This investigation presents and discusses what Sony Ericson and its main competitors have done within green digital marketing and how the subject was incommunicado on their websites. A main issue with products is that consumers tend to find them not as good as non-green products. Consumer insight studies suggest that that the best way of communicating green products is to focus on their direct product benefits in comparison to non-green products and as a secondary message to communicate the green benefits.
This was also supported by other theories such as Levies (1960) concept of “marketing myopia”, which describes a marketer’s tendency to focus on product features rather than consumer benefits. Table of Contents 1. 0 Introduction 4 2. 0 Marketing Communications 5 . 1 Strategic communication 5 2. 2 MIMIC and Marketing communications 6 3. 0 Sony Ericson Brand Communication 8 3. 1 Brand Portfolio 8 3. 2 Brand Strategy and Marketing Communications 3. 3 Sony Ericson Green Engagement 1 1 4. Conclusion 13 Bibliography 16 1. 0 Introduction 9 The report will present an introduction to marketing communication from available research literature.
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Author will discuss different paradigms of marketing mix, MIMIC and strategic marketing in general and then will discuss marketing communication strategies adapted by Sony Ericson to stay competitive in the saturated mobile industry business. Some marketing managers argue that the traditional marketing mix consists of direct mail, sponsorship, TV, Radio, Press, etc. All of which are popular channels for companies to communicate with the public. It can however be argued that a problem with the traditional approach and using these channels are the costs involved in developing the ads and the flexibility of being able to track results.
E. G. It can be hard to know if a new customer came from a direct marketing effort or a TV ad campaign. Kook (2011) argues that on a $10 million television ad campaign as much s $1 million might be spent on ad production and $9 million on buying the media. We can therefore argue that nine times more effort should be spent on choosing the media carefully. When choosing the media mix we want to be aware of where media is being consumed. Statistics show that Online and television are up, in terms of where consumers go to gather their news. Watching television and using the Internet simultaneously I. . Multitasking is growing increasingly. In Canada watching TV on the Internet has even gotten bigger than regular TV (Kook, 2011). 2. 0 Marketing Communications The Internet has brought us new technology that has meant change for strategic communication. At the same time it has opened up for communicational opportunities not previously feasible. Online marketing is the most rapidly growing and is becoming efficient direct marketing tool; hence, it has a widespread use of the Internet having great impacts on both buyers and marketers (Kettle, 2009).
With the Internet as a medium for communication we can see clear tendencies that we are moving further away from a one-way mass communication model. The institute for advertising and Media statistics presents data, which shows that in the year of 2009 investments on the Internet regarding marketing communications increased with 2. 5 percent, in 2010 that investment had increased to 14. 5 percent. Based on the investment trends we can clearly see how Internet based marketing communications is growing and is becoming an increasingly popular channel for companies to communicate with the public (Institute for advertising, 2012). 2. Strategic communication A foundation for every business is the need to communicate internally as well as with its public, this is the knowledge that has lead us to form the concept of strategic communication. A known and often used definition when speaking about strategic communication is the following: “Strategic communication includes management, planning and implementation of reflexive and critical communication processes and activities in relation to both different audiences, stakeholders and audiences, and society as publicity, with a view to achieving overall organizational business objectives. ” (Fill, Chris, 2006).
The definition tells us that there are many different fields which are connected to strategic communication; marketing, organizational communication and public relations. It further tells us that these fields have to work in symbiosis with each other in order for an organization to meet its business objectives. As the definition of strategic communication demonstrates, it is characterized by the fact that it is planned and has stated goals; with the help of strategic communication these goals can be met Fill, (2006) argues that in an international context strategic communication is often used as a synonym to public relations.
Strategic communication is said to consist of internal and external communication and both are dependent on each other. The internal communication encores information that flows throughout the organization and the external communication involves the organizations relationships with its environment. They both depend on each other and a condition for the external communication to work is that all people inside of the organization are aware of the externals communications message and goals (Filmmaker, 2001). 2. MIMIC and Marketing communications Communication concerns the exchange of information, ideas or feelings and it can be argued that developing a communication strategy requires extensive learning as well as coordination (Schultz et, al. 000) All communicational functions when marketing a product is collectively called marketing communications and its main purpose is to add persuasive value to a product or services. The marketing communications mix consists of advertising, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing, sponsorship, personal selling and Internet marketing. Kitchen & De Plasterer, 2004) Each component in the mix plays its own important role when wanting to market a product or service. According to Fill, (2006) there is no universal definition of marketing communications and argues that there are many interpretations of the object. Kitchen & De Plasterer, (2004) argue that all definitions that can be found include at least five elements: 1 . The aim to affect behavior through direct communication. 2. The MIMIC process should start with the customer or prospect and then work Backwards to the brand communicator. . MIMIC should use all forms of communication and all sources of brand or company Contacts as prospective message delivery channels. 4. The need for synergy, with coordination helping to achieve a strong brand image. The need to build or strengthen brand relationships. 0(Kitchen & De Plasterer, 2004) According to Schultz and Kitchen 2000) there are four stages of MIMIC, starting with tactical coordination of promotional elements, redefining the scope of marketing communications, application of information technology, to financial and strategic integration.
