What effects would the use of social media websites

COMM 225 Case Study – Fall 2015.pdfCOMM 225, FALL 2015: CASE STUDYDUE: November 28, 2015, 23:55 HR, SUBMIT ONLINE IN THE DROP BOXEach group is required to solve both cases provided below (i.e., answer all 4 questions)TO BE DONE IN GROUPS OF MAXIMUM OF 3 STUDENTS FROM THE SAME SECTION (WITH SAMECONTENT EXPECTATIONS)CASE 1: Cold Stone Transforms the Ice Cream Social with FacebookBy Casey Hibbard (Published November 22, 2010)(Full length article available athttp://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/cold-stone-transforms-the-ice-cream-social-with-facebook/)Ice cream has always been social. But Cold Stone Creamery has found a way to make it even moreso—with Facebook. Today, Cold Stone continues to innovate outside the kitchen, recently releasingwhat may be the first eGift feature on Facebook, and running contests that get thousands engagedeven more deeply with the brand. The payoff goes well beyond greater customer engagement; ColdStone’s promotions add to the bottom line by moving people from their computers to physicalstores.In July 2010, Cold Stone made eGifting more tangible. Now you can send Facebook friends a code foran actual ice cream creation eGift, ranging from $5 to $7, right from the Cold Stone Facebook fanpage for delivery via Facebook or email. Like a gift certificate, recipients can instantly redeem thegift at any of the retailer’s American locations by showing a printout or the code on their mobilephones.For a viral effect, the eGift shows up in the recipient’s News Feed on Facebook, so all friends can seeit. One of the first brands to enable eGift Social, created by First Data Corporation, Cold Stone linksits social media presence directly with sales. “The strategy, and really our goal, for eGift was morefor that everyday gift,” said Suzanne Schutz, vice president of marketing at Cold Stone Creamery. Sofar, the results are impressive, delivering on Cold Stone’s goal of increasing revenue for its manyfranchisees. “We’ve sold in just over a month and a half, about 2,000 eGifts and we’ve added roughly$10,000 in incremental sales to the franchisees,” Schutz said. “Franchisees love it because they don’thave to do anything. It’s no extra labor. It’s all done in the virtual world, if you will, and then theyjust watch the sales come in. So they love it. We love it. Our fans love it. It’s definitely a win-win.”Coupon Boosts Sales More Than 1%In a direct response to Facebook fans’ requests, Cold Stone decided to run a 2-for-$5 couponcampaign. The retailer posted the offer on its Facebook page and notified contacts by email. Just 3weeks in, fans had printed more than 500,000 coupons, with more than 20,000 of those fromFacebook. Clearly, the campaign went well beyond just pleasing customers. “Since we launched thecampaign, we’ve seen sales increase just about 1 to 1.2%,” Schutz said. “We’ve seen a redemptionrate of over 14%. For me as an advertiser, that’s a great ROI. For traditional advertising we wouldhave spent upwards of $500,000 and we would have seen less redemption. I think our averageredemption was .02%. So far, it exceeds what traditional advertising and print do.”Lowering the Cost of SalesCold Stone has made social media a major part of its marketing strategy, setting a goal of increasingtraffic to stores by 3% through social media and non-traditional advertising like email, whilereducing advertising spend. The retailer focuses on four or five key promotions throughout the year,getting the attention of customers through Facebook, email, Twitter and YouTube. On YouTube, thecompany posts footage from events like its annual “World’s Largest Ice Cream Social,” whichbenefits Make-A-Wish Foundation. So far, every campaign with social media has brought a spike instore traffic and sales. Combined with lower marketing costs, the team has truly added to profitmargins.Currently, Cold Stone averages a cost of about 39 cents per coupon redeemed, compared to $3.60per redemption with print advertising. Now more than half of the company’s advertising budget isdedicated to non-traditional activities like social media. All that contributes to the company’s goal ofraising sales for its many franchisees.“We let our fans know about our new product launches or programs like eGift and our new flavors.And, in turn, we hope that our fans get excited about it, and then that drives them into our store, andultimately makes the sale,” Schutz saidQ1: What effects would the use of social media websites as advertising channels have on theoperations department within a company? (200-300 words).Q2: For the ice-cream industry, discuss the different processes/activities and players (i.e.supply chain partners) that are involved in delivering the final product to the customers.Through a simple diagram, present a possible supply chain network configuration for such aproduct? (200-300 words)Q3: Consider the total production and sales of ice cream in Canada (in millions of liters) for theperiod 1995 until 2012 as shown in the table below: (based on question 35 on page 113 of ourtextbook)Year1995Sales341Year2004Sales3021996331200533519973172006320199831520073091999321200834620002782009329200129820103372002311201135120033022012332Fit a model to ice cream production data using each of the following techniques and forecast the2013 production in each case:a) Four year moving Average.b) Exponential smoothing with smoothing constant = 0.3 (Use the naïve approach to get themethod started).c) Linear Trend equation.d) Based on MAD values, which of the above three techniques seems more accurate.CASE 2: Most Annoying Airline Delays Might Just Be in the BoardingBy JAD MOUAWAD, Published: October 31, 2011 (New York Times)It’s the common tale of woe for many travelers waiting to board a plane. First the airline has to gothrough a long list of passengers who have priority: First- and business-class passengers, frequentfliers, elite card holders, uniformed members of the military, families with children, those who holdcredit cards affiliated with the airlines, passengers who paid for priority seats. By the time coachtravelers are called, the overhead bins seem to be already full.Airlines have been boarding passengers since the first commercial flight, but as they have addednew classes of seating to their cabins and new fees for priority boarding — all in the name of morerevenue — they have slowed down the whole process.Checked-baggage fees have only added to the problem, because travelers now take more roll-onsonboard, blocking the aisles as they try to cram their belongings into any available space. That iswhy some airlines have gone back to the drawing board to rein in a lengthening process. As it is,boarding time has doubled over the last decades, according to research by Boeing. It now takes 30to 40 minutes to board about 140 passengers on a domestic flight, up from around 15 minutes in the1970s.