The primary strength of MSH Brands is its position among the five largest pet food companies. Essentially, MSH Brands has accrued recognition in its segment among customers who are satisfied with the quality of the company’s products. Due to its advantageous position, MSH Brands possesses advanced manufacturing facilities, which make it possible to launch the production of new goods quickly. The company sells dog food, a product which is in high demand among consumers because the number of pet owners is substantial and constantly growing.
The main weakness of MSH Brands is the lack of sources of competitive advantage. Namely, the product line of the company fails to target certain niches and generally features offerings which can be easily substituted. For instance, the brand does not offer a type of dog food which would cause weight loss. The other four more big dog food companies threaten the stability of MSH Brands’ position and jeopardize its success in the future.
MSH Brands has several opportunities on which it can capitalize and ultimately gain a competitive advantage in the industry. The company’s main chance to become more successful is offering products which will target certain audiences. For example, it can create dog food for one particular breed based on its particular nutritional requirements. The company also successfully venture into the segment of producing pet accessories.
The threat which MSH Brands is constantly facing is the strong competition in the industry. The five large companies in the segment all target the same types of consumers and attempt to distinguish their products by adding certain unique features. As a result, MSH Brands encounters the risk of losing its market share and suffering financial losses due to a drop in revenues. Additionally, there is a trend among pet owners to buy only natural food for their dogs. MSH Brands’ products are mainly processed, which may also lead it to lose a share of clients.
The company’s customers can be largely divided into two age groups, the older and the younger cohorts. The current digital marketing plan will concern only the younger clientele, aged between eighteen and forty-five. People belonging to this age group are more likely to use social media, one of the primary channels of the company’s marketing strategy (Mellon & Prosser, 2017). The target audience has to be interested in effective and healthy weight-management solutions for their dogs. The customers also have to be able to afford premium dog food since the new offering called “NutriHealth Canine” is expensive due to being made only out of natural ingredients. Thus, the target customers for the current digital marketing strategy are young, active online, be middle-class, and own a dog which experiences problems with its diet.
The main intermediaries which are essential for the company are various distributors. Supermarkets and discount stores such as Walmart and Target constitute the most significant channels of distribution for the company. MSH Brands maintains stable relations with these intermediaries, and they should play a considerable role in its digital marketing efforts. MSH Brands distributes large quantities of its products through specialized pet stores. There are also distributors who operate strictly online by providing customers with user-friendly eCommerce stores where they can order dog food. Essentially, MSH Brands implements a multi-faceted distribution strategy which helps it maximize sales.
Apart from the strengths mentioned in the SWOT analysis, MSH Brands also possess a variety of other competencies which allow it to excel in its industry. The company supports a large network of distributors since its products are always in demand and, therefore, stores are willing to feature its new offerings. MSH Brands is also competent in maintaining a balance between cost and quality in its products since its portfolio mainly consists of dog food which conforms to the highest standards but remains affordable. Finally, MSH Brands manages to execute an effective digital strategy by maintaining popular social media pages and a website where it sells its products.
As mentioned earlier, the company has four major competitors who also conduct digital marketing strategies on different social media platforms. For instance, Purina relies on its Instagram account with over one hundred thousand subscribers, and where each post has several hundred “Likes” (Purina, n.d.). Pedigree promotes its products through its YouTube channel, where every video garners thousands of “Likes,” especially those which are viral (Pedigree, n.d.). Nature’s Recipe, another competitor of MSH Brands, has a popular Facebook page which is followed by more than three hundred thousand people (Nature’s, n.d.). Finally, Hill’s Pet Nutrition has a Twitter account with over twenty thousand followers where it reposts people writing about the company’s products and answers questions (Hill’s, n.d.). Thus, MSH Brands’ competitors try to utilize their social media to full capacity and use them as platforms for marketing its offerings.
