Marketing communication (MC)
proposal for the launch of PayPal in the Philippines
Increasingly, with the advent of technology and the Internet, marketing can already be done online. Many companies are already doing business transactions online. Many, if not all, countries are already engaged in marketing online. Marketing is one of the major segments of the economy of every country. Through this area of economic activity goods and services flow from producers to consumers, thereby completing the basic mission of every economic system – that of satisfying the needs and wants of the people. This is a twofold task: (1) discovering what goods and services consumers need and want, and (2) providing these items for them in the places where they are, at the times that they want them, and at prices that they are able and willing to pay.
And as with every other part of economic activity, this mission must be accomplished at a profit to the entrepreneurs who are engaged in it. Freedom of choice is one of the basic ingredients of capitalism, and the organization and operation of marketing are such that consumers are able to avail themselves of this privilege of choice from among the many types of goods and services that are offered to them. For this paper, one country will be selected and entry of a service in this country will be discussed including the marketing communication approach.
The Internet-centered business model, which requires reorganization of business activities around networked communities, is replacing the increasingly outmoded model of industrial organization. For a growing number of businesses in all market sectors, this redesign has produced increased efficiency, enhanced service capabilities, the empowerment of employees, improved response time, and greater customer satisfaction.
All people involved in the purchase and supply of goods and services are connected, creating an integrated production-supply-consumption chain comprising communities of employees, customers, managers, and suppliers and partners. The technology adopted has to be capable of providing more than systems for passive information transmission and electronic brochures. Interactive networks have to be enabled ( 2001).
The Philippines is composed of a mostly traditional banking industry. E-commerce is already in the Philippines but the scope of its coverage is not really that wide. There are still many areas within the Philippines that are stuck in the past. Some people would do their banking, dating, shopping and virtually everything else online; while almost half of the population is also stuck in the traditional ways of doing things. To cite as an example, many towns in Mindanao still do not have access to Internet, or even telephone lines. The Philippines is therefore still in the process of becoming “totally wired.”
Marketing online is therefore nothing new for the Philippines. In fact, there are many international companies within the country that do their business, some partly and some wholly, over the internet. The future of marketing is there for anyone to see–just log onto the Internet. In less than a decade the World Wide Web has changed from a research enclave to the Main Street of the world.
In spite of resistance from those who treasured its earlier academic and free-spirited nature (back when “everything on the Internet was free”), the Web has become a booming marketplace. In the years ahead it will continue to shift from a medium of personal communication and expression to a place of economic opportunity ( 2000).
Among the many things that could be found online but is not yet in the Philippines is PayPal. PayPal is an eBay company founded in 1998. It enables any individual or business with an email address to securely, easily and quickly send and receive payments online. PayPal’s service builds on the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards and utilizes the world’s most advanced proprietary fraud prevention systems to create a safe, global, real-time payment solution. PayPal therefore simplifies banking and other money transactions. PayPal has nearly 72 million accounts and is available to users in 56 markets around the world.
In a world which is increasingly becoming small because of technological advancements, an invention like PayPal is a must for many individuals and businesses. Imagine having to send money halfway across the world at the click of a button. People do not have to go to wait for long lines at the bank to send money to someone living in another country.
One more thing is that eBay is a very popular site in the Philippines. Buyers from the Philippines who wish to buy something from a seller in Germany, for example, will have little or virtually no chance of buying at all, as the concept of having to pay someone living thousands of miles away is a difficult one, not to mention costly. The Philippines is a developing nation and majority of the population have no credit cards. The use of PayPal for transacting at eBay would be such a bliss for buyers and sellers alike.
Brands can be built over the internet. In fact, many brands are solely built on the internet. EBay and PayPal could be considered as brands or companies that have established a reputation only through the internet. Many people value their reputation. Fewer understand the nature of their reputation. Reputation is considered by a growing number of management practitioners and scholars to be an intangible asset that enables the enactment of relationships among the corporation and their publics (2001). It will not be hard for PayPal to enter the Philippine market since most of the people in the country are already aware of such a company and have already heard of its good reputation.