Schultz and Kitchen (2000) argue that based on their empirical findings there are very few companies that ever reach stage 3 or 4, most companies are anchored in stage 1 and 2. Kitchen and De Plasterer (2004) argue that the weakness of MIMIC is that it requires companies to invest resources in the marketing and communication process. If companies should to invest, they might find themselves anchored at stage 1 or stage 2, in that case MIMIC will indeed have made a contribution, but it is not one of a strategic nature. It is instead tactical.
Author further claims that communication has to move from tactics to strategy. Only strategically oriented integrated brand communications can help businesses move forward in the highly competitive world of the twenty-first century. Communicational and economical resources are invested and measured against actual customer behavior, first then financial returns be achieved (Kitchen, 2004). 3. 0 Sony Ericson Brand Communication 3. 1 Brand Portfolio In an interview with Laura Hole, Senior Brand Manager at Sony Ericson, she described the brand set-up as a three-layered hierarchy.
At the top is the main brand, Sony Ericson, with to the logo called “liquid identity’ (designed by Takeaway Aweigh). The portfolio then stretches to the sub-brands of “Waltham” and “Cyber-shoots “, owned by Sony Corporation, which have been endorsed by Sony Ericson. She stressed that Sony Ericson is the major brand, whereas all others should be considered as sub-brands. Laura continued saying that the various brands presenting functions such as “sense” or “tracked” can be seen as supportive brands, to which the others can relay upon, as entities in a scaffold.
If you look at our brands, she says, one can see that it was divided into three major categories: smart phones, music and imaging. Waltham and Cyber- shoots belong to the two latter, whilst Expatriate, finds it place in the smart phone category (the Expatriate brand is owned by Sony Ericson). Laura continues to explain that the individual product names are however not considered to be part of the brand as the life span of each product is relatively short. The strategy, she says, is that Sony Ericson drives a standardized way of promoting products globally and provides a standardized framework into which local markets can add local flavors.
Typically, all Sony Ericson products are marketed with the same product name while special features might be localized. This strategy covers all aspects of the brands and also the sub-brands. An example of this would be Playboy, a sub-brand engaging in online content sale. As a site, the look and feel is consistent over all the regions, but the content is always localized and web campaigns are locally flavored. 3. Brand Strategy and Marketing Communications Since 2004 the product portfolio has been divided into categories of music and imaging.
These categories have been around longer than the integration of Sony brands such as Cyber-shoots and Waltham. Martin Lund, Former Head of Digital Marketing who has been with the company since its launch in 2001, explains that in the first introduction of a phone with camera functionality – the 6TH (in 2002) – the camera was only an accessory. This was however a big hit and Sony Ericson quickly saw the potential of attracting consumers who firstly wanted digital camera ND then a phone.
Martin shares that the result was the iconic 16TH, which was the first phone that actually had a flipped resembling a “real” digital camera. An important part of the marketing activities surrounding that launch was to try to actually get people to use it as an actual camera. This means to flip-it horizontally and hold it with two hands. The idea was of course that if this behavior could be connected to the product, it would be a camera with a phone rather than the opposite. Even though the success with this phone was huge, they had still not reached the exact segment that they were aiming for.
These segments refer to people who would use their Sony Ericson not only as mobile with camera or music functionality, but people who would use their Sony Ericson as their primary camera and mobile or music player and mobile. The breakthrough, Martin continues, came in 2005 with the launch of the Cyber-shoots phone. Cyber-shoots was a strong brand in imaging and a phone carrying that brand could not be mistaken for being anything else than a camera. The same reaction followed with the Waltham brand; meaning that these phones where all about music, he says.
Martin ends by saying hat the revitalization of the Waltham brand that came with Sony Erection’s success is also a good example of how Sony could benefit from extending its brand (Sony Ericson Mobile Communications, 2010). Lisa Lessening, Marketing Manager for Concession. Com, explains why the categorization in music and imaging is relevant instead of using only Waltham and Cyber-shoots. Sony Ericson has built a brand image of being cool, innovative and high quality and it is in the high-end phone segments where Sony Ericson has been taking market shares.
