Bass Pro Shops Term Paper
Contemporary organizations have recognized the crucial role that social media marketing generates towards the achievement of goals. Current statistics revealed that “83% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business” (HubSpot, Inc.: Social Media Stats, 2015, p. 1). One of the companies which acknowledged the relevance of applying social media marketing is Bass Pro Shops. A brief overview of its origin traced the establishment of Bass Pro Shops with Johnny Morris’ efforts to locate fishing tackle in 1971. Now, 44 years later, Bass Pro Shops have evolved to include outdoor equipment, as well as other accessories for endeavors such as “hunting, camping, and outdoor cooking gear as well as outdoor footwear and nature-themed gifts” (Bass Pro Shops: The Story, 2015, p. 1). The current discourse hereby aims to present a professional assessment of Bass Pro Shops’ web-based social media marketing strategies as well as propose improvements in the application of marketing strategies in the future.
Description of the company’s business model in terms of key product(s), target markets, and key benefits to the customers.
A review of Bass Pro Shops’ official website would reveal that the key products are categorized according to outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, shooting, boating, camping, and outdoor recreation. Likewise, the company’s products are also classified into clothing, shoes and boots, as well as home and gifts. Under fishing for instance, the original endeavor Bass Pro Shops had been initially known for, as well as pioneered in, the portal provided further access to 15 different fishing tackle and related categories. One of the 15 fishing product items is the fishing reels which is further sub-divided into specific categories: baitcast reels, spinning reels, spincast reels, line counter reels, fly fishing reels, saltwater reels, crappie reels, catfish reels, centerpin and mooching reels, as well as reel accessories . Moreover, the fishing reels could also be according to brands and by price (from under $50 to over $200). The company carries their own brand, the Bass Pro Shops and Offshore Angler; as well as featured brands (Shimano, Abu Garcia, Lebco, Penn, Quantum, Shakespeare, White River and Browning) and other brands (Dawa, Flueger, Fin-Nor, Okuma, Orvis, Sage, Waterworks Lamson, and Tibor Reels) .
Concurrently, the hunting portal provides access to 15 items including related categories. The other portals are similarly easily accessible. As such, the company could be deduced as providing a comprehensive array of products related to the identified outdoor endeavors and activities. The provide customers with diverse options and alternative brands to choose from depending on their financial capacity or budget.
In another facet, Bass Pro Shops also offer different kinds of boats (fishing, sports, and pontoon), as well as the Big Cedar Lodge which offers clients a wilderness resort in the midst of Branson, Missouri, on Table Rock Lake.
Based on the products and services offered by Bass Pro Shops, it could be deduced that their target markets are individuals, groups, family members, or even employees of other organizations who love sports and outdoor activities. Likewise, the clientele could be further segmented to include those belonging to the medium to high income level, with at least high school level as the educational background.
Key Benefits to the Customers
Customers who patronize Bass Pro Shops benefit in terms of convenience in accessing
information relating to outdoor activities and sports in the areas offered. Viewing the products and services through their official website enables clients to shop online. The site also provides assistance through an online chat within stipulated time frames. In addition, customers could call a toll-free number anytime. In addition, appropriate information on payment methods to include reputable credit cards, money order, or check payments . Other retail stores could be located by inputting the state or postal code number in the United States and in Canada.
Description and critique of the pricing strategies, including payment options.
Description of pricing strategies
Some product items could be viewed according to price. As noted the lowest price range is below $50 and the upper range is above $200. Likewise, to avail of free shipping, the client needs to order products with prices of at least $75 and above. They also provide price discounts for selected items and feature suggested products. For instance, they are announcing some items which could be appropriate for mothers this coming Mother’s Day. Likewise, they also feature sale prices with regular prices still being shown in situations where there are clearance sale for selected products. For instance, under the jackets, coats, and outerwear for children, the reversible camo jacket for toddlers and girls was originally priced at $34.99 and is currently on sale at a price of $19.97 .
Critique of pricing strategies
The pricing strategies of Bass Pro Shops utilize different promotional discounts depending on the season. In addition, by categorizing some products which could be shopped according to price, potential customers are provided with the opportunity to immediately determine which products fit their budget. As such, the ease and convenience to shop is provided as an add-on feature of the online shopping medium which could be considered an added value for consumers who are on time and budget constraints. Therefore, one affirms that the pricing strategies of Bass Pro Shops are competitive and effective.
Description and critique of the distribution strategies (both traditional and using the Internet).
Description of distribution strategies
Bass Pro Shops utilize traditional and online medium for distribution of their products. The official website of the organization announces the locations of stores where consumers could go. Through the stores portal, the company provides access to information on locating a particular store by selecting a state, as indicated therein. For example, clicking Miami, Florida would enable consumers to view pertinent information in that location including: about the store, store image and gallery, store hours, store events, and even career opportunities . Likewise, other social media options for keeping in touch with Bass Pro Stores include access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, email, and blogs. Customers who prefer shopping online are likewise provided with information regarding shipping, international orders, sizing information, and recall information .
Critique of distribution strategies
Description and critique of the promotion and advertising, including public relations, publicity (buzz online), Internet advertising, direct marketing, and sales promotions online.