Reputation is only one of several factors in the general ecology in which a corporation operates – the others are social, political, technological, and economic in nature. In some circumstances reputation has only marginal effect on an enterprise’s success; in other circumstances reputation has a critical effect (2001).
PayPal in the Philippines will offer payments in the local currency and integration with selected Philippine banks and different debit and cards. Additionally, PayPal in the Philippines will be that only direct online payment service that offers a buyer protection program for purchases made on selected popular Internet portal sites. PayPal will also offer buyer protection on Philippine’s leading ecommerce marketplace, eBay.ph. In addition to offering buyer protection, PayPal never shares buyers’ financial information with sellers, and customers will be fully protected against unauthorized use of their accounts.
The entry of PayPal into the Philippines would more or less be an easy one, meaning the citizens would probably welcome it with open arms. The problem would then lie on the right marketing approach for this.
Marketing assumes the task of guaranteeing the conditions of communication and information that allow demand for need fulfillment to be met through production of goods and services. Managers have long realized that it is as important to organize the demand as it is to organize the supply. Thus, straight away we can see the significance of managed communication – exchange relationships are needed and ideas must be generated and deployed. Ultimately, it is customers (buyers and users) who determine the nature of the businesses that can operate ( 2001).
Different lifestyles require different marketing communicationmethods. The Philippines is composed of people who are, of course, totally different from other people worldwide – in terms of culture, beliefs, and language among others. Today, companies must be focused on their customers’ choice of communication channels. Some will be used during the work week, others during weekends. Customers will have different preferences for inbound vs. outbound communications and marketingpromotions vs. product usage or account status information ( 1998).
Business executives have become increasingly aware of the importance of adequate channels of communications within organization – especially internally. The term “communication,” as used in this sense, means that there should be facilities for an uninterrupted flow of orders, instructions, questions, responses, explanations, ideas, and suggestions between top management and the rest of the organization. This flow should be a two-way facility, from management to employees and from employees to management.
Aside from the customary orders and instructions concerning the normal routine of operations concerning the normal routine of operations, management frequently wishes to explain some of its policy decisions, or to give information about the company’s products, finances, plans for expansion, and personnel changes. By so doing, management hopes to bring about a better understanding among its workers of the salient facts concerning the company.
Employees, on the other hand, often have ideas for saving time, labor, and materials. They may have grievances of one kind or another that should reach the ears of the management. In planning the details of an organization, therefore, provision should be made for the creation and maintenance of a good two-way communication system.
The communication from the lower to the higher echelons of an organization, especially with respect to information concerning the results of orders previously issued by top management, is known as a feedback.
A major contributing factor to the development of the better personnel relations is found in the area of intracompany communication. The need for open channels of communication is coming to be recognized in a growing number of progressive firms.
Communication is also a three-way process – downward, upward, and horizontally. Workers should know more about managerial thinking, management should be aware of what is going on in the workers’ minds, and there should be communication between those who occupy identical strata in the company’s organization.
There are several methods whereby this desirable communication can be achieved. Among these are: oral, face-to-face; employee newspapers and magazines; bulletin boards; handbooks; booklets; financial reports; letters from executives; and meetings.
A common practice in industry is the employee suggestion box, whereby workers are given the opportunity to present suggestions for improving efficiency or criticisms of company policies and practices. Many companies offer cash rewards to those workers whose contributions are of value to their employers. The establishing of open communication lines between employees and management has paid some handsome dividends.
So far, what has been discussed is the internal marketing communication plan for the company. There is also a need to plan for the external marketing and communications between the company and its customers.
The planned approach for this launching of PayPal in the Philippines will be through integrated marketing communication (IMC). It is defined as a strategic business process used to plan, develop, execute and evaluate coordinated and measurable persuasive brand communication programs over time with consumers, customers, prospects and other targeted, relevant external and internal audiences (1998).
