Table of Contents
This report focuses on how various communication channels can be integrated to enhance marketing function of a firm. The report discusses the possible communication channels that have been analyzed and elaborated by other scholars on their impact on marketing. Sony Corporation has the potential market in the United Kingdom and analysis has been done on the market feasibility. Thus, the report has analyzed and selected communication channels from both traditional and non-traditional media. Traditional media includes newspaper, magazines, and television while non-traditional media includes the internet, sales promotion, and public relation. The selected communication channels have developed a communication strategy that will be effective and efficient in the UK market.
Information has the power to influence the decision-making process. However, how the information is relayed from the source to the recipient will determine its influence capability. Therefore, the communication channels adopted to disseminate the information have to be effective and efficient. Firms have to disseminate information about its product, services, and values to the public. Thus, the right communication channels need to be identified to develop a communication strategy that will deliver information without it being distorted (Bovée, & Thill, 2000, p.93). This report assess the communication channels Sony Corp can adopt to develop a communication strategy. Sony Corporation is a multinational firm that has its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. It produces various electronic products like television sets, mobile phones, gaming devices et cetera. The firm was founded in the year 1960. The communication strategy is aimed at enhancing the brand of Sony Corp in the United Kingdom market.
Linking the public or consumers and a company demands the adoption of an efficient communication strategy (Thill, & Bovée, 1991, p.97). Therefore, firms try to have a communication channel that will disseminate information to the target persons not only at the right time but with the right content. Distortion of information concerning a firm has a massive detrimental effect on a firm’s reputation. An active communication channel has the potential to enhance the reputation of a business had been tarnished either through distorted information or any form of misconducts spilled to the public. There are various communication strategies for different purposes, for instance, marketing, branding, response to public matters et cetera. The following are communication strategy that can be adopted by a firm to position its brand:.
- Traditional media (print media and broadcast media)
- Direct marketing
- Sales promotion
- Public relation
This refers to the communicational channel firms have been used for decades to relay information to the public. Two main categories are printed and broadcasting media. These two forms of media have been utilized by firms to influence the public on the operations the firm is undertaking. Print media includes newspaper, magazine, posters et cetera. Broadcast media on their hand includes television and radio. Print media is exploited by an organization that wants to provide detail information that broadcast media cannot handle, and it can influence its position (Warner, & Business Expert Press, 2010 p.83).
The development that has been witnessed on the internet has forced firms to incorporate the internet in its communication strategy for its brand recognition. The capability the internet has in disseminating information as far as the globe is concerned, it remains the leading channel (Burton, 2010, p.19). Firms have developed websites to display information on its activities. In addition, the internet has led to the growth of social media like facebook, twitter, et cetera. Social media has created a platform for firms to remain interactive with the public.
The need for firms to have constant communication with its loyal clients, this has led firms to adopt communication strategy that will enhance communication between firms and its loyal consumers. Direct marketing is one of the strategies that are employed, however, this strategy is mostly utilized by firms handling technological and fashion products to position new products. This strategy a firm to have contact address of the client like the physical address or e-mail address to inform the client on any updates concerning the firm.
The objective of a communication strategy is to enhance brand recognition, and this can be done through a sale promotion. This will include a discount on merchandise or services offered by a firm. The promotion has to be done in a manner that will ensure the public become aware not only about the company’s product and services but also the values the firm holds (Varey, 2002, p.105). For instance, offering a discount for a client who responds correctly to question regarding a firm. This strategy can enhance the brand of firm, such that the public will be eager to know new products a firm is about to launch
This a new approach firms exploit either to enhance its recognition or respond to public queries. Most firms engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR), to provide services to the public as a means to show gratitude for the public support (Lee, 1995, p.46). However, on a deeper interpretation, this approach is aimed at building the firm’s reputation. In addition, firms use a press conference to respond to queries and launching new products or services.
Market Analysis for the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is a diverse market that is made of people of different social class that influences the lifestyle adopted by an individual. Previously, the United Kingdom was a member of the European Nation, unfortunately, in June it pulled out of European Union, commonly referred to as Brexit. This had an implication on the UK market; this will be analyzed using PEST model.
