This digital marketing plan aims to introduce new technology, which is social media marketing, to Marks & Spencer. The innovation will aid the organization in attaining its strategic objectives and improve its performance in the three areas it faces challenges. According to Marks & Spencer’s annual report, the company wishes to improve three sectors: increasing sales, engaging stakeholders in choice, and saving money. The 5s method would describe the firm’s digital marketing strategy’s particular aims and the benefits of those objectives. Social media promotion technology will connect target viewers and engage with prospective and valued clients. Hiring technology experts, adopting analytics, and managing the company’s possible dangers are all actions that will help the company achieve its objectives. Hiring technical staff will assist the company in managing its online profiles and responding to client inquiries. To implement the digital advertising plan’s interventions, Mark and Spencer would add KPIs to monitor and evaluate the plan’s success using sales, currency exchange rates, and user satisfaction ratings.
Marks & Spencer is a famous clothes and accessory retailer situated in London. The firm provides decorations, footwear, eyewear, stockings, party wear, athletics, casual wear, and formal clothes for men, women, and newborns. Mark & Spencer deals with two types of assets; the U.K. and worldwide assets. The firm has 910 full-line stores and 220 controlled and 310 certified Simply Food Shops in the U.K. (Marks and Spencer P.L.C, 2018, p. 1). The retailer was established in 1884 by Michael Marks and Thomas Leeds. The firm became the major British retailer to earn a high pre-tax profit in 1998. The corporation had over 3000 outlets in roughly 30 countries with a market valuation of USD 11.6 billion when it commemorated its 120th anniversary in 2004 (Marks and Spencer P.L.C, 2018, p. 1). In November 2008, the corporation began selling branded items, including Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. Marc Bolland, former head of Morrisons, was named the chief executive, succeeding executive Sir Stuart Rose, who remained in power until July 2010 and was superseded by Robert Swannell. Over the years, Marks & Spencer has become an international retail giant.
Strengths are the activities or sectors that an organization thrives at in its several operations, giving it a competitive advantage. Marks & Spencer works with various U.K. and global associates. Its massive market expertise is unquestionably a substantial asset, and it is known for its high-end products for erudite customers (Rana and Shankar, 2020, p, 1). It is a high-end supermarket and among the best in-store shopping in the U.K. The firm has warehouses and online services in numerous parts of the Middle East, Europe, and Asian countries. The company’s development has been supported by various shops, channels, and websites (Marks and Spencer, 2022). The retailer’s products, especially in the fashion category, are trendy, sophisticated, and exquisite, per their corporate identity. Due to the powerful branding, consumers comprehend what to anticipate from Marks & Spencer. Unlike stores like Versace and Vero Moda, the business has its labels practically in every area. Marks & Spencer’s popular private brands include North Coast Per Una, Louis Vuitton, Indigo Selection, and Autograph. These high-end trademarks have helped increase brand recognition and familiarise clients with Marks & Spencer.
Marks & Spencer’s innovative strategy has enhanced it to remain competitive for 150 years. The corporation allows its employees to give suggestions by thinking creatively about matters affecting their goals. The business’ most precious asset is free revolution. Approximately 80,000 individuals work for Marks & Spencer in its shops and field offices (Marks and Spencer P.L.C, 2018, p. 1). Marks & Spencer values diversity; the organization hires staff from various nations, faiths, and genders. The business is a great place to work, with no job discrimination. These aspects help employees become more socially conscious and better comprehend their clients. Marks & Spencer has traditional and virtual stores and franchise alternatives. In the United Kingdom, the corporation has 910 full-line stores, 220 supervised and 310 permitted Simply Grocery Stores (Smith, 2022, p. 1). Additionally, Marks & Spencer has an online store where clients can purchase their products worldwide.
