With the increasing digital marketing communication the communication effectiveness evaluation has also become a subject of importance to measure the online communication messages.
This paper shall evaluate the website of Moneygram International with the framework of Rayport and Jaworski (2002) 10-step framework which is for managing the online branding process. Moneygram International is an international fund transfer and payment solution present in about 190 countries with more than 186,000 locations around the world headquartered in Minnesota. The Rayport and Jaworski framework is a modern approach to understand the effectiveness of the branding and its key elements in the light of digital marketing and its interface with the customers. The framework includes the key marketing, branding and online media aspects, their effectiveness and parameters to evaluate them which are based on the theories of effective branding through web. The framework has widely been acknowledged for its application and relevance in the modern times of marketing and technology driven means of mass communication, being internet the most modern and now one of the most prominent medium for marketing, advertising, brand building and nonetheless but core business driver. (Rayport & Jaworski, 2001)
Rayport and Jaworski framework is based on ten parameters of brand building exercises where it's focused more with customer's perspective towards brand recollection, feedback, perception and segmentation. The paper attempts to evaluate the website, it's content, design, color scheme and placement of the content in respect of the Rayport and Jaworski's famework. Each and every point of the framework is evaluated testing it with the website and how appropriately it matches with the principles of the framework.
Each step of the Rayport and Jaworski framework is discussed to evaluate with respective to Moneygram's website of the organisation. The screenshot of website is as follow;
With the ten commandments of Rayport and Jaworski,
1. Clearly define the brand audience:
Under this step, understanding of segmentation and its importance in the marketing is pivotal. While branding, the organisation must have clear definition about its audience and should be addressed to the respective segment or segments in most appropriate manner. The defined audience should transform through the communication messages and its treatment while branding. (Gay, Charlesworth, & Esen 2007)
In case of the Moneygram International, the audience of the organisation is spread across the globe. Hence, the audience is not homogeneous. There are variables in the segment in respect with the geography, age-group, income-group, education level, awareness and availability of information. In such a scenario, the organisation has to have the approach in which it's content and branding remains available and understandable to the dynamic segments as well as easy to understand. The website through its simplistic, static and easily accessible information addresses the issue of serving the varied audience in clearly with basic information about product and process.
2. Understanding the target customer:
As Rayport and Jaworski discusses this step as an essential one for the success of online marketing as it is directly related to the taste of customer, its requirements, financial status and lifestyle which are behavioral in nature. Moneygram's website reflects this step very clearly. The target customer for the organisation is the one who is in need of international fund transferring. Typically, this segment would need easy to understand, quicker and safer service. As the website puts all necessary information about the subject on its home page which any layman wanting to avail the service would need including, how to send money, how to receive money, how to find company's locations and how much it would cost to the customer. Hence, pricing, product, places and services are quickly available and easy to read language for the customer who is endeavoring to use the service even for the first time irrespective of any age-group. (Lee 2008)
3. Identify key leverage points in customer satisfaction:
Identification of the requirement of the customers like information on product, pricing, servicing etc should be very convenient. Moneygram's website seems have identified key leverage points which, is evident from the evidence that all these issues have been addressed in its communication approach. As the organisation highlights the fact about its global presence and how safe the merchandising and funds transfer through the organisation is, establishes the essential leverage in customer satisfaction. The customer satisfies as the reliability and trust remains core issue while dealing in the business of online payments and fund transfers.
4. Continually monitor competitors:
In online marketing, the organisation has to have perfect information and use it as a tool to attract the customers through comparative analysis and communicating the same to the target customer.
