Glass House Winery, Marketing Plan Example
Words: 5102Marketing Plan
This plan outlines the various facets of such marketing strategy. Starting with the objectives of the marketing endeavours, the plan describes the target audience for the business and the reason for the same, and then goes on to illustrate the various social media and networking channels available to execute the marketing strategies and ways to measure the efficacy of these. Then, few tactics to strengthen Internet traffic are elucidated.
An organization may have the best product or service in the industry yet it will still lag behind the competition due to lack of an effective marketing strategy. This is why one of the P’s in the marketing concept of 4Ps is Promotion which details an organization’s strategy to increase product awareness and efficiently interact with targeted customer segments. As things stand now, Glass House Winery doesn’t have a comprehensive marketing strategy to increase brand awareness and effectively target potential customers. The company does have a presence in the social media such as Facebook but it lags behind competitors such as Ceja Vineyards that have more members as well as more active profiles. In addition, the blog on Glass House Winery’s website still doesn’t have any post. All these signs demonstrate lack of planning and coordination in Glass House Winery’s marketing approach.
Glass House Winery is a small-scale operator, thus, it is even more important for the company to use cost-effective marketing channels. Fortunately, social media is not only cheaper than other marketing channels such as TV, radio, and print media but also offers several advantages over alternative marketing channels. First of all, it will allow Glass House to directly interact with its consumers and the interaction will be two-way, as opposed to other marketing channels. The social media will also help both current and potential consumers interact with the company’s brand round-the-clock. The high adoption rate of social media among the company’s targeted customer segments means the company should build a strong presence in the social media. It is a huge marketing mistake to ignore a marketing channel preferred by the majority of the customers in the targeted market segments.
The leading player in the social media is Facebook which has now over billion members. Majority of the customers in the market segments targeted by Glass House Winery are active users of the website. In addition, competitors such as Ceja Vineyards have a strong presence in the social media in order to increase brand awareness and strengthen customer loyalty. These two facts that majority of the company’s current and potential customers are active in the social media and company’s competitors also have active social media strategy, alone are sufficient to persuade Glass House Winery to make social media, the centre of its marketing strategy. If Glass House Winery fails to respond in an active manner, it will not only lose more customers to competitors but may also be forced out of business because for a small scale operator, every customer holds a greater significance than volume operators.
Social media is also a great value for Glass House Winery it will give the company a greater control over its marketing strategy. Gone are the days when companies would delegate most of their marketing tasks to advertising agencies including creating ads, selecting marketing channels, and controlling brand-consumer interaction. Consumers are more knowledgeable than ever and they also have more choices than before. This means the companies have to be more responsive to consumers’ concerns and needs and social media enables companies to directly learn about their consumers without the need of an intermediary.
Glass House Winery’s target audience is 35-49 year olds (Caucasian) that have migrated to smaller “countryside” towns beyond the nation’s interstates. With an average income of $82,323, they live in expansive homes and usually have more than two children. They are middle-aged parents that have disposable income and educated sensibility to want the best for their children. They do not mind indulging in the latest technology: new computers, DVD players, home theatre systems, and video games. They like to take advantage of their rural living by camping, boating, and fishing. Thus, the target audience show good intension of spending and are capable of spending as they have enough to do so.
According to Credit Research polls, this group is the most consistent savers. In fact, about 36 percent of the group is able to save fixed amount of money per month, which is the highest proportion per age group. About a fifth of the total percentage of the demographic segment has a written financial plan for the future. They are the most optimistic group but also possess the second highest vulnerability only second to the 18-34 age group because of unexpected expenses (Toyoda & Luke, 2011). As the target audience has greater saving proportions than other age groups, the choice of the 35-49 year olds is justified.
The Glass House Winery target audience involvement with social technologies mainly consists of spectators (73%) and joiners (54%). The spectators are just viewing from afar. They are getting information, but are using it only for increasing knowledge about topics, friends, celebrities, etc. There is no active participation. This group has no desire to get actively involved in creating or conversing. On the other hand, the joiners are present on social media websites to maintain their own profile and their relationships. They also absorb information to upgrade their own knowledge, but to a lesser extent than the collectors do (Forrester Research’s Consumer Technographics data, 2012). In continuing to profile the consumer for the Glass House Winery, it is important include critics (34%), creators (23%), collectors (17%) and inactive (17%). Because there is a substantial overlap in the segments, the percentage is greater than 100.
