a net zero emission target in its international operations (Barrot, 2018). Also, sets a new target for the value chain to reach net-zero emission by 2030. The company is not only managing its environmental footprint but also helping others in the same.
  • Legal factors – legal factors are the most critical in the external environment analysis for large tech companies like Meta. Legal factors include different rules and regulations applied to the company such as security laws, labor laws, consumer protection laws, etc. Compliance with these rules is very important for the company otherwise it has to face consequences. The Meta is already dealing with some legal actions related to the users' privacy and users personal data (Waldman, 2016). In a privacy lawsuit, Meta has paid $650 million to users for using biometric information without user's permission.

Critical evaluation of strategies used by Meta

The CEO of Meta used different kinds of strategies for the growth of the organization; it includes resource-based strategy, blue ocean strategy, innovation, and technological strategy.

Resource-based strategy – It is a strategic management framework that is used by Meta to identify the optimum use of available resources. This includes strategic assessment of resources to gain a competitive advantage. This strategy involves the assessment of two types of resources tangible and intangible resources. Tangible resources are physical which means they can be seen and touched. Meta's tangible resources include land, types of equipment, materials, supplies, and infrastructure (Orth et.al. 2015). The land is a tangible resource that includes places owned and leased by the Meta for different business purposes. For Meta platforms, materials include are raw materials and other materials used in the production process and the same material can be acquired by the competitors in their company. The equipment used for operational purposes such as the process of production and packaging, all up gradation and integration related to technology comes under equipment resources.

Intangible resources are those which have no physical presence but a company like Meta platform owns them. These include the company's reputation, goodwill, instinctual property, trade name, royalty, licensing, patents and copyrights (Osinski et.al.2017). Meta has earned a reputation and goodwill over a long period by providing the best quality products and services to its users. Meta's reputation is also based on consumer relationship management and its organizational structure. The company has a patent not only for its production process but also for its research and development activities.

Blue ocean strategy – The blue ocean strategy is a strategy to explore new markets and create demand for the products and services of the company. The companies like Meta expand into a competitive market with the help of the blue ocean strategy (Leavy, 2018). This strategy can be used only in an industry with a flexible structure. The blue ocean strategy helped Meta to explore untapped markets that are not competitive. Meta has created new market demand rather than fighting over existing market space, and this leads to the rapid growth of the company (Carton, 2022). Meta used a six-path framework under this strategy to identify an effective expansion plan for the success of the company. The six paths are focused on the expansion of industry, strategic group, the scope of product or services, buyer group, innovation, and proactive changes in the environment. Meta platform has gained a competitive advantage by changing the positioning of its existing strategic group and by redefining its buyers' group.

Marketing strategy – A marketing mix of any company consists of four elements that are product, pricing, Place, and promotion. Meta's product element focuses on the needs and wants of the consumers and tries to create unique products with good quality. While developing product strategy managers should consider the quality, packaging, features, variety, and brand name of the product. The next element of marketing strategy is pricing, it is based on the value of products offered to consumers. The pricing strategy of Meta focuses on setting credit terms, discounts, payment periods, and list prices (Assimakopoulo et.al. 2017). Currently, Meta follows a price penetration strategy; this company set lower prices than the competitors to capture market share. The Third element is place or distribution; in this strategy, managers choose a distribution plan for smooth follow of its goods and services. A distribution plan can be direct or indirect, In a direct channel, there is no middleman are involved. On the other hand in an indirect channel of distribution one or more middlemen (retailers, wholesalers) are involved. Meta needs to consider product characteristics, market dynamics, and competitors' strategies for selecting distribution channels. The last element of the marketing mix is promotion; this is the strongest element of Meta's marketing strategy. Meta uses viral marketing and direct marketing for promotion (Pasma, 2017). Viral marketing refers word- of- mouth promotion; it is a vital success factor in the marketing mix of the company.