MSH Brands is a company which manages to retain its place among the top five largest dog food manufacturers, but it lacks competitive advantages and unique products. The new weight-management product called NutriHealth Canine will not have any substitutes in the market and will help the company secure its market share in the new premium segment. The digital marketing strategy related to the new offering will target younger middle-class customers who spend time on social media and have dogs with weight problems. MSH Brands successfully sells its products through various intermediaries and is competent in terms of delivering quality to its clients. When developing a strategy and metrics, the company has to pay attention to its competitors’ activities on social media to determine which tactics are effective in attracting clients online.
Before proceeding to outline the major objectives for the company’s digital strategy, it is essential to mention the overall strategy of MSH Brands in relation to NutriHealth Canine. The key element here lies in the new offering’s price, which will be higher than of its alternatives due to ingredients. NutriHealth Canine will be made strictly out of organic meats without additives and fresh vegetables. Additionally, it will not contain any grains since diets without them cover not only all nutrient needs of canines but also reduce the probability of gastrointestinal disorders (Chiofalo et al., 2019). Therefore, the company will have to avoid using the cost leadership strategy and will embrace the differentiation one.
Thus, the digital marketing strategy must complement the general strategy for the product and be its continuation. Therefore, the ultimate goal of the digital marketing strategy must concern establishing the NutriHealth Canine’s status as the ultimate solution for weight management in dogs. Yet, to ensure that this goal is achieved, it becomes necessary to devise a set of objectives which can be measured. The digital marketing objectives for the promotion of NutriHealth Canine will rest on the 5s model developed by Chaffey and Smith (2017). These objectives will focus on five key areas, namely, increasing sales, adding value, building better communication with customers, saving costs, and further establishing the brand’s online presence.
The sales of the new product must gradually rise as the company implements new digital marketing tactics. The sales must include both online and offline channels, including all distributors and the company’s own website. Thus, the rate at which NutriHealth Canine monthly sales have to rise during the first year must be five percent. Moreover, the company has to ensure that by the end of the first year, the share of online sales done through the official website reaches twenty percent. Eventually, the ultimate objective in terms of online sales will be placed at forty percent by the end of the fifth year after the launch.
Adding value is an objective which can be difficult to both measure and define, yet in the case of NutriHealth Canine, the end aim is clear. The brand has to utilize its social media and website to educate the audience on the product’s qualities and the benefits of organic grain-free diets for dogs. The objective here will concern a steady increase in customer engagement over the span of three years. The level of engagement will translate into the growing number of “Likes” and “Views” on different social media, as well as visits to the official website. Thus, the measurable objectives can be achieving at least one hundred “Likes” per Instagram post and garnering three thousand “Views” per YouTube video in three years.
Building better communication with clients is another objective for the company’s digital marketing strategy, which can be hard to measure. Nevertheless, the company has to try to make clients participate in discussions and stimulate a two-way dialogue. Customers have to openly react to the company’s digital content dedicated to its products, including NutriHealth Canine. In other words, they have to share their opinions, recommendations and ask questions, as well as receive answers. Therefore, the end objective here will concern increasing the total number of comments under the company’s posts.
Digital marketing has revolutionized the way companies do their business and promotions since it is no longer required to allocate large resources on TV commercials and other types of traditional advertising. MSH Brands has to make it its priority to maximize the utility of every dollar spent on social media advertising. Today, platforms such as Facebook and YouTube offer various instruments for companies to promote their products through paid content. In this case, the fourth objective for the digital marketing strategy for NutriHealth Canine has to be increasing the number of people clicking on the company’s social media advertisements. Essentially, the company must strive to maximize the utility of its advertising, thus saving money.
Finally, the last objective concerns establishing the brand’s presence online and, subsequently, letting more people know about the company’s products. Clients have to be willing to not only buy NutriHealth Canine and other offerings of the business but also follow MSH Brands online. By ensuring a substantial presence on social media, the company will facilitate the process of launching new products. Thus, the objective of establishing an online presence must translate into the growth in the number of subscribers and followers on the brand’s pages on different social media. The ultimate aim will be achieving the total number of five hundred thousand followers across all platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, in five years.
