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Chapter 1: Introduction

1.0 Introduction

According to Armstrong et al. (2014), the term digital marketing can be defined as a process of advertising one’s product or service, particularly on the internet for the sake of increasing sales by pulling in new customers and improving business performance. In this era of innovation and technology, digital marketing has become the most influential way for the online retailing in expanding their businesses and earn more profit by pulling in new customers, especially John Lewis. Digital marketing plays a crucial role in an organisational success, especially in the retail industry of UK where millions of people visit online on John Lewis on daily basis in order to buy the products that they need in their daily life. In the world of today, around 60% of the people prefer ordering online instead of visiting the supermarkets for their shopping purposes in the UK (Wertime and Fenwick, 2011).

Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose are the market operator that are serving to the people of the UK from thousands of their outlets. Each of them is well-known brands and have marketing competencies as well as they are an international chain in their field that is why there is a high competition among them (Dennis et al., 2010). They keep on developing new methods and techniques on how to attract new customers and enhance the performance of their online retailing business more accurate in order to gain competitive advantage. In here, digital marketing helps them in advertising, publishing and promoting their products and services to their valuable customers through diverse methods. Methods as “Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media Optimization (SMO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), Mobile Marketing, Content Creation, Digital Display Advertising and Retargeting and Remarketing” are some of the major methods of digital marketing (Chaffey and Smith, 2013). The most common and the most utilised method that is being implemented worldwide by diverse online retailers like those that John Lewis is Social Media Marketing (SMM). It is the most effective and lower in cost method. It helped many businesses in achieving success as it impacts positively on their performance.

 1.1 Background

According to a report on “The Impact of Digital Marketing in Retail”, digital marketing is fundamental to the entire shopping experience and the third quarter of the population in the UK use digital methods for their shopping journeys (Deloitte, 2015). The people are going towards the innovation and it is increasing rapidly. For the sake of increasing their sales and earning profits John Lewis, utilise digital trends such as advertising on televisions or social media publications in order to attract customers towards their products. It is mandatory for the John Lewis to implement the appropriate method of digital marketing that impact on their performance in a positive and effective manner. This would not only enhance their performance but also help John Lewis in raising their sales and customer loyalty towards their concerned product (Zwick and Cayla, 2011). Due to the increasing variety of products for consumers, it is far complicated for the marketers to make an effective brand image and excess delivery of innovative product and services to the customers.

Panigyrakis and Theodoridis (2009) stated that the digital marketing has changed the whole scenario of doing shopping by introducing several ways and other diverse methods such as online shopping etc. recently, virtual shopping has been introduced, Japan takes the first position by opening the world’s first virtual store. This is another step towards innovation which helped in making the lives easier as well as this was a new way to promote the products and services to their people and pull in new customers and clients (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). On the other hand, by the end of the year 2016, Amazon has introduced another innovative way by developing drones that deliver their products within a few minutes. They named this service “Amazon Prime Air”, this not only helped them in enhancing their delivery system more reliable but also raised their sales as well as enhanced their performance as the drones does not need any pilot for the delivery a product instead it is controlled by an operator from an Amazon store. However, this service is limited to some of the specific states of America but Amazon aims to implement this service in all developed countries including the UK (Amazon, 1996). These are the few examples that how they enhanced their productivity and performance by implementing digital technology and marketing tactics in their process of operation.

As per the report of Ziliani and Ieva (2015) to provide the trustworthy and appreciated consequences to the industries, the life out of virtual marketing has experienced in the society that motivates and encouraged them in delivering the right type of products to the right customer. On the other hand, virtual contents such as navigation and accessibility are explained as the fundamental for digital marketing. An instance by Ziliani and Ieva (2015) namely “The Return of Milkman” states that in the past, there was a Milkman who delivers the fresh milk to the people of United Kingdom. Now in this modern era, the Milkman is back but in the digital form, because the citizens of UK order their general grocery items through their digital technology and they get their orders while sitting in their homes. On the other hand, in some countries like India, this Milkman method still exists and found in various areas of the country. This indicated that impact of digital marketing and implementation of innovation advancement in this field is essential and helped the online retailers to progress in terms of performance by having more orders. In fact, digital marketing techniques have been utilised by several online retailers in diverse ways for the performance improvement. Digital marketing helps the customers in various ways such as they prefer using their own device for gaining information of a specific product instead of asking a store supervisor or sales assistant (Dennis et al., 2012). With the help of digital marketing, customers gain a detailed description of a product and their features as compared to a salesperson. This named as a psychological trick to attract them towards their product and this is being utilised widely in John Lewis.

