Blog 4a – Week 5

Discuss the extent to which the nine key strategy decisions are important to a new online retail business.

The management of business planning processes is important for organisations operating in a competitive business environment. 

Business decision making occurs throughout the lifecycle of a business, from the planning and development stages through to the implementation and evaluation stages of strategy.

  1. Market and product development strategies

Product development and launch is faster in the digital economy, accelerated by technology.

For new businesses, there are many considerations in determining market and product development strategies.

Feedback gathered throughout the organisation can inform and evolve development over time and product strategies should be informed by market research and testing.

Mass customisation is a way of creating personalisation for many customers and extending products with additional features to consumers creates a diversified offering for bundling (Chaffey, 2019).

Pricing, how much can consumers pay for the product, their ability to pay and estimation of the value of the brand to the competition and congruence are all factors that affect market strategies. 

The degree of competition and price as a barrier to entry, demand versus supply and market pervasiveness, all determine price (Percy and Elliot. 2016). Resource evaluation also informs decision making.

  1. Business and revenue models strategies

A new business should innovate and use a reshaped business model that will allow them to defend market share from competitors.

The business model should support research and development for strategic agility. Common models include commission, transactional e-commerce models, retail and media (Chaffey, 2019).

  1. Target markets strategy

The two key issues relate to target markets strategy, segmentation and differentiation strategy, focusing on the customers the business can serve best.

A new business should understand the competitor market share, unmet needs, competitor offers, current market size and future value, cost effectiveness and likelihood of increased engagement to create brand loyal customers and convert non-users (Chaffey, 2019). 

Data driven approaches are appropriate for benchmarking, to inform further decision making.

(Smart Insights, 2020). 

  1. Positioning and differentiation strategy

Positioning, identifying and defining the market in which the business competes, informs the overall marketing strategy and determines choice of target market segments and competitive advantage. 

Positioning the brand in marketing communication links the brand to the category need. 

This is really important and informs the overall marketing plan, which is revised based on changing market conditions and goal attainment.

  1. Customer engagement and social media strategy

Lifetime brand engagement goals, measured through lifetime value, loyalty and customer interactions require both online channels to support offline brand activities. Technology is a variable in the long-term.

A fully activated social media strategy can help to acquire new customers, enhance and inform feedback loops for anytime, anywhere customer service and integrated channel distribution.

  1. Multichannel distribution strategy

Social commerce models emphasise the use of different channels to communicate user and brand information.

Managers should consider the choice of distribution channel, for example, the internet and potential channel conflicts online and offline. 

This is a geographic consideration based on physical distribution channels that are already in existence. 

New businesses should focus on developing distribution channel infrastructure.

Quality models for e-businesses focus on:

  • efficiency 
  • fulfilment
  • reliability
  • privacy
  • responsiveness
  • compensation
  • contact.

Based on E-SERVQUAL (Chaffey, 2019).

  1. Multichannel communications strategy

New businesses should focus on integration and digital brand development to create a digital identity that is consistent across traditional and online mediums. 

A multichannel strategy means that brands are accessible to different audiences through different platforms when they want them (on demand brands).

The personalization of inbound and outbound customer service communication can improve service delivery by stepping through customer’s contact with the organisation for sales related enquires, for information or purchasing.

Influences on channel choice include:

  • Knowledge
  • Experience
  • Preference
  • Actions

Types of channels include:

  • Physical
  • Virtual 
  • Mobile

Accessibility, the cost of switching and convenience are also factors.

  1. Online communications mix and budget

The positioning strategy informs the marketing mix and this involves the control of variables and tactics to achieve the overall objectives.

There are questions for managers around the promotion element of marketing plans, whether to invest in site promotion, offline promotion and online promotion techniques. 

Using new approaches, creating a user experience based on the buying process, and using CRM for customer acquisition and retention are all issues that should be considered.

  1. Organisational capabilities (7S framework)

Organisations need proper governance in order to facilitate digital transformation agendas. 

The McKinsey 7S framework can be used to implement a proposed strategy and to align business functions with the existing business strategy and structure.

McKinsey 7S Model. (McKinsey, 2020).


Adjei, M., Noble, S., & Noble, C. (2009). The influence of C2C communications in online brand communities on customer purchase behavior. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 38(5), 634–653. 

Amarjeev Kaul. (2019). Culture vs strategy: which to precede, which to align? Journal of Strategy and Management, 12(1), 116–136.

Barker. et al. (2017) Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach, 2nd Edition.

Chaffey. and Ellis-Chadwick. (2019) Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. Seventh edition. Harlow, England; Pearson. Print.

Corporate Finance Institute. (2020). McKinsey 7S Model.

McKinsey. (2020) Agile marketing: a step-by-step guide.,tests%20quickly%2C%20evaluating%20the%20results%2C%20and%20rapidly%20iterating.

Percy, L., & Elliott, R. (2016). Strategic advertising management (Fifth edition.). Oxford University Press.

Roberts, M., & Zahay, D. (2013). Internet marketing : integrating online and offline strategies (3rd ed.). South-Western, Cengage Learning.

Smart Insights. (2020). The segmentation targeting and positioning model. 

Tuten and Solomon. (2012). Social Media Marketing. Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ USA.


Blog 2a – Week 3

2a: Examine the importance of the marketing environment to

a) digital marketing success and b) digital marketing failure.

