Case Study: Digital marketing for HMV

This article explores marketing used by HMV, a British music and entertainment retailer.

Digital Marketing Technology has made a lot of changes and improvements in itself in the 21st century. By this advanced technology companies also have established and made themselves changed accordingly. This change not only provides profit but increases the sustainability and demand of customers. Companies have started utilizing technology in business-to-business transactions (Chaffey, 2002). The main and basic objective of digital marketing is to provide a rapid and easy way of shopping. The best part of the digital market is that it modifies or changes things according to the customer’s expectation and does not try to change the customer’s mindset which is quite difficult. It also covers the two-side communication direct among customer and marketer.

Traditional marketing companies sold out all their stock due to the limited production of goods. Stability and welfare arrived in economies when in western countries television came into the vision. The arrival of TV has changed the trend of marketing. It was the age when power had gone to customers from the marketer and then suppliers made efforts to attract customers (Karahassan, 2013). Those businesses that have appropriate and exact knowledge about traditional marketing strive to more care about their customers than any other perspective (Chaffey, 2011). The primary purpose of traditional marketing is to facilitate consumer by time, possession, and place and value creation of the product in the minds of customers.

Importance Of Digital Marketing

In the modern era, information technology and expansion in internet facilities increase the online shopping trend. Therefore, many of the companies switch themselves into digital marketing without any avoidance. This is the reason for the change in communicating with people as well as the trend of marketing for companies (Durmaz, 2016).

With continuous improvement and growth in information technology, digital marketing is pushing away traditional marketing. There are several companies that are utilizing technologies very smoothly connecting or interacting with their customers. It will be very useful for HMV if they make appropriate investments in digital marketing. This will also attract more customers than it attracts with traditional marketing. The tools for attracting customers are many in digital marketing (Durmaz, 2016). 

Digital marketing is more multitasking than traditional marketing. Through digital marketing, the seller can engage with customers in many ways for example via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and email as well. Companies that utilize digital marketing can be able to find out customers’ needs and demands more accurately than in traditional marketing because old marketing methods have a line of differentiation between seller and buyer. In addition to this, another benefit of digital marketing is that the marketer finds the accurate target audience for business through social media as well as search engines marketing. Following are the points that differ both old and new marketing from each other.

As per HMV, it is better to switch on digital marketing because digital marketing can provide products more quickly, attain more customers, develop a two-sided connection, provide easiness to customers, attract customers and continuously engage with them, and most importantly achieve success over its competitor. 

Digital marketing and traditional marketing both are different from each other in style, processing, communicating, attracting, and engaging customers. HMV should change its processing to digital marketing as its target audience is generally teenagers or newly made adults that including those above 25 years old (30 to 40). Old age people and senior citizens mostly spent their time watching TV, instead of teenagers spending their time exploring on their smartphones. In digital marketing, suppliers can deliver their messages about products and their variations in various ways like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Digital marketing gave the consumer the power to make the marketing new rules and guidelines. HMV will gain more customers and demands by investing in digital marketing.

Tactics Of Search Engine Marketing

It is very clearly known all over the world that Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the most popular and accessible search engines. Generally, search engines are the key part of digital marketing and are used just to stand at the top positions when an individual searches for one’s business. The basic logic behind search engines is a website’s accurate management. To get higher searching visibility a precise analysis of keywords and organized websites are needed (Acikel, 2012). Following are the steps for developing effective digital marketing that maximizes profit and maintains customers.

Principles Of Digital Marketing

HMV digital marketing
Image Source: Diggity Marketing

Digital marketing is the new technique for businesses to explore more briefly and quickly. Digital marketing is based on new technologies such as mass communication that includes the internet. By utilizing digital formation and the internet, digital marketing can develop. Digital parameters are computers, mobiles, and digital billboards. Through social media companies can track their target customers on digital facilities. This will include E-books, E-zines, blogs, podcasts, and Flickr, etc. Digital marketing has some concepts on which all the tactics are based.

Inbound and outbound

Inbound is also known as a pull strategy. According to this strategy, it will attract new customers that also have some potential of buying through the use of content and the internet. This strategy will let the HMV know all target customers through search engines, blogs, etc. On the other hand, outbound is also known as push strategy. According to this strategy, marketing a product is done repeatedly to its customers. This is almost similar to traditional marketing. The inbound strategy is considered more digital-based to outbound. HMV should invest more in making a pull strategy.

