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Dublin City University MSc. in Electronic Commerce
Dublin City University
MSc. in Electronic Commerce
Business School & School of Computing
Practicum Report for Crowding UP
July 30th 2010
Authors:
Eoin Corry
Andrew Fitzpatrick
Emmet McNally
Gillian Reynolds
55352134
59211148
59211419
55501091
Declaration
“We hereby certify that this material, which we submit for assessment on the programme of
study leading to the award of M.Sc. in Electronic Commerce is entirely our own work and
has not been taken from the work of others save and to the extent that such work has been
cited and acknowledged within the text of our work”
Signed:_______________________
Eoin Corry
Signed:_______________________
Andrew Fitzpatrick
Signed:_______________________
Emmet McNally
Signed:_______________________
Gillian Reynolds
2|Page
CONTENTS
Executive Summary: ......................................................................................................................... 6
Chapter 1: Business Purpose .............................................................................................................. 8
1.1 Crowding UP Description: ....................................................................................................... 8
1.2 Outline of Services: ................................................................................................................. 9
1.3 Value Proposition: ................................................................................................................. 11
1.4 Advantages of Crowding UP: ................................................................................................. 12
Value chain for Crowding UP: ..................................................................................................... 14
Chapter 2: Business Model .............................................................................................................. 15
2.1 The structure of Business Model ............................................................................................ 15
2.2 Revenue Model:..................................................................................................................... 17
2.3 Facilitators ............................................................................................................................. 19
2.4 Growth Strategy..................................................................................................................... 19
2.5 Key Milestones: ..................................................................................................................... 21
Chapter 3: Market Research ............................................................................................................. 27
3.1 Market Analysis:.................................................................................................................... 27
3.2 Current & Future Trends: ....................................................................................................... 27
3.3 Growth drivers: Social media ................................................................................................. 31
3.4 Risk for Crowding UP: .......................................................................................................... 32
3.5Market Segmenation: .............................................................................................................. 39
3.6 Buyer Behaviour: ................................................................................................................... 44
3.7 Promotion: ............................................................................................................................. 45
3.8 Pricing: .................................................................................................................................. 48
3.9 SWOT Analysis: .................................................................................................................... 49
3.10 Pestel Analysis:.................................................................................................................... 50
3.11 Market Research Analysis: ................................................................................................... 53
Chapter 4: Competitive Review ....................................................................................................... 58
4.1 Porter‟s 5 Forces: ................................................................................................................... 58
4.2 Competitors: Competiton & Reward Websites ....................................................................... 60
4.3Social Media Marketing Companies:....................................................................................... 65
Chapter 5: Technology .................................................................................................................... 69
5.1 Web design Spec: .................................................................................................................. 69
5.2 Architecture for an Enterprise Web Application ..................................................................... 75
3|Page
5.3 System Security ..................................................................................................................... 76
5.4 User Characteristics ............................................................................................................... 77
5.5 System Functional Requirement: ............................................................................................ 78
Chapter 6 - Technical Solution ......................................................................................................... 82
6.1 Prototype: .............................................................................................................................. 82
6.2 Technologies Used: ................................................................................................................ 82
Chapter 7: Financial Plan ................................................................................................................. 89
Appendices: .................................................................................................................................... 93
Appendix 1 .................................................................................................................................. 93
Appendix 2 .................................................................................................................................. 96
Appendix 3 Client meeting .......................................................................................................... 99
Appendix 4 Focus Group Q&A.................................................................................................. 104
Appendix 5: Letter to Company with Social Media Presence ..................................................... 108
Appendix 6: Letter to Company Without Social Media Presence ................................................ 109
Appendix 7: Template for crowdingUP folders .......................................................................... 111
Appendix 8: Usability and website evaluation ............................................................................ 112
Appendix 9.1: Profit and loss forecast 2010 - 2011 .................................................................... 135
Appendix 9.2: Profit and loss forecast 2011 - 2012 .................................................................... 136
Appendix 9.3: Profit and loss forecast 2012 - 2013 .................................................................... 137
Appendix 9.4: Cash flow forecast .............................................................................................. 138
APPENDIX 9.5: Balance Sheet Forecast ................................................................................... 139
Minutes................................................................................................................................................140
References..................................................................................................................................... 151
4|Page
Acknowledgements
We would like to thank the following people for their help and support through the
practicum:

Our supervisors, Mr Patrick Mulcahy (DCU Business School) and Dr Markus Helfert
(DCU School of Computing) who provided us with guidance and help.