1.2 Purpose

The main purpose of this research is to focus on the impact of digital marketing on the performance of John Lewis: an online retailer in the UK as well as how the strategies of digital marketing can help the online retailers in the UK to improve their performance and promote their products and services to the people of United Kingdom. In addition, there are a number of strategies and techniques in digital marketing, this study will focus on how and which technique can assist in enhancing the performance of the online retailing in the UK. The performance is the main factor of John Lewis in the UK that plays a crucial role in attaining success (Rutter, 2013). On the other hand, implementing digital marketing strategies can help John Lewis to achieve their aims and objectives. The practice of digital marketing considered as an imperative tool through which John Lewis can construct their strong brand image in the marketplace and maximise their performance in order to achieve success.

The expectation in means of generating outcomes and achieving success, investment on an advertisement, digital marketing must be done by the online retailers in the UK that can help them in enhancing their performance and influence more consumers towards their products along with potential growth in the industry. At last, suggestions and recommendation will be provided after the study has been accomplished on how the John Lewis can further improve their performance and attain organisational success (Ziliani and Ieva, 2015).

1.3 Aim

The aim of the proposed study is to evaluate the impact of digital marketing on the performance of John Lewis: an online retailer in the UK.

1.4 Objectives

·         To determine the role of marketing orientation and digital marketing.

·         To find out the model framework of digital marketing.

·         To determine the factors that influence the customers to buy a product from John Lewis’ online store.

To what extent does digital marketing help John Lewis to grow in the industry

1.5 Research Questions

Following are the research questions for this study, which will be answered by using surveys and interviews in the selected organisation:

What is the impact of digital marketing on John Lewis’ performance?

·         Which digital platform serves best to enhance the performance of John Lewis?

·         To what extent does digital marketing help John Lewis to grow in the industry?

·         What factors influence the customers to buy a product from John Lewis’ online store?

1.6 Literature Gap

The existing literature such as Panigyrakis and Theodoridis (2009), Hirt and Willmott (2014), Lee and Grewal (2004) are only based on evaluating the impact of new technologies and digital marketing on firm’s performance but they are not specific to a business operating in the UK and on the selected organisation. Therefore, this study will facilitate in narrowing the literature gap and help the researcher to find out the impact of digital marketing on the performance of the particular organisation. This study will add value to the existing literature and would further highlight the different factors through which the firm can enhance its performance, particularly in online retailing industry.

1.7 Variables

Variables can be defined in a very convenient and easy way, as variables can specify a person, or a place as well as a phenomenon or a thing that a person is trying to measure. Dependent variables and independent variables are the two categories of variables that are elaborated beneath:

1.7.1 Dependent Variable

Dependent variables can be described as the amounts that rely on some other amount or quantities. If the value of the variable is changed ultimately the value of that dependent variable is change also as they rely on it. These types of variable are also known as presumed effect (Larcker and Rusticus, 2010). Performance is dependent variable over here. The whole success is based on it, as it is a process itself.

1.7.2 Independent Variable

Independent variables can be described as the amounts that cannot be modified and does not rely on any other amount or quantity. These types of variable also known as presumed cause (Larcker and Rusticus, 2010). Digital marketing is an independent variable over here. It does not rely on anything. A method itself is responsible for enhancing the performance of John Lewis as well as for promoting its products and services all over the UK.

1.8 Outline of the Dissertation

The research outline is based on five chapters which are:

1.      Introduction: involves scope, topic overview, research questions and research aim and objectives regarding the impact of digital marketing on the performance of John Lewis: an online retailer in the UK.

2.      Literature Review: The previous republication will be reviewed in order to understand the research theme and to comprehend the mode of techniques that are supportive and relevant to the nature of research.

3.      Methodology: In order to justify the research theme, the research will use the number of techniques and tools such as research method or design, philosophies, approaches, data analysis and collection techniques, sampling techniques, ethical consideration and so on.

4.     Data Analysis: the analysis of the research will be performed with the help of consumer or employees responses that are carried out through a questionnaire survey.