In case of the Moneygram International, pricing is a key aspect but the customer also looks beyond at the servicing and convenience aspects. Though, there is no information about the price sensitivity in this industry segment, Moneygram's website fails to address the issue of continually monitoring competitors. The website provides information on pricing of its products however, the comparison of pricing with the peer competitors is not available. The website also does not provide information on its competitors and how the organisation has any upper edge in the industry. (Rocheleau 2005)
5. Design compelling and complete brand intent:
Design of Moneygram's website is subtle, orthodox, static and more towards the appeal of 'serious business'. The website's designing highlights the message of freedom and empowerment conveys the organization's strive for providing effective services with comfort and convenience. The use of colours which are deep red and brown indicates the stability and strong foundation of the brand. The colours portray organization's image as a rich service with affordability as the designing is restricted to attract the low-budget customers through static content. The intention of the webpage looks driving the visitor more to focus on content of the website. The content is correctly highlighted with simplistic, rich and serious approach.
6. Execute with integrity:
The overall execution of overall communication message and brand impact must be integrated by the organisation delivering the quality up to expectation. The core philosophy and values of the organisation should reflect in its marketing initiative. In the online media, the organization can achieve this by adhering to the transparency and trust. The website of Moneygram attains this step well with its claims of low pricing and online availability of finding the price. Moreover, the website highlights its special offerings for the particular countries as well as country-wise pricing making it more transparent and convenient. It also explains process in simple steps for availing different services and processes.
7. Be consistent over time:
The brands should remain consistent with the content, messages and it's positioning as in the online marketing, brand positioning takes longer time due to several limitations. With effective communication strategies and inherent core values the company can retain its customers. In the segment of online money transfer and payments, these remain critical aspects for the successful brand creation. The Moneygram International, through its content based branding position highlighting safety and transparency establishes it as a consistent brand.
8. Establish feedback systems:
For every online marketing tool, the feedback system creates a direct interaction point between organisation and customer. It helps quicker communication and solution to the customer queries. Hence, it is very important to design a simple, quicker and easy to approach system for establishing feedback. While creating feedback system, it is important to have scientifically designed feedback which takes minimal but extract most important information pertaining to the customer, query and channelizing the information to respective division/s of the organisation.
(Source: Pete Blackshaw, Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000: Running a Business in Today's Consumer-Driven World)
Moneygram website also contains a multi-choice electronic feedback form with minimal but critical information required. Moreover, the location of feedback form on the website is one-click away. While designing the online feedback system, it is important to reduce the cumbersome, time consuming and complex in nature practices. The feedback system, which is very important for every company for positive growth, has to be effective, approachable and motivating for the customer. The importance of online feedback system is more also because it is less time consuming and it is cost effective which poses an opportunity for the organisations to have closer relation with its customers and potential customers. (Weitz & Wensley 2002) The feedback page on the website is as follow;
9. Be opportunistic:
As per Rayport and Jaworski 10-steps, it is recommended that the online marketing provides opportunities to the organisations to capitalize on through banner advertisements, company initiatives' display, offers and other exciting content through the use of multimedia components. Moneygram however, does not utilize this step very effectively and restrains to orthodox content based serious static look to its website. This is probably due to the fact that the company's core business is dependent on its portal and hence the customer interaction point that is, its website remains simple and lucid focusing more on the utility value instead of being opportunistic.
10. Invest and be patient:
Building brands need investments and takes time to see the results of the initiatives. Brand building is slow process and needs tremendous efforts to portray the right image of the company. In online marketing these aspects become more critical and significant due to factors like, changing technologies, creative concepts, customer behavior and adaptability to change. Though, there are conventional means of creating, positioning and building brands, in recent times, the importance and role of electronic media especially, web media is very important. When there is liberty to every customer and potential customer or visitor of the website has unlimited choice of browsing through multiple portals while locating for a service provider (which is one of the biggest limitations in the online marketing), marketing online is a great challenge. It is also cost demanding and the results depend largely on the technological aspects e.g., developing content in such a way that gets maximum possible hits or increasing probability to be located in search engines. Hence, the organisations like Moneygram who have reasonably a larger potential audience segment have to rely and invest more on the initiative.