Description of promotion and advertising efforts
The organization undertakes diverse promotion and advertising efforts ranging from sales promotions online, events with various rewards (sweepstakes, educational courses), coupons and deals, promotional discounts, as well as free gifts or shipping with in-store pick-up options. The company also offers price off in selected travel packages . Likewise, their social media accounts, like Facebook for instance, promotes various events through sharing information, experiences of guests, outdoor activities, as well as memories shared by consumers who patronize their products . Concurrently, information on the organization through YouTube discloses varied data categorized according to videos on various outdoor activities, playlists, channels, discussion, and about the organization . Finally, using Google search engine, typing in the organization’s name, Bass Pro Shops generate as much as 12.3 million results in 0.32 seconds . As disclosed, “Kantar Media estimates the company spent more than $23 million in measured media last year, and sunk nearly $20 million as of August of this year” . In addition, Pardee (2010) also revealed the extensiveness of Bass Pro Shops’ media presence, to wit:
“The company produces five different TV shows, which appear on Versus TV and the Outdoor Channel, a host of brand integrations and custom publishing deals, Nascar sponsorship with Daytona 500-winning driver Jamie McMurray and a thriving social- media presence -- its number of likes on Facebook has nearly doubled to 588,948 in the past six months alone” (p. 1).
Critique of promotion and advertising efforts
The wealth of information that is available and accessible using the online medium attests to the comprehensive strategy applied by Bass Pro Shops to advertise and promote their products and services. Their target market is ensured that all the information could be viewed in diverse social media networks and could easily be generated through the search engine. In addition, the budget of the organization for media-related strategies confirm the intensiveness of their promotion and advertising campaigns. It is no wonder, therefore, that the organization has successfully generated billions in net revenues. As emphasized, “few retail stores can say they also serve as theme parks, summer camps and community centers in their regions, but Bass Pro Shops has made itself an exception (Moreover,) Bass Pro partners with several brands to host these integrated events, which help draw even more traffic into the store and put merchandise in the hands of consumers at crucial selling points” . Their advertising and promotional efforts significantly assist in sustaining market leadership in their field of endeavor.
Critique of customer relationship management, especially attempts to create loyal customer communities via social media activities.
Through Bass Pro Shops’ social media activities, it was evident that the company has been successful in attracting consistent patronage from loyal customers, as well as enticing new clients to try their products and services. Bass Pro Shops have acknowledged the value of social media in generating revenues as well as contributing towards the attainment of organizational goals. As emphasized, “social media employ mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms via which individuals and communities share, co-create discuss, and modify user-generated content” . As such, offering opportunities for consumers to interact, share their experiences and memories, as well as address product or service related concerns in real time contribute to effective customer relationship management.
Critique of the company’s websites in terms of aesthetics, content, and functionality.
The company’s website is aesthetically sound, effectively structured, and contains all the crucial information which is easily accessible by the clientele. Navigating through their website enabled one to immediately view the needed information efficiently. The contents are structured in strategical manner to ensure that proper categories are presented which would assist the clients in their purchase decision-making process. The language that is used is clearly understood by a wide array of audience. This is consistent with the findings in one of the studies on social media, to wit: “The attitude and language of engagement is one major barrier. Marketers will have to listen and learn, rather than preach. In doing so, they will need to adopt the right tone and take the right actions” . Therefore, by opening the doors to various social media networks, Bass Pro Shops listen to what the consumers need and appropriately respond by addressing their needs and demands.
Overall assessment as to the company’s overall social media and Internet marketing strategy, as well as recommendations for improving the marketing strategies in the future.
Overall, the company’s social media and Internet marketing strategies have been successful and effective in generating sales and profits; as well as catapulting the organization to unprecedented heights. From its meager beginnings, Bass Pro Shops have evolved to become one of the giants in the outdoor retailing industry. The fact was corroborated by Pardee (2010) who averred that Bass Pro Shops “has a growing presence in TV, radio and publishing properties nationwide, and a marketing strategy that has turned its bigger-than-life retail footprint into an element of its brand identity” (p. 1). Moreover, the organization has affirmed that effective use of social media networks enabled establishing links and affiliation to business to business marketing which further contributed to its remarkable success .
Despite the effectiveness and success of Bass Pro Shops’ social media strategies, it could be affirmed that areas of improvement could still be proposed. Social media and technology continue to evolve. Changes in the demands and preferences of customers depend on an interplay of factors. As such, to sustain market leadership in their fields of endeavor, Bass Pro Shops should continue soliciting the insights, feedback, comments, and views of its wide range of clientele. Thus, aside from employing a blanket strategy in promoting sales of products and services through their official website, in addition to this, Bass Pro Shops should cater to the distinct needs of clients in local communities. While it was noted that the organization is active in promoting conservation efforts, it was apparent that there are no explicit philosophies or commitment for social responsibility. By conservation initiatives, it could mean focusing on efforts such as: “fish and wildlife habitat improvements, conservation and outdoor skills education, improving water quality and quality of our lakes and springs, and conservation advocacy” . To improve their corporate image, Bass Pro Shops could promulgate sharing of their financial blessings through community outreach programs, encouraging community members to join the green movement, as well as initiating cost saving programs that aim to lessen the greenhouse gas impact which contributes to climate change and global warming.
The professional assessment of Bass Pro Shops affirmed the effectiveness of web-based social media marketing strategies in achieving the organization’s goals, as well as in sustaining market leadership. The unprecedented growth that Bass Pro Shops has achieved since its humble beginnings 44 years ago confirmed how the application of appropriate marketing strategies would assist in their professional development. The executive management team’s expertise in capturing opportunities in the external environment helped in designing marketing strategies that highlight core competencies in the products and services that they offer. As learned, the strategies designed for their marketing mix (product, price, place, and promotions) were carefully developed to capture and address the distinct needs of their clientele. As such, opening the doors to interactive communication through social media assisted in immediately responding to the customers’ concerns.
In retrospect, the growth of Bass Pro Shops through the years was facilitated through the application of marketing strategies that reached the clients’ needs. Yet, despite their current success, the organization should remain vigilant and assume a pro-active stance in soliciting updated information on customers’ preferences and demands. Likewise, current and future developments in social media and technology should always be incorporated in their marketing strategies to ensure that stakeholders’ needs are effectively addressed.
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