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ALJAZEERA MARKETING ANALYSIS

Assignment 1 – Task:
For this assignment, you are asked to consider the organisation that you work for, or one that you are very familiar with.
Provide a brief introduction to your chosen organisation, in terms of the industry that it operates in, its products (i.e. goods and/or services) and the market(s) it serves.
(Guidance regarding the length of this Introduction is provided in Point (1) in the ‘Notes’ section – see page 4 of this Assignment document).
Critically analyse the macroenvironment for your chosen organisation and examine the key issues / trends / developments. In addition, consider the impact and implications of these findings for your chosen organisation – issues that your answer might examine, but should not be limited to, include:
– How has the organisation responded to these trends / developments? How have these trends / developments shaped opportunities and / or posed threats for the organisation? (For example: adapting its marketing mix for existing goods / services, developing new offerings (for goods and / or services), moving into new markets, moving out of particular markets, development of networks / relationships, etc.)
– Has the effect of these trends been regional, national, international? If applicable, have there been any differences in impact on domestic and international markets? What are the implications of these effects and / or differences for the organisation?
– Are there any linkages / inter-relationships between the factors that have affected the organisation and its marketing strategies?
– Are there any barriers / challenges facing the organisation in understanding its macroenvironment? How can the organisation try to overcome them?

ALJAZEERA MARKETING ANALYSIS

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Company Overview

Al Jazeera is a business news corporation that is headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Since its establishment in 1996, the company has become a major news broadcast presentation in the Middle East and the world at large. Al Jazeera began its activities during a time when there were very few non-state run news broadcasts in Middle East. During that time, cable options in Middle East were limited to CNN and BBC World Service; however, the two broadcast houses were having trouble operating in Middle East due to state censorship. It was a good time for al-Jazeera to fill the existing gaps in both regional and international news that is free from government influences’ and propaganda especially from countries like Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. Over the years, Al Jazeera media network has maintained fierce editorial independence, which has made it an enemy to some repressive regimes in the world. Al Jazeera media network runs radio station, a business TV channel, a business news agency, and website and prints a business newspaper. Currently, the company generates more than $8 million in revenue annually.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis stands for strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats faced by the company. In terms of strength, al-Jazeera media network has high-quality journalistic output that enables it outdoes its rivals in the industry. It also has high number of bureau coupled with local staff and perspective. The company also offers superior news coverage of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. It also has a history of strong investigative journalism and known for the first media in offering breaking news. The company also has some weaknesses including inefficiency in processing and ways of working, insufficiency in platform integration, inconsistency in channel processing, as well as inconsistency in the level of capacity organization. Other weaknesses include limited management information, Limited success to younger audience, and insufficient awareness in some markets (Nigel & Giles, 1989).

The second part of our SWOT analysis discusses opportunities and threats. Al Jazeera media network is presented with a number of opportunities in the industry. First, the company is largely Anglo-Saxon that enables it differentiates with high credibility. Secondly, there is an opportunity for innovative news due to its growing access in global broadband especially in mobile technology. It has access to emerging markets and nearly full digital adoption especially in G-20 countries. On the other hand, the company is also faced with a number of threats to the industry. First, it faces the challenge of mass customization and Audience fragmentation, as people are moving towards multi-source news consumption. It also faces stiff competition from other news channels in MENA such as Al-Arabiya and CNBC Arabia. Lastly, Al Jazeera media network faces stiff competition from other online-only publications such as Huffington Post (Nigel & Giles, 1989).

PESTLE Analysis

The PESTLE analysis will look at Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental factors affecting the operation of Al Jazeera media networks. A business measurement tool assesses the position and market growth of the company. In terms of political factors, al-Jazeera media network faces opposition and censorship from repressive regimes that have made it an enemy of many states across the world. In particular, the company had many issues with Bush administration and the subsequent US government after the September 11 attack. In terms of economic factors, Al Jazeera media network suffered great losses due to the recent economic crisis of 2008. Although the revenues declined, it has managed to overcome this problem tactfully

The company has realized that using social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook would help it maintain strong relations with stakeholders and communicate with its audience effectively. The company is currently using social media to access billions of its readers at affordable costs (Jobber, 1995). Al Jazeera is also considering using latest technologies in its news broadcast business. In its broadcast activities, Al Jazeera is bound to abide by legal requirements of countries where it operates. However, this is challenging because countries have different legal requirements. It is more affected by changes in legal requirements in Qatar where it is headquartered. Lastly, Al Jazeera media network operates in a way that it minimizes the adversities of pollution. This is because it wants to protect the environment (Sanderson & Luffman, 1988).

Macroenvironment for Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN)

AJMN has been criticized positively for its quality journalism output. It has a high number of local staff that is highly perspective. It has achieved this through establishment of its various news programs such as investigative programs, news bulletins, between the lines, economic bulletin, today’s harvest, Al Jazeera this morning, todays interview, and the weekly file, among others. There is an emerging trend in “transnational” media that encompasses instant nationalism. Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN) has responded to this trend by not only acting as a stimulating force for reform in politics and enhanced democracy in the states of Arab nations, but also by acting as a vehicle for descend, radicalism and alienation (Louis, 1986).

