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Social media as a new marketing weapon-a case of the Zimbabwean beverage sector

Author: 
Piason Viriri, Dr. Maxwell Phiri and BillyMorset
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

The main thrust of the study was to scrutinize impact of social media on brand positioning in the Zimbabwean beverage sector. Other subsequent objectives were to explore how social media influence managerial decision making especially on promotion, to establish the impact of social media on information sharing by consumers, to determine the challenges of social media use by consumers, to explore the factors that promote social media usage as well as to suggest strategic recommendations regarding social media use in order to enhance brand positioning. The target population comprised three major firms in Zimbabwe’s beverage industry namely, Dairy board Zimbabwe Limited, Delta Beverages and Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited. A cross sectional survey design was used to collect data using questionnaires and interviews. Data was presented in the form of bar graphs, pie charts and analyzed using SPSS tables. The findings of the study indicated that technology breakthroughs and handset culture are the major driving factors for social media use. Utilisation of social media as a marketing strategy is still limited. Conversely, sporadic and unreliable internet connectivity especially in Zimbabwean rural areas and is the major hindrance to the use of social media this has an adverse effect on brand positioning .The major recommendation of the study is to challenge Zimbabwean firms in general and those in beverages sector in particular to exploit social media as a newly emerging marketing tool since it is less costly, effective, efficient, ubiquitous, offers real time response and above all enjoys global reach.

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