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Introduction:-

E-marketing or electronic marketing refers to the application of marketing principles and


technique via electronic media and more specifically the internet. The terms e-marketing,
Internet marketing and online marketing, are frequently interchanged. E-marketing is the process
of marketing a brand using the internet. E-marketing encompasses all the activities a business
conducts via the worldwide web with the aim of attracting new business, retaining current
business and developing its brand identity. In the competitive era of marketing, companies must
have an e-marketing plan to cope up with the business environment and capture more customers.

Today's consumers turn to the Internet to find local businesses, research product information and
compare services of different companies. Businesses that operate robust search engine-optimized
websites appear at the top of search results. Online marketing isn't just for online businesses but
also boosts sales for bricks-and-mortar establishments. As more people access the Internet
through smart phones, mobile-optimized websites increase walk-in local traffic.

E-marketing plan:-

The e-marketing plan is a blueprint for e-marketing strategy formulation and implementation. It
is a guiding, dynamic document that links the firms e-business strategy with technology-driven
marketing strategies and lays out details for plan implementation through marketing
management. The e-marketing plan serves as a road map to guide the in the direction it wishes to
take and helps it allocate resources and makes adjustments as needed.

There are seven steps in e-marketing plan. These are

1. Situation Analysis
2. E-marketing Strategic Planning
3. Plan Objectives
4. E-marketing Strategy
5. Implementation plan
6. Budget
7. Evaluation plan

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I choose Walmart for describing their e-marketing plan in their business. Lets see whether
Walmart use all the seven steps or not in their marketing plan.

About Walmart:-

Walmart was founded in 1962 by Sam Walton in Rogers, Ark. Walmart is a US based
multinational retail company that sells general merchandise and groceries. It is the worlds
largest retailer, third biggest public company, largest private employer and one of the most
valuable companies in the world. They focus on making a difference in the lives of their
customers, and helping customers and communities save money and live better.

Walmart is best known for its big-box stores, but the retail giant has positioned itself for a future
where e-commerce plays a larger role by instituting management and structural changes.
Walmart customers expect to have access to great products at low prices, anytime, anywhere.
With the best and brightest technologists, including @WalmartLabs, they are creating a seamless
experience that lets customers shop anytime and anywhere using online, mobile, social and
stores. Their largest website, Walmart.com, sees 45 million visits a month and is growing every
year. With mobile apps, shipping options like Home Free, Site to Store, Pick up Today, Ship
from Store and Same Day Delivery, they are connecting the experience between online and U.S.
stores. Mobile transforms the retail experience by bringing together online and stores putting
power directly in the customers' hands.

Walmart has some of the best data scientists and the largest collection of commerce data in the
world. They are using that, along with social insights, to deliver a personalized shopping
experience -- understanding not just what customers want and need, but also where they want it
and how they want to experience it.

Lets see how Walmart use the e-marketing plan in their online business.

Step 1: Situation Analysis:-


The marketing environment is ever changing, providing plenty of opportunities to develop new
products, new markets, and new media to communicate with customers, new channels to reach

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business partners. The environment poses competitive, economic and other threats. The
environmental factors that affect e-marketing plan of Walmart are described below
Legal Factors:-
Walmart must carefully analyze the business-related polices. Competition laws, taxation laws,
and labor training laws are areas in which policies can affect Walmarts operation and
profitability a lot. Walmart is facing an issue regarding discrimination of employees based on
their gender. Women are discriminated by not allowing them to sit in supervisory and managerial
levels. There are said to be pending lawsuits waiting for Walmart's notions as the company has
allegedly went against the labor laws. This negative reputation could result in a loss of
competitive advantages, sales, and possibly Walmarts reputation as the worlds leading retail
companies. Therefore, engaging in gender equality practices will help contribute to Walmarts
success.
Technological Factors:-
Walmart embraced technology to become an innovator in the way stores track inventory and
restock their shelves. Walmart has invested heavily in its unique cross docking inventory system,
which can help Walmart to achieve economies of scale to reduce the costs. It affects customer
flow and sales directly. In the information age, network technology break through the
geographical limitation, retailers nowadays can expand their market globally. Technology
changes customers behavior from store shopping to home shopping. They can save a lot
time by easily shop online. This change lead to operational changes for retailer. . Development of
information technology also affects Walmarts human resources. Technology can replace some
man power, and for those remaining employees, constant training will be needed for them to be
competent. With its successful system, Walmart is able to responds quickly at demand changing,
maintain low costs and satisfy its customers. The effort that Walmart put into the supply chain
management makes the company become the leader of this area.

Global Market:-
Walmart focus on the global market, the company expands into many different countries.
However, there are different cultures and laws apply to in different countries, which may
increase the risk and expenditure of the company to enter into a new market.