Dr. Cathal Gurrin (DCU School of Computing) for his advice and direction.

The participants of our market research survey, for their time and feedback.
5|Page
EXECUT IVE SUMMARY:
The objective of this practicum report is to develop a business plan based on our concept of
an online social media marketing company called Crowding UP. Crowding UP offers
companies the opportunity to rapidly develop their online social media presence in a cost
effective manner by offering a range of packages which can be tailored to a company‟s
specific needs.
We will create buzz or newsworthy events, videos, tweets, or blog entries that attract
attention, and become viral in nature for client organisations. This will be achieved through
competitions, online races, surveys and crowd sourcing. The main attraction of this website
will be the prizes. These prizes will come from the client companies.
Chapter 1: Business Purpose
This chapter will outline in detail the various services that Crowding UP will provide to our
clients. The chapter will also highlight the numerous benefits that our company can offer.
Our value proposition and value chain will also be included in this section.
Chapter 2: Business Model
This chapter will detail both the business and revenue model. Within this chapter, we will
also outline the phases that will affect the company during the initial three years of operation
as well as the key milestones that the business will encounter.
6|Page
Chapter 3: Market Research
Within this chapter we will identify the current and future trends related to social media
marketing and also highlight our target market. We carried out a SWOT and PESTEL
analysis in order to understand the micro and macro factors that determine the attractiveness
of the market in which Crowding UP will be operating in.
Chapter 4: Competitive Review
In this chapter, we established the key competitive players within the industry and we also
carried out a Porter‟s Five Forces analysis in order to determine the attractiveness of the
industry.
Chapter 5: Technology
This section will detail the website design spec. The chapter will also feature the architecture
involved in this web application and also the system‟s functional requirements.
Chapter 6: Technical Solution
This chapter outlines the various technologies utilized in effectively creating the website.
Chapter 7: Financial Statements
Within this chapter, we will focus on important financial information. A cash flow statement
and a profit and loss account will cover a three year period and will provide a detailed
analysis of our income, expenditure etc.
7|Page
CHAPTER 1: BUSINESS PURPOSE
For the purpose of this document a “User” shall be considered to be a non business, non
paying individual who enters the competitions on our site. A “Client” is a business
organisation that can use our services to grow their businesses social media profile.
1.1 CROWDING UP DESCRIPTION:
Crowding UP is a company that will be set up as an online social media marketing
company. Crowding UP will create buzz or newsworthy events, videos, tweets, or blog
entries that attract attention, and become viral in nature for client organisations. This
will be achieved through competitions, online races, surveys and crowd sourcing. We
provide a service to our business customers where we grow their social media
presence by promoting their products or services on our website.
Crowding UP will provide social network users the ability to win prizes and make
money from interacting with our client businesses. This will in turn grow the social
media fan bases of our client companies.
Our mission statement:
“To offer organisations the opportunity to rapidly grow their social network and
build strong communication channels with their customers and provide them with
long term social media fans that have an interest in their products and/or services.
We aim to help our clients with all aspects of their social media campaign and by
doing so, gain recognition and widespread acceptance as a viable and profitable
marketing alternative for businesses. Our organisation aims to offer a high quality
service and go above and beyond to offer paying clients any help we can provide.
8|Page
We believe that developing and maintaining an effective social network does not
need to be overly complex and that once an organisation is set on the right track, the
sky is the limit.”
1.2 OUTLINE OF SERVICES:
Most organisations know that they need to join the online social networking scene. Often they lack the tools and
capabilities to develop a professional-grade network. Crowding UP offers organisations the opportunity to rapidly
grow their social network. There are four main services that are provided by Crowding UP for
client businesses.
1. The first service provides our clients with social media consultation and advice. We
will sit with them through an informal meeting and discuss what is and what is not
possible for them to achieve and identify what stage they are currently at in
developing their social media network. We also use this as an opportunity to explain
what our other services are that we provide. If we are unable to physically meet with
the client then we will communicate through Skype as this system has many
advantageous features that allow for virtual meetings.
2. Depending on the development stage of the client companies social network we will
offer to create a unique Facebook and Twitter pages and a YouTube video for a
product of their choice. The YouTube video will then be used for our third service.
3. The third service makes use of our online website. We will recommend once of our
four contests for the client company to engage in
i.
A Competition
9|Page
 Users enter into the contest by fulfilling objectives such as becoming a fan of the
company. The winner is then picked randomly at the end of the contest.
ii.
A Race
 Similar to a basic contest except it is the first person that achieves the objectives that
wins. For example the first person to complete some task such as completing a riddle or
developing a YouTube video of the client company and getting over 1000 views
would win the prize.
iii.
Survey
 By completing a survey the user will be entered into a competition for the prize.
Optionally clients can opt to pay users for completing their survey for increased entries.
The winner is then picked randomly at the end of the contest.
iv.
Springboard.
 Organisations can crowd source projects and choose the winner. Example projects
could include redesigning a logo or product or even writing a catchy song or poem.
It is up to the client company to recommend a prize(s) that they would like to offer but a minimum prize
value of €50 will be enforced to maintain a reasonable overall quality for the contestants. When a
randomly selected winner is required we will record the draw on YouTube and publish it to our own
Facebook and Twitter accounts.
4. The final service we then provide is ongoing helpful suggestions and support to client companies for three
months and we also deliver the prize to the winner.
Crowding UP also provides a service to its non-paying end users. We offer users a
simple and straightforward system that allows users to enter into contests to win
rewards. We have provided the simplest system possible where entering into a
10 | P a g e
competition can take less than a few seconds or more than an hour depending on
what the user would like to do. Creating an account is only necessary when a user
wishes to claim a prize or upload content and the information required is kept to a
strict minimum.
1.3 VALUE PROPOSITION:
Our four services package is currently unique to the Irish and UK market. We
recognize the fact that our business clients need fans that are of value to them. These
fans need to be interested in the client company‟s product or service. Our contests
ensure that contestants are interested in the product or service and it also provides the
necessary incentive to get users to open communications with the client company.
Companies can often spend thousands to millions on developing a social network.
Small and medium sized companies can often not afford this. We offer a package that
is under €1000. This package includes the necessary help and support to get a social
media campaign off the ground and off to a good start so that our clients can then take
on their growing social media campaign in-house.
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1.4 ADVANTAGES OF CROWDING UP:
Crowding UP has many benefits for both the website‟s end users and for the client businesses:
Website End Users
Convenience & Ease of use:

Customers will be able to pick what type of contests they like and they can also
search for particular products or services. Entry into these contests is as simple as
is possible. We found from our focus group and from our usability tests that users
are more likely to enter into a contest if they feel it is going to be quick and easy.
Security:

All user information will be kept securely on only one server. SSL encryption will
also be integrated into the website in phase two of the websites development. Any
use of the user‟s data for analysis will be kept strictly anonymous. Only when a
user permits us to use their details will we publish any material on the site with
their details.
Business Clients:
Increased Exposure:

Businesses without a social media presence will have one created for them and
businesses that already have a social media presence will have it fine tuned. Social
Media is a valuable tool for generating awareness for a company‟s brand or
product and also provides many opportunities for networking. With the support of
Crowding UP our client companies will create much more effective social media
campaigns. Our website is specifically designed to inform our users who are
12 | P a g e
interested in a company‟s product/service about that product/service. When our
site end users create comments about a client companies product or when they
join their page as a fan it acts as great PR and avoids appearing as spam.
Improved Customer Service:

A Forrester report in 2006 found that "cost per action in customer support
averages $12 via the contact center versus $0.25 via self-service options."
(Forrester 2006, ReadWriteWeb). With our help client companies can develop an
effective social media presence, improving communication with customers and
thus improving customer support. This is a clear opportunity for client
organisations to cut costs.
Affiliate sales:

We offer our end users of our site the opportunity to purchase any prizes directly
from the client company if they have either failed to win a contest or they don‟t
want to wait until the contest. This is an added medium for extra sales.
Savings/Increased revenue:

