ASOS DIGITAL MARKETING
Table of Contents
Executive Summary 3
Communication mix: Digital marketing .5
Asos is an online company that mainly aims to reach its consumers by promoting its products through digital marketing. This marketing involves the use of emails, television and more importantly social media. The company uses several strategies to grow its digital presence including; use of a brand, talent acquisition, and creating a strong ethical connection to the world. These strategies help the company maintain a huge social following that converts into a huge number of sales. Asos’s digital marketing however fails to capitalize on a number of issues including the use of celebrities as influencers, which despite its high costs would double the company’s profits.
Asos is a British online fashion and cosmetic company that was founded in the year 2000 in London. The company began aimed at selling items seen on television to young adults. It originally stood for AsSeenOnScreen, but has outgrown its original outline and expanded to more than a hundred and ninety-six countries including the UK, USA, and most of Europe. The website sells over eight hundred and fifty brands in the mentioned countries. Asos is a huge name in the online clothing store category as it has amassed over eighty thousand branded and private labels. The company employs over three thousand employees, with a hundred and sixty-eight suppliers using more than seven hundred and thirteen factories across the world (Bhasin 2019). It faces competition mainly from Missguided, Topshop, Boohoo, and Amazon.
Digital marketing is the use of digital mediums like social media, email, and media advertisements to further promote a brand and induce customer interest (Fill and Turnbull 2016). The world has grown technologically and nowadays, the main form of advertisement is digital marketing. Like all types of marketing, digital marketing uses a number of various strategies to keep the user ahead of other competitors. Being an online company, it can be deduced that Asos owes its success mainly to digital marketing. It uses several strategies including making itself a brand and acquiring talent from its rivals. This paper aims to analyze the digital presence of Asos and get a deeper understanding of their digital marketing and make different recommendations to increase it.
Communication mix: Digital marketing
Asos is an online fashion and cosmetic company. This means that they handle all their business online, and deliver the products to customers at their preferred location. Since the company an online brand, it means that it already entails the use of digital mediums, mainly a website to conduct its business. Thus their main form of advertisement is digital marketing, where they use various strategies from sending emails to becoming a respectable brand. Since its founding in the year 2000, Asos has changed its strategy to cope and adapt to the technological changes in the world, using socio-political trends.
When the company was founded their main aim was to provide young adults with the clothing/fashion items they saw movie and television stars with. They used the motto ‘Buy what you see on film and TV.’ This began what would be their great foundation in digital marketing. The company founded itself on an image of providing items only seen in digital mediums. This meant that they broadcasted their items through digital means, like television advertisements. This strategy was extremely helpful as they were able to minimize their marketing cost using the fact that the movies and television shows did most of the marketing by showcasing the actors clothing items. Asos capitalized on the hype and attention these fashion items got and thus successfully sold a huge number of clothing items.
Since the year 2000 technology has developed greatly, and Asos has ensured that it has not been left behind by the times. This was seen when the email was introduced, and Asos moved to push their product through email. They achieved over a ratio of a hundred email subscribers in 2009. In 2008 they reported that more than ten percent of their sales were as a result of their email marketing. Email became a crucial part of peoples lives especially the corporate part. This meant that people will pay attention to emails that come their way. By capitalizing on this fact, Asos was able to ensure that people became aware of their brand and paid attention to it.
Twitter and Facebook can be considered to be the first social media platforms to emerge. They created a whole new world, which allowed people to connect and talk about different issues from all over the world. This also posed a new opportunity for companies to advertise and promote their brand/products. Asos capitalized on this opportunity by creating content aimed at reaching Twitter and Facebook users. In the year 2009, they were found to have a ratio of eight Facebook fans to one Twitter follower. Facebook and Twitter have only grown from there, and Asos has grown and cultivated the marketing department aimed at creating content for Twitter and Facebook.
Instagram is another major game-changer in the digital world. It requires that specific content be created to attract customers from amongst the sea of information and entertainment the application offers. Asos has risen to the challenge by designing content specifically for Instagram users and different groups at that. This allows them to increase their reach exponentially and thus increase the number of sales. This is mainly because the company has created a group known as Asos Insiders that includes twenty-year-olds to post their outfits and fashion designs all over social media especially Instagram.
To attract more attention to their digital presence, Asos ensures that their products are of quality and give off a great image. This is mainly visible from the content of their magazines which involves extremely high-quality pictures of even higher quality fashion designs. This is mainly through the inclusion of content from many different brands allowing the company to create fashion trends and keep up with the emerging ones (Bhasin 2019). Their designs are exemplary and they have more than thirty sizes, which help build and enhance their brand name and image.