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SWOT Analysis of Walmart:-

SWOT analysis of walmart is given below--

Step 2: E-Marketing Strategic Planning:-


The strategic planning process involves determining the fit between the organizations
objectives, skills, and resources and its changing market opportunities. The market and product
strategies are outcomes of strategic planning. Tier 1 task consists of segmentation, targeting,
differentiation, and positioning. The elements are described below

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Segmentation:-

Walmart has made understanding its own customers a top priority most recently developing a
sophisticated segmentation scheme that reveals the habits, attitudes, and desires of its most
important target groups. Knowledge Networks is pleased to be Walmart's research partner in
allowing access to the proprietary Walmart Segmentation Lens; this gives manufacturers the
chance to develop marketing strategies and tactics designed to succeed. Walmart will grow by
looking at every piece of research through the eyes of these key segments.

Targeting:-

Walmart targets one or more segments. Their choice generally depend on several factors. First,
how well are existing segments served by other manufacturers? Secondly, how large is the
segment, and how can we expect it to grow? Thirdly, do we have strengths as a company that
will help us appeal particularly to one group of consumers? Walmarts most important target
segments are- Brand aspirationals, price value, price sensitive affluent shoppers. Walmart target
young and the mature people in the society. They use the tagline Save money, live better. They
target those families who want to save money and those who dont have enough time for
shopping.

Differentiation:-

Walmart is the worlds largest retail stores. They already have a strong brand name. Walmart
differentiate them through their service. They provide electronic receipt, better price with better
value, customizing local assortments, store branded products, online price match guarantee,
creates global e-commerce unit. Walmart is dabbling in same-day delivery and even going a step
further.

Positioning:-

Positioning involve implementing the targets. Wal-Mart has redefined the art of online
marketing, using techniques at grand and impressive scales to become one of the top companys
in the wide history of corporate America. Wal-Marts online marketing campaign covers all

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facets of strategy, but through all the apparent strategies. One can purchase their entire collection
of products through the web. One can read customer reviews, sign-up for a newsletter, and get
options for special deals available only through the website. Despite this, such a business relies
strongly on their physical location.

Step 3: Business Objectives:-

An objective in an e-marketing plan takes a form that includes task what is to be accomplished,
measurable quantity and time frame.There are many objectives set by the Walmart. These
objectives are --

Providing the customers what they want, when they want it, all at a value.
Treating each other as we would hope to be treated, acknowledging our total dependency
on our success.
Exceeds customer expectation
To handle their customers complaints in a fast and in a friendly manner.
Achieve customer relationship management goals by providing and maintaining good
service.
Every company has the objective of increasing sales revenue and market share and
reduce costs.

Step 4: E-Marketing Strategies:-

A business strategy is a business plan that takes place long-term in order to help achieve a
specific goal or objective. Marketers craft strategies regarding 4Ps and relationship management.
Walmarts business strategy is to provide a wide variety of high quality, branded and non-
branded products at the lowest possible price.

Product Strategies:-

Walmart is a multinational retailer. It has every product or a brand which a person could see in
his day to day life. Walmart sought to project an image as the competitive, one-stop shopping
center for the entire family where customer satisfaction is guaranteed. The broad range of

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product categories include electronics items, home appliance, jewellery, grocery, handbags, dairy
products, phone and laptop cases, toys, movies, crafts, gifts, college essentials, outdoor living,
funeral, video games, laptops, photo books, posters, mugs, auto and tires, clothing, home
furnishings, animal food, health and beauty care, pharmacies, frozen food, sporting goods, shoes,
luggage and licensed apparel products and so on.

Pricing Strategies:-

Walmart business model doesnt include manufacturing of any product, it procures products
across the globe in large quantities in order to enjoy benefits of economies of scale. This makes
price of Walmart to offer products at 15% lower price than other retailers. Walmart uses different
or dynamic pricing concepts to get focus of the customers and compel a purchasing behavior
through discount strategies. Even its slogan says Everyday Low Prices, according to this each
product is offered at different discount prices based on the time and demand of the hour. This has
helped in all the major decisions at walmart including the use of technology, marketing and
distribution. The customer electronics are offered at a very low price compared to other retailers.

Distribution Strategies:-

Walmarts greatest strength is its inventory control which is achieved through its effective
distribution centers. Walmart has strategic locations where in it efficiently brings the products
and uses a technique known as cross-docking. The Walmart stores are located in vicinity of its
distribution center and Walmart closely associates with the suppliers to simplify the deliveries
noticed the cross-docking process and how the company eliminates third party product handling
and receives goods directly from the manufacturers. Inbound and outbound trucks are
immediately unloaded and reloaded to minimize warehouse inventory time. Walmart removed
the entire concept of wholesalers/distributors and they became the pioneers in discount format
leader. Walmart maintains a high-class relationship with its suppliers. So the manufacturers
cannot compromise with the quality of goods they are supplying to Walmart.