Lisa continues by saying that Sony Ericson has not been successful in penetrating the emerging rarest as they have failed to produce low-cost mobile phones because the production value for the quality associated with the brand was too high. This is of course something that all manufacturers wrestle with, Lisa continues, but for Sony Ericson this has been especially severe due to the strong brand associations. As of this, the music and imaging categories have expanded to include models outside Cyber-shoots and Waltham. As Lisa says for example, in the music category on Concession. Mom, most telephones are Waltham, but there are some R-models. The R stands for radio and is thought to be for emerging markets. Lisa continues to explain that the rationale for not choosing W for Waltham was to avoid brand dilution. The music and imaging categories is however in the process of being phased out, says Lisa, which is due to the introduction of the new products that has common names like Anita, Yard, Hazel and Elm. According to Lisa, this was a response to the consumer demand of not wanting to choose between features like music or imaging but rather wanting an all-in-one phone. . 3 Sony Ericson Green Engagement A sustainable production where products are managed responsibly through their entire life cycle is one of the most important objectives for Sony Ericson, says Points Alexandrine from Sony Ericson Corporate Sustainability Office. It is something that cannot wait, but rather something that we must respond to immediately. He continues that although Greathearted is the first initiative for Sony Ericson to bring “green” phones to the market, Sony Ericson has chosen to describe Greathearted not as a phone or a product line, but as a concept.
Quoting Points, Greathearted as a concept is further defined in its mission statement: “Ensuring that the Greathearted concept becomes a ell known name for a broad audience and is associated with a positive notion, excellent quality and perceived as trustworthy with true intentions as well as leading in its field”. Therefore it is in this sense rather a general idea or notion that corresponds to a class of entities and that consists of the characteristic or essential features of the class.
Points continues by saying that this is not something new as Sony Ericson, from the start in 2001, has been active in reducing the negative environmental impact of their products; therefore Greathearted should been seen as a result of a long engagement. For example, Points says, it can be mentioned that right after the NAG, launched their campaign against chemicals, focusing on reductions of Predominated Flame Retardants (BAR) in 2001 , Sony Ericson launched their first phone 66th, which where free from BAR.
Today 99. 9% of all Sony Ericson products is free from all halogenated (predominated and chlorinated) flame-retardants and they are also finalizing the phasing out of Polyvinyl Chloride, Antimony, beryllium and phthalate. Furthermore, he continues, Sony Ericson has – since the beginning of 2006 – been fully compliant with the EX. Ross directive (the restriction of the use of retain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment) and has applied this standard globally to all products produced.
Therefore, Points explains, Greathearted would have the possibility to stretch over the entire portfolio, as it is not depending on functionality but rather on how it was produced. Greathearted products will underpin Sony Erection’s ongoing commitment, taking the lead on environmental sustainability by driving green innovation that doesn’t compromise on product design and functionality (Sony Ericson Mobile Communications, 2012). Sony Ericson provided a large range of green initiatives on their website, which were communicated using different approaches depending on the target audience.
It is however not clear how these fit together, as they all vary very much in both look and feel. All the information also lack a clear starting point. The sustainability pages link to other pages, but the content is for a very specific audience and is clearly not directed to end consumers. The sustainability pages are also only linked from on the global page and not linked to specific country pages. It is therefore available only in English and not in any other local languages. Detailed product information is however located on concession. Mom and is presented with the rest of Sony Erection’s products information. Meaning that, as a visitor, you are once more directed to a new weapon. The blob initiative can be said to be poor as the number of posts are very limited and the pages are not updated very frequently. There is also no moderation or responses to questions and comments posted by visitors there. The connection and interlinking to Greathearted, sustainability and recycle pages are also very hard to grasp as no clear logic seems to be stated (Investigated, 2011). Conclusion In this perspective, market phones sold primarily for its green features would not be such a good idea as the basis for decision-making would be leaning in favor of non- green products. This might serve as a basis for the manufacturers not to integrate these two things in the general product portfolio. One thing all manufacturers had in common was that all the green initiatives were separated from the rest of the website. None of the product pages had integrated green awareness with their product presentation, unless it was a specifically green product.
For example, Sony Ericson who, according to Points have met all outside environmental requirements, don’t mention this on the product pages either. If green was a strong selling point, it is probable that the marketers from the various companies would have highlighted this. Instead it is likely that they also have consumer insight, similar to the article in Wall Street Journal, (2007), which suggested that consumers tend to assume that green products are not as good as green ones.
Sony Ericson, having Innovation as one of their core values, could therefore stand out from the crowd in bringing their usage to the consumers by communicating green information alongside other product information. This also suggests that it is recommendable not to “preach for the believers”. In that sense, they should have the environmental information not only linked from the corporate page, but instead approach the issue as something that they actually find important enough to communicate on their local pages as well, and bringing Green into their website and product catalogue.
Following back on the theoretical studies, one must draw the conclusion that it is not recommended to rarest Greathearted as another sub-brand in line with Cyber-shoots, Waltham and Expert. Instead it should reflect a value that supports the larger brands. This means that instead of promoting special Greathearted phones, which consumers might respond negatively to, the marketing message should be that Sony Ericson has a high-quality Imaging phone, which also is environmentally friendly.