Differentiating a Business Through Social Media

A bulk of Singaporean enterprises cannot fully understand the power of the internet upon the daily lives of its customers. These companies lagged even farther as internet usage accelerated due to lower expenses and greater availability. They may be struggling to exploit this trend to expand their communication reach and preserve a sustainable advantage in the industry. Case studies demonstrate a great deal of businesses utilizing online marketing to differentiate themselves. One example was Fonolo, which went beyond its own corporate encumbrance and utilized on marketing through digital media to recover its foothold in the marketplace. By tapping on a digital media platform, they’re able to provide 24/7 services and expand beyond their actual shop venues.

Prior to the turn of the century, Fonolo’s leading standing in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry – cemented by its considerable store reach nationwide and small rivalry – helped the company stay successful. In recent times, because of unforeseen conditions, Fonolo’s control over the market is decreasing quickly.

A new CEO was named when the previous Chief Executive tried without success to bring Fonolo into international markets. With the employing of any top executive, many practices and procedures needed revising. The cost of setting these changes into motion adversely affected Fonolo’s financial standings.

Rise of Numerous Competitors
An additional barrier is the understanding that local out of town shopping malls were losing their popularity. The biggest challenge comes from the rise of competitions Bukisa and Circos. Their advantage lay in their up-to-date understanding of the most recent marketing paths. They competed head-on with Fonolo by focusing on niches that Fonolo had overlooked utilizing an assortment of impressive internet marketing systems. Regardless of whether a shopper was budget or quality aware, there was an appropriate retailer close by to fulfill that person’s conditions.

There was also a remarkable shift in consumer attitudes, where cost preceded brand faithfulness. Customers reduced their spending at the retailer, and this decrease was very glaring in its books. With a substantial fall in profits, the main shareholders jointly lost close to half a billion of their investment in late 2008 – imagine the amount of explosive arguments in the corporate boardroom!

So as to effectively reclaim Fonolo’s on-line ranking, the new CEO – a fan of technological progress – wrangled up an internal internet marketing team.The fast growing levels of competition that Fonolo dealt with meant that relying only on its online store would definitely not meet the mark.

Getting External Help in the Area of Digital Marketing
However, natural growth could just take it so far; they’d have to collaborate with an external digital marketing agency to assist in fueling the growth of its online presence. Fonolo managed to decide on one soon after in depth evaluation. They selected one that was in a position to complement them in requirements across just about all digital channels. Over time, the efficacy of digital media caused normal advertising budgets to be cut and redirected towards on-line goals. Right after a comprehensive review of the competitive landscape and marketing choices for its web store, Fonolo finally settled on content marketing, which it believed would offer the maximum return. Marketing via branded content was picked as the means to go to increase web traffic and engagement, therefore leading to more revenue.

Content marketing, in the circumstance of Fonolo’s online store, was the development of a microsite titled “Fonolo Recommended” that consumers could navigate to from the online store. This one of a kind microsite advertised healthy living and positive habits to Fonolo customers. In essence, Fonolo uses the microsite to efficiently dispense pertinent information to would-be customers. Having said that, it is also very easy for consumers to head over to the main website, since hyperlinks to it are all over. This website development strategy (incorporating good UI and UX) encourages customers to shop at Fonolo’s online store, since it discreetly links Fonolo with healthy food. The main idea behind this plan tends upon common consumer behavior that is dependent on instant gratification. This strategy surely raises the chances that a customer will buy from Fonolo’s online shop.

Leveraging On The Massive Reach of Social Media
The massive reach of social media marketing in their industry meant that Fonolo had to play an active function or risk being insignificant. So besides the use of content marketing, Fonolo applied social media marketing into the existing plan which included networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google which were handled by their in house team. Absolute control over social media translated to unobstructed transitions from concepts to execution. Such efficacy inevitably means that users are constantly up to date on the most recent promotions and news.

Next, it empowers them to continue on fine tuning their online brand reputation. A dilemma arises when a customer or even a rival confirms an unofficial social media existence under their name. As the content was not official nor verified at the source, Fonolo would have to be constantly ready for damage control whenever strikes on its brand happened. An internal social media team would not allow such activities to occur if they were in charge. With information coming directly from the official source, Fonolo will not have to fuss about what is being spread online.

Customers and sales are certainly the spine of any business. The importance of after-sales support is frequently disregarded in its function of fortifying loyalty to the brand. Solving customer issues is critical in securing future sales, as wide-ranging studies have established. With digital media, Fonolo performs brilliantly in this aspect.

Customer Loyalty Service Support Care Trust Business Concept

Maintaining of Multiple Social Networking Accounts
To help keep things neat and straightforward, Fonolo signed up for multiple social networking accounts across numerous social networks, each with another function. For instance, there was a profile set up for after-sales support (designed to care for support related matters only) and yet another for marketing (featuring the latest offers and promotions).

Special coaching is provided towards the Fonolo After-sales Support team on the most tactful ways to communicate with consumers. A jovial and down-to-earth approach is encouraged while staying helpful and solving situations quickly. Customers feel more reassured that they are being given quality service when the responses are real and personalized as opposed to chilly computer created answers.

A clear and concise strategy in digital marketing on Fonolo’s component led to concrete results: consolidated data from multiple sources pointed to Fonolo procuring nearly a third of the market, while the closest competition held on to a fraction of that. This clear change in the company direction was warmly welcomed by the management, the board and investors likewise. With its new strategy in digital marketing, Fonolo’s future seems to a comfortable one. Investments in technology are sure to be worthwhile as their tech people are reportedly hard at work on creating a series of Fonolo mobile apps. By breaking the obstacles that limit website design and development, this mobile application has even better potential to get through to an extensive number of consumers.


Just what have we learnt?
Almost any business can take a page from Fonolo’s book. No matter how big, one cannot expect its existing advantages in the industry to carry on ensuring its success. Companies must deploy digital media to consistently reach out to customers and establish a foothold in the digital age. Digital media advertising is vital in guaranteeing the survivability and prolonged success of any Singaporean company. Being unable to gain maximum advantage on the digital media front leaves one vulnerable to competitors and hinders further growth and success.

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