Crowding UP will be competitively priced. We aim to be cheaper than other social
media consultants. Our survey and crowd sourcing (springboard) options ensure
that client businesses are provided with new and insightful ideas from our users.
These ideas can then be used to improve products or the company brand. “William
Baker, a professor of marketing at San Diego State University, surveyed 1,600
executives and found that firms that rely heavily on external social networks
scored 24 percent higher on a measure of radical innovation than companies that
don't (Swearingen, 2008) .”
13 | P a g e
VALUE CHAIN FOR CROWDING UP:
Crowding UP will be based entirely online; the value chain below has been developed and tailored
to our Company.
Firm Infrastructure: Management of Information Systems
Technology Development: Innovation - R&D, Security Enhancements
Human Resource Management: Recruitment, Training, Payroll
Procurement: Stock from Clients, website associated services/ equipment
Inbound Logistics:
 Products from supplier clients
Operations:
 Web design
 Transaction processing
 Database management
Outbound logistics:
 Delivery of sponsored products to the end user
Marketing and Sales:
 Promotions mix
 On-line and off-line advertising
Service:
 Continued client support
 Online brand reputation management
14 | P a g e
CHAPTER 2: BUSINESS MODEL
Much like the most successful online companies Crowding UP pursues several related
but different models concurrently. Crowding UP is not easy to classify because we have
had to diversify our revenue streams, becoming a hybrid and thus ensuring we are cost
effective. At the heart of Crowding UP we are a mixture of the traditional online
advertising model and the social networking model. Our main goal is to sell advertising
space on our site and then gather people together to talk to each other (for free) about the
advertised product or service. Supporting companies and helping them develop a social
media campaign is a secondary service meant to encourage them to advertise on our site
and create revenue for our organisation. We are a high growth services organisation.
2.1 THE STRUCTURE OF BUSINESS MODEL
Crowding UP‟s business model is based around the demand from businesses for new ways
to attract users to their social media sites. There are many reasons why businesses want to
attract fans such as increasing brand awareness, understanding their customers better and
communicating directly with their customers. The Crowding UP contests are designed to
cater for these business needs.

The basic competition is a simple design meant to advertise a company‟s
product/service. Users enter into these competitions by joining the advertising
company site on Facebook or Twitter. This creates a reward system for fans that
join their social network.

The race is a more complex version of the basic competition. A challenge is
issued to complete a certain goal such as bet the first to find and post a message
on all the advertising companies‟ social networks. This creates interest in the
15 | P a g e
company‟s social network.

The Springboard is a crowd sourcing contest. This allows for a high level of
collaboration between businesses and consumers, creating a mutually beneficial
relationship.

