This case introduces emerging Web 2.0 social media in virtual worlds, social networking sites, and video sharing sites, and encourages students to explore the opportunities and risks they present for brands. The case allows students to grapple with the strategic and tactical decisions that accompany marketing communications strategy and to combine information on consumer behavior with an understanding of brand objectives, in order to assess and evaluate new social media options. Brand manager Margaret Foley is facing an increasingly complex media environment in which her traditional media plan, focused on television, print, and radio advertising, has become less effective due to declining audiences, increased advertising clutter, and consumers tuning out. She is exploring emerging Web 2.0 social media options to determine if they can better achieve her branding and advertising objectives. Her challenge is to cut through all of the hype surrounding Web 2.0 and to analyze the social media's potential for her brand by delving into the consumer needs and behaviors underpinning Web 2.0 technologies.
1. What, if any, of the three social media plans should Foley pursue? Why?
2. What benefits would Foley gain from each of the three social media plans? What risks does each entail? How can Foley better reap the benefits and mitigate the risks of each of the programs?
3. How should Foley integrate social media into her traditional media plans? Should Foley take money out of traditional media (television, magazine, radio, Internet banner and search ads) to fund her social media programs? Why or why not?
4. How should Foley measure the results of her social media plans? Which media metrics are best and least suited for a Web 2.0 world?
5. Is UnME Jeans the right or wrong type of brand and/or product for Web 2.0? Why? What advantages does the brand have in this new cultural world? What disadvantages does it have?
6. How well do the social media plans address the emerging challenges of the rapidly changing media environment outlined in the case? What can you change in the social media plans to make them more effective for UnME’s target consumers?
7. What will you do for positioning this brand in the customer’s mind? What are your effective branding strategies for UnME?