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1.       I compared to Both sites feature prominent horse sales links on their opening pages, but the Exchange’s is more sophisticated and rich visually. Both sites have an up-front horse search engine. Dreamhorse is zip code-driven with a link option to access an advanced filter horse search engine. The Exchange has two up-front horse search engines; one is a horse name-driven search engine and the other is an advanced filter horse search engine. These are both accessible on the opening page. Both sites contain horse community calendars of some sort, while the Exchange’s is more sophisticated and inviting.

A couple of things set the Exchange apart from Dreamhorse. The first is minor and is a published newsletter. Not an enormous deal but a good offering that can generate user site access time. Of more consequence is the Exchange’s sold horse listings. This sets it clearly apart from Dreamhorse. This is a very clever and valuable tool reminiscent of car and real estate marketing to provide a user with powerful comparison value analysis.

2.       Social media was effective in promoting the Exchange brand by increasing and attracting multi-channel traffic and repeat visitors and followers. This helped build buzz over time and a reliable reputation. Facebook led to the most sales and inquiries. This was because of a concerted effort to leverage this channel and good image management.


3.       The Exchange personalizes its services to buyers and sellers by: Creating comprehensive seller user forms that allow complex options including exhaustive lineage histories and descriptive narrative text entries and then coalesces this into a custom written ad. They also mandate the inclusion of high quality photos and videos and additionally edits these in the process of ad creation for clients for ultra-rich ad creation. For buyers they provide an easy to use and attractive interface that allows access to its client’s ads and sandwiches associated related (carefully crafted), desirable material on its website for buyers accessing extremely detailed ad information.

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3.       I visited Bass Pro Shops and Dick’s sporting goods sites. Bass Pro acquires fans through links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and email. Dick’s acquires fans through links to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Google Plus. The heavies here are Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Google Plus and Instagram are making separate inroads. Bass Pro is set apart with its email link next to its social media links because this says that this email traffic will be used for social marketing purpose and not just an ask a question and maybe get an answer type of email link. Bass Pro and Dick’s generate engagement with attractive photos, but Bass Pro has many more communities of interest links featured on its site (such as fishing tournament info, restaurants, and a conservation link), however Dick’s is a U.S. Olympic sponsor, uniquely different from Bass Pro which is not. Amplification for both is an output from their associated social site activity; mainly with Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Bass Pro and Dick’s both build community mainly through product information, but Bass Pro has an added advantage in leveraging and using fishing and hunting (style) technique information to capitalize on this facet. Both sites build brand strength and sales through very good product information and price competitiveness, and both include effective product user ratings. Again, here, Bass Pro more successfully and collaterally has a force multiplier in added technique information for product use.

Dick’s can improve its model by imitating Bass Pro’s success at incorporating hunting and fishing technique information content into its site and stepping up email into a social media tool and adding attractive front page customer service phone information. Bass Pro can improve its model by including a chat link on their page.