Critics – This group responds to status updates, blogs, websites, news, forums, products, and services.
Creators – The creators are the most dynamic participants on the Internet. They are constantly creating blog, posts, websites, videos, audio and / or other content.
Collectors – The collectors use online resources to absorb lots of information, or to express their preferences. RSS feeds; Twitter aggregators and other tools are important tools for this group of social media users.
Inactive – The inactive are not present on social media. Alternatively, they may be present but are not doing anything at all.
Most online Americans use at least one social networking site, and the demographics of the social networking sites population are shifting to older users (Hampton, Goulet , & Purcell, 2011). Approximately 91 percent of adults access social media in a typical month—that is 129 million individuals. Therefore, it is impossible to discuss social media without acknowledging the dominance of Facebook. A solid majority of the Glass House Winery target market (59%) also makes monthly visits to Facebook.com.
There is a 100 percent increase in the number of adults over the age of 35 that visit social networking sites using their mobile phones, over the past year (Nielsen, 2011). It means application usage in the United States is continuing to grow in correspondence with the use of mobile Internet.
According to the (Pew Research Center, 2012), 66 percent of adults use social networking sites. Accordingly, 72 percent of the target market use social networking sites. The main sites cited are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace. The older generation is steadily gaining access to the tools. The problem in their case is not a matter of finances but the expertise and reason to utilize the technological assets. All these demographic facts and figures clearly support the reason for choosing the above-mentioned group as the perfect target for Glass House Winery’s social media marketing strategies.
- Increase website by 15% by July 1, 2013.Increasephysical traffic by 10% to the winery facility located in Monticello Wine Trail, Central Virginia by December 31, 2013.
- Increase the brand awareness by 12% by December 31, 2013.
Glass House Winery’s social media marketing strategy is focused on achieving the objectives via media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Yelp. The primary goal is to attract the target audience through various media tools. Producing high-quality videos at minimal costs and making them available on video-sharing sites like YouTube generates public interest in the happenings in and around the Winery. Uploading and sharing of Photos and other relevant content on popular social networks like Facebook draws in more and more connections and therefore more prospective customers to the Winery. Sharing professional information on active business sites like LinkedIn promotes the business on different planes, and enables the employees to enhance their connections within the business. Updating official business information on Yelp draws in customers that make decisions based on public reviews on the web. Internet forums help a great deal in increasing brand identity of the winery too. The detailed strategies for each of the above-mentioned channels have been elucidated at appropriate places within the report.
Glass House Winery believes that social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Yelp and LinkedIn help a great deal in its marketing endeavors now and in the future. In order to further Glass House Winery’s current marketing efforts, which include promotional events, press releases, word-of mouth, website, and direct mail, it considers employing the above mentioned potential media resources.
The benefits that the Glass House Winery could gain by incorporating YouTube as part of its social media efforts are remarkable. First off, signing up with YouTube and uploading as many videos as one wishes, are both free of cost unlike the other channels in the web that help in marketing(Campbell, 2011). With hundreds of millions of people downloading videos from YouTube, Glass House Winery could go global without much effort, giving them a wider reach using YouTube advertising. Additionally, once positive responses to the videos are sparked, people will subscribe to the video channel. This could help build a loyal clientele for the winery.
Now, one of the major challenges with social media sites is the difficulty in measuring the effectiveness of our social activity. This, however, is not an issue with YouTube. The ‘views’ for a particular video quantitatively present its popularity among the public, and hence the effectiveness in a winery’s attempts to reach a large audience.
Understanding the way the market responds to video content can help up and coming wineries provide relevant content in future endeavours in order to grow their business and increase sales. For this, obtaining viewer feedback is the principal solution.
Viewer demographics data is yet another elegant feature of YouTube that helps the channel owner estimate the number of people watching the channel content in a particular region. This, in fact, provides reliable encouragement to the Winery to ponder on setting up new branches in such regions and hence ‘expand’ its business.