Types Of Media

Both digital and traditional marketing use media for advertising or attracting customers. However, there is a difference between both media types. As HMV wants to develop digital marketing as well, therefore, it has to focus on those media types that help in attracting more customers without any interruption. This includes owned media, paid media, and earned media.

  • Owned media encompasses content of the company, products for sale, and individuals that should be available for interaction with customers. All these things are related to the internet like social sites, blogs, and apps. HMV should develop its control and grip over search engines and social media for building customer relationships and engaging with them. The personality of brands of HMV will also develop through this.
  • Paid media is also the type of media that collects media for which the company is paying. The objective of paid media is to develop clusters near target customers regarding products and retain their attention and interest. This will also be used for boosting up the owned media. This has many types like pay-per-click (PPC), banners, ads etc.
  • Earned media is the last type of media that includes digital marketing. People spread your products randomly all around along with the same content or created content on their own. This will happen when the company keeps customers satisfied and happy.

The Buyer’s Journey

Buyer always passes a process of getting awareness, analyzing, and then making a decision about purchasing a product. The buyer’s journey also has some further steps. HMV should have provided full awareness about its products to target customers through appropriate marketing. The customer always buys the product to solve their problem. For example, regarding entertainment, customers of HMV might feel the need to buy its product if they consider HMV’s product as good quality, reliable and effective. The customer also takes interest in alternatives but if HMV makes its products or services attractive and effective then the audience will surely declare HMV as a good choice. Create a world of knowledge regarding products while customers start considering in depth. This can be done through interaction with people and solving their problems. 

In the end, after all, completing inquiries about product customers converts his/her mind and decides to buy. It’s not just about selling a product, HMV should have an aim for retaining customers through building a customer relationship with satisfaction and good quality services.

Marketing Functions

Marketing functions involve several individuals that provide identification to the product as well as the additional potential to it for separating similar products in the market. Marketing functions carry a variety of different tasks.


This function involves working for the marketing and product activation. HMV can be able to identify market opportunities and make securities against threats through planning. It is all related to proper planning, an organization of strategy, and thinking that results in putting the right product at the right place with the reliable positioning of prices. This will lead the HMV towards growth and development. Furthermore, there are some other steps involved in this function that HMV should keep in mind. They are business research, objectives, and goals, planning for communication, and budgeting.


Developing awareness in the customer’s mind is the basic function of marketing. HMV by creating awareness in its target audience can achieve success. Marketing a new product and letting the audience be aware of it is the key part. Awareness within the entertainment industry by bringing up the HMV and its brands to potential buyers is important. HMV can create awareness in the target audience about its products by having relevancy and involvement. This function is usually tailored to the planning function.


HMV also needed to develop conversion of leads to real customers. This function is basically opposite to awareness. Through this function, HMV could target a small part of the audience who has taken interest in buying. In this function, HMV has to use CRM for collecting information and insights that acknowledge HMV about the leads and help in the processing of conversion. By using conversion HRM have to include the value in existing offers and keep the product in the customer’s mind at the top with repetition. The basic focus of this function is on media opportunities, setting quantitative objectives, developing offers, content adjustments, and social advertising (Ryan, 2017).


This marketing function helps the company to retain the customer by providing satisfaction, loyalty, and delightfulness about the product. HMV’s basic aim is not to just sell its products but to retain customers. Therefore, HMV has to continuously influence customers even after selling. If the customers are satisfied with the product and service they will make the decision to re-buy the HMV brand, additionally, they share it with friends and peers. It will create earned media help for HMV.


The last function of marketing is analysis and optimization. This will provide HMV to take a view of its past tactics and implementations. After analysis, HMV could be able to make the cost more effective. Digital marketing has the benefit that the HMV can go through testing, uploading, measuring, and changing the process. Standard times for analyzing marketing functions are three within the processing.

Traditional Vs. Digital Marketing

Points of differentiation can be used and create an overall integrated strategic marketing. There are some advantages and disadvantages of both marketing and these are used to broaden up the marketing objective. Utilizing an entire circle of marketing strategies is known as 360 marketing campaigns. It has the following division like the following.