Weaknesses are elements of a business or brand that are strengthened to give it a reputable customer base. The company has struggled to extend its operations outside Europe, the U.K., and the U.S. The majority of the organization’s styles are western rather than traditional; hence, they have failed to attract consumers despite building outlets throughout the Middle East and Asia. Marks & Spencer’s customers are frequently dissatisfied, with numerous complaints about the returns process and the in-store service. As a result, customer loyalty has dropped, but branding has increased. One of Marks & Spencer’s most significant issues is its supply chain’s lack of scalability (Bhasin, 2019, p. 2). Despite attempts to expand its supply chain to deliver to every area on the earth through its online store, the enterprise has been unable to do so. Despite their trials to reach Asia, inventory concerns and unsold products require them to depend on end-of-season deals to clear out their inventory.
Opportunities and Threats
Opportunities are the pathways in a business’s surroundings that can be used to boost profits. One of Marks & Spencer’s opportunities is the new segment (Team, 2021, p. 1). The garment industry is constantly developing, with new divisions popping up. Marks & Spencer could not meet Asia’s growing traditional and cultural clothing demand. In most cases, this is a sector where the retailers see much potential. Threats are included in Marks & Spencer’s SWOT analysis. External forces that restrict a company’s growth are known as threats. The main competitors of Marks and Spencer include Waitrose & Partners, Tesco, Asda, John Lewis Group, Macy’s, Lawson, and Debenhams.
Marks & Spencer is a multinational retailer with a significant presence in several countries. The business is headquartered in the U.K. and has over 1300 sites globally (Abir, 2019, p. 8). The company has experienced the benefits of European Commercial’s agreements, which have led to lower sourcing costs. Marks & Spencer may benefit from the massive E.U. market, which permits its products to circulate freely across multiple countries without being subject to tariffs or penalties. The organization believes it is crucial to work closely with and interact with authorities to protect a group’s vital rights (Middleton, 2022, p. 1). They respond to government requests, making them public on their online platforms. The U.K. government supports the corporation due to its vast historical rights and recommended business practices. The two most critical factors affecting the business are political status and taxation. If the state raises taxes, it will raise the prices of Marks & Spencer’s products, negatively impacting its sales.
An upsurge in a nation’s economic inflation rate affects how firms price their products and services. Demand and supply determine inflation, currency values, and overall employment trends. The U.K. is a developing marketplace with one of the world’s leading industries. The nation’s fiscal strategies are perfectly managed, as its government provides ample resources and has successfully kept inflation under control. Marks & Spencer’s main objective is to provide high-quality products to its consumers (Marks & Spencer, 2022, p. 3). The economic crisis may lead to a decrease in focus on expensive Marks & Spencer items due to restricted disposable income in the hands of consumers, further lowering their alternative of spending on elegant clothing. The recession has taken its toll on the company, laying off 2% of its 70,000-strong staff (Marks & Spencer, 2022, p. 3). The recession further limited the company’s capability to offer discounts; therefore, the organization canceled its earlier plan to give a 20% discount at Christmas.
The social aspects impacting Marks & Spencer’s PESTLE Analysis are as follows: In 2006, Stuart Rose, Marks & Spencer’s CEO, sought to strengthen the organization’s brand identity to align with the dynamic market conditions. Marks & Spencer and Asda appeal to different customer bases in aspects of socioeconomic level and area, which substantially impact how they tackle existing market situations. Consumer purchases are influenced by economic, social, interpersonal, and psychological trends (Hu, Chen, and Davison, 2019, p. 1). The low-cost fashion industry has evolved to meet the dynamic market conditions, and it now sells less-priced replicas of popular items. Firms must acclimate their strategies to meet the next generations’ requirements (Langer, 2020, p. 255). The locality and demographic heavily influence the type of clothing provided and the space allotted. Marks & Spencer benefited from the situation and started to accept credit card payments, resulting in increased sales.
Factors of Technology
Marks & Spencer has a Computer Network Program to help transition to a digital-first organization and offer a broader client experience. The program aims at creating a more agile, faster, more commercial I.T. sector that can help firms expand. Marks & Spencer is developing a new Technologies Operating Model to allow the company to take advantage of new technology while incorporating industry agile methods like Ocado (Moss, 2021, p. 7). Thus, Marks & Spencer’s technological supply base has been rationalized and consolidated.
