In the business world, marketing pertains to one of the most prosperous spheres due to its flexibility and the ability to take advantage of technological advancements and innovations. It is often regarded as a central branding instrument and a vehement definer of the company’s sales, as the efforts of the marketing department have a clear reflection on the firm’s market share, customer loyalty, and the overall financial performance (Oloko, Anene, Kiara, Kathambi, & Mutulu, 2014). A combination of these aspects refer to the fact that the role of marketing cannot be underestimated, and paying attention to changes in trends is one of the critical components of the company’s success and define its core competitive advantage (Srivastava, Franklin, & Martinette, 2013). In this case, selecting a correct strategy will help maximize profits and reach the target audience in the most effective way (Oloko et al., 2014).
Despite the existence of a plethora of studies related to the marking area, it is continuously changing, and approaches and variations determine its significance in business and the need to continue the research. Subsequently, the substantial goal of this essay is to depict current marketing trends while paying vehement attention to the principles of content marketing. Revealing its ethical issues, using SWOT analysis to emphasize problems, and proposing potential resolutions will assist in identifying the drawbacks of this approach. In the end, the conclusions are drawn to summarize the main findings of the paper while referring to dissimilar issues and emphasizing strategies to improve the current situation.
Modern Marketing Trends
Digitalization and Its Consequences
In the first place, describing typical tendencies is critical, as marking sphere has a high sensitivity to changes. In this instance, digitalization is one of the essential influencers and contributors to the role of marketing and its tactics (Baltes, 2015). This phenomenon implies a high intervention of technology in the everyday activities while creating a perception of being an innovative solution and convenience at the same time.
One of the outcomes of the digitalization is the rising significance of content marketing among business professionals. Currently, it is often viewed as one of the critical instruments to reach the target audience and develop a desired image of the company. Furthermore, a modern marketer cannot imagine the development of the message without Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the principles of copywriting, and mobile marketing initiatives since they have a positive impact on ROI (The Mobile Marketing Associations Forum, 2016). These marketing instruments tend to experience growth, as they increase the accessibility of the information about the products or services to the potential and current customers while using push marketing mechanisms (Baltes, 2015).
Social Media Marketing
Another change in consumer behavior is related to the rise of social networks and a progressively increasing number of the registered users (Ashley & Tuten, 2014). In this case, 86% of markers underline the vitality of social media in the marketing campaigns and claim that this marketing strategy “provides additional touchpoints to encourage ongoing interaction” (Ashley & Tuten, 2014, p. 15). It is one of the novel tools, and, as a consequence, it inspires marketers to develop innovative and creative approaches to reach the target audience. In this instance, using traditional advertising messages is not enough, and this fact implies a higher need for creating interactive games to develop added-value and cultivate interest among consumers (Ashley & Tuten, 2014). Based on the factors provided above, social media marketing is one of the instruments to modify the principles of consumer and organizational behavior while taking into account the framework for searching, assessment process, and “pre- and post-purchase behavior” (Shaheen & Lodhi, 2016).
Conceptualization of Content Marketing, Its Issues, and Solutions
Concepts of Content Marketing
As it was mentioned earlier, due to the domination of the era of the Internet, content marking experiences a significant shift in its popularity. The primary aspect that differentiates it from the traditional strategies is its emphasis on quality of the content while attempting “to raise awareness of the brand among the target segment” (Baltes, 2015, p. 112). It underlines the audience-focused nature of the tactic while making it appropriate for B2B operations and cultivating a respectful image among its potential clients. As for the intentions and goals of this marketing trend, this approach covers an extended variety of objectives and goals. For instance, its initial focus is not only to increase the awareness of the brand but also “to develop customer loyalty” while establishing a rapport with the clients simultaneously (Baltes, 2015, p. 114).
Analysis of Organization’s Content Marketing
To understand the principles of content marketing in practice, it is critical to conduct SWOT analysis to understand its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. In this instance, paying attention to complying with ethics and current legislation. In the first place, the strong points can pertain to the well-established techniques to search for the information and evaluate the critical aspects of consumer behavior (Rungta, 2016). At the same time, its positive reputation and brand image can also be regarded as one of the strengths since these aspects help build rapport with the audience and cultivate trusting relationships. As for the potential weaknesses, conducting a feasibility analysis will assist in revealing them. One of the possible drawbacks is the inability to assess the information sufficiently (Rungta, 2016). This aspect can take place due to the lack of the expertise since a trend of digitalization is relatively new and starts being prioritized in marketing.