Response of Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN) to trends and developments

Through the various news channels, Al Jazeera is credited with embracing the “transnational” opportunity to become the “first to market” breaking news that added to its history of investigative journalism. The Programme, “today’s harvest”, for instance, was a response to improvise the deliverance of breaking news.  AJMN has even earned the title “most feared news network” that come in the aftermath of the Arab media explosions. The Media network was in the frontline driven by passion and applying the credibility resulting in its grown global access to broadband, which is an opportunity to innovate into emerging media, most precisely mobile. With the social and political trend in the Middle East attracting global attention, AJMN have embraced the opportunity with its near full G20 adaptation to capture the emerging digitally driven connections in 2015. There is a potential to introduce over 1.5 billion new connections.  The integration of technology has enabled the specialization that has acted as a response to mass customization and audience fragmentation. The emergence of new channels has been a lesser challenge since AJMN has established in the market (Martin, 1988).

Regional, National, International Effects Of Trends and Developments

AJMN is considered the first organization of media broadcast to achieve a breakthrough in barriers for traditional governments to offer a source of news that was uncensored with a perspective that was different from Arabic ( Beinhocker et al (2009). In the regional arena, the developments in the media world initiated by Al Jazeera have eliminated the view of Arab media as a monolog sponsored to function as a reaffirmation of current political regimes. The use of satellite technology has had a global impact of offering a new space for participation to engage the viewers of the network, and most significantly to convey the new dimensional imaginings of an emerging global identity (Jobber et al , (2013).

The impact of the trends and developments are not similar in the regional, national and global dimensions. Globally, Al Jazeera has not only broken the ceiling for the perceived role of Arab media as a marginalized institution but has also challenged the supremacy of its competing international networks like BBC and CNN. Regionally, there have been three trends: 1) the emergence of advanced technologies in the media world where the power and ability to media control is not a responsibility of the state; 2) crucial changes in the environment for Arab media; and  3) the regionalization as a distinctive process that has popularly been labeled as McArabism. The consequence of this has been a tension due to two forces countering each other in McArabism – globalization and tribalism. AJMN has received critics from the global arena for promoting a trend of global consumerism whereby culture is used to compel similar desires, wants, responses and perception (David et al, 2013). It is alleged this creates a simultaneous force with the “tribe” trend – tribe being pitted against tribe. It is still a debate whether this trend is helpful or whether it is not, but what is evident is that, other contemporary multinational media and Al Jazeera, have contributed to a confrontation between these two powerful forces.

The implications of these effects and differences for AJMN is that it has resulted in the news network being filled with controversies and allegations globally. Especially regarding how they cover the various political, economic and social unrests across the globe, it is considered biased. To mention a few, the allegations include inappropriate comments, twisted coverage, closing bureaus, and being impartial, among others in such cases such as Algeria, Bahrain, China, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Palestinian national authority, and US.

Relationships between the Factors Affecting AJMN Marketing Strategies

There are linkages and interrelationships between the factors affecting Al Jazeera and its strategies for marketing. AJMN is yet to create efficient processes and ways of working due to insufficient platform integration that has resulted in inconsistency of processes across channels that are not yet optimized systematically for effectiveness (Harvard Business Review…(2015). The other factors are that Al Jazeera has a fragmented and insufficient base for technology. The marketing strategies have hence been affected by inconsistent capability levels across the organization leading to inconsistent quality of output over the range of the channels (Ho, (n.d.). There are irregular and complex organizational structure and potential misperceptions and weaknesses about the brand. Significantly, the marketability of the brand has been impacted by the non-Arab association of their individual brands with radicalism, as well as the perceived closeness to the state of Qatar, which is war tone. The result has been that some market regions are still not aware of Al Jazeera hence limited audience and operational data, minimal generation of revenue and commercial operations being on the low, and restricted access to the much younger audience.

Conclusion

Based on the discussions on this paper, there are certain strategies that if implemented can address challenges that the company faces. Al Jazeera can use its Anglo-Saxon origin factor to create a credible difference. They can also utilize the growing broadband access as an opportunity for innovation into new media, most suggested one being mobile. The near full G20 media adoption is a chance to partner with digital networks and media providers.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Louis G. Pol, (1986),”MARKETING AND THE DEMOGRAPHIC PERSPECTIVE”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 3 Iss 1 pp. 57 – 65

Nigel Piercy William Giles, (1989),”Making SWOT Analysis Work”, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 7 Iss 5/6 pp. 5 – 7 Permanent link to this document:

Martin Evans, (1988),”MARKETING INTELLIGENCE: SCANNING THE MARKETING ENVIRONMENT”, Marketing . Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 6 Iss 3 pp. 21 – 29

S.M. SandersonG.A. Luffman, (1988),”Strategic Planning and Environmental Analysis”, European. Journal of Marketing, Vol. 22 Iss 2 pp. 14 – 27

Jobber, David and Ellis-Chadwick, Fiona, (2013) “Chapter 3: The Marketing Environment” from Jobber, David and Ellis-Chadwick, Fiona, ( 2013)Principles and Practice ofMarketing pp.76-112, London: McGraw- Hill Higher Education

Beinhocker, E., Davis, I., & Mendonca, L. (2009, July 1). The 10 Trends you hav e to watch. Retrieved February 20, 2015, from http://feeds.harvardbusiness.org/harvardbusiness

Harvard Business Review – Ideas and Advice for Leaders. (2015, February 19). Retrieved February 20, 2015, from https://hbr.org/

Ho, J. (n.d.). Operational Research and the Knowledge Structure of Management Disciplines. Management Research News, 27-39.

Jobber, D. (1995). Principles and practice of marketing. London: McGraw-Hill.

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