Countries’ laws are continuously changing; Marks & Spencer holds monthly training lessons on themes like hygiene. They are refreshed yearly to ensure they are updated on the latest regulations and rules (Wilshaw, Fowler, and Wallace, 2021, p.1). The business was criticised when it was alleged to fail to protect its employees from the hazards of work-related illnesses. Marks & Spencer’s shop on Broad Street was repaired when ceiling panels with cancer-causing elements fell to the floor (Team, 2019, p. 2). On the other side, the firm could not handle the entire situation and ignored it. They were later found guilty in two cases, one based on the Fire Prevention Act of 1974 and another which needed them to take measures to establish worker safety standards and were fined 500,000 pounds after being found guilty.
The PESTLE Analysis describes the environmental factors affecting Marks & Spencer’s operations. Problems related to current climatic situations are frequently highlighted in magazines, newspapers, and television. Marks & Spencer has developed its Green Policy, called “Plan A,” which positively impacts individuals’ well-being, society, and the environment and is a commercial endeavor (Bernon, 2018, p. 1). For instance, Plan A’s vehicles reduced fuel emissions that were a threat to the environment.
The digital marketing strategy aims to identify the technologies used to meet the organization’s goals. The 5s approach, on the other hand, would explain the specific goals of Marks & Spencer’s digital marketing strategy and indicate the advantages of those goals. Marks and Spencer’s digital marketing strategy has three main goals: selling more products, involving stakeholders in decision-making, and saving money (Rigby, 2021, p. 1). Marks & Spencer’s online sales could be boosted by expanding into a novel electrical product line.
The firm will have online conversations and ask consumers questions concerning online electrical item sales on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Marks & Spencer will use blogs and tweets to solicit comments from customers about their impending electronic goods launch. The organization may save money by operating online since there are no storage, warehouse, and transaction costs. The accumulated savings can offer discounts to customers and expand market share (Nastasoiu and Vandenbosch, 2019, p. 208). The firm’s wallets, which allow clients to receive a significant proportion of cashback when they purchase specific electronic goods online and then use it to buy other Marks & Spencer goods, can help the organization increase the value of its online sales.
The company will use social media marketing to attain its objectives since it will aid in accessing a broad audience, which will help the company attain its objectives. The strategy will engage target spectators and interact with potential loyal customers to produce a considerable following. The company will use seven days to integrate the technology entirely. Social media marketing enhances firms and individuals to establish their brands (Bilgin, 2018, p. 133). When people connect with interested leads, they expose their brands to others. Individuals’ capability to post free organic content on social media enables them to build brand recognition with their followers. Thus, the development of the person’s brand loyalty is aided. Social media has an alternative for ad customization, making them efficient in marketing (Ebrahim, 2020, p. 288). People can set their target demographic via these tools; thus, the efficiency of these adverts may be tracked and improved. Social media marketing enhances companies track how well their adverts are doing (Alalwan, 2018, p. 66). Social media marketing is relatively cheap compared to traditional ways of marketing.
When people expose their brands to the masses through social media, they familiarise themselves with their brands. Social media marketing enables people to converse with several people at once. Due to digitalization, several people globally have access to the internet and electronic devices. Hence, marketing products and services to many people at once is easy. Companies use social networking to increase the number of individuals that visit their websites (Mičík and Mičudová, 2018, p 173). Most social media networks allow businesses to share material linked to their website. Exciting social media content persuades viewers to click on a link that leads to a company’s website, where they may learn more. Social networking platforms are an excellent way for a company to reach out to a broader audience. People can learn more about a company’s products and services by visiting its website.
Marks & Spencer will use the 5Ps of marketing to reach its target audience and attain its objectives effectively. The 5Ps include price, products, place, people, and promotion (Ahuja and Loura, 2018, P. 66). The good or service component relates to what a business provides to its customers. Usability, branding, marketing, service, durability, appearance, and guarantee conditions are all factors the business will consider while selling its product. Marks & Spencer will consider the significant features, advantages, and customer wants and needs when developing any product. It can decide to expand its product line by adding new flavors (Ali, 2021, p. 268). A firm’s method of setting costs for its items or amenities is the value factor. It must include the listed price, reductions, specials, credit circumstances, or other financial arrangements that constitute the total cost. Its company’s market dominance will determine Marks & Spencer’s pricing.