5.     Conclusion and Recommendation: Recommendation and conclusion will be drawn at the end of the data analysis chapter which contains suggestion regarding the issues company faced in order to achieve their desired goals. The conclusion will be drawn as per responses of the respondent.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

This chapter is comprised of literature based on theoretical and empirical studies on the subject of “The Impact of Digital Marketing on the Performance of John Lewis: An Online Retailer in the UK". By gathering the views and opinions of the authors based on their experiences and studies provide the in-depth understanding regarding the subject of the research study. This chapter also comprised of a conceptual framework that derived from the entire literature, based on the past studies.

This section encompasses the confab of substantial literature based on digital marketing and utilisation of diverse technologies within digital medium. The chapter deliberates how digital marketing recounts to the performance of the business.

A brief explanation and discussion of all the important theories and concepts with respect to the questions of the research study. The foremost theories and concepts include “web-based customer relationship management (eCRM)”, “online word of mouth (eWOM)”, “social networks”, “perceptions”, “customer retention”, “customer satisfaction”, “technology acceptance model (TAM)”, “social media”, “websites”, “search engine optimiser (SEO)” and “business performance”.

2.2 Background of John Lewis

John Lewis, a well-known UK retailer that serve both upper and middle-class consumers. Their main function is in the supermarket sectors, limited manufacturing activities, department stores, insurance credit card and other business segments that serve consumers market segment in the UK (John Lewis plc, 2017).

The strategy implementing in John Lewis signified the efficient results by embracing digital marketing, which is the foremost element in the UK retail market for competing and reaching the consumers either current or potential on daily basis. In 2012, the commitment that company embrace with respect to digital marketing goes on board that assist in building image and reputation of the brand. This approach boosts the efficiency due to the efforts of their marketing characterised by email, print, broadcast, online store and mobile marketing (John Lewis plc, 2017). The overall strategies that are utilised in digital marketing covered usage of online sources include an online store, website and social networking platforms such as Facebook, Google+, and Twitter etc.

The study of Molenaar (2012) stated that there is a positive effect of digital marketing on the performances of the organisation.  Holliman and Rowley (2014) suggested that the effective and efficient utilisation of digital marketing improves the relationship between the consumer and the business that in turn improves the performance of the businesses. The research conducted in order to link the dynamic use of digital marketing in terms of increasing the performance and improve the relationship between of John Lewis, the online retailer in the UK and its consumers.

2.3 Theoretical Literature

According to Quinn et al (2016), as the world is moving in the most advanced age of science and technology. In order to be successful in the robust competitive environment, companies need to carry a torch of technology in terms of enlightening their paths. Due to the passage of time, the access to the internet is being the universal fact and the extensive accessibility, that people may use the internet on daily basis, doing everything that includes playing games, accessing to their bank accounts, shopping etc.  The fundamental processes of the marketing include customer retention and loyalty building, identification of opportunities, order execution, new product development and customer attraction. The companies that efficiently execute these processes in the organisation are the one that always enjoys profitability and success in the market (Dibb, Simões and Wensley, 2014).

2.3.1. Marketing Orientation and Digital Marketing

According to the study of Strauss and Frost (2014) over the past few years, the evolution of marketing is continually progressing. The companies approach towards marketing makes them change their way and shape it according to the desired requirements. From early 20th century, the majority of the businesses expected the reference of production point. The concept of production states that the product that is comprised of low cost and is readily available to consumers (Kotler and Keller, 2009). The next step is the concept of the product. Solomon et al (2013) explain that the strategic positioning of an organisation that mainly focused on the creativity, modernisation and extraordinary features of the goods. The focus of the “product concept” assumed by the organisation is that consumers prefer their products because of the features and unique characteristics of the product the company offer.

Therefore, companies were focusing on quality products instead of identifying the needs and wants of the consumers. The idea of selling concept evolved due to the idea progressed that the products necessities to be retailed. During 1950’s the concept of marketing developed, that changes the entire concept and shifted the focuses of companies.

As stated by Strauss and Frost (2014) in the study that the main purpose of marketing concept is to deliver a high-quality product and high potential services to consumers according to their needs and wants. In order to satisfy consumer needs and wants, companies being consumer oriented that are satisfying the desire of consumer more efficiently than competitors, despite the fact are, at the same time attaining the goals and objectives of the organisation. As the changing time factor, the holistic marketing concept was developed that outlined by Kotler and Keller (2012). Four segments that include integrated marketing, performance marketing, internal marketing and relationship marketing grounded by this concept. Kotler and Keller (2009) states that irrespective of marketing orientation that followed and undertaken by the organisations, hence it is crucial for digital marketing to be a significant aspect of all the strategies of marketing

Furthermore, Molenaar (2012) in his study high spot the core difference between the digital marketing and traditional marketing. They suggested that the digital marketing has its main prominence on the relationship with the consumer and the 4ps that is a product, price, place and promotion changed with respect to consumer requirement. He also explains that in traditional marketing the 4Ps change with respect to the situation or requirement of the market.