  • The marketing environment
  • Environmental change
  • Successful digital marketing
  • Digital marketing failure
  • Incorporating current issues into strategy

The marketing environment

The marketing environment is the overall economic environment. Understanding the macroeconomic conditions can help businesses develop better strategies to be responsive to the stakeholders and to business conditions. Knowledge of the economy and stakeholders gives organisations a strategic advantage in developing an approach.

Strategy is everything really.

The changing nature of the political, social and economic environment affects every business, but in the digital economy e-commerce businesses are reliant on competition to position strategically for business growth. Ensuring that businesses thrive and succeed means that other businesses are also more likely to succeed and benefit in the long-term, because they are viable. Positioning is by definition manoeuvring based on the perception of your competitors (Chaffey, 2019). Business, economic and social issues will affect strategy. Competition leads to the reallocation of resources to ensure efficiency and productivity are maintained.

Environmental change

Changes in social culture are fast and technological advances are a part of a short-term culture, which leads to increased consumer demand. There are also supply side changes to resourcing as a result of societal change.

Technological changes that can affect digital businesses include:

  • emerging technology
  • platforms 
  • devices

Digital marketing is supporting marketing goals with technology and the macro environment as primary concerns using data. This is the marketing environment. Strategic agility (Chaffey, 2019) means gaining a competitive advantage through innovation by keeping up with changes in the marketplace. An evaluative approach can help to determine options and tactics. Businesses who are undergoing digital transformation should focus their strategies around evaluations of the existing business activities, baselining their approach to data to inform future digital marketing strategies.

a) Successful digital marketing

Businesses such as Amazon, ASOS, Apple and Netflix have identified areas where consumers have changing tastes and preferences such as the use of voice assistants, internet streaming services and data management, capitalising on their competitive advantage in understanding technology by grabbing new segments and building new audiences for new platforms.

Shifting consumer demand has resulted in low growth in digital media demand, as tastes and preferences shift, from TV and radio to internet streaming services (Deloitte, 2019). This is important for content marketers who choose mediums and vehicles based on audience segmentation.

Social media is useful for consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketing and many social media platforms are still trying to make this model of trade successful, and focus more on drawing in digital advertising whilst websites such as GumTree build brand loyalty for marketplace transactions. Tactically online word of mouth is crucial to product success (Marchand, 2017), through microblogs (Twitter) and reviews.

A whole market perspective is better to understand emerging trends in the marketing environment. Everyone-to-everyone (E2E) involves cloud computing for universal access to services, data driven customer insights that inform digital marketing approaches, and e-commerce driven by martech in a digital ecosystem (Chaffey, 2019). Emerging digitalised services include financial intermediation services, UBER transport, wholesale e-Commerce, outsourcing and digitalised international trade (ABS, 2020).

b) Digital marketing failure

Businesses that fail are likely to leave the market or become less competitive for sale to other business. Bauer Media in Australia is a good example of business with a failing digital strategy, but not a failed business.

Many years ago, social media websites like MySpace struggled because they did not have functionality that met the needs of their target audiences and became less popular (Lee, 2011). Successful digital businesses focus on customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) to create websites and applications that are user friendly and accessible.

International world wide web consortium (WC3) has standardised code and developed improved accessibility standards that help developers make more functional websites and technologies. 

Web standardisation reflects the maturity of the tech industry and the internet in developing new technologies and applications through research and development, for example Netscape standardised Javascript as a programming language. Research and development is crucial to digital marketing success. 

Incorporating current issues into strategy

A relevant model for strategy development is the SOSTAC framework (Chaffey 2019).

  • Opportunity – situation analysis using PESTLE and SWOT and objective setting (Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Legal, Environmental)
  • Strategy – tactics and resourcing to achieve objectives through activities
  • Action – managing implementation through actions and controlling the environment with effective systems.

The 5 D’s of digital marketing 

A PESTLE analysis for a digital marketing strategy is informed by the 5 D’s of marketing.

  • Digital devices 
  • digital platforms
  • digital media
  • digital data and 
  • digital technology.

Source: Chaffey (2012)


Barker. et al. (2016) Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach, 2nd Edition.

Chaffey. and Ellis-Chadwick. (2019) Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. Seventh edition. Harlow, England; Pearson, Print.

Chaffey. (2012) SOSTAC® marketing plans [infographic].

Deloitte. (2019) Media Consumer Survey.

Elliott, G. (2017) Marketing, 4th Edition, Wiley. ProQuest Ebook Central,

KPMG. (2020) Traditional business models won’t be enough in the digital commerce era.

Lee. (2011) Myspace. How the social network fell apart. The Huffington Post.

Marchand, Hennig-Thurau, Wiertz. Not all digital word of mouth is created equal: Understanding the respective impact of consumer reviews and microblogs on new product success. International Journal of Research in Marketing, Volume 34, Issue 2, June 2017, Pages 336-354,

Roberts and Zahay. (2013) Internet Marketing: Integrating Online and Offline Strategies. 3rd ed. Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning. Print.

Tuten. and Solomon. (2018) Social Media Marketing. Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ USA. Print.

Zhao. (2020) ABS Chief Economist. Measuring digital activities in the Australian Economy. Economic Research Hub.,to%20economies%20around%20the%20world