Brand meaning the shared view of a firm based on the stories created by the firm, its users, influencers, and popular culture. Branding has become a powerful method of advertisement, as brands offer consumers a promise of consistency and quality, identity construction, esteem, and markers of distinction and belonging (Egan 2015). Brand in turn offers the organization distinction from its competitors, allows higher price premium, and easy identification of products by consumers. Proper brand placement, advertisement and identification allow a brand to market its product and attract customers without having to resort to a lot of advertisement.
Asos has created a huge brand name and image for itself throughout the years. This brand name and image allows people to easily identify and seek out Asos products for their certain qualities. This is a crucial factor in the prosperity of the company, especially in its digital marketing sector. The digital world has grown to a massive whirl of information, including a lot of emerging companies to existing ones with very enticing brands. People rarely pay attention to adverts given their high number and frequency in the digital world. This is where the popularity of Asos as a brand comes in extremely helpful.
Asoss brand name allows customers to easily identify their products not only when consciously searching for them but also when they see these products in adverts or other forms of digital marketing. Whether they see the adverts on Instagram or email, they will easily identify the brand and pay attention to the message. The brand also comes in handy, as it makes potential customers curious to see why the brand is revered so much and thus will click on the website, or watch the whole advert leading to more sales. This also means that the reach, clicks, views, and hits for the companys digital marketing content is increased.
One of the strategies used by Asos is the stealing of talent from their rivals. This is known as talent acquisition. Talent acquisition is a strategy used by the HR department of companies to source top talent by finding them and luring them to work for the parent organization (Xu 2020). This strategy involves setting company goals and then finding employees that will allow the company to reach the set goals. Asos also adopted this strategy in the acquisition of certain rivals including Topshop and Topman which were part of the Arcadia Group. This deal involved Asos taking hold of the brands, three hundred million euros of stock and three hundred Arcadia staff members.
This acquisition means that Asos has acquired a huge amount of stock, staff and more importantly brand names of some of its top competitors. As discussed, the brand name is a huge boost in digital marketing as people tend to pay attention to the news, alerts, and communications from top brands. By acquiring these new brands, Asos has increased its presence in the digital market using the already existing digital presence created by the Arcadia group. The arcadia group was well known especially the Topshop brand, they had multiple social accounts and a respectable brand name. This means that Asos has increased its digital presence significantly.
More on the lines of talent acquisition, Asos also acquired three hundred new, promising, and talented staff. A huge percentage of this staff is responsible for the success of the Arcadia group, and they have various new marketing techniques and skills that would raise the popularity of Asos and their products. This new staff is also crucial as it allows the company to reach more people, and gradually increase its social presence in the digital world.
Asos utilizes many strategies and one of them is the use of influencers. The company uses a number of popular people to post their new designs be it in fashion or cosmetics. This increased popularity means that more people see their products, and an even higher number is influenced to buy the products. They also make it extremely easy for users to find their products after viewing them on digital media. An example is seen with the embedding of product tags and codes in images posted on Instagram allowing the consumer to find the desired product with ease.
The company also mixes in more departments like ethical issues. Asos creates a strong ethical and eco-friendly image by participating in various projects. One of these is helping the disadvantaged youth to acquire jobs and other opportunities. This is mainly done through the Asos foundation which is aimed at corporate responsibility by building infrastructure and creating educational initiatives especially in fashion and technology (Bhasin 2019). This also helps them scout and recruit talented people into their organization as part of their talent acquisition strategy.
Asos has a lot of strengths in their digital marketing, not to mention the quality of the images and content published in their magazine. This huge presence on social media as well as traditional media allows them to digitally market their product to millions in the world. They further enhance this marketing by ensuring that they are at the forefront of fashion trends as well as creating them. This coupled with the brand image they have created allows them to dominate a huge part of the digital world, and capitalize on their digital marketing.
Asos’s digital marketing strategy ensures that they cover most holes and offer a solid plan to reach their targeted consumer reach, and market sales. However, there are a number of areas that they have yet to tap. The first example is that they lose a huge number of traffic from their sites to competitors. Another is that they remain limited in the number of digital platforms they use to advertise, e.g. they rarely post ads in newspapers despite their huge reach. By constructing remedies to these issues and enhancing their strengths in digital marketing, they could double their sales and reach. This section of the paper aims at making recommendations for Asos’s digital marketing strategy, its implementation, and budget.
The first recommendation is that they should aim to stop the loss of traffic to their competitors. Traffic is calculated through the number of clicks, hits, and views a site receives (Flores 2014). This however is not accurate in measuring the number of people that stay on the site. People are prompted to stay on a site by captivating images, or interesting facts. Thus this loss may be due to a number of issues; lack of interesting content, boring web and page designs and being outdone by the competition. They could stop this loss by upping their content creation and introducing more interesting content.