As mentioned earlier, NutriHealth Canine will be a new product for MSH Brands, it will require the company to introduce numerous strategic decisions to ensure its successful launch. Eventually, in five years, the company should reach a three-percent presence in the weight-management market with the help of the new offering. Therefore, MSH Brands has to have three distinct strategies based, namely, short, medium, and long-term ones, to guarantee fulfillment of this goal. Moreover, during each period, the company must also meet the aforementioned objectives, which will vary depending on the stage.
The short-term strategy, lasting one year, has to concern quickly accruing the maximum number of followers on various platforms. The initial stage will involve considerable financial investments, which will fund the advertising campaign of the company’s new product on social media. The ultimate goal here is to make clients interested by showing them that there is a new effective weight-management product for dogs on the market. MSH Brands have to ensure that as many people from the target group as possible become aware of NutriHealth Canine. The initial advertising campaign on social media, which will contain links to the brand’s official website, will help the company generate the first sales. During the first year, the online sales of NutriHealth Canine have to reach twenty percent, while the number of visits to the official website has to double by the end of the year. Additionally, the short-term strategy has to help enhance the level of communication between the company and the clientele. Thus, by the end of the first year, MSH Brands has to receive monthly a total of one hundred comments under its posts across all platforms. In terms of saving and maximizing utility, the short-term strategy has to yield a conversion rate of at least twenty percent. Finally, the strategy also must help the company attract its first social media followers and achieve the goal of fifty thousand subscribers across all platforms.
The medium-term strategy of MSH Brands, lasting three years, in relation to the online promotion of NutriHealth Canine must concern retention of the subscribers and customers gained during the first year. Essentially, the clients who decided to follow the brand’s social media and ordered the new product have to be motivated to continue doing it. Therefore, the company has to implement various tactics, including conducting an email campaign. MSH Brands has to ensure that those people who were among the first ones to try NutriHealth Canine or at least became interested in the product remain loyal to the brand.
With the help of the retention strategy, online sales should not drop in numbers throughout three years and instead have to rise steadily. Thus, by the end of the third year, online sales have to constitute thirty percent, while the number of monthly visits to the official website has to reach ten thousand. The retention strategy has to significantly improve communication with the customers, and the monthly average of comments has to rise to two hundred in three years. The conversion rate on the official website must reach thirty percent, so more people visiting it have to actually buy NutriHealth Canine. Additionally, the retention strategy must not only help the company keep its social media followers but also increase its number to three hundred thousand people.
The long-term strategy for the next five years has to focus on inbound digital marketing, which will ultimately allow the company to generate quality content which will attract new clients and subscribers. Clients have to derive value for themselves from the content created and posted by the company online. The content can be both educational or entertaining, yet first of all, it has to be engaging and appealing to customers. Eventually, the long-term strategy will let MSH Brands achieve its ultimate digital marketing objectives for NutriHealth Canine. For instance, in five years, the share of online sales has to reach forty percent, which will save the company money. Additionally, in terms of engagement, MSH Brands’ Instagram posts must have an average of two hundred “Likes,” and it should garner five thousand “Views” per YouTube video. The monthly average number of comments under posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram has to surpass two hundred comments. The conversion rate must reach forty percent, while the total number of social media followers has to be five hundred thousand users.
Each strategy outlined above has to include several tactics which will be used to achieve the objectives assigned to each stage. The short-term strategy will rely on advertising on various social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. MSH Brands has to create a commercial which will feature NutriHealth Canine and promote its benefits for weight management in dogs. The commercial can be streamed on YouTube and targeted at users who are subscribed to pet-related channels. The video has to include a link to the official website of MSH Brands, where people will have a chance to buy the new offering. In a similar fashion, the company can create digital banners containing a short description of NutriHealth Canine and a link to the official website. Additionally, the company must implement a pay-for-click campaign on search engines such as Google. These tactics will require substantial funding because advertising entails significant costs, but the company will receive a steady inflow of first customers and traffic to its official website. Therefore, the short-term strategy will rest largely on advertising NutriHealth Canine to users of social media and other Internet-based services.