YouTube’s reporting function can help Glass House Winery better understands its views, viewer demographics, popularity, and community. If used in the right manner, this information could drive future content that is published in the proper direction, making it more relevant and targeted. It has also been observed that there is no other social networking site that provides this kind of data for free.
While there are significant advantages to employing YouTube as the torchbearer of online media marketing, Glass House Winery will need to be a little cautious as it may happen that YouTube suggests other ‘winery’ related videos not by Glass House Winery. These may, at times, turn out to be competitors.
The case of Ceja Vineyards is a very good example of a midsized winery that produces well-executed videos that highlight information about its various products, at a minimal cost. The winery has created over 100 video blogs till date. Their YouTube channel currently has 353 subscribers and has had over 278,446 views. From the channel, visitors can directly connect to Ceja Vineyards’ website, online store, Facebook page and Twitter. Ceja is clearly on its way towards building a wider and stronger subscriber base.
The content in its videos is remarkable, in that it is both consistent as well as entertaining. The prime objective of any visual is, in the end, to keep its viewers entertained and interested in knowing more about the product being marketed. Since Ceja already possesses a website and a blog with a lot of traffic, installing the YouTube widget has helped leverage those visitors, thereby resulting in greater number of subscribers for the channel.
The success indices are video views, number of ‘Likes’, video comments, and demographic data.
With over a billion active users literally spending their entire lives staring at its ‘wall’, Facebook is now a factual, real-time simulation of the world that we live in. With regard to social media marketing, this is the best platform that one could wish for. The fact that 58% of Fortune 500 companies employ their corporate Facebook accounts to effectuate their marketing goals serves as proof to the size of audience that are up for grabs (Pring, 2012). So, what would one describe the size as? Simply gigantic.
To proffer concepts and ideas to the public, to receive practical feedback on products and services and to foster hands-on customer participation in all its events, Glass House Winery wishes to turn to Facebook.com.
In addition to keeping the ‘likers’ updated with the latest news and happenings through status updates, Glass House Winery prods its customers’ curiosity through photos and videos of its various events and gatherings shared on the Facebook page.
The Facebook widget in the website is something that directs the visitors to a pleasant visual journey in that the Facebook page offers a much more user-friendly alternative to viewing and ‘liking’ photo albums and videos.
There is a ‘Feedback’ section where customers can leave a private message to be retrieved and responded to by the page manager, after consulting the person concerned with the received feedback.
The ‘About’ section essentially includes the history, initial stages, development activities in the past, present and the future, important locations concerning the winery etc.
Another important feature within Facebook is the ‘Map’ section. For users who aren’t aware of the exact location of the winery, this is a major tip-off. The map is always available right on the ‘Map’ section, which means that one need not visit an external website such as www.wikimapia.com or www.googlemaps.com in order to locate us.
Needless to say, the ‘Contact’ section puts forward contact numbers and email IDs for the public who would like to reach the winery.
The real beauty of a Facebook page is that it puts together and effectively showcases the various corporate links concerning the winery. The YouTube account previously mentioned could be linked directly to the Facebook page. Users who visit the ‘About’ page find the links to the parent website as well as the YouTube link.
Number of ‘Likes’, positive comments, feedback and suggestions, level of activity on the page, participation in contests and questionnaires, Number of people who have been at the place (location tagging facility is available in Facebook) and the number of people who are talking about it socially.
Yelp is yet another potential marketing avenue specially focused on attracting local customers. The burgeoning role of online forums in directing new and inexperienced buyers towards the right seller is a fact that one needs to bear in mind while exploring ways to promote his or her business through social media. Business forums like Yelp are an impeccable source of information on major locations, salient features, contact information, and details about services besides the general information like the vision, mission and goals of a firm (Axon, 2010). According to Highland Business Research, user generated content is utilized by 40 percent of online travellers.
Wineries should make it a point to monitor and subsequently respond to what is being said about their brands on these online forum sites, particularly Yelp (Bromley & Wark, 2009). All this undisputed data encourage Glass House Winery to tie up with Yelp to help drive its future marketing endeavours in the right direction.