Stokes (2011) suggests that digital marketing drives and stimulates the demand for the production that created through marketing. Moreover, du Plessis, Strydom and Jooste (2012) retain that customer orientation and marketing orientation is similar in terms of catering the needs of the consumers. The organisations that are customer oriented responds rapidly to consumer’s suggestions and views by focusing on their needs and requirements.

Stokes (2011) maintains that the conversation is the important facet of marketing and internet medium being the heart of the conversations, backing up with the notion that the effective and efficient use of internet assists organisation to track and follow the conversation of their consumers. This idea generates awareness regarding the changing needs of the consumers. In the study of Theodosiou and Katsikea (2012) initiate, that administration that managed effective utilisation of internet in order to promote and sell product and services creates a competitive advantage over its competitors. In addition, Woon et al (2010) in the study emphasise on the awareness of digital marketing and its effect on the relation between consumers and marketers. Their findings provision the credence that digital marketing enhances the processes of the business.

Strauss and Frost (2014), classify various zones in which digital marketing support a business of the organisation. Primarily, digital marketing can upsurge the advantages such as personalisation, customisation, 24/7 availability, tracking, with the help of social networking connecting with consumers. Secondly, digital marketing assists in the cost reduction within various segments that include communication, customer service, operational processes, customer responses and research. Thirdly, digital marketing improves the value of services and products, through online transaction enhance the profits, increase consumer base, building a robust relationship with consumers and increases the purchasing power of consumers (Strauss and Frost, 2014).

2.3.2 Definition and Concept of digital marketing

 

As per the study of Antioco and Kleijnen (2010), the major innovations in technology that changes the relationship between consumers and marketers were televisions, radio, printing press and now the internet globally. Marketing is not all about technology; it relates to the people. From a marketing outlook, technology is the stimulating aspect, when effectively and efficiently it connect one individual with others. The electronic marketing includes the digital marketing practices that performed through online websites, digital advertising, interactive TV, m-commerce, mobile and opt in an e-mail. Confos and Davis, (2016) stated the significance of digital marketing is that it maintains a close or direct relationship with the customers and creating dialogues with them that help them in better understanding the needs and desire of the customers regarding the demand for products and services.

According to the study of Cluley (2016), digital marketing is one of the important marketing approaches that is widely been used in order to promote the products and services so that they able to reach to the consumer by utilising digital medium. Oates, Watkins and Thyne (2016) stated that digital marketing comprised of the medium that does not require the internet that includes “social media marketing”, “search engine marketing”, “mobile phone (MMS and SMS)”, “display advertising” and various forms of digital media.

As per the study of Holliman and Rowley (2014), the importance of digital media is the way through which consumers can right to use the information at any place and at any time. The study of Molenaar (2012)  stated that with the manifestation of digital media, customers not merely depends on what firm portrays about its product nonetheless also review what groups, friends, and association are depicting about the company products. Tsiotsou and Ratten (2010) mentioned that digital marketing refers to numerous techniques in terms of promoting products and services that are organised in order to reach customers through digital technologies.

The study of Stone and Woodcock (2014), digital marketing exemplifies, a widespread assortment of product, services and marketing tactics that utilise the internet as the foremost medium for promotion. For instance, L’Oreal’s brand uses email medium by keep in touch with their consumers by sending them a newsletter, which creates a strong relationship with the consumers and hence enhances brand loyalty. In order to improve the re-subscription rate, magazines publishers trigger their consumers by sending emails and SMS.

With the reference of Rodriguez, Dixon and Peltier (2014) study, marketing is evolving from a very long time. The word of mouth being the crucial facet for the business owners regarding products and services. The most popular medium being the utilisation of digital marketing that includes internet, television and radio. According to the study of Luh, Yang and Huang (2016), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) being the vital tool of digital marketing. The main role of SEO is to capitalise the approach search engines like Google in order to catch the web page. The concept of digital marketing patented from the internet.