The medium-term strategy for the promotion of NutriHealth concerns the retention of the first clients and motivating them to continue using the new product. It is worth noting that all three strategies and their tactics will be implemented simultaneously; the only difference lies in the time of their use. The medium-term strategy will last the three first years after the launch and NutriHealth Canine and will involve extensive use of email campaigns. The company has to send promotional letters to those people who have bought the product and ask them to share their opinions on NutriHealth Canine on social media platforms. Moreover, the letters can contain information on the upcoming discounts and extra information about the benefits of the product. The company also can inform its clients via email about its social media accounts and ask them to subscribe. The search engine optimizations will also be among the key tactics used for this strategy. Essentially, the retention strategy will be solely based on promotional email campaigns targeted at the customers who were ready to provide their personal emails when shopping on the brand’s official website.
The long-term strategy will be the most diverse one since it will be executed for five years after the launch. The strategy will rely on inbound marketing and generating maximum value for clients and social media followers in general. The primary tactic used under this strategy will be content marketing. In other words, the company will have to hire a team of experts who will create posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter about NutriHealth Canine and the positive effects of grain-free diets for dogs. Specialists in video content-making will create various types of educational and entertainment materials for the company’s official YouTube channel. MSH Brands will also have to partner with other bloggers who write and create videos on the topic of pet care. With the help of popular personalities, the company will promote its product on their platforms. Social media are the most important factor for the overall marketing strategy of the brand, and it must become essential for the company to post regularly. Ensuring that the aforementioned tactics work requires determining certain metrics based on which the assessment of the strategy’s utility will be conducted.
The company also must have a clear understanding of its online sales funnel, the process which a typical customer has to engage in to purchase NutriHealth Canine. The sales funnel for the new product will consist of three basic stages, namely, top, middle, and bottom funnels. During the first stage, the top funnel, the company will have to raise awareness among potential clients. Essentially, people will learn about the new offering through the advertising campaign described earlier. During the middle funnel, the customers will start to learn more about the product by visiting the official website and the company’s social media and discovering information about NutriHealth Canine. During this stage, it is important for the company to have already posted materials containing facts about the nutritional benefits of the product. Finally, at the bottom-funnel, people who have learned enough information about the new offering and became interested in trying it actually buy NutriHealth Canine. During the third funnel, leads become customers and begin using the product and assessing whether it does what was promised.
The aforementioned tactics have to be explored in detail to ensure that the company executes them correctly, thus maximizing their effectiveness. Every technique chosen for the current digital marketing plan has shown its utility for other brands and has a considerable chance of attracting new clients. As a result, the project plan will feature thorough explanations of the tactics, as well as information justifying their implementation and relevancy for the current marketing strategy. The short-term strategy will be largely based on social media advertising and pay-for-click campaigns, which are necessary for attracting the initial audience and clients. The advertising campaign will take place on three main platforms, namely, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. On Facebook, the company will have to create its own page and using the Facebook Ad Manager to launch its campaign.
As studies demonstrate, to maximize effectiveness, the marketers have to use personalization; therefore, it is essential to outline segments of potential clients and develop advertisements based on this information (Tran, 2017). Similarly, the company has to launch its campaign on Instagram by using the built-in services. Instagram is used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and its audience is younger compared to Facebook, which means that it is a perfect platform advertising NutriHealth Canine (Larsson, 2018). YouTube also should not be ignored since it is also one of the largest social media platforms in the world. Advertising on YouTube is cost-effective and lets the company present its promotional videos (Bauer, n.d.). Thus, MSH Brands has to create a commercial dedicated to NutriHealth Canine and target it at audiences of pet-themed channels.
Moreover, the company has to invest in native advertising by sponsoring large pet-oriented bloggers on all three platforms to promote NutriHealth Canine. Essentially, these celebrities will have to create content on NutriHealth Canine or simply include ready-made promotional materials into their posts and videos. Such a tactic will help enhance the credibility of the new product in the eyes of the target audience. The pay-for-click tactic has to be introduced through Google Ads, the service which constitutes the easiest way to help tank the official website’s link high on Google.