Word of mouth is the best way a person opts to arrive at the right choice, and consumers often look to sites like Yelp to refine their decisions on products and services.
Even wineries without access to established social networking platforms should make every effort to hear what the consumers have to say about their products in general. This is essential for every up and coming player in a particular business. Yelp offers Glass House Winery unbiased and practical reviews about how customers receive their brand and what changes, if any, they want made. With about 14 million unique visitors a month, Yelp is like a giant in this field, and hence, the users can never afford to underestimate the seriousness of opinions expressed on the site (Gordon & Lavin, 2011).
One major drawback, however, is that few people are into reading all the reviews meticulously, but this should never bother a winery that is strictly intent on offering to its customers the finest wine in town.
The success indices are review, referrals, stars, and level of participation.
LinkedIn is business-oriented, and according to B to B Magazine 81 per cent of business marketers have signed up and are using it. Though primarily a way to form connections—and perhaps look for work—it also includes business profiles (Franson, A social media primer, 2012). While Facebook and Twitter are used for both business and social networking, LinkedIn is used purely for business and is one of the most overlooked networks for wine industry professionals. People underestimate this powerful network. What makes LinkedIn so significant is when someone “friends you”, they have, do, or likely want to engage in business with you. This is especially key for winery sales representatives, winery owners, and business development managers (Bromley & Wark, 2009).
The first mandatory step for Glass House Winery should be to urge its entire staff to list their positions in their LinkedIn profiles and include the winery website and blog. Since the results from LinkedIn ranks very high in Google searches, this step will practically boost the traffic on Glass House Winery’s blog, the official website and all other links provided by the employees. Unfortunately, very few users visit this site on a regular basis. While an estimated 100 million users have signed up on LinkedIn, very few are actually actively engaged in it (Richards, 2012).
The success indices are connections, referrals, and participation in discussions.
Effective social media tactics require understanding consumers’ social media consumption patterns. Social media makes it easier for companies to target consumers but it also means several companies are competing for consumers’ attention at anytime. Thus, effective tactics involve systematic approaches to gaining consumers’ attention. Glass House Winery will be deploying a range of tactics to gain consumers’ attention and to differentiate itself from the competition.
Tact 1: Wine Critics Reviews
Goal: To increase consumers’ trust in the brand and increase consumer engagement
First of all, Glass House Winery will develop an official YouTube channel where it will upload videos of the events taking place at the company’s premises. The company will also invite prominent wine critics to test its product and provide unbiased opinion in a video review. The wine critics often have a huge credibility in the eyes of wine enthusiasts and unbiased reviews including both positive and negative ones, will increase consumer trust in the authenticity of Glass House Winery’s marketing campaign. The consumers’ responses to video reviews will also help the company gain valuable feedback. The company will request the reviewers to declare that they didn’t receive any compensation for the review so that positive reviews result in significant sales boost of the underlying products. The reviewers will also be asked to follow the 3-minute rule because by uploading shorter-length videos, the company will increase the probability that a consumer watches the entire ad.
Tact 2: Sweepstakes
Goal: To increase profile members in social media
The company will encourage official profile members in social media such as Facebook to invite friends for a chance to win prizes. The social media profiles will also be used to announce special events and promotional offers from time to time. Profile members will not only provide valuable ideas but may also be targeted for informational surveys from time to time. The social media profile will also be used to introduce new products to profile members, often giving them the opportunity to be the first ones to try. In addition, the company may also hold surveys to seek ideas on potential new products. These incentives will ensure that both consumers and potential consumers actively engage with the company in the social media.
Tact 3: Blogs
Goal: To reach hardcore wine enthusiasts
There are many wine critics who maintain wine blogs with considerable following such as www.joedressner.com and www.vinography.com. These blogs often attract wine enthusiasts who form the core of consumer base of wine manufacturers like Glass House Winery. The company will send free sample bottles to these wine critics in the hope they will review the gift samples in their blogs. Positive reviews in reputed win blogs will increase company’s credibility in the eyes of targeted consumer segments while even negative reviews will be helpful because they will provide clues into the preferences of wine enthusiasts and how company can improve its products in the future. The company will also provide extra bottles to blog writers to offer them to consumers as part of sweepstakes. The consumers will be required to post a comment on the question asked in the sweepstakes as well as provide their email addresses in case they win the prize. The company will also use this opportunity to ask consumers to be added to mailing list.