The survey offers companies direct access to their potential customer‟s interests
and concerns.
Creating these contests for client companies is where the main source of income will
come from for the business. Supporting activities such as video creation, consulting and
social media page development exist to entice and enable customers to purchase a contest
on the site. For the initial six months all services will be free to help build up the number
of client companies and the number of prizes for end users.
A key component to the success of this business model is the involvement of the
individual social media users. We have performed a focus group with potential end users
and we have identified some important aspects that we have built into our model.
Entering into contests will be kept as simple as possible ensuring that the sites end users
only have to enter in the fewest clicks needed. It is also important to keep the prizes at a
high level of quality and to ensure that the amount of prizes available to win is high
enough to give every customer a realistic chance of winning.
16 | P a g e
2.2 REVENUE MODEL:
Crowding UP‟s main source of income will come from the revenue generated from the four
contests on the website. In the first six months of the sites launch no fees will be charged for
contests. In the first three months the consulting and social media development services will be
free. The consulting and social media development services bring in a slightly higher income then
the contests at first but as the site grows and the consulting and development services are
streamlined and the number of client business grow the contests will bring in the majority of
revenue.
In year one the consulting and development services will not be compulsory to maintain a
reasonable turnover.
Profit based on 100 contests in the year (Months 7 - 18)
Contests*
Survey (€30 each)
€440
Springboard (€150 each)
€2,190
Competition (€80 each)
€1,160
Race (€100 each)
€1,460
Advertising
On Site Adverts
Affiliate Linking**
Consulting and Development
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter
pages including all images and
videos. (€99 each)
Paid Surveys***
€1,100
€1,065
€8,250
€2,616
GROSS PROFIT TOTAL
€18,281
*Based on an equal division of each contest
** Based in a pessimistic price of €50 per product and 10% commission
*** Based on 25 surveys in the year with 100 entrants in each survey
17 | P a g e
Profit based on 270 contests in the year (Months 19 - 30)
Contests*
Survey (€30 each)
€1,495
Springboard (€150 each)
€7,470
Competition (€80 each)
€3,985
Race (€100 each)
€4,980
Advertising
On Site Adverts
Affiliate Linking**
Consulting and Development
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter
pages including all images and
videos. (€99 each)
Paid Surveys***
€2,000
€3,200
€9,900
€5,520
GROSS PROFIT TOTAL
€38,550
*Based on an equal division of each contest
** Based in a pessimistic price of €50 per product and 10% commission
*** Based on 68 surveys in the year with 100 entrants in each survey
Profit based on 330 contests in the year (Month’s 31 – 36)
Contests*
Survey (€30 each)
€1,160
Springboard (€150 each)
€5,815
Competition (€80 each)
€3,100
Race (€100 each)
€3,875
Advertising
On Site Adverts
Affiliate Linking**
Consulting and Development
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter
pages including all images and
videos. (€99 each)
Paid Surveys***
€4,200
€2,310
€4,950
€3,865
GROSS PROFIT TOTAL
€29,275
*Based on an equal division of each contest
** Based in a pessimistic price of €50 per product and 10% commission
*** Based on 82 surveys in the year with 100 entrants in each survey
18 | P a g e
2.3 FACILITATORS
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
Crowding UP aims to open communication channels and form strategic partnerships with
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It will be necessary to at least have open dialogue with these
three organisations as they are a key to the success of Crowding UP. A similar site in the
US called AnyLuckyDay ran into difficulty when their Facebook account was deleted. The
reason why is still unknown but it took the organisation three months to open dialogue with
Facebook to begin discussing recovering their old Facebook account.
Web Developers
The long term plan of Crowding UP includes many difficult improvements on the
site. Techno Systems in India has been sourced to help with the more difficult aspects
that have occurred while developing the current site. It will be important to ensure
that support form a reliable Web Development company is maintained.
2.4 GROWTH STRATEGY
(B2C). The foundation of any business plan is to identify your share of the market. The
growth strategy of Crowding up over the next three years has three phases.
Phase 1
This phase begins with the development of the website with the least possible features in
March 2010. To fund this initial development a loan of €10,000 will be taken out from the
bank (AIB 5 year loan, €215 monthly repayment). Once the website is developed it will be
launched in Ireland. This phase includes the development of the marketing and advertising
strategy as well as the presentation folders and development of the social media fan pages.
The Crowding Up brand will be created and nurtured and this phase will also the early
development of the crowding up community. The business name will be registered and
registered for tax.
A business bank account will be created and the Paypal payment system will be used for the
second six months of this phase. SSL encryption will be set on the website.
The target number of client businesses is 100 SME businesses and the number of site users is
aimed at over 3,000. There will be a high level of consulting and development with
client businesses at this early stage in the business.
Phase 2
At the beginning of this phase, the website will be reprogrammed in Joomla or Wordpress.