The techniques and practices firms hire to sell their products to the target audience are promotions. Selling, media relations, lead generation, advertising, licensing, and social networks are part of the advertising. Before making promotional decisions, promotional expenses are significant in conducting an investment analysis (Ali, 2021, p. 267). Marks & Spencer will figure out their target audience, the worth of the medium they view, how much that media will price, how several extra sales they will have to pay for their expenditure, and how it will collect information to indicate how healthy the campaign performed. The place will determine where the company will deliver the goods to its target customers. Marks & Spencer should consider a convenient place with a large number of the target audience and staff training to provide the most satisfactory possible service and exceed consumer expectations.
Hiring technological professionals, implementing Analytics, and controlling the company’s potential risks are all activities that will assist the organisation in achieving its goals. Hiring technical personnel will help the organization manage its social media profiles and answer client inquiries (Jøranli, 2018, p. 1). These specialists will accept online purchases for electrical items from clients, transfer the application to the preferred producer, and then dispatch the commodities to the supply chain to pick goods from the company’s warehouse and deliver them to the customer’s location. At the same time, the consumer makes online payments. These hiring specialists would lever the financial features of the individual purchase and hand over the assets to Marks & Spencer’s genuine finance division. These experts must have technological and human media tools and competencies because they will manage the social media feeds by updating questions about products and responding to customer remarks, queries, and responses published on these online communities.
The core idea behind a digital strategy is to connect to clients via social media campaigns. Marks & Spencer would handle social network connectivity for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, and other networks by deploying social media marketing technology (Bala and Verma, 2018, p. 324). The tactic will enable Marks & Spencer to manage its operational goods and convey communications to the varying social media systems from a solitary platform. The firm could pay for extra features from different entities for the person’s free essential subscription. Marks & Spencer’s technical professionals may run the Hootsuite network, updating content and online ad efforts to connect to clients and urge them to buy products online. Hootsuite allows businesses to handle social media campaigns, online tests, forum conversations, and communal media special discounts from a platform, attracting many customers. Marks & Spencer would establish a steering committee to install anti-viruses, firewalls, encoding, and malware throughout the introduction of the online presence. The supervisory board would monitor and prevent cyber-attacks and assess the risks.
To put the digital marketing plan’s strategies into action, Mark and Spencer would add KPIs such as sales, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction scores to control and measure the plan’s success. The financial and sales departments and their staff would be accountable for reporting these numbers regularly. The number of random and return visitors, the number of explanations posted on media sheets, and the worth of inquiries would be evaluated and reviewed weekly, with Marks & Spencer’s social media professionals responsible for submitting reports. Positive responses and appraisals on social broadcasting pages where clients make acquisitions would be cast-off to measure the business performance. Customer reviews would determine consumer satisfaction scores (Voramontri and Klieb, 2019, p. 209). Social media professionals and sales representatives would measure customer satisfaction levels.
New technologies impact marketing by creating more modified and detailed campaigns for individuals and generating more integrated ecosystems for marketers. Hence, they will help the firm to enhance its effectiveness and efficiency. Since Mark and Spencer deal with selling home products, clothing, and foodstuffs, and most of its rivals, including Tesco, specialize in selling foodstuffs, the technology would enable the company to access a large audience, mainly individuals aged 16 to 40 years since they are the most active social media users. Within the company’s portfolio, the positioning of the technology will be based on product features. Using product appearances or profits as a locating policy will associate the brand with specific characteristics that benefit customers.
Marketing is a critical business function that helps companies grow and gain a competitive advantage. The obstacles I face when working on the marketing plan are demonstrating marketing’s worth, developing expansion on a price, making digital essential, understanding buyer behavior, and a lack of core marketing expertise. The three critical trials I incurred in researching, writing, and developing the marketing strategy include a lack of motivation, confusing tactics and strategies, and a lack of focus. Due to my lack of motivation caused by my high expectations, I found it hard to recognize my goals for conducting the research.