Benefits Of 360 Marketing Campaign

Because this integrated campaign is made up of both strategies, therefore, it has many wide advantages.

  • Cover up full marketing circle
  • Utilize each and every contacting point
  • Implementation of both marketing
  • Scale and relevance optimization
  • Measure results effectively.

Three Principles 

Digital marketing provides 3 basic principles that need attention before planning digital marketing strategies. These principles will enable HMV to view the organization and management while adopting the strategy. These principles are initiated, iterated, and integrated.


This principle will help to know the company about its target audience’s needs and wants. HMV can utilize this principle and can view its target audience’s demands and expectations. As HMV’s target audience is the teenagers and modern generation, therefore, it should provide them with their demands by selling entertainment-related products. The target audience of HMV demanded high quality and reliable prices with the effective interactive part. Giving loyalty and quality products will create value in HMV’s brands. Providing a face to the customer’s expectations will achieve the objective of HMV that is attracting new customers and leading roles among competitors.


It is not just about planning but implementing is also the main part. Iteration of strategies that a company planned for marketing is included in this step. At this point, HMV can implement its pull strategy among markets and also can change or interrupt it according to acceptance and rejection.


The last principle is about integration that appears after the approval of a company’s strategy. Once the strategy of the company is successful then integrate its products all over the distribution channels and make sure that those channels are working and changing as well according to the company’s policies.

Pay-per-click (PPC)

Online marketing strategies and tactics are continuously transformed with time and need. Therefore, HMV can develop an effective PPC that will enhance customers’ attraction, retention, and loyalty. These steps are as follows.

  • Give discounts offers
  • Make prices reliable
  • Add value by providing something free
  • Trademark usage
  • Ads optimization for mobiles
  • Survey on websites of competitors
  • Gradually transformed ads
  • Purchase intent use of keywords

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization, Seo, Digital Marketing
Image Source: DiggityMarketing

Search engines play an important and efficient role in the development of digital marketing for a company. It should be necessary for HMV to develop an effective SEO for attracting new customers and improvement in website visibility. For this purpose, it has to take attention to the following design while making search engine optimization (Ryan, 2017).

  • Improvement in engaging and rankings
  • The long length of current page
  • Give stress on YouTube SEO
  • Improvement in speed of the site
  • Choose topics instead of keywords
  • Build links
  • Reporting
  • Technical optimization
  • SEO listings
  • Use of images in contents

Developing SMART objectives

This model is more specifically used for getting results from implementing strategies. This is divided into five different groups and each group has its own specific measures.


According to this step, HMV’s objectives and goals should be crystal clear, well defined, and easy to understand so that anyone who viewed the objective of HMV, understands them.


It means that the goal or objective should be quantitatively determinable. It involves the company’s KPI and also CPC, media tracking cost, etc. Measurements that HMV has to make to analyze digital strategy involve metrics, milestones, results, and budgets.


It is not useful to make such high objectives at the start that face difficulties to achieve them. HMV’s basic objective is to maximize customers and to lead among competitors that are clear and achievable. For this objective, HMV should use appropriate skills and resources.


Relevancy is also very necessary to have in marketing objectives and business objectives. The goal of the company should be relevant and tie with marketing objectives very impressively. HMV should have a view about its marketing objective and consider only in case it is relevant to a business objective (Yadav et al., 2014).


A work that achieves on time looks effective and efficient, therefore, HMV should have set a time goal also like HMV’s estimation about 2020 is to achieve a higher customer portion and will become the market leader.

Audience Research

Audience research is important before starting any type of marketing campaign. This research is basically all about the size, characteristics, and composition of the group included in the target market. HMV’s audience research will be related to the group that already are or perhaps will be the potential buyers of HMV’s products. Identifying customer insight is the basic purpose of audience research. HMV has to know about its customer’s thinking and wants like a close friend only then it can fulfill their satisfaction. In Pull strategy, this research is a must and also known as the customer’s persona.

Industry Trend Research

Industry trend research is utilized while placing a brand or leader in the market. Trends that are related to consumer attitude, employment, and technology advancement, development of new products, competitors, laws, and guidelines of government are involved in this research. These all can have an impact on the entertainment industry. Therefore, HMV should research the trends that influence the market with the company’s name and create a competitive strategy.