The features on the website will be reassessed and any unsuccessful features on the site will
be removed. Once the redesign is completed the website will be launched in the UK.
Businesses will be able to develop their own contests on the crowding up website instead of
having the contest being designed by Crowding Up staff.
A payment service provider will be selected and integrated with the website
The target number of client businesses is 250 SME‟s and 20 large businesses. The target
number of site users is over 40,000. This is year 2. Business consulting services will be
reduced to just virtual meetings. Social media development for clients will become optional
with a maximum capacity of 100. Maximum capacity is expected to be reached.
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 20
Phase 3
Phase three will begin in the third year with the development of a new sub-domain for client
businesses. Here they will be able to log into and review their own progress with their
campaigns, user feedback and analysis. A community will be created here in the form of a
blog and businesses will be able to discuss social media strategies and their success with their
contests.
The Crowding Up site will be redeveloped to focus more on the end users. Previous links for
advertising and for client businesses will be removed and a single link to the new sub-domain
will be created. The Crowding Up name and logo will be trademarked in the EU.
The target for this phase is 300 SME‟s and 30 large businesses. The number of site users is
expected to grow by 50% to over 75,000. Maximum capacity for the development of social
media networks for client businesses is expected to be reached.
2.5 KEY MILESTONES:
MILESTONES
START DATE
Phase 1 Begins
END DATE
01/02/201
01/08/2011
01/03/201
01/08/2010
0
Website Development
0
Business Name Registration
01/03/201
N/A
01/03/201
N/A
01/03/201
N/A
0
Tax Registration
0
Business Bank Account
0
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 21
Start-up Financial Investment Raised
01/05/201
01/08/2010
30/05/201
31/07/2010
0
Business Plan Completed
0
SSL Encryption
20/08/201
N/A
20/08/201
N/A
01/01/201
N/A
01/02/201
N/A
20/02/201
N/A
0
Website Launch in Ireland
0
Radio Advertisements
1
Dialogue with Facebook, Twitter and
YouTube
1
Free 6 Month Period ends
1
100 SME's Achieved
01/08/2011 N/A
3,000 End Users
01/08/2011 N/A
Phase 2 Begins
01/08/201
01/08/2012
01/08/201
01/01/2012
1
Phase 2 Website Development
1
Partnership Created
01/08/201
N/A
01/08/201
N/A
1
Name and Logo Trademarked in EU
1
Payment Service Provider
01/08/2011 N/A
Consulting Services go Virtual
01/08/2011 N/A
Website launch in UK
01/01/201
N/A
2
40,000 End Users
01/08/2012 N/A
250 SME's Achieved
01/08/2012 N/A
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 22
20 Large Client Businesses Achieved
01/08/2012 N/A
Phase 3 Begins
01/08/201
01/08/2013
01/08/201
01/11/2012
2
Phase 3 Website and Sub-domain
2
75,000 End Users
01/08/2013 N/A
300 SME's Achieved
01/08/2013 N/A
30 Large Client Businesses Achieved
01/08/2013 N/A
The following is how we have worked out our targets for both business clients and the
websites end-users.
Business Clients (Ireland)
The most reliable source for statistics on business in Ireland is the Central Statistics Office
Ireland. Not every enterprise in Ireland is applicable for social networking, for example farm
enterprises and the construction industry. We have focused on industrial enterprises and the
services sector as these are the most likely to engage in social media technologies and they
are also the most likely to be able to provide a prize for contests on the Crowding Up website.
The most recent count on the number of businesses in Ireland is from 2005. There are 3,879
small industrial enterprises and 995 medium and large industrial enterprises. There are 82,100
small services enterprises and 1,888 medium and large services enterprises (CSO, 2008).
According to the latest Bank of Ireland statistics the number of enterprises in Ireland has
continued to grow year on year even with the recent recession so these numbers can be taken
as a conservative count (Bank of Ireland, 2009).
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 23
Small businesses (less than 50 employees) are easier to contact and are also easier to engage
in business. According to the most recent Regus survey on business social media small
companies are more likely to use social networking (SiliconRepublic, 2010). As a result of
this we aim to engage with small businesses in phase 1. We have consulted with Focus
Ireland and Fitzpatrick‟s Shoes on social networking and we have helped develop their social
network profiles. For the first three years Crowding Up will employ only two people (parttime for the first year). We have found that the maximum number of companies that you can
consult with is two a week due to the initial large workload required in the first week. The
workload in the following weeks is minimal. Considering this we have decided to only
consult a maximum of two businesses a week.
“40% of businesses in Ireland use social networks to win new business, according to a new
global survey commissioned by Regus. The survey also stated that 41% of companies in
Ireland plan to devote a proportion of their marketing budget to social-networking activities
by the end of 2010. 26% of these businesses have already allocated a part of their marketing
budget specifically for social-networking. 44% of small companies have gained new
customers through social networking, compared to 36% of medium companies and 28% of
large businesses. The survey also found that the retail, media, ICT, marketing and
consultancy were the sectors making the most use of social networking (InsideIreland,
2010).” With 41% of businesses planning to devote a proportion of their marketing budget