The tactics which will be implemented as part of the medium-term strategy of retention of the customers will include mass email campaigns and constant adjustment of content through search engine optimization. Email marketing is a technique which has been in active existence for the past two decades and has been proven to be effective. For instance, according to research, email marketing was found to be forty times more effective than social media marketing (Reis, 2019). Therefore, the company should not ignore this tool and must utilize it to derive maximum value for itself. As mentioned earlier, a promotional email campaign which offers discounts and other types of rewards to clients who had purchased NutriHealth Canine in the past should be made a priority here. Nevertheless, in engaging clients. Nevertheless, it is important not to conduct spamming because such actions can lead to negative outcomes, for instance, loss of credibility and clients. Search engine optimization (SEO) is another tactic which the company has to employ to ensure the success of its product and stable inflow of clients. The SEO will help MSH Brands make its website and social media pages rank among the first ones on Google. Implementation of SEO will require constantly updating the keywords list of the official website.
The tactics which will be used as part of the long-term strategy include content marketing and promotional campaigns. The former will involve consistently publishing posts on social media and providing the audience with valuable information on pet care. Nevertheless, all of the content has to contain links to the company’s products, especially NutriHealth Canine, as the ultimate solution for weight management in dogs. Content marketing has a variety of advantages and benefits for companies since it has been shown to attract new clients. For instance, studies indicate that clients are more likely to make prompt purchases when encountering email advertisements than social media ones (Kotler, 2016). Therefore, content marketing considerably improves clients’ exposure to brands’ products, and it has to be implemented in the current project. Promotional campaigns conducted through partnerships with bloggers and other celebrities to create projects dedicated to the topics of healthy diets for dogs and effective weight-management solutions also have to be introduced by the company. Essentially, while executing this tactic, the brand should not ask partners to openly advertise its products; instead, they must focus on sharing information on grain-free diets with their audiences.
Specific Metrics to Monitor Tactics
The aforementioned tactics have a considerable chance of succeeding, yet the company must rely on a set of metrics to track the implementation of each technique. Digital marketing is a relatively new sphere, and currently, there is no consensus on the best metrics. Nevertheless, there are several solutions MSH Brands can use to assess the effectiveness of its marketing strategies.
The advertising campaigns on social media have the objective of attracting clients and increasing the number of sales. As a result, the key metric used to measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns will be the number of sales compared to the number of visits, in other words, the conversion rate. Additionally, the advertising campaigns will have to help the brand garner new followers and subscribers; therefore, their number will also be important. The two metrics will have to be monitored every six months, and to ensure that the tactics are executed as planned, the company will have to compare the actual and desired results. The pay-per-click tactic using Google Ads will also use the conversion rate as the primary metric. Moreover, the metric determining how long people stay on certain pages of the website will be essential for detecting the areas requiring improvement. The conversion rate has to reach ten percent by the end of the sixth month after the launch and twenty percent in one year.
Email marketing is the next tactic which will be used as part of the company’s strategy, and it will be essential for the retention of clients. There are several metrics which will be utilized to measure the effectiveness of email marketing. The conversion rate discussed above will once again be checked to see how many people who clicked on the links in emails actually bought the product again or subscribed to the brand’s social media. The desired rate has to be at least twenty percent, and it should be monitored every week after conducting campaigns. Search engine optimization is the tactic which is necessary for ensuring that the brand’s links rank high on Google. As a result, the key metric, in this case, is measuring which places the brand’s pages occupy on Google when searching for certain keywords. Here, the metric has to be checked every month to ensure that that the company’s website remains the first one when searching for “NutriHealth Canine.”
Content marketing is the tactic which will be of extreme significance for ensuring a steady inflow of social media followers. The key metric here, therefore, will be measuring the number of new subscribers on various platforms. Additionally, the content’s role is to engage the audience by offering it entertainment or beneficial factual information. On social media, “Likes” and “Comments” are the primary indicators of whether the content is appealing or not. Thus, the company will have to measure every month the total number of these two metrics across all platforms. Finally, promotional campaigns in partnerships with bloggers and other popular personalities on social media also have to generate additional subscribers. Thus, the number of people subscribing to the brand’s social media accounts after such campaigns have to be another metric necessary for effectiveness assessment. Ideally, each promotional campaign has to generate a five-percent increase in the number of new followers.
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