Integrated marketing actions, when applied to meeting the needs of consumers and buyers, can generate profits and other corporate results through customer satisfaction. This matching of corporate and customer interests requires the parties to communicate. This communication can be spontaneous and ad hoc, but experience shows that careful management ofmarketing communication can add value for all involved ( 2001).
Four steps can be taken to approach this plan. First, tactical coordination of marketing communication is needed. This is where most organizations seeking IMC begin, and focus is on functional areas including advertising, promotion, direct response, public relations and special events. Emphasis is on developing “one-sight, one-sound” policies and programs.
Second, there is a need to redefine the scope of marketingcommunication. Here the organization will begin to examine communicationfrom the customer’s viewpoint, looking at all contacts and entry points of customers with the company. The critical question changes from “How do we reach the customer?” to “How does the customer reach us?” “Outside in” instead of “inside out.” Also, the scope of communication activities broadens to include internal marketing to employees, suppliers and other business partners.
Third, application of information technology is needed. Here the organization uses data gained through IT to provide a basis to identify value and monitor the impact of integrated internal and external communicationprograms to key customer segments over time.
Lastly, financial and strategic integration is needed. At this top level of integration, emphasis shifts from skills and data to driving corporate strategic planning using customer’s information and insight. Financial measures of marketing are adopted based on return-on-customer investment measures.
Using traditional media, the marketer can control many communication elements including delivery timing, message content and the delivery channel. However, marketing programs that employ many of these new channels will only be able to control content in a reactive manner. Access channel preference and delivery timing will be determined by the customer in many instances (1998). But this is not so the case for PayPal. The company is largely an online company.
Almost every company has set up information systems to support daily operations such as order entry, order status, point-of-sale purchases, account status, billing and shipping. They have also built customer databases that can be used to implement and coordinate marketingprograms across traditional direct mail and outbound telemarketing channels (1998). This is of course very important for PayPal and is a characteristic of all their other companies in other countries.
The marketing plan is an essential aspect of the communication management process. It is, however, only one aspect, and is an input to the process rather than a product of it. The design of the marketing communication system and its programs of generation, production, and representation should be based on a knowledge-driven rationale and contributory judgments and decisions ( 2001).
First, there must be an effective and efficient communication system comprising policies, resources, and performance criteria. Second, there must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely communication objectives set. Third, the execution of planned strategies must be controlled. The role of marketing research as a provider of knowledge into the appreciative system cannot be stressed too much. Knowledge is required for decision-making, evaluation, and selection (2001).
A website design must also be responsive to all contingencies, including unexpected levels of success. Sometimes, it could be that if the success is too high and companies were not expecting this, it could cause problems. The single http (hypertext transfer protocol) server could freeze (too busy), and some of the initial public enthusiasm would dissipate as the site would shut down repeatedly. The lesson there for marketers is to think in terms of unexpected success and redundant systems whenever budget allows it. Of all the failures in the Internet marketing world, the most frustrating is a failure from too much business.
Getting consumers’ attention in the midst of an information explosion isn’t as easy as it once was. A productive first step for a marketer is to establish safe and effective routes through the clutter of the Internet. This builds trust and distinguishes the site. A next step could be to develop alternative exercises that create connections with customers through innovative means. A leading goal of Internet marketers is to increase the number of hooks that online companies can sink into online customers. Amazon.com did this by asking existing customers to “Help us build your dream video store,” as it also did for its music site. As a result, these customers are more likely to use the site in the future ( 2000).
Even in a country which is not as large and as populous as the United States and one which does not have the highest standard of living that the world has ever known, a marketing system that is broad enough to provide for the distribution of the goods and the services desired by its people also must necessarily be vast and intricate.
PayPal in the Philippines will be an extremely efficient online payment network that will improve the payment experience and increase the velocity of ecommerce in the Philippines. This will be a comfort not only for sellers but for buyers most especially. The need for a good marketing communication strategy is therefore crucial for the success of the implementation of PayPal in the Philippines.