Case Study Questions

1. Find a site on the Web that offers classified ads for horses. Compare this site to exchangehunterjumper.com in terms of the services offered (the customer value proposition). What does The Exchange offer that other sites do not?

 

I compared the Exchange to Online Auction Services which is another horse sales service. From what I could find, the Exchange provides a more personalized experience. They seem to spend more time building a relationship with the sellers. This relationship provides a greater deal of trust while helping to build a better listing for each horse they help to market. Additionally, the Exchange is a more specific niche market. The Online Auction Services is geared as an auction instead of just a classified site. It does not provide near the quality or quantity of personalized marketing efforts that the Exchange does.

 

2. In what ways were social media effective in promoting The Exchange brand? Which media led to the highest increase in sales and inquiries? Why?

 

The Exchange utilized social media to promote its services through RSS feeds, Facebook posts and other online media. The use of Facebook lead to the largest increase in sales and inquiries. The major advantage that Facebook brought to the increase in sales and inquiries comes from a couple of sources. To begin with, Facebook is a popular social site that brings about a large audience of friends. Through the followers of the Exchange, they were able to bring their brand awareness to the friends of friends and so on. This increased the Exchange brands ability to penetrate a difficult market culture of the horse world. Additional benefits from Facebook was being able to have sidebar ads and feed ads that would help to link users to the Exchange website as well as showcase what the Exchange services could offer. This platform provided an outstanding way to get horse people that used technology to bring onboard those that did not.

 

3. Make a list of all the ways The Exchange attempts to personalize its services to both buyers and sellers.

The Exchange attempts to personalize its services in a few ways. To start with, they offer two different types of listing services. The first is on a horse by horse basis where fees are geared toward small volume or single horse sales. The second option is for larger volume sellers that can utilize the sale barn option to promote their volume of business. Other ways the Exchange personalizes its services is through it individualized marketing strategy. They engage the sellers to provide video and pictures along with breeding background to help build a personalized package for each horse. The videos are copyrighted and edited for the sellers to help ensure quality and usefulness. Furthermore, feedback is provided to each sell on what they can do with their videos or photos to help promote their horse. This part of the service allows the Exchange to provide updated materials on each listing that can help to generate more traffic to the site.

Projects

 

1. Choose two different online companies and for each, try to identify the social, mobile, and local marketing efforts the company has implemented. Do they use social plug-ins on their websites? Do they have a Facebook page? If so, visit those pages to see how they are using them. How is the Facebook page different from the company’s website? Can you identify how the firms use mobile marketing? Use your smartphone or tablet to access their apps, if they have one, and websites. Are their websites designed specifically for each platform? In conclusion, compare and critically contrast these firms, and make recommendations for how you, as a marketing manager, would improve their effectiveness.

 

I looked at Dick’s and Home Depot for this question. Both companies have Facebook pages that they use in a few ways. They will put posting on their sites that may alert customers to sales or promotions along with other store events. They both provide links at the top of their Facebook pages that will take you directly to their store websites. Home Depot also had posts in its feed that showcased some home improvement projects or other uses for its products. Additionally, they both mobile site that help to engage customers through their mobile devices. The mobile sites are optimized for use on mobile platforms but also give the user an option to open the regular online website as well. As I am not a marketing major, I do not have much to suggest to how these companies might improve their effectiveness. The major improvement I would like to see is getting their mobile app to show only what is available in the current store you are shopping. It is frustrating to be shopping the local store through the mobile site and have it bring up items that are not locally available. There should be some type of option to switch between local and everything else

2. Visit your Facebook profile page and examine the ads shown in the right margin. What is being advertised and how do you believe it is relevant to your interests or online behavior? Make a list of ads appearing in your News Feed. Are these ads appropriately targeted to you in terms of your demographics, interests, and past purchases? Surf the web, visiting at least two retail websites. In the next 24 hours, do you see advertising on Facebook related to your surfing behavior?

Ironically, after completing the previous weeks Project questions, I ended up with Lego Technic Cranes being advertised in various parts of my Facebook page. It was surprising because I used a work computer to do the previous question and my cell phone to complete this question. I am not able to use my work computer for Facebook and yet my search results were linked from my work computer to my Facebook account on my phone. Clearly this is accurate to my online behavior as it shows a direct relationship across devices despite one being on a personal account and the other being on a work account. I was additionally surprised that even though I had not clicked on any of these marketing ads, they are still showing up over a week later in my feed and along my borders. The websites I visited for this question were Lego.com, Amazon.com, and Target.com. All three of these sites are advertising to me from last weeks searches as well as this week’s visits. I have a feeling I will see these ads for several more months now.