As per the study of Ha et al (2013), in everyday life, the main role of the marketer is to bring brands closer to consumers. Gök and Hacioglu (2010) remarked that in improving the quality of services, technology plays a vital role. According to Krush, Agnihotri and Trainor (2016) stated electronic marketing (EM) is the way through that transfer products and services involving one of more electronic media and medium. McDonald’s practices online medium to strengthen brand relationship and messages. The company also developed a website named “Happy Meal” for children’s that comprised of games to keep customers close to the brand Clement et al (2017).

Moreover, the online websites are designed by the organisation in order to enhance their sales practices and for this purpose, the companies put more emphasis on developing the differentiated and innovative websites designed that attracts the customers towards purchasing the products (Chen and Huang, 2013)

Various phrases include internet marketing; e-commerce and digital marketing smeared all over the literature to take account of and enlarging the concept of the internet and digital marketing. Krush, Agnihotri and Trainor (2016) stated in the study suggested subsequent definitions, various actions of business that uses internet comprising purchasing, selling, advertising products and services integrated within EC (electronic commerce). Conversely, du Plessis, Strydom and Jooste (2012) recounts how digital medium have changed communication of businesses, which provide companies with a medium for individual interaction with the consumers. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and MySpace are the social media platforms in order to establish two-way communication that improves relationships.

The study of Xiaoming (2010) declares that conventional marketing will not be substituted by digital marketing, however, perceives that it is supportive and cooperative action. Xiaoming (2010) further, proposes that in order to receive superior value companies should implement new technologies in their processes. Digital marketing and retail sectors have a significant association that not only help the organisation in growing its business practices, however, also lead them towards achieving the organisational objective in an efficient manner (Kitchen, 2017).

The study of Tsiotsou and Ratten (2010) argues that due to the rapidly changing phase of technology and robust competition within the online business, retail companies constantly facing change. Moreover, even though the nature of the business, as it links to consumers, intermediaries and suppliers, study on implementing advanced technology with respect to online business expose that digital marketing is not been exploited and utilise to its extent or perspective. The main purpose of this study is to examine at what level digital marketing employed by John Lewis, an online retailer in the UK.

In the study Maguire, Koh and Magrys (2007) report that utilisation of communication and information technology create the competitive edge to small or large organisations. Furthermore, if the organisation uses the strategic and integrated approach in order to use communication and information technology, it further enhances the organisation's competitive edge.

According to El-Gohary (2010), digital marketing is the practice that current business is using that is concerned with marketing the products, services, concepts and fact through the internet and others electronic methods such as “mobile phones”, “extranets” and “intranets”. An organisation employing digital marketing not only enhance opportunities but also eliminate several threats. On the other hand, the integrated marketing practices are another imperative type of marketing that communicated and promote with their customers to create a consumer-centric elevation and combines movements. In today’s modern business world, the majority of the companies focuses on the practices of integrated marketing strategies that utilised by the organisation. In order to advertise their product on multiple social media sites, target specific audience, take care of the information and responsibilities beyond their digital marketing campaigns and advertise products not only to consumers, however, to other business entities in order to promote their business productivity and profitability in the market (Hamidi and Safabakhsh, 2010)

El-Gohary (2010) demonstrates the published articles from different countries on digital marketing from 2003 to 2010. Australia had 16 studies related to electronic marketing, 3 studies from South Africa and 59 from Great Britain. These figures clearly reflected a prospect to establish this basis of information in South Africa. This seems to be clear research opportunities to investigate based in the field of digital marketing and performance.

2.3.3 Importance of Digital Marketing

As per the study of Currim, Lim and Zhang (2016), nowadays people having access to the information anytime and anywhere according to their own needs and wants through the internet. People are aware of everything regarding brands through hyper-connectivity. The information related to the brands is not about what brands say about itself, it is about what family, friends, media, colleagues etc. says. It is the possibility of digital media to connect brand directly to the consumers. The role of digital media is to assist consumer, in finding the brand they can easily trust, direct interaction with the companies, personalisation and customisation offer by the companies in order to fulfil the preferences and needs of the consumers. In receiving customer feedback, complaints and comments, this aspect of marketing allow consumers, directly interact with the brands. This ability of responses displays that brand care about their consumers by getting insights and opinions, this caring aspect of brand and organisation assist in increasing the loyalty of the brand and improves the performance of the organisation (Mukherjee and Nath, 2007).