I had no morale in doing the marketing study since I had nobody to guide me on the dos and don’ts of the marketing plan. Secondly, I found difficulties differentiating between the marketing plan tactics and strategies. This challenge affected the time I took to conduct the marketing plan since I used more time researching to recognize how the two terms relate to avoiding making errors. Thirdly my lack of focus challenged me since I did not know where to concentrate because the company’s annual report was broad, and I had to read through it to know the challenges that the company needed to improve.
Despite my lack of focus, motivation, and confusion about marketing plan tactics and strategies, I overcame the problems by acting as if I was encouraged, arguing the opposite, and practicing self-compassion to overcome the obstacles I face. By modifying my behavior, I could deceive myself into feeling motivated. I acted as if I was driven, which made my actions influence my feelings. Rather than sitting all day waiting for inspiration, I dressed and started conducting the plan. I discovered that taking action boosted my motivation, making it more straightforward to keep going. When one has trouble motivating themselves, they will probably develop a long list of why they should not do anything. I stopped thinking that “it will be too difficult” or “I will never get it done anyway,” you might think, which helped me in avoiding being stuck.
I overcame the challenges through self-compassion because it helped me recognize my challenges and anxieties towards concluding the marketing plan. It helped me take more time to amend my weaknesses and set goals to attain my goals of conducting marketing research. I spent adequate time searching for more information concerning the corporation’s challenges through self-compassion, which increased my motivation for the plan. Self-compassion may be beneficial to one’s mental health (increasing motivation). Self-compassion reduces psychological discomfort, anxiety and depression symptoms, and the detrimental effects of stress. I created a better inner conversation instead of berating myself for mistakes or disregarding myself.
While researching, developing, and writing the Digital Marketing plan, I never knew I would accomplish the task but I kept doubting whether I was on the right track. I had nobody to consult regarding the company since everyone, including my friends, was busy searching for more information about the company. I felt hopeless reading its annual report to obtain adequate information about the company because its report was more comprehensive. However, after reading through the company’s annual report and its website, I had sufficient data, which helped me write the promotional plan. I felt rejuvenated and accomplished my goal of doing the company’s marketing plan.
Experience refers to the way of naturally experiencing occurrences with other individuals. While researching, what was good about my experience was that the study offered me more significant opportunities to learn more about Marks & Spencer and the challenges it wishes to 0vercome. The only bad thing I experienced from the research was going through the company’s annual report to know its challenges, which took longer since it was more comprehensive. Since people enjoy time with those they cherish with everyday activity and purpose for an extended time, they obtain several opportunities to connect and talk with others. My experiences boosted the meaning of the research since they helped me recognize my goals and stimulated my understanding of the role I would play in accomplishing the marketing plan objectives.
From the situation, I have grown personally and academically due to having overcome this challenge since the experience has educated me on the essence of focusing, staying motivated, and avoiding the confusion of terms while conducting a study. Recognizing why individuals behave the way they want can be challenging, especially because several people are unaware of their motivations. Motivation in research aims to uncover the driving forces behind the actions, particularly buyer behavior. A good starting point for one’s thinking and searching for the best proof for their work is getting a clear, oriented idea transcribed as a study objective. In future circumstances, the knowledge I have gained can help me to clarify an exploratory focus before identifying necessary and appropriate study questions. It is critical to choose a research topic that is interesting because this will aid one in staying motivated throughout the research.
Besides staying encouraged and developing self-compassion, I could have started thinking positively about the issues. When people think they will fail, they should list all the reasons they could succeed. Alternatively, if they believe they will not complete a task should list all the facts that prove they will. Arguing the opposite side of the argument helped me see both sides. It served as a reminder that a negative outlook is not always accurate since there is a chance a situation can turn out better than one anticipated. Through the challenges, I recognized that having a more balanced perspective makes me feel more inspired to attempt. I realized that punishing oneself is the key to becoming motivated, but harsh self-criticism is ineffective.
If the challenges I faced arose again, I could accept the situation and take immediate action before it gets late. I could consider seeking assistance from a second party, including obtaining motivation from close friends or instructors. I could consider obtaining clear definitions of unknown phrases from search engines to be aware of every word before I start planning. In addition, setting my goals could play an essential role in the marketing plan and its successful completion.
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