In the rapidly changing business market, maintaining the large loyal customer base is quite important for the business. Social media can be a major tool in dealing with such issues. With the social media campaigns, company can help in increasing customer awareness and customer services. In the following report, a research is conducted on the usage of social media that helped in understanding the outcomes of using social media platforms for business purposes. For better understanding, Coles Supermarket has been selected and its data related to marketing and sales were referred. For data collection and data analysis, secondary data has been collected from annual reports and online survey portals. The data analysis was done and it was revealed that customer satisfaction can be increased with the help of social media campaigns. Also, it was determined that social media can help in increasing the sales revenue of the company. At last, the final outcome was that social media helps in improving market share of the company. Based on the results, certain recommendations were provided for Coles Supermarkets. The first and foremost is related to use of social media influencers. This would help in improving the reach of the customers.
In today’s day and age, technology are helping businesses for making big profits. In the era of high competition in the market, the use of promotional tools and techniques are giving them edge and assisting them reaching the bigger target customers. The following report is based on the Coles Supermarket and the usage of social media as the promotional tool. The data is collected and analysed for better understanding. Based on the information gained from the analysis, some recommendations are provided for Coles to excel its social media promotions.
The following research project is solely based on the qualitative research method for gathering of the data. It is important to note that due to time shortage, only secondary data was collected. For that purpose, various literatures and journal articles were referred that either considered Coles as their subject or social media promotion as their prime focus. Apart from this, the marketing expenditure of Coles Supermarket is gathered from the financial statement of the company was referred which was published in the annual report of the organisation. The main point to be noted here is that the research has one independent variable (Social Media Promotion Expenditure) and one dependent variable (net profit). The data related to both variables are available in the annual reports of the organisation. Only last four years of data has been referred. For instance, the link of the annual report of 2019 is www.colesgroup.com.au/FormBuilder/_Resource/_module/ir5sKeTxxEOndzdh00hWJw/file/Coles_Annual_Report_2019.pdf
The data from the annual reports and ASX are feed into MS Excel. The data is sorted and presented graphically for better understanding and quick review. It was important for the research project to understand what other researchers and business experts think about usage of social media for promotional purposes. For that purpose, literature review was done and the arguments of various authors are presented. For instance, Lange, et.al (2016) mentioned that social media technology has a huge impact on the success and growth of the organisation so that it could carry out its operations. In addition to this, this method of promotion has increased the reach of the organisations to a wider and large target market. This has not only provided an edge to the company in the competitive market but has helped in increasing its consumer base. With the help of the social media and some digital technology for promotional purposes, Coles Supermarket to be the leading supermarket in Australia. Also, the social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube have transformed the marketing approach of the companies (Moe&Schweidel, 2017). Instead of just reaching customers through face to face approach, organisations are making use of virtual form of marketing (Chung, et.al, 2017). As per Kanol& Nat(2017), social media has also increased the customer loyalty. The author argue that companies need to leverage their social media handles to develop customer loyalty through reaching out to them and understand their concerns. With the help of Twitter and Facebook comments, business organisations can understand the issues customers are facing and resolve them as soon as possible. This would help in creating a fan base of customers who are loyal. Lange, et.al (2016) interestingly highlighted that use of social media has effect on sales. Modern-day customers are highly influenced by the social media. A survey of Harvard Business School revealed that social media marketing is more effective than conventional marketing as it has almost 100% higher lead-to-close rate. All that is required from the organisations is to have a proactive marketing approach for social media.
In contrast to this, there are some downsides of social media highlighted by McCusker&Gunaydin(2015) that are required to be considered. The authors say that a business should not be overly dependent on social media. Too much dependent on social media can make an organisation too vulnerable to rapidly changing business environment. Organisation should keep diversifying its marketing approach. This would help in dealing with the market variables in a better way.
Marketing Expenditure ($M)
Sales Revenue ($M)
Source: Annual Reports of Coles Supermarket
From the table shown above, it is quite clear that with the increase in marketing expenditure the revenue of the company is also increasing. It is important to know that social media marketing expenditure comes under overall marketing expenditure. There is no such direct information is given in the report or any other sources. Coles is offering products through its online portal and social media can help in converting the lead. This has tremendously helped organisation in improving its sales revenue through social media campaigns (Chung, et.al, 2017).
Increased Customer Satisfaction
It is also seen in the current Canstar Blue’s 2019 review of the supermarket in which top supermarkets are rated and compared on the basis of customer service, product variety, store layout, quality of private label products, value for money, and availability of special deals. It was revealed that overall customer satisfaction of Coles is higher than Foodland. Customers have rated Coles five stars in offering variety of products and quality of private labels.
Increased Market Share
With the increase in sales and customer satisfaction, the Coleshas registered an increase in the market share. Woolworths and Coles are maintaining the duopoly by holding more than 50% of the market share in Supermarket sector of Australia.The market share is associated with customer base and social media helps in increasing customer satisfaction, thereby helping in increasing number of loyal customers (Canstar Blue, 2019).
In this report, it is quite clear that social media marketing can be a major breakthrough for the organisations. It was revealed from data analysis that there is some sort of relationship between social media campaigns and sales of Coles Supermarket. Also, it was also revealed that social media helps organisations to increase its customer base and market share. Based on these outcomes, certain recommendations are provided for better handling of the social media campaigns of the Coles.
As it is clear that social media platforms and marketing campaign designed for them can help Coles Supermarket in increasing its customer base and sales, here are some recommendations to increase the effectiveness of such campaigns.
First is making use of a social media influencers for increasing social followings. Influencers are people who are considered as authoritative and trusted voice with huge fan followings. Coles is required to develop a list of influencers and spread the word about the new product or service (Wamba, et.al, 2016).
As there are high risk of criticism and social campaigns are required to fulfil the criteria and standards of platforms. For instance, Facebook is very strict about promotions and it has some guidelines for such purposes. Violating those rules may result in the termination of complete business timelines and social media campaign. Hence, it is required to have a deep knowledge of such rules (Vishwanath, 2015).
Coles is advised to make use of social CRM for conducting the follow up and identifying the connections developed during the marketing and campaigning. This can be done by responding to posts, tweets, and providing real-time updates for building customer loyalty and long-lasting connections with customers (Moe, et.al, 2017).
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