Porter’s based five forces are customer, supplier, potential, and substitute. This will include intense competition, the threat of substitutes, bargaining power of buyers, bargaining power of suppliers, and barriers to new entrants.

PROPEL model

The last step is the PROPEL model that will help the HMV review all the steps and tactics that HMV plans for creating an effective digital marketing strategy.


This first step of the Propel model will analyze the current position of HMV. Once the HMV analyzes the planning process about budgeting and employees then it can be determined the reason for putting on a pull strategy. After that, it can add the value proposition to the product. This step also helps HMV in mapping up the costs and resources.


In the 2nd step of this model, HMV can narrow its target audience and divide them into smaller groups. The specification is the basic objective of this step. Through an identified audience, the HMV can position its products in the right place, find the right place to advertise, develop the content of marketing and select the right keywords and words that present to the target audience.


This is the 3rd stage of Propel model into which the objectives can be set to identify true resources, product positioning, and target audience.


In this stage, the HMV will move towards the tactical part of contents, media, time and concepts, etc. At this stage, HMV will put the strategy into an action plan. This stage also involved developing the best internal communication so that all the employees of HMV will be aware of the newly launched products.


After setting all the strategies and goals, now is the time to implement those strategies. Every stakeholder of HMV will project, implement and distribute the developed content that is in the preparation stage of this model.


In this stage, it will enable the HMV to learn about the failure or success of the implemented strategy. The objective of this stage is to develop content continuously, make improvements in performance and identify customer insights.

Email Marketing And Social Media Marketing

Email marketing is the most useful tool for digital marketing however it is the oldest way among all other digital marketing tools. There are some reasons behind its success and the foremost reason is that a personalized message is sent to the customer’s mailbox and he/she can review that message at any time. The second reason behind its usefulness is that personal storage of emails exists.

Email marketing is undoubtedly an effective tool if utilized accurately. Communicating the accurate message to the customer is the basic part of Email marketing.

Several steps are there in Email marketing that could be better and mistakes that can be avoided (Taylor, 2015). Emails are taking the top-rated place in business-to-business (B2B) marketing. According to a survey about Email marketing conducted and its results show that about 86% of people say that Email marketing is a necessity to channel for business to business (B2B) marketing. However, another survey shows that social media and content marketing are effective channels for digital marketing. It was stated by (Holiday, 2017) that Email marketing is known as an important tool, however, it needs a targeted group of individuals. Generally, audience filtration is a method to develop a subscription model and make a list of people. With the modern age and improvement in information regarding Email marketing, HMV can send a message through an automation tool to different audiences at the same time, even having a personalized message for everyone. HMV can collect and select data online and make Email marketing more effective and useful. The basic thing that the HMV should focus on is to send well-defined, personalized, and correctly used content in order to get a higher response.

HMV while sending Emails to the target audience some steps or techniques that it should consider. In short, a high rate of response and improvement in revenue as well. The 1st step is to write a line subject that will influence that target audience as the first impression, therefore, it should be an effective and precise phrase or line that forces the customer to open and view the full mail. The 2nd step is to take great care regarding the address that HMV’s marketer is about to leave. For example, some Emails are thought to come from frauds or scams. 3rd and most particularly the customer always wants that any personalized message should be self-made like specially written for him/herself. Therefore, the lead’s name should be there in the mail. The 4th step is that there must be several methods through which contents of value and quality can be sent, for example, newsletters, articles, events, and a personal message (Merret, 2012).

After implementing all the above techniques HMV should also consider the quality in particular and not the quantity. Feedback from the leads should be noticed. At the last, after strategic implementations, they analyze ways to provide possible value to perspectives (Merret, 2012). Emails can be a great tool for attracting new customers and retaining them with appropriate engagement.

LinkedIn Marketing

It is the most effective tool for social media marketing. Tailor-made advertising is done on it that is a little opposite then Facebook. HMV can provide its potential buyer’s information reading company and its employees. It is a better way to find a way for businesses to build a new customer relationship. However, LinkedIn is not as wide as Facebook but still provides help to businesses. HMV can post relevant articles, blogs, and content for bringing up lead awareness.