This can be implemented by hiring more designers and content creators to come up with captivating content. This content should be aimed at outdoing the competition by ensuring that theirs is more interesting. This new content should be aimed at captivating potential consumers and persuading them to keep browsing the site. Asos could also redesign its website to ensure that it has a fresh new look, that is not perceived as monotonous by new and old consumers. Old customers often get tired of viewing the same things over and over and as such often migrate to different sites in the search for new and fresh views. By redesigning their website Asos could ensure that they keep these old consumers while attracting new ones by providing a break from the monotony of other websites.
Asos owes much of its success to the use of influencers, who further enhance the brand image and popularity. These influencers also help in content creation and ensure that their large following also use and follow Asos. However, this is limited as the company does not use celebrities as part of its influencer team. Celebrities have a huge following across different media platforms, and more than often these followings hang on the choices, products, and brands used by the celebrities (Moutinho, Bigne and Manrai 2014). An example of these is seen by the huge success of brands like Nike in selling goods using celebrities from musicians to footballers.
Asos could also turn the head on this ceiling hit by inspiring more innovation within their ranks. The few areas the company seems to be lacking in are mainly due to a lack of innovation. Innovation would allow the company to identify the few areas it is lacking in and come up with creative ways to remedy these shortcomings and also enhance its strengths and further take the world by storm. Innovation can be considered the brains behind any successful digital marketing campaigns, and so far Asos have done exceptionally well to build their brand to where it is. However, they lack the innovation required for them to further compete and hold their own against competitors like Nike and Adidas.
These issues could be implemented in a number of ways, with one being the creation of a contract with one or a number of celebrities. This contract would entail the celebrities wearing and promoting Asos products which they would have access to. This would mean that they would push Asos up the competition charts by far. This would be done by ensuring the celebrities showcase the quality of Asos products to the world. This would be further enhanced through the innovation of new products that are more appealing and eye-catching. This new trend would pique the curiosity of the world, not only the celebrities’ followers.
An example of the trend would be to let the celebrities design their products, or design a few products inspired by the celebrities. This would mean that fans would be extremely awed and this hype will further spread, enhance and build the Asos brand. These new designs could also be used to give the Asos websites and pages the fresh new look that is desired by many customers further enhancing the hype around the campaign. This hype would thus carry the brand forward and make it a more than a worthy competitor of companies like Nike and Adidas. They could label the campaign with a catchy name, which would ensure that it creates a trend that would circulate on social media.
These new ideas would be extremely beneficial to the company as they would increase the companys reach and hence the effectiveness of its digital marketing campaigns. The celebrities would be extremely beneficial as they would bring a huge amount of followers to the already existing social presence. This would also mean that more and more viewers will be converted into buyers and loyal customers after that. This would be further enhanced with the fresh new look, which would let them keep their loyal customers, and in the process attract new ones.
More so, their new celebrity-inspired would show the world of their creative and trendy fashion. This new design will give way to more lucrative and ideas that would see the company grow at a much faster rate. These designs would attract customers new and old, and in turn, even attract a number of celebrities allowing for the company to fully utilize the influencer department of their digital marketing. These changes would lead to more clicks, hits, views and in turn lead to more sales which would lead to more profit, which is the company’s aim. This would lead the company to grow financially and in size.
Over the years, many celebrities have been seen to earn immense sums from deals with clothing companies, especially sports giants. This would mean that the budget to acquire a celebrity as a brand ambassador would not be light. This deal may involve the company spending millions in terms of wages, not inclusive of the products used by the celebrities. The budget would be further increased by the amount required to design and produce a whole new line of clothing that would be inspired by the said celebrity/celebrities.
For the changes to be implemented, a number of technological changes and innovation would be required. This may entail the acquisition of new staff or the contracting of independent firms to aid in the brainstorming and change in the look of the company. This would mean that more millions would be spent by the company, to implement the mentioned recommendations. Thus the total budget would call for a total of over a hundred million dollars in order to fully implement the ideas. These changes may come at a high cost but will in turn be worth it as they would bring in more revenue of a potential two hundred million not to mention the growing brand name and image.
Bhasin, Hitesh. 2019. “Swot Analysis Of ASOS – ASOS Swot Analysis Explain”.Marketing91. https://www.marketing91.com/swot-analysis-of-asos/.
Egan, John. 2015.Marketing Communications. 2nd ed. London: Sage.
Fill, Chris, and Sarah Turnbull. 2016.Marketing Communications. 7th ed. Harlow, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Canada.
Flores, Laurent. 2014.How To Measure Digital Marketing. Basingstoke: Palgrave McMillan.
Moutinho, Luiz, Enrique Bigne, and Ajay K Manrai. 2014.The Routledge Companion To The Future Of Marketing. Abindogdon: Routledge.
Xu, Misha. 2020. “Marketing Communications”. Presentation, , 2020.
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