The case study "Online Marketing at Big Skinny" discusses seven online marketing technologies, namely: display ads, algorithmic search, sponsored search, social media, interactive content, online distributors, and A/B testing, and highlights their key features. With the analysis of these strategies, it looks into how Big Skinny can apply it to marketing its company.
Benjamin Edelman; Scott Duke Kominers
Harvard Business Review (911033-PDF-ENG)
February 08, 2011
Case questions answered:
- Evaluate the pros and cons of the online marketing options considered by Big Skinny. What should Kiril focus on next? What should be his highest and lowest online marketing priorities? Why?
- Evaluate Big Skinny’s proposed search strategy. Are there any search keywords for which you would encourage Big Skinny to increase its bid or lower its bid?
- How effectively is Big Skinny using Social media to sell its wallets? How can it be improved?
- Should Big Skinny expand its partnerships with online distributors? Discuss the pros & cons of such a strategy.
- What are the key takeaways that could be applied to other cases?
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Online Marketing at Big Skinny Case Answers
1. Evaluate the pros and cons of the online marketing options considered by Big Skinny. What should Kiril focus on next? What should be his highest and lowest online marketing priorities? Why?
The online marketing that Big Skinny offered created a greater online space for consumers to engage with the brand. Their reach extended beyond the Big Skinny site, including platforms like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Amazon, and Buy.com. Virtually, their digital presence promoted the product. This was beneficial because it exposed them to a variety of new consumers.
They did not, however, take into account how brand awareness campaigns would need to cater to the varied interests of these audiences. This means that the audience on Facebook could have different demographics and preferences compared to those consumers visiting Amazon. This included analytics found using SEO keywords and site metrics, of which the company had little experience acquiring and interpreting.
Kiril should focus on engaging consumers with more questions about the products and fewer coupons and giveaways because it is essential to have a thorough understanding of its audience before it increases awareness campaigns. These high-priority items include success with brand awareness and could be measured using a) Daily and weekly site visits (where are the consumers coming from), b) an increase in online purchases, and c) Subscriptions to the Big Skinny website.
Low online marketing priorities would be increasing SEO search terms and expanding to more websites for purchases. This action should be taken once the consumers for each platform are identified, as well as which products are sold most often online.
2. Evaluate the company’s proposed search strategy. Are there any search keywords for which you would encourage the company to increase its bid or lower its bid?
The two ways Big Skinny can use to search for its products are Algorithmic search and sponsored search. Every strategy has its pros and cons and areas for development.
In the algorithmic search, they proposed either featuring all the necessary keywords per page or creating different websites that link to the main website of Big Skinny.
The first is a viable option that will increase the probability for the website to pop up when the keywords match those present on the page, but you can never guarantee the position of Big Skinny’s website on the page among the others, especially with common keywords.
The second option will help increase the probability of people going to Big Skinny’s website as many websites will pop up when customers search for a wallet, and they will all divert to the main website, but it is expensive and needs lots of follow-up and IT maintenance that they currently lack.
In the sponsored search, the problem with the first option in the algorithmic search is solved, as the company can bid on keywords that it finds most relative to the product they are offering, and the higher the bid, the earlier the website will appear on the first page as an Ad, so Big Skinny bids keywords that give them their value proposition over competitors so that customers will see their website on top.
The problem is that…
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