Tact 4: Email Newsletters
Goal: To maintain interaction with consumers
The company will send weekly newsletters to email subscribers. This strategy will ensure that consumers don’t feel burdened by frequent emails and each newsletter will contain an education topic on wine. The articles will increase company’s reputation as an organization that truly appreciates the art of wine making and wine drinking and will also increase the probability that consumers think about Glass House Winery before their next
- How many times the “Wedding Stories” campaign videos were viewed hosted on the Glass House Winery YouTube Channel: (January 1 – June 30)
- Who viewed the Glass House Winery LinkedIn profile in the last 30 days
By getting a sense of how many YouTube visitors viewed the ‘Wedding Story’ videos for the Glass House Winery’s ‘Wedding Stories’ campaign, we can clearly figure out how often the brand is being exposed. Visitors to the Glass House Winery’s LinkedIn profile will also be exposed to the brand and knowing who viewed the profile will provide leads to new business prospects. Numbers of ‘Likes’ on the Facebook page and the amount of activity also positively indicate the extent to which the marketing efforts are successful.
One of YouTube’s greatest strengths is the way that it allows anyone to track how many views each video is receiving. There is no complicated search function or evaluations necessary. Instead, the number of viewers for each video is posted right beneath the video. This allows marketers to estimate almost immediately how widely their videos are being received, and how successfully they are finding an audience. One can also see how many people are recommending one’s video or commenting on it (Gresham, n.d.)without much effort.
As for LinkedIn, essentially, upon checking the profile of the viewers, the winery will have an idea of how influential or credible they are. When they see the titles or even the companies where their viewers are working, they will more or less have an idea of how popular they have become in the industry. In the same manner, they will also get to discover what industry their viewers belong to, or what interest they may possibly have in common. In fact, they can say they finally have the yard stick to measure their own popularity as far as LinkedIn networking is concerned (Barn, 2011).
- How often Glass House Winery videos were shared on other social media sites and blogs during the fiscal year
- Percentage of ‘likes’ of videos on wine making on Glass House Winery YouTube Channel?
Qualitative metrics can be rather subjective and requires the presence of certain ‘base metrics’. The fact is that no single metric alone is going to be a solid indicator of how engaged the Glass House Winery customers are going to be. However, by measuring how often the videos are shared and viewers are engaged, we can form a deeper analysis (Position Squared, n.d.). The winery will know that the sign of a well-engaged community is when people invest their time and intellect in their brand. Suggestions, product improvement ideas, increase in hosted events, etc., indicate a vested interest on behalf of the consumers the Glass
- Number of new members who joined the monthly Wine Club during the year
- Number of events booked at the winery for the year
Social media ROI isn’t always easy to track, but establishing, measuring and tracking metrics in this industry is crucial to ensuring that one isn’t wasting one’s time and energy (Kumar, 2012).
Tracking the number of new members who joined the Wine Club as well as the number of new events hosted at the winery will indicate the level of support social media has played in building the Glass House Winery brand. Essentially, all social media campaigns boil down to one fundamental point – the ROI one gets from it. Every campaign has a purpose, a call to action. It varies from buying a product, to generating new leads, to attracting new customers, to increase sales from old customers. Actionable metrics will help the winery find out the number of people who took the action they wanted them to take and help them to keep track of the progress they had made in achieving their goal of building the brand (Smith, n.d.).
We observe, from past experience, that for most forms of marketing, a heavy investment of time, capital and effort are mandatory. This particular form, however, calls for minimal investment in terms of capital and time. The end results are nevertheless way more fetching than those of any other strategy ever known to the marketing community. This plan aspires to put Glass House Winery on the map as well as on the list of most preferred wineries for the Social media denizens, and with proper execution of all the strategies and methods described in the same, Glass House Winery is sure to metamorphose into a giant in the business in no time.
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