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Marketing Communication Strategies:-

Walmart, like other companies both small and large, has had its share of challenges in adapting
to changes in online technology specifically in the digital marketing and communications
space. Walmart eventually adapted, using the explosion of digital channels to its advantage. Its
communications teams became more active in telling the companys own story. They overcome
communication challenges by studying and adopting social strategy, mobile adoption, better
storytelling, audience and influencer identification and other tactics. Walmarts Digital
Communications team has two primary responsibilities. First, it is tasked with supporting the
business by ensuring that customers and potential customers understand that the discount store
has the lowest prices in the industry and that Walmarts mission is to help them save money so
they can live better lives. They are communicated through their website, Facebook, twitter,
youtube and so on. They have seven total Twitter handles with @WalmartHub being the
parent handle. The other accounts feature the following topics:

@WalmartNewsroom Press releases and other announcements


@WalmartVeterans Hiring initiatives and other efforts involving veterans
@WalmartGreen Sustainability-related news
@WalmartGiving Philanthropic efforts
@WalmartAction Public policy issues
@WalmartHealthy Fresh and healthy foods

Relationship Management Strategies:-

Walmart believe its important for the company to hear from shareholders and respond
accordingly and maintain a strong relationship. Theyll continue to evaluate and act upon the
recommendations that the Board feels are in the best interest of all of our shareholders. This
structure allows our management team to focus on long-term value creation for all shareholders
and avoids the temptation to respond to short-term pressure thats not best for our business.

Walmart focus on their customers and maintain a strong relationship by offering different types
of service. They treat each customer as they would hope to be treated. They ensures that

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customer enjoy themselves in process handles customer complaints in a fast and friendly manner.
The customers of different countries are treated differently.

Step 5: Implementation Plan:-

To achieve the set objectives and Walmart use the combination of their different types of tactics
such as marketing mix tactics, relationship management tactics, marketing organization tactics
and information tactics. They Walmart explicitly details to suppliers and the public how it is
going to measure its progress over time. Walmart will track the percentage of each suppliers
products featuring online ingredient disclosure. Walmart plans to begin publicly reporting
progress. Technology allows them to accurately forecast demand, track and predict inventory
levels, create highly efficient transportation routes and manage customer relationship and service
response logistics. Social networks are online service or online sites allow the establishment of
an online community or group of people to interact and share common interests and activists. It
helps implementing the plan.

Step 6: Budget:-

Walmart must identify the expected return on investment.

The receivable turnover is 24.76 % and inventory turnover is 10.96% which indicates the
firm is in a good situation. They have the ability to pay back its short term liabilities with
its current asset.
Their profit margin is 3.75%, return on investment is 8.32%, return on equity is 22.01%
which means stores asset turnover and return on assets keep stable. Pretty low profit
margin indicates low-cost strategy.
Walmart increase assortment by 60% and will surpass 10 million items.
Walmart has provided a ladder of opportunity thet is available to their 2.2 million
associates globally.
They are committed to their employees. They invest a fair amount of money behind them.
Walmart invest lot of money on their technological improvement. They continuously
evaluate the market and made any type of technological advancement as needed.

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Walmarts global womens economic empowerment initiative provides training, access to


markets and career opportunities to nearly 1 million women. They are committed to
affording them economic opportunities and increasing sourcing.
Walmart spend a handsome amount of money in technological improvement, employee
salaries, website design, other site development sites, marketing communication and in
other factors.
Walmarts financing gap is negative that means it has adequate fund enough cash to
purchase capital expenditures without borrowing.

Step 7: Evaluation Plan:-

Every marketing plans success depends on continuous evaluation. Technology allows Walmart
to accurately forecast demand, track and predict inventory levels, create highly efficient
transportation routes and manage customer relationship and service response logistics. Walmart
continuously evaluate their e-marketing plan and continuously add new features that are
considered by the customers that are found from the results of market research. Every business
should make their SWOT analysis and find out their opportunities and need to take necessary
steps to overcome the threats and weaknesses and make a scoreboard to keep an eye on their
advancement and activities and then consult with their shareholders about the companys growyh
or necessary steps should be taken ahead.

Conclusion:-

The above described is a small attempt to analyze the e-marketing plan of the worlds largest
retail business. The company showed a steady performance even during the financial crisis and it
turned out to be the top out of the competitors. The working culture, the customer-oriented focus
and its steady aim in achieving its vision has made it different from rest of the competitors. Its
pricing and cost leadership strategies coupled with the effective use of technology has helped
transform Walmart to a huge corporation. Walmart invests in providing a better shopping
experience to customers. The new product lines such as energy saving products, advancements in
healthcare, pharmacy and efficient implementation of IT systems to control the operations all
over its stores has paved the way to experience a sustainable growth in the future.

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