As per the study of Smith (2012), various organisations currently capitalise on the growth of the strategies of digital marketing. The development of strategy entails experience, complex planning and a lot of proficiency. The success of digital marketing strategy reflected through the consistency. The survival of the organisation in the digital marketing business is very complicated, as it required specialised skills and efforts that assist them in achieving excellence in the competitive marketplace. The organisation should have the clear concepts about digitalise marketing practices that help them in achieving their desired objectives that related to the successful reach of products and services to the targeted customers. Henderson (2015) stated that digitising marketing includes the broad range of social and internet practices that motivates the organisation in enlarging their business practices all over the world. The companies utilised various approaches in order to support their marketing practices, aimed at attaining successful acquisition and retention of customers via using the multiple network customer lifecycle and buying process. There are diverse categories digital marketing that performed by online marketers and several other enterprises in order to promote their product and services that enable companies to gather consumer traffic (Karjaluoto, Mustonen and Ulkuniemi, 2015).          

2.3.4 Elements of Digital Marketing

According to the study of Lipiäinen and Karjaluoto (2015), digital marketing comprised of various elements that operated through e-devices. Those elements are as follows:

Online advertising

 

According to the study of Lipiäinen and Karjaluoto (2015), in digital marketing online advertising play a significant role, also known as internet marketing. Organisations deliver their messages regarding the products and services through the process of online advertising. Publishers can provide information to consumers, by putting content related to their products and services on the websites. Online advertising assist company to control its time and budget Levin, Thaichon and Quach (2016) claimed that it is evident from the current scenarios that most of the organisation make efficient use of electronic media and interest search engines for conducting their marketing practices. Bernard (2016) affirms with the study of Levin, Thaichon and Quach (2016) that companies also utilised latest marketing philosophies and phenomenon to enhancing their business practices in a dynamic and dramatic manner.

Email marketing

Lipiäinen and Karjaluoto (2015) stated that the message that directed to consumers, related to product and services through emails known as email marketing. Consumer trust, loyalty and awareness can be improved by sending ads through a digital medium. Mukherjee and Nath, (2007) mentioned that digital marketing is now widely being utilised in the organisation in order to promote its products and services. Ekman, Erixon and Thilenius (2015) stated in their study that it is evident from the annual reports of many superstores and supermarkets that companies have gained approximately 60% of revenue through its email marketing techniques that not only improves their business profitability, however, also lead them towards high successive level.

Social Media

The study of Levin, Thaichon and Quach (2016) stated that the foremost tool or medium of digital marketing is social media. The tool permits an individual to exchange their information, pictures and ideas related to the products and services that company is offering. The study of Bernard (2016) mentioned that internet user spends their quality time on social media channels such as “Facebook”, “LinkedIn”, “Google+” and “Twitter”, rather than other web sites. As per the study Kotler and Keller (2012), it revealed that Tesco utilised website for sharing the imperative information regarding the brand updates and diluted its existence on the Twitter website by generating accounts for every area of its stores such as Tesco Mobile, Tesco, Bank, Tesco Media, Tesco Food and another store, etc.

Text Messaging

According to the study of Lee et al (2016) text messaging includes the use of smart and cellular phone in terms of sending products and services information. Kotler and Keller (2012) stated that in the beginning of 2000s in Asia and Europe utilisation of cell phone; turn out to be progressively more prevalent in order to market the product and services. Matti (2013) also mentioned that text messaging is the way, through which company can send messages to the consumers related to products and services real-time and anytime.

Affiliate Marketing

As per the study of Tuan (2012), the performance-based marketing is known as Affiliate marketing. The main players of the industry are the network, the merchant (brand or retailer), the customer and the publisher (affiliate). Kotler and Keller (2012) mentioned in their study that the market has developed in such density that results in the occurrence of secondary players that includes third party vendors, affiliate agencies and super affiliates.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

As per the study of Levin, Thaichon and Quach (2016) SEO is the tool of digital marketing, which affects the reflectivity of web page or website in search engines.  “Image search”, “video search”, “news search”, “industry-specific search”, “local search” and “academic search”, are various types’ of searches targeted by “Search Engine Optimisation (SEO”). According to the study of Lee et al (2016) stated that the success of supermarket is entirely based on connecting and reaching with buyers in the digital universe. Thus, search engine optimisation plays a prominent role in increasing the profitability and potential of the company in the highly competitive marketplace. Smith (2012) stated that in Britain, supermarkets entitles approximately 50% grocery sales due to the efficient use of SEO techniques. However, he also argued that online business would not capture awareness alone; the experience of the users should be good.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

