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Aol Service Marketing Case Study

544 words - 3 pages

Despite its humble beginnings as an unsuccessful online gaming service, America Online (AOL) has blossomed to serve more than 10 million international members by providing e-mail, news, sports, online conferencing, Internet access, weather, and more. A simple, yet ingenious marketing plan helped AOL reach its current level of success: wide distribution of free CD-ROMs containing AOL software. Users were able to sample AOL's wares from the comfort of their home, at their leisure.Now boasting over 109 million monthly visitors (http://corp.aol.com), AOL hopes to continue to enjoy rising profits by expanding and upgrading its advertising platforms, as well as continue to expand into international markets. Additionally, AOL is attempting to branch out into the business-to-business realm, by offering network systems ...view middle of the document...

Additionally, of course, a customer cannot return a service if dissatisfied!America Online appeals to customers via its relationship marketing techniques in the form of retention programs. Examples of such customer retention efforts include promotions, superior technical support, online events, and the steady introduction of upgraded content, services, and programs. Loyal customers prefer AOL due to its child protection option of parental controls, as well as specialized chat rooms aimed to subpopulations of customers, including children, women, and Christians.Paradoxically, America Online's success created trouble for the firm. After introducing its flat rate fee in 1996, the network was swamped with activity and new subscribers, with system use essentially doubling. Not unsurprisingly, the technical capabilities of the network resulted in collapse -- the capacity of the networks simply could not handle the volume. While, for the time being, AOL appears to have rectified this issue, any strategic marketing it employs that introduces an onslaught of business is risking a repeat of its prior challenges. Engineers and management, however, having experienced such issues in the past, are more likely to emphasize awareness of such an event and plan accordingly.Despite its success with its current lineup of services, AOL paves the way for future achievement by continually striving to improve its services, reduce its fees, and expand its partnerships by linking its name with other prominent Internet sensations such as youtube.com. Additionally, AOL stays true to its roots by continuing to include free CD-ROMs of its software in magazines and newspapers. While the competition in cyberspace is stiff, America Online certainly possesses and adeptly wields the tools it requires to ensure continued success.ReferencesPeter, J. & Donnelly, J. (2007). Marketing Management. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

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