The UK has a Monarchical form of Government; Queen Elizabeth II currently heads it. It has also adopted a parliamentary system of governance with Theresa May as the Prime Minister. The United Kingdom has enjoyed political stability an indication of civilization, and this can be evidenced by the peaceful succession of Prime Minister Theresa May after the resignation of former Prime Minister Cameron. Political instability has a huge implication on the finances of a business and its strategies (Moran, 2009, p.142). Therefore, for Sony Corporation can establish a new subsidiary without any fear of political instability that might lead the firm to shut down due to violence. In addition, trade of goods and services between the United Kingdom will follow the constitution of United Kingdom and trade agreements the UK has entered with other nations. Since UK pulled out of EU, a trade agreement among the EU members does not apply for the UK.
The economic state of a nation influences the market growth for each industry in a given nation. Various indicators are used to analyze the economic status of a country to ascertain the purchasing capability of its citizens. Therefore, it is critical for Sony Corporation to determine if the potential market has the potential for its products. The GDP for the UK in the year 2014 and 2015 was USD 2.99 Trillion and USD 2.84 Trillion respectively. Per capita income for the year 2014 and 2015 was USD 40,217 and USD 41,324 respectively. As at July 2014, the population of the UK was 63,489,234. These economic parameters indicate the UK has a potential market and it is ranked fifth globally as an economic powerhouse by World Bank (Appendix 1). Therefore, a firm like Sony Corporation needs to adopt a communication strategy that can exploit these positive economic parameters.
The UK population is made up of people from different race, ethnic, religion and has a different country of origin. These differences have enhanced the co-existence among the residents in the United Kingdom (Curwen, & Gowland, 2009, p.32). In addition, different social classes are present in the United Kingdom. The identification of these differences is vital for Sony Corporation on deciding the communication strategy it can adopt to disseminate information to the public, without creating a rift between the consumer and the firm.
Sony Corporation being a technological firm; therefore its market has to be a technology-conscious market. The United Kingdom is a large consumer of technology; therefore, Sony Corporation needs to have a communication strategy that will disseminate information on its technology advancement. Instances of technology backfiring cannot be ignored in the technological industry, for example, a recent product by Samsung, one of Sony Corporation’s competitors, had a faulty charging system that exploded when being charged. Thus a proper communication for responding to such queries has to be established
Competition and market trends
The UK market is a free market, and therefore, firms that have been registered can operate in UK territory. Therefore, competition in the technological industry within the UK market has grown. Sony produces various products and services like phones, television sets, gaming devices (“Sony Corporation of America” n.d). The main competitors for Sony Corp in the UK market are Apple, Microsoft, ad Samsung. The high degree of obsolescence in the technological field is high and, therefore, there new products are developed to satisfy the demands of the market and be competitive (Bai, et al. 2002, p.79).
