205MKT Digital Marketing 2 : Essay Fountain

Question:

Based on your academic research, define the concept of Content Marketing and with any website of your choice, offer key recommendations on how the company will be able to apply digital marketing strategies to benefit from this concept.

The main report should cover the following contents but not limited to:
  • A brief introduction of the chosen organization and explain how its vision and mission statement has influenced its digital marketing strategy and decision-making.
  • Main Body – Explain with proper theoretical marketing concepts and framework the digital marketing strategies deployed by the organization. This must be supported with proper evidence and research.
  • A critical and evaluative review of the digital marketing campaign’s performance. The critical review can also draw upon other marketing specializations to make recommendations for marketing planning and strategy for the future.
 

Answer:

Introduction

In the last decade, the entire world has reflected a paradigm shift towards a digital platform. An increasing number of people are extracting information online which makes digital marketing the best possible way to reach a maximum number of customers. The significance of digital marketing not just provides benefits to marketers, but it provides something innovative to the customers. The importance of digital marketing for the business is based on the option of selecting the method of marketing according to the budget and reaches a maximum number of target audiences at a lower cost (Leeflang, Verhoef and Freundt, 2014). The purpose of this report is to discuss the importance of digital marketing for the selected company that is the North Face and how it uses digital marketing campaigns for reaching a maximum number of the target audience in the market. With the use of the findings of the analysis, the report is providing recommendations in the end for the company that can be useful for it in the future.

Overview of the North Face

The North Face is one of the outdoor recreation companies in America. The company is involved in the production of outdoor equipment, footwear, and clothing. Headquarter of the company is established in California. The company in its beginning established a little retail store and focused on serving those who wanted to explore and serve the natural wild lands by supporting them to conserve them. Now with more than 50 years of experience, the North Face offers a wide line of performance apparel, footwear, and equipment. The company is involved in pushing its innovation boundaries such that the customers can push the boundaries of exploration. The owners of the company feel proud that they are the first choice of the most accomplished mountaineers, snowboarders, explorers, climbers, endurance runners, and extreme skiers across the world (The North Face, 2019).

 

Vision and Mission of The North Face

The vision of the company is beyond setting the records and attaining fame. The company desires to change the life of those who motivate them to aim for extraordinary dreams. The company is involved in offering a range of products from technical climbing gears to casual apparel. The brand is involved in delivering high quality, stylish, and innovative products. The company has earned its reputation as the definitive, authentic outdoor brand.

The mission of The North Face is Never Stop Exploring (Wichelns, 2017).

Literature Review

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is one of the ways of marketing of the services or products that are done with the use of digital technologies, majorly on the Internet, but also comprises display advertising, mobile phones, and any other platform of the digital media. The channels of digital marketing are dependent on the internet that can make, accelerate, and transfer the value of the product from the manufacturer to the customers through digital networks (Smith, 2011).  

Digital Marketing Strategies used by The North Face

There are number of digital marketing strategies available for marketers to be chosen from. Marketers who search for the definitive digital marketing strategy need to have a complete and clear knowledge of their demographics and products before selecting a strategy of digital marketing that can be effective for their requirements (Royle and Laing, 2014). Some of the digital marketing strategies that are used by the North Face Company are Content marketing, website designing, and video production.

 

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is a type of marketing that is focused on designing, publishing and distributing the content to the target audience over the online platforms. It is mostly utilized by the businesses to get the attention of the customers and generate leads, expanding the customer base, increasing sales of the business over the online platform, increasing the brand credibility and brand awareness and involve the users over the online community (Baltes, 2015). The importance that content marketing has for the company is it helps it in building the reputation of the business among potential and existing customers. In present digital market, it is very important that businesses put efforts to build the trust with their customers as it can help it in establishing a positive reputation of the brand. The North Face is involved in blog writing where it showcases the experience of its customers in order to generate trust of the prospects. Besides this, content marketing is important for the company because the users provide recommendations to prospects regarding the services of the company through blogs which generate leads and improve the reputation. 

Content marketing is used by The North Face Company to attract prospects and convert prospects into consumers by making and sharing important content for free. Content marketing supports the business in increasing sustainable brand loyalty, offers valuable data to the target audience and generate a willingness to buy services or products from the company in the coming future.