“They should have a different line for people with carry-ons like they do at baseball games withbags,” said Brian Proffit, who was flying to Houston from New York with Delta Air Lines. “Theboarding process has become worse than the security lanes.”One airline did figure out a way to sharply cut boarding time. Spirit Airlines found that passengersgot to their seats much more rapidly once it started charging $20 to $40 per carry-on bag. Since it’s$2 cheaper to check a bag, more passengers do, and Spirit claims its “stress-free boarding” saves sixminutes on average. Others are reluctant to take such a drastic step for fear of alienating customers.It should be no surprise that boarding has become one more frustrating step in airline travel. Or, asMark E. DuPont, the vice president for airport services planning at American Airlines, put it:“Boarding can be like driving behind a slow-moving truck that you can’t overtake.”Airlines have tried all kinds of elaborate tricks over the years to leave the gate on time. Some boardpassengers in the back rows first, while others give priority to those with window seats, and somecome up with elaborate combinations, including one no longer used, known as the “reversepyramid.” But passengers can be unpredictable.“The real world has wrecked their optimization plans,” said Matthew Daimler, the founder ofSeatGuru, a Web site that helps passengers find the best seats on a particular plane.American Airlines changed the way it boarded its planes in May. It still gives priority to businesspassengers and frequent fliers but then boards passengers who paid an extra $9 to $19 to get onearly, guaranteeing they will find space to stow their bags.The rest of the passengers are then brought in as three groups, sorted in an attempt to spread themout more evenly through the cabin and allow more people to find their seats faster. The approachalso helps passengers stow their luggage more efficiently, nearer to their seats, allowing morepeople to find overhead space and cutting the number of bags that need to be checked at the lastminute — a common cause of delayed flights. The new method has cut boarding by four to fiveminutes, Mr. DuPont said.All the extra fees have been a major benefit to the airlines’ bottom lines. According to estimates byAmadeus, a global distribution service, they will add up to $12.5 billion in 2011 for major UnitedStates airlines, up 87 percent from previous year.The challenge of boarding is thornier for narrow-body planes with single aisles that are used ondomestic flights than on the larger planes on international flights where passengers have twopossible pathways. A scientist once said the problem of boarding a single-aisle plane was a real-lifeapplication of Einstein’s theory of relativity, where passengers are constrained in their movementsthrough space and time.A few years ago, Jason H. Steffen, an astrophysicist at Fermilab in Chicago, figured there had to be abetter way to board after he was held up on the jetway while waiting for a flight to Washington. “Ifthe process was efficient, there would be no line,” he said.He set out to solve the problem using a “Markov chain Monte Carlo optimization algorithm” — amathematical program well suited to the kind of haphazard events that occur in an airplane cabin.Much to his surprise, he found that the common back-to-front method was among the slowest:passengers must wait for those ahead of them to stow their bags and sit down. It is far better, itturns out, to let passengers board randomly. Mr. Steffen claims he found the fastest way, whichinvolves boarding passengers from the back who are seated two rows apart.“The lesson I learned comes down to this: you want to spread passengers out and not concentratethem while boarding,” he said. But the method is unlikely to be picked up because the airlines say itis too complicated.Others have also searched for the holy grail of boarding. In 2002, America West Airlines, which latermerged with US Airways, hired industrial engineers from Arizona State University to speed up theboarding process. The group came up with an approach that they called the “reverse pyramid.” Itbegins with passengers assigned to window seats in the back, and gradually makes its way to thefront of the plane in a staggered pattern.That saved time, but US Airways dropped it in 2007 because some passengers without elite statussitting in the front could not find space for their bags.“Overhead space has really become a premium product,” said Kerry Hester, the senior vicepresident for operations planning at US Airways.Another approach is used by Southwest, which says it can board its planes in around 15 minutes. Itsays the root of the delays is the practice of assigning seat numbers. Southwest’s passengers areinstead assigned to one of three boarding groups, and then given a number based on the time theychecked in. Passengers who buy a premium “Business Select” ticket are guaranteed to board aheadof everyone, followed by Southwest frequent fliers and passengers who bought a $10 one-way“early-bird check-in” pass.The airlines, meanwhile, keep looking for what Scott O’Leary, managing director of customerexperience at United, described as “the sweet spot between speed and a sense of order.”Q4: Discuss the impact of long boarding times on (i) the revenue of airlines and (ii) passenger’stravel? Recommend another way (not reported above) for the airlines to improve the boardingprocess [300-400 words].



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