Speaking of opportunities, any organization with the specialization in content marketing has to take advantage of trends and new movements of this sphere. In this instance, the common tendencies include the rising popularity of copywriting, SEO, and social media (Baltes, 2015). Considering these matters will assist in enhancing relationships with the customers and develop a positive image of the company. As for threats, one cannot underestimate the significance of the rivalry, as more and more companies emphasize a vehement importance of these communicative instruments (Ashley & Tuten, 2014). Based on the strategic steps of analysis mentioned above, the company with the specialization in the content marketing can optimize this strategy and enlarge the size of this market share.
Issues of Content Marketing and EEOC Laws
Despite the clarity of the working mechanism and its positive intentions of content marketing, the primary issues are associated with the analysis of the consumer needs due to the accessibility of Big Data (Rungta, 2016). It remains apparent Big Data could be viewed as another consequence of digitalization and the rising popularity of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter (Rungta, 2016; Shaheen & Lodhi, 2016). In this case, high volumes of data can be easily misinterpreted while leading to the development of false marketing campaigns (Rungta, 2016). This matter may have a substantial impact on the revenues and market shares of the company due to the selection of the inappropriate strategy.
Another difficulty that the firm may face is misinformation of the consumers. Any marketing campaigns and labeling may include false information and create issues with the organization’s customers. Initially, this misleading information tends to build a wrongful perception about the brand while being dishonest with its consumers (Daugeliene & Liepinyte, 2012). It modifies typical behavioral patterns of the customers, makes the trademark unattractive for the subsequent purchases, and decreases the retention of clients (Daugeliene & Liepinyte, 2012). Simultaneously, the company has to consider antidiscrimination laws and diminish the harassment at work (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2016). Underestimating these matters can contribute to building a negative brand image of the company and decrease the demand for the potential candidates.
In this case, the SWOT analysis and continuous assessment of the firm’s compliance with the current tendencies offer a clear understanding of the potential challenges the company may face and help determine suitable prevention strategies. In the first place, assessing the actions of the consumer in the natural environment while gathering unbiased findings (Rungta, 2016). Using this approach will increase the overall validity of the data and minimize the possibility of misleading information (Rungta, 2016). This strategy will help interpret trends correctly and optimize marketing strategy in a right way.
Furthermore, one of the factors to consider is the compliance with ethical and legal concepts. Highlighting these matters in the company’s corporate reports, its vision, and mission statements (Cremer, Mayer, & Schminke, 2010). Consequently, applying the concepts of behavioral ethics and using an empirical approach to evaluate the ethical components of the behavior will be beneficial to ensure the correspondence of the actions with the legal principles and EEOC laws and minimize the existence of unethical behavior among customers, management, and employees (Cremer et al., 2010). Simultaneously, applying this approach will assist in eliminating discrimination, racism, and incidents of harassment at the workplace.
Content Marketing and Its Benefits
Overall, the essay revealed that the marking sphere is rather challenging and has a plethora of complications. Its flexible nature and the necessity to adapt to changing consumer preferences could be viewed as negative and positive aspects at the same time. A combination of these factors underlines that the concept of content marketing is trend-driven, and digitalization and continuous advancement of technology are the primary contributors to its development. The principles of SEO, copywriting, and social media and content marketing tactics are the principle outcomes of this incessant process.
Issues and Analysis
Despite positive intentions of content marketing and its novel vision on the current problems, this marking strategy is unable to consider all drawbacks of the traditional advertising and communicative approaches. Furthermore, other problems include the insufficiency of Big Data analytical tactics, false labelling and misinformation of the consumers, and possible discrimination at work, which can build an adverse image of the company. To eliminate the possibility of these issues, conducting a SWOT analysis may minimize these aspects and help take advantage of strengths and opportunities to optimize the content marketing strategy and create a sustainable competitive advantage.
In the end, these negative consequences can be avoided by applying various strategies and tactics. In this case, taking advantage of Big Data and optimizing analytical instruments to assess the quality of information and develop tendencies are the most important tactics to avoid these negative outcomes. Simultaneously, employing the concepts of behavioral ethics can help diminish the issues of misunderstanding and minimize the number of conflicts at the workplace.
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