Twitter Marketing

HMV can also utilize Twitter for marketing by tweeting on its short and summarized thoughts for sharing and attracting new customers. Relations will build through following people sharing. HMV can use Twitter marketing for increasing sales, awareness, and customers. Following are the key steps for a better arrangement of utilization.

  • Appropriate twitter profile
  • Backlines to HMV website
  • Attention seeking headlines
  • Visualization
  • Automation tool
  • Activeness for answering
  • Target audience
  • Engaging with people

Facebook Marketing

As Facebook made new changes with the change in trend, therefore, HMV can attract new customers and engage them with Facebook profiles. This marketing tool collects customers’ interests and behavior (Yadav et al., 2014). Through following six Facebook marketing tools HMV can build a new relationship with customers and retain the existing ones. 

  • Facebook profile along with the mission Groups that attract target audience with community 
  • Fan page of business along with accurate content.
  • A Facebook campaign that easily targets audience
  • Facebook tailor-made messages

Website Optimization Techniques

Speed Of Page

Through Google Page Speed insights HMV can improve its website performance. This tool analyzes some important components for testing like JavaScript, CSS, and participation of images.


PageLocity will help HMV in evaluating the performance of the website and view social metrics that affect HMV’s website visibility.

Varvy Page Speed Optimization

It contains reports regarding bringing up the website performance techniques and rankings of SEO.


It is a checklist of both performance and speed and will provide grades from A to F in its analysis.

By taking all the above steps under consideration HMV can improve its website performance and can facilitate its customers in a more effective way.

Analytical Tools For Digital Marketing Strategy

There are many different tools for digital marketing and utilized by marketers. HMV should use digital marketing tools for analytical measurements of strategies. This will include the following steps

  • Analyze
  • Create
  • Publish

Research All Things Digital

Laptop, Apple, Macbook, Computer, Browser, Research
Image Source: StockSnap

Digital research tools

There are three main research tools that HMV can use.

Two main steps involve it. The first step is to enter in browser The second step is to enter a product, HMV, or topic.

Social Mention

This tool also has the same method as google trends. First, enter in the browser Secondly enter a product, HMV, or topic name.


By clicking, the website of HMV insights can be viewed.

Key tasks and activities for HMV

Knowing that HMV is the leading retail entertainment company in the United Kingdom and wants now to move into digital marketing with existing traditional marketing. The basic objective behind this is to attract more customers, engage them and retain them. For that purpose, some processes and strategies are mentioned above that HMV should adopt for developing effective digital marketing. Foundation of digital marketing and entire steps for developing digital marketing involved. Traditional marketing and digital marketing both are different from each other.

Digital marketing is growing day by day, therefore, HMV decided to move into it. In digital marketing, HMV will use the pull strategy because it is more widely used for digital marketing. HMV should have identified types of media including owned, paid, and earned media, and utilized it for advertising. HMV will have identified the buyer’s journey for purchasing and it will take steps for achieving a higher rate of customers. Before implementation, HMV will evaluate marketing functions according to which it will start working. As it can be seen that both marketing digital and traditional have some deficiencies as well, therefore, HMV will also determine the 360 marketing campaign that will make through the integration of both marketing and cover the entire marketing cycle (Berger, 2014). This will lead HMV towards 3i principles of marketing including imitation, iteration, and integration. Furthermore, HMV will develop a processing model named SMART that will provide guidelines for growth and make an effective strategy. Then after audience research and industry trend research, another model will be named PROPEL. This model will help HMV to organize things and take a view from the start about strategy implementation. HMV will use three basic measurement tools that include google trend, social mention, and SpyFu. After all these processes and techniques HMV will be ready to kick itself into digital marketing. In order to implement these marketing steps, HMV will attract more customers, engage them and also retain the existing customers.


HMV is the leading entertainment company in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, it is also known as the 2nd biggest retailing music company in the UK. As HMV is operating traditional marketing but for getting a higher customer’s range and a higher place among customers it also needed to move into digital marketing. Additionally, the decision making about purchasing has become easier with the help of modern technology, therefore, digital marketing is rapidly increasing in the world as the best and first choice for customers. In short, data is being used accurately in digital marketing as compared to traditional marketing.

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