Decathlon Case Solution

Topics: Marketing, Advertising Pages: 1 (562 words) Published: April 26, 2015
Problem: Decathlon is failing to maintain customer focus with the social media marketing strategy it is currently deploying. Analysis: Prior to the social media invasion, Decathlon succeeded quickly in China by adopting an effective marketing strategy that was compatible with their targeted customer groups. For example, it used less TV and instead adopted a “word of mouth” marketing strategy by using outdoor billboards in populous areas and organizing outdoor events and contests. Even though the strength of social media has become evident in 2010 as 50% of the targeted age group (20-40) for this industry were online users, Decathlon had no clear strategy on how to utilize social media while maintaining its customer focus. Its first mistake was launching a store on Taobao making it difficult to target its specific customer groups in such an overcrowded shopping portal environment where a user’s mentality is to shop and leave. Its next mistake was investing into BBS marketing (8264.com) which was unsuccessful (only 15% conversion) as people on these communities are known to be focused on being social and not making a purchase. On the other hand, its penetration into Sina Weibo was relatively successful with 1,098 followers attracted in only 3 months. To be entirely successful, two conditions are required; the correct choice of social media where there is substantial presence of Decathlon’s specific customer groups, and use of an effective marketing strategy by Decathlon to differentiate its product and maintain its place on the customer’s perceptual map. To illustrate this, Sina Weibo is known to have a massive number of mobile Internet users who are outgoing and while Decathlon’s success was due to positioning itself as a reliable product for young outgoing users, it used incompatible marketing techniques such as question and answer sessions with prizes thus resulting in partial success in their Sina Weibo campaign. Moreover, Decathlon was not able to transfer...
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