Under Content Marketing, The North Face Company makes use of blogs that are involved in featuring TNF athletes on their expeditions and adventures, comprising everything from big wall climbing across the world and many more. The athletes that are involved in the adventures with the company record videos and write on blogs about their inspiring experiences to motivate their millions of fans and new leads to take part in the outdoor lifestyle that is promoted by the company. The blog of the company also provides advice to the new as well as old adventurers, and highlight the usefulness of the products provided by the North Face Company without being sales. The blogs of the company have two major categories like Explore (Myanmar, Morocco, etc.) and Activities (includes mountain athletics, hiking, and snowboarding) (Jeson, 2015).   

Website Designing

Another digital marketing strategy that is used by The North Face is website designing. The company has designed its website to provide an online interface to the users and attract new leads with the business (Cameron, 2016). The website designing is important for the company as the website works as the face of the business that provides more details about the products and services to the customers. Besides this, the website helps in attracting increasing number of customers to use the services and products. 

 

Video production

The customers of The North Face Company make different videos of their adventure and memorable experiences and post them on the different online platforms in order to let others know about their feeling and motivate them to get involved in these types of activities (Haggerty, 2014).The video production is very important for the business as the quality and benefits of the products offered by The North Face Company cannot be only explained through pictures. The unforgettable experience that is gained by the user and the safety provided by the products of the company can only be reflected through videos. 

A critical and evaluative review of the digital marketing campaign’s performance

One of the most famous and recent digital marketing campaigns of The North Face under which, the company used Wikipedia in order to climb to the top search results of Google. Where businesses and people are trying to take the maximum benefits of the open to all approach of Wikipedia to the information, not many of them openly brag about it. But, this is what exactly has been done by the Leo Burnett tailor the agency of Brazil and The North Face by creating a campaign with the name “Top of Images” that is focused towards putting the branded photography of North Face on the top of the search results of Google by including them to the Wikipedia’s location page (Griner, 2019). After the detailed study of the case, it was identified that everything was done under the collaboration with Wikipedia but later the site announced that it was not true. This campaign is entirely violating the rules of PR, self-promotion, marketing, and advertising of Wikipedia which negatively impacted the company as well as an agency when it was announced by the site over the Twitter threat that exenterated the ploy. Later, the North Face apologized to the reaction of the Wikipedia over Twitter and promised to quickly end the campaign (Griner, 2019).

The performance analysis highlighted that the biggest obstacle of the ‘Top of Images’ campaign was uploading and updating the photos without getting the permission and attention of the moderators of Wikipedia in order to maintain the brand’s presence for the longer duration because the editors of the site can alter them anytime. This hack worked for little time, apparent in a fast Google search of a few of the places that were highlighted in the case study video of the campaign. After when the campaign of The North Face featured on the AdAge, the volunteer editors of Wikipedia quickly removed the photos of the North Face, by highlighting that the company’s effort broken the user terms and condition of the site for paid advocacy. This ineffective behavior of the company even grabbed the attention of the Beutler Ink CEO that is William Beutler, who is also the editor of Wikipedia stated that whatever is done by the Leo Burnett and The North was not atoll impressive or clever, everything was dishonest, under which making misusing the openness approach of the Wikipedia was directly inconsistent to the terms and conditions of the site (Diaz, 2019).

In addition to this, adding content is majorly planned to promote the products of the company which is against the policies, purpose, as well as spirit of Wikipedia for offering neutral, fact-based information to the entire world. It has exploited a free learning platform used by the public for its corporate gain. The Wikipedia Foundation does not define, edit, maintain, or write the content over the site. In its place, it is done by the volunteer editors that are placed across the world (Diaz, 2019).

 

Recommendation

For the future, the company is recommended to stop following these types of activities for the sake of innovation and must adopt some of the ethical and legal ways to promote the business. In order to further promote the business, the company is recommended to focus on creating an e-book under which is considered to be an electronic version of the book that can read on the specially created handheld device or computer (Muir and Hawes, 2013). The e-book is created to help people reach and share information. The E-book can be a great example for the North Face company of marketing as through this company and its customers can share their experiences and memories with other people and can motivate them to take an unforgettable experience with the company. An e-book is one of the ethical ways of promoting the business and products to the target audience and potential customers. In order to create an e-book, The North face has to follow these steps:

Choosing the topic of E-Book – This is the first step of creating the e-book under which the business has to specify what its e-book is about. As the North Face Company states that it does not promote its products it promotes its athletes and their experiences, the topic of the e-book can be OptOutside.