Strategic techniques used by Meta to enhance the organizational performance

The CEO of Meta used six techniques to enhance organizational performance which are as follows:

  • Opinion-based technique – The CEO and management team of Meta have strong opinions about the things they are working on. The management of the Meta follows the opinion-based techniques where the top-level officer does not react immediately to the criticisms and has conviction about their work. For example when Facebook launched a feature in its newsfeed that allows people to see an update of their friends' activities, but users do not welcome this update. The users criticized and started a protest against the update as well as against the management team. Despite all of the outrage, the management team did not roll back the update (Oeldorf-Hirsch and Sundar, 2015). The newsfeed feature turns out to be the most successful factor for the company
  • Framework for innovation- The CEO of Meta has built a strong framework to boost innovation in the company. When the company was planning to shift to mobile and it wanted to make the mobile experience as good as the web experience for the users. The management team worked upon both new features on the desktop and mobile. The CEO had announced no new feature for two years, to cater to the attention of the management team on developing a mobile app (Gawer and Cusumano, 2015). Here, the management applied a resource-based strategy to make optimum utilization of human resources. The management used its tangible and intangible resources in the best possible way.
  • Recruit the best employees- The CEO of Meta follows the rule “hire better people than existing employees". This technique helps to choose the best employees and helps the company to evolve (Pedersen et.al. 2017). This technique helps management to build a team for the long term and helps in reducing employee turnover.
  • Experiment technique – Meta's goal is to provide the best experience to its users, for this purpose Meta does not assume but follows tried and tested method. In this company provides different versions of social-media networks to determine the engagement of users along with the earnings from different versions of the site
  • Calculated risk – The CEO, mark Zuckerburg has a track record of bold moves but the CEO has always taken calculated risks. The CEO made all big decisions such as acquiring Instagram in 2014 and going public in 2012 but all never took decisions without calculating risk.

All these techniques helped the company to improve its overall performance and lead to its success of the company.

Recommendations to make Meta sustain its position

Meta's CEO has a big task of maintaining its current position into the future. The CEO should set an objective to make sure that the pace of growth remains stable for the company. Meta should work on its public appearance as a secure and socially conscious platform. In the past, the company has faced several criticisms related to its privacy policy, the company should clear the air and stop this kind of criticism. The report also suggested that the company should continue to work on monetizing all platforms like Messenger and WhatsApp. The company has a large number of users on its all platforms, and monetizing the media platforms can turn into a notable source of income for the company. The company can also start manufacturing its Cell-phone; this will create another source of income for the company. The company already has a large user base for its products; it will provide a ready market for the self-phone (Cell-Phone). Given that the Meta platforms work on mobile phones and computers, the company should invest more in cyber security. It will help the company to gain back the trust of its users and improve its social image. In addition, the company should plan to venture into the software and hardware development field. Meta should also focus on creating an app, especially for the young generation, this app fulfill the needs and wants of the children. The company can include games in the app and can create a fun way to attract every kind of user. This will facilitate the younger generation to share their thoughts and ideas innovatively. The company has entered into the virtual reality business; it should center its attention on the integration of virtual reality with its line of work. Lastly it is recommended that the company should not stop working on its initial mission everyone should be connected to the internet. The company should involve in more campaigns to increase connectivity across the globe.

Conclusion

From the above report, it is concluded that strategic management is a process of setting objectives, goals, and procedures for making the company more competitive. Under this report, a significant understanding is developed of the importance of corporate strategy and business strategy in the strategic management of a company. The report highlights that the strategic management of Meta is a key factor in its success. Meta needs to explore the new market with the help of the blue ocean strategy and expand its business in other sectors such as manufacturing of self-phone and hardware & software development. The report also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the Meta platform; the visionary leadership of CEO Mark Zuckerburg turns out to be the biggest strength of the company. The above reports also discussed the key feature of Meta's strategy is technology and expansion strategy by recommending that Meta should continue to work in the same direction and update its strategies according to its PESTLE analysis. At the end the report suggests that Meta should continue to do mergers and acquisitions otherwise its growth will slow down. The company should acquire companies that have a small user base with high growth potential. The report developed an understanding through stating a sugestion that the company needs to focus more on the privacy policy and artificial intelligence and this will help the company to gain a competitive advantage over its rivals.

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