The upper diagram shows there pillars of segmentation who, what and why the customer will choose Moneygram, MoneyGram chooses segmentation and positioning assistance to develop the most profitable market position and to recognize the most profitable (potential) segments. the segmentation is done on researching which carries geographic, Demographics, Socio-Economics, Behavior and Psychographics of the customer.
The framework includes branding and its properties which are clearly visible in the website of Moneygram following the discussion on basis of the Rayport and Jaworski's 10-step framework. The branding process as suggested by Rayport and Jaworski includes most of the dimensions of brand creation and positioning. Moneygram International as per the evaluation employing this framework reflects that the company has specific points very clear when it comes to branding which are, to position the organisation as a trustworthy, transparent, customer oriented and serving with what the customer would be leveraged with only(NAA,2009). As the website does not employ the contemporary tools like multimedia means to lure the customer, it portrays that it is into serious business for the customers who have specific and clearly identified purpose to visit the website. The organisation wants to be the preferred player in the industry segment by offering what the customers need and hence, the website has been designed to cater to the pivotal needs of the customer so brand needs to establish itself (Kumar, 2009p.172)
Extent of segmentation to meet the needs of different customer groups:
The website has an ideal approach towards meeting the needs of different consumer groups as per the segmentations. Moneygram has its business in 190 countries which have different languages, age-group, income-group, and lifestyle and so on. The company's website provides country specific options and content through easily accessible window(Hausel,2008). The content is lucid enough to understand for the customers with basic knowledge of English language and key customer leverage points are effectively addressed.
1. Evidence of online relationship marketing approaches:
The online relationship marketing approach in the case of Moneygram's website is limited in scope as the website does not offer any online login for the customer to become part of the portal to access information on regular basis through e-mailers and other content which could be useful. The only interaction point for the customer is through digital feedback forms which are incident specific and does not help the company in marketing and brand awareness through promotion medium(James Franey,2008). However, the website has high deliverability in the sense the needs of the customer which are easily accessible at one click, all important services are clearly mentioned and that is what the organisation seems interested in portraying through its website. The organisation wants the customer to connect with its services and avail them as much as possible which signifies the focus of organisation's dependence on its website for generating new clientele and hence, the website offers all for first time visitors who could have convenience in following the services offered by the organization(Keller,2008).
2. Digital marketing communications approaches:
Marketing communication has effectively achieved by the website with the shape, look, feel and content of website which justifies the positioning strategy of the brand which looks forward more towards trust building.
The approach was chosen for evaluating Moneygram's website for the following reasons;
1: The framework approaches core values of branding as well as its significance in online marketing. Because, the Moneygram and its core business activities are based on the technological interface, the respective framework addresses best tools to evaluate Moneygram's website.
2: In Rayport and Jaworski framework, along with the branding there is due emphasis on marketing aspects which are detrimental in shaping the brand positioning. Hence, the framework clearly identifies the parameter ideal for brand building from the perspective of marketing and medium of electronic communication.
3. As the framework advocates strategies and evaluation methods from customer's perspective and customer's satisfaction, Moneygram, which is a service industry company in which the customer satisfaction is key driver to success turns out an ideal framework to evaluate.
Rayport and Jaworski's framework is a holistic approach in creating and evaluating brand building in online marketing which provides effective and broader criteria for evaluation.
The imagine shows how efficient are the upper six companies in transferring the money MoneyGram comes on the second ranking.
The website of Moneygram in many aspects is close to the Rayport and Jaworski's 10-step framework of branding and hence keeping it as the base for evaluation of the website gives insight into how the online marketing approach is effective for Moneygram and the factors which are lacking in the website like, insufficient use of capitalizing on opportunity and monitoring the competitors. Baring these two aspects of Rayport and Jaworski's framework, the organisation has effectively used other steps for creating its brand and positioning it as a trustworthy, rich, service oriented and comprehensibility to the target audiences and segmentations of audiences.