Get the content – Once the topic of the e-book is selected, the company must get into gathering the content for it. The company can invite its customers and athletes to share their experiences with photos and videos in order to provide information to different people. This can help the company in providing different examples and along with real cases for tourism and traveling and athlete students.

Selecting the correct format for the e-book – This is considered to be important for the business and the format of the book should be convenient otherwise the user can avoid reading the company’s book (Designrr, 2019).

Selecting the creation software for the e-book – This is the next important step that is related to selecting the e-book creation software because the chosen software makes a huge difference. This is because it defines how easy it is to make content upgrades which can provide a convenient way to make updates and changes in the e-book system. Some of the examples are editing tools, e-book designs, etc., 2019)

Conclusion

The above study has provided a detailed analysis of the digital marketing concept and the digital marketing strategies used by The North Face Company which is one of the well-known businesses involved in the production of outdoor equipment, footwear, and clothing. The above analysis has highlighted that today; every business is shifting from traditional marketing strategies to digital marketing strategies due to changing trends and market demand. Similarly, The North Face has changed its way of marketing by adopting digital marketing strategies like content marketing, website designing, and video production. The report has discussed one of the recent digital marketing campaigns created by the company under its content marketing strategies which were a big failure and the company has to apologize from one of the leading free learning public platforms that are Wikipedia. The company got involved in updating business photos on its own without taking permission from the platform and its editors. Due to this, the company got involved in huge controversy and to overcome the consequences the company is recommended to get involved in creating the e-book which is an electronic version of the book that can be used by the readers through a computer or any other device. In the end, the report has presented the procedure through which the company can create its e-book.

 

References

Baltes, L.P. (2015) Content marketing-the fundamental tool of digital marketing. Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Economic Sciences. Series V, 8(2), p.111.

Cameron, N. (2016). 7 ways The North Face is using data to make marketing more relevant [online]. Available from https://www.cmo.com.au/article/605113/7-ways-north-face-using-data-make-marketing-more-relevant/ [Accessed 17 October 2019]

Designrr, P. (2019) How to Make an Ebook in 5 Steps Without Breaking a Sweat [online]. Available from https://designrr.io/how-to-make-an-ebook-in-5-steps-without-breaking-a-sweat/ [Accessed 17 October 2019]

Diaz, A.C. (2019) The North Face Used Wikipedia to Climb to the top of Google Search Results [online]. Available from https://adage.com/creativity/work/north-face-top-imagens/2174261 [Accessed 17 October 2019]

Griner, D. (2019) North Face Apologizes and Ends Campaign Manipulating Wikipedia to Promote Its Products [online]. Available from https://www.adweek.com/creativity/north-face-apologizes-and-ends-campaign-manipulating-wikipedia-to-promote-its-products/ [Accessed 17 October 2019]  

Haggerty, A. (2014). The North Face builds on strategic shift towards mobile marketing after campaign success [online]. Available from https://www.thedrum.com/news/2014/02/27/north-face-continues-strategic-shift-towards-mobile-marketing-after-campaign-success [Accessed 17 October 2019]

Jeson, L. (2015) 4 Ways The North Face Dominates Outdoor Sports Apparel [online]. Available from https://www.referralcandy.com/blog/the-north-face-marketing-strategy/ [Accessed 17 October 2019]

Leeflang, P.S., Verhoef, P.C., and Freundt, T. (2014) Challenges and solutions for marketing in a digital era. European management journal, 32(1), pp.1-12.

Muir, L. and Hawes, G. (2013) The case for e-book literacy: Undergraduate students’ experience with e-books for course work. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 39(3), pp.260-274.

Royle, J. and Laing, A. (2014) The digital marketing skills gap: Developing a Digital Marketer Model for the communication industries. International Journal of Information Management, 34(2), pp.65-73.

Smith, K.T. (2011) Digital marketing strategies that Millennials find appealing, motivating, or just annoying. Journal of Strategic marketing, 19(6), pp.489-499.

The North Face (2019) Our Story:  Behind The Brand [online]. Available from https://www.thenorthface.com/about-us/our-story.html [Accessed 17 October 2019]

Wichelns, R. (2017) Golden Anniversary | The North Face celebrates 50 years [online]. Available from https://www.snewsnet.com/news/the-north-face-50th-anniversary [Accessed 17 October 2019]

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