According to the study of Hofacker and Murphy (2009), digital marketing utilises search engine advertising in order to generate clicks on the website. Pay per click is best for advertisers and searchers. According to the author, Google AdSense as permitting web developers to energetically, aid is written contents pertinent advertisement on websites. Google AdSense platform fundamentally allows verified web pages to actively support Google pay per click and term outcomes. Swanepoel and Bothma (2013) pay per click is best for advertisers and searchers. Dann and Dann (2011) illustrate that type of advertising campaign such as pay per click services are vulnerable due to the risk of exposing of unauthorised data and sometimes permeable to personal information.

2.4 Online Word Of Mouth, Social Media and Social Networks

According to the study of Romero, Constantinides and del-Amo (2011), there are various social and practical implications based on social networking platforms. The scholars define social networking platform as a medium of communication that engages and connects with businesses and customers. However, these platforms used as a strategic tool or technique in order to develop the process of management.

The study of Romero, Constantinides and del-Amo (2011), examined the acceptance of social networking platforms by customers, the acceptance of behaviour and conduct of customers. The study was conducted by using “Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)” in order to inspect the utilisation, acceptance and influence of social networking platforms. This study improved and built on the aspect of traditional Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) along with another variable that includes apparent risk and trust. As per the study of  Dann and Dann (2011) recognises, in order to connect consumers, technologies and content social media play a significant role through which messages can be communicated. Social platforms highlighted as Facebook (a website), Twitter (online service) or Google (an extensive facet of Internet). In the era of online, social media being the supporting aspect in the approach of growing internet in order to connect people by delivering values. However, Dann and Dann (2011) suggested that in terms of setting business based on digital marketing, it is essential to select a balancing system. Dann and Dann (2011) also recommend that company ought to be high class when it attempts to choose and maintain few social media websites and embark on managing it effectively and efficiently. To make efficacy of digital marketing there are various social media platforms, companies and individuals use that.

Swanepoel and Bothma (2013) sustain that blog is the word that instigates from the terminology “log” and “web”, which is the online platform that permits for the views, pictures, information, videos and events to be post and upload. As per the study of Stokes (2011), blog permits viewers to share their views related to the article published by the blogger. Godson (2009) perceives that there is the various impact of blogging on the business that includes complaints raised from the consumers that are disappointed with the product, services, due to lack control brand can be a takeover by others, and the customer has the entitled power.

In addition, Kotler and Keller (2012) recommends that in order to maintain activities and aims of marketing by utilising the internet, WOM (word of mouth) is created through viral marketing, however, through unexpected manner Buzz marketing often create publicity and generates excitement. According to the study of Lou and Zhang (2013), develops a relationship between web traffic and consumer buzz to generate organisational value. Luo and Zhang (2013) highlights that the performance of the organisation has a connection with the Web traffic; however, it likewise creates raised the area for the impact of organisational performance by using customer buzz. In addition, Godson (2009) stated in the study that risks and benefits are both associated with viral marketing, thus forming a mass of challenges and opportunities for the organisation in order to manage and get the most out of it.

Dehkordi et al (2012) develops the understanding regarding the relationship of social networking platform and e-marketing and talk over on various tools that used in order to provide assistance to the promotional aspect of e-marketing and to comprehend the consumer perception. The study of Kim and Ko (2011) cited in Dehkordi et al. (2012) put forward that digital platforms have an influential consequence on the reputation of the organisation. The findings of the study show that brand is more recognised by internet users when it is mentioned in the blog that clearly reflected that the more the viewers to read the effective blog, the more is the traffic generated.

As per the study of Kotler and Keller (2012), trust is the most significant aspect when it comes towards the internet. The study suggests favourable results with respect to the blogging that boosts individuals that derive from person’s intent and beliefs. This study observes the social networking platforms that used by the John Lewis. This study also attempts to measure the usefulness and importance of a website that relies on the digital marketing aspect and develops the link between the business and the consumers that in turn enhances business performance.

2.4 Factors of digital marketing vs. Consumers

According to the study of Vercic and Zerfass (2016) due to prompt technological advancement, the buying behaviour of consumers has changed due to the fact of digital marketing.

2.4.1 Up to date information



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