'Promote Me' would have the capacity of processing a sizeable amount of data for the customer's ease i.e. ample computing power to bring the wait time for a query down. Such efficiency is expected to be achieved at a very low cost. Similarly, 'Promote Me', intends to offer its customers low prices for most storage space so that they may display their work, with no strings attached. Another core competency to look forward is 'knowledge application'. If the information presented on the website is presented in a unique way, it may well turn out to be a great source of competitive advantage. Such advantage could only be derived by applying the most efficient data-sorting logarithms, effectively.
Hence, as long as the website provides value both to its users and the music industry, it would do well. It must also be mentioned that for a website like 'Promote Me', there is always an eminent thereat of emulators, however if there is enough synergy between the activities of 'Promote Me', it would be pretty hard to emulate. Value Chain Besides the main idea, "Promote Me' is based on the accumulation of technological knowledge.
We know that 'value chain' in a basic tool to understand the competitive advantage of a firm's technology. The value chain is a basic tool to analyse competitive advantages and find ways to create and sustain them. It also shows total value activities and margin within and around an organization. (Johnson et al. 1999, Porter 1980). Linkages of each activity can lead to two competitive advantages: optimisation and coordination. (Porter 1980)
Networks, especially social networks, have an interesting aspect to them; their value is driven from the number of users. Contrary to the conventional notion of 'demand and supply, in case of social networks, the more users demand the more valuable they get. 'Promote Me', will do most of the value chain. It would allow the user to create his profile, upload his music files, and also allow them to make changes to it. More importantly it would also allow the user to generate and integrate information regarding the music he desires to upload, review or listen to. With the use of knowledge applications, other users may provide additional value by rating the music files and leave comments over it.
According to Chen & Xie (2004) that propose online consumer reviews can serve as a new element of marketing communications mix. They can provide relevant matching information to all kinds of consumers, including those who fail to benefit from the information provided by the seller. For many products, this function is impossible or very costly to achieve by the traditional elements of marketing communications mix such as advertising or personal selling (Kotler, 2000)".
SWOT analysis of 'Promote Me' Strategic Marketing planning is all about assessing advantages and disadvantages associated with an industry. SWOT looks at the internal (strengths & weaknesses) and the external (opportunities & threats) environments (Baker, 1996). SWOT analysis enables us to coherently view the larger picture so that we may plan to focus on the strengths and exploit the opportunities, while trying to fix the weaknesses and threats.
SWOT analysis on 'Promote me' has given the following result as summarised in the table below. Since it is not entirely a social networking website but promotes new artists and musicians and provides additional promise and value for its users. Initially 'Promote Me' is aiming at large membership sizes. Once that is established, the website could use the wide area of information it has on the users to develop a strategic marketing plan for placing the ads on pertinent pages and places.
A research of Myspace shows that 98% of American Myspace users correctly report where they live. And they tend to immediately report important changes in their lives such as getting engaged. This presents great marketing opportunities (The Economist, 2007). Facebook young founder, Mark Zuckerberg, said "On Facebook, we know exactly what gender someone is and exactly what age they are" (Story, 2007). The members would have a dual role to play; as the suppliers and also as the customers. The profitability would largely depend on the number of ads that are placed over the website.
The marketing plan for the website would be simple; 'Viral marketing'. It has almost been established now that the traditional ways of advertising have lost their viability and nothing really compares to 'word of mouth' or 'viral marketing'. According to one study conducted by a word of mouth research firm, the Keller Fay Group, "people discuss about a dozen brands each day" (Story, 2006). Facebook epitomizes the idea of 'viral marketing' as they have managed to accumulate a sizeable 59 million people; mostly through 'word of mouth'.
In order to be distinctive in this competitive world, a brand needs a clear positioning, expressed through its name, identity and all aspects of products, services, behavior (Clifton, 2004), and needs to be both rational as well as perceivable. Creating and retaining cosumer loyalty isn't easy merely through adding fancy new applications and attributes to the website. We have claimed 'Promot Me' to be built on an entirely new idea and we expect it to have a degree of 'first mover advantage' however, as stated before there is always a threat of emmulators.
'Promote Me' must keep thinking of creative ideas to differentiate itself from other websites and try to develop a strategy to make sure that its users start owning it. Hence the startegy must revolve around two ideas; emotional branding and differentiation. A part of the problem is resolved with the very nature of the website as it deals in music and Art; hence emotions and its expression.
According to Gob (2001) We must develop an emotional connection by proposing customer centric and personal experience which moves brand from functional product to an emotional product. It also be kept in mind that with 'Promote Me', we are dealing with a very novel idea with a very minimal financial budget and hence 'viral marketing' would play a the success of the project.