Analyzing the Communication Strategy for Sony Corporation
It is the responsibility of Sony Corporation to ensure that its channels for communication are effective and efficient. It is through these communication channels that its brand can grow and its products can be marketed. Developing the communication strategy for Sony Corporation has to factor the characteristics of the different market categories in Kingdom. (Parente, 2006, p.162), observed that both traditional and non-traditional media play a vital role in enhancing a firm’s reputation, however, how each media will have a different impact on different market segments. Therefore, Sony Corporation will employ both traditional and non-traditional media. The developed communication strategy is expected to achieve the following objectives for Sony Corporation in the UK:
- Enhance its brand recognition/positioning
- Efficient and effective communication channel for its diverse market
- Improve customer base
In order to achieve the above objectives, the communication strategy for Sony Corporation will adopt communication channels from both traditional media and non- traditional media
The power and influence the traditional media has accrued over the years it has been used by both public and private functions cannot be underestimated. Therefore, Sony Corporation will exploit its capability to position its brand in the UK market. Both print and broadcast media will be employed. Print media will include magazine, newspaper, and billboards while broadcast media will include television. These Medias will have a different impact on the objectives of this communication strategy. In addition, various market segments are better communicated with a given channel. For instance, if the product designed by Sony targets the young ladies, the best communication channel would be a magazine. This is because young ladies are the largest consumers (readers) of magazines. Billboards can be mounted on major cities like London where there I high traffic of people and the products of Sony can be displayed. Cable television for major television channels in the UK will be exploited mainly to reach out to the older generation who rely on television for information. In addition, the older generation is the largest readers of newspapers. Therefore, a combination of the newspaper and cable television is an effective communication channel for disseminating information to the older generation. `
Creativity among the professionals in marketing and communication has led to the adoption of non-traditional media in the communication strategy of firms (Galliers, & Leidner, 2003, p.128). In this regard, various channels considered as non-traditional media can be exploited to enhance the communication between Sony and the public. The Internet is one of the channels that are effective in communicating with the younger generation (Simon, & Alouini, 2005, p.81). It is the objective of the communication strategy to increase the customer base for Sony. In the UK, the young a good percentage of the population and, therefore, if this market segment is addressed the objective of enhancing market base will be achieved. Social media will play a critical role since; the young generation depends on social media to interact with their friends and accessing information. Sony can exploit social media like Instagram to share information concerning its products, and this will enhance its brand recognition in the UK market.
Sales promotion is an effective communication channel, that technological firm can exploit to position its product in a given market. In addition, it can be used to spread information on different products or services offered by a firm. Sony Corporation can conduct a sales promotion on its product in the UK. This can be done by organizing roadshow in various cities in the UK, where the products of Sony are sold at a discount. At this promotion show, information regarding Sony’s product can be shared to the public. This communication channel has the capability to increase the customer base of a firm and enhance the competitiveness a company (Cummins, & Mullin, 2002, p.137).
The relation that a company has with the public dictates its brand recognition. Therefore, Sony Corporation needs to ensure it maintains a close connection with the public through various activities. A strong public relation makes a firm be on top of issues that might arise and require the intervention of the firm (“Public Relations Society of America,” 2007, p.73). There are several approaches that are available to enhance public relation and to position the Sony brand, but each approach/channel is best for delivering creating objectives. Engaging in corporate social responsibility like establishing a children’s home, organizing competition et cetera has an impact on the brand of a firm. Therefore, if Sony Corp engages with such activities it will position its brand, and its competitors will find it hard to destabilize. However, destabilization occurs due to malfunctions on the Sony’s product public relation such as organizing press conference is the better channel to interact with public over the matter. Responding to public outcry on a product elevates the firm’s reputation than when a firm fails to respond. It is an indication of being responsible and consumer-conscious (Hartley, & Bruckmann, 2002, p.371).
- It is the desire of Sony Corporation to have the best communication strategy to position its brand and become competitive in the technological industry. However, packaging of the information/content influences the effectiveness of a communication channel. Therefore, it is important for Sony Corp to consider packaging of the information before dissemination using various channels. Packaging simply refers to how the information is drafted or expressed to be received by the target market. Information that is directed to the younger generation needs to be fancy and charismatic. This will influence the reception of the message as compared to when the information is relayed plainly.
- Positioning a brand takes a considerable period, but to destabilize the position a brand enjoy just need a second. Sony Corporation has a range of communication channel that it can use to enhance its brand recognition, thus having a better position in the technological market. However, maintaining that position is the main goal of a communication strategy. Therefore, Sony Corp can exploit both traditional and non-traditional to position its brand. However, in case there is a public outcry, a question session press conference is effective.
It is indisputable that a communication strategy adopted by a firm has a great impact on its growth as far as brand recognition is concerned. Various communication channels are at the disposal of a firm; however, the best communication strategy can be achieved by selecting the communication channels that are effective to the target market. Therefore, to select some communication channels from both traditional and non-traditional media aims to have a strong communication strategy for its market in the UK. However, it is vital for Sony Corp to utilize the internet since it has proven to have a robust influence on the young generation market and it has a potential to grow its influence across all its markets. Thus it will be advisable for Sony Corp to make sure it enhances its Internet as a communication channel for its potential future capability.
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