we can estimate that potentially 35,000 small businesses intend on financing social media.
This is the size of our market sector. With our limit on the number of businesses we can
consult at 100 per year (104 excluding holidays) we feel that attractive 0.0028% of the
market available will be very achievable year on year.
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 24
Business Clients (UK)
In comparison to the number of Irish small businesses the UK is a much larger market. The
UK online marketing sector is estimated to be worth £650m (SiliconRepublic, 2005). There
are around 4.5 million business enterprises in the UK in 2006. 99.3% of these businesses
were small (National Statistics, 2007). There are around 1.4 million small businesses around
London. To keep currier expenses down initially we will target small businesses in and
around London. We estimate that when we are consulting virtually with companies in the UK
we will be able to maintain an additional 150 small businesses (on top of 100 Irish
companies) and 20 large businesses. With such a large market available 170 clients in the UK
is highly achievable for Phase 2. We aim to increase small businesses in the UK to 200 in
Phase 3 and increase the number of large businesses by 50% as our reputation grows in the
UK. 330 client businesses is the target for both Ireland and the UK in Phase 3. With any
increase in this number of clients additional staff will be needed.
Website End-users
The end-users will be the key to success for crowding up. The more end-users we have the
more companies will want to advertise with us. We have estimated that we will have at least
3,000 end-users by the end of Phase 1. On June 16th we set up a Twitter account and
described our services. We have received over 40 messages of interest between then and the
1st of August. This was achieved with little effort on our part (16 tweets) and is an example of
the interest that exists for our service. We currently have access to a network of over 500
Facebook users. Combined with Google Adwords and Facebook ads and Radio
advertisements we believe that the goal of 3,000 users will be highly achievable in Phase 1.
Phase 2 has a target of 40,000 end-users. This will be broken down to at least 8,000 users in
Ireland and 32,000 in the UK. This will be achieved through the standard Google and
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Facebook ads combined with the growth of our online profile and through press releases and
through blogging.
We have a target of over 75,000 end-users in Phase 3. Our closest comparison in Ireland is
www.pigsback.com. Pigsback.com has been on Facebook for over 30 months and the
Pigsback.com website takes in more than 30pc of all Irish online marketing spend
(SiliconRepublic, 2005). It has over 11,000 Irish fans. It is our goal to match this number in
Ireland in Phase 3. We also aim to double our UK End-Users to 64,000.
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CHAPTER 3: MARKET RESEARCH
3.1 MARKET ANALYSIS:
Over the last five years, social media marketing has grown exponentially and has become an
integral part of many companies marketing strategies. It is considered a powerful tool as, if
implemented and utilized correctly, it can prove to be a highly effective means of engaging,
communicating and developing sustainable relationships with customers.
Research has indicated that users who actively engage in social media are inclined to feel
more valued by the company and in control of the relationship they have with that company.
Statistics revealed that 33% of social media users believe that “companies are genuinely
interested in them”. When social media marketing was compared with traditional marketing
methods, it was made clear that consumers have developed a significant degree of cynicism
towards traditional techniques, with only 9 % trusting companies to “act in their best
interests” (Alterian, 2010).
3.2 CURRENT & FUTURE TRENDS:
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We felt that it was important to understand the current trends that exist in relation to social
media marketing as this will help us to be capable of offering our customers the most up-todate social media marketing tools. In a recent survey, it was highlighted that 88% of
marketers use social media to market their business. However, many of the companies
involved have only begun to use this method of marketing in the last few months. It was
indicated that the reason for this is related to the time commitment involved, with an average
of 20 hours a week required for an effective social media marketing campaign (Stelzner,
2009).
Future Trends in Social Media:
2009 saw the growth of social media across the globe, websites like Twitter have grown to a
size which was previously regarded as impossible, changes and advances in social media are
happening faster than any other area online. A single year in the area of social media will see
dramatic changes. Many companies have become acutely aware of social media and many
companies are beginning to see a potentially high opportunity to profit from it.
The major trends for 2010 appear to support the mobility of our favourite social networks,
meaning that people are never far from their next social media fix. There has been a
significant rise in the sale of smart phones, which is the main contributing factor in the
mobility trend currently taking hold.
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Twitter has become the most commonly used platform for companies to communicate with
their customers, with two thirds of the Fortune 100 using at least one Twitter account. Twitter
has recently announced that more than 2 billion “tweets” are posted each month
(www.pingdom.com 2010) this reiterates the significance of this particular platform.
(Burson-Marsteller, 2010)
It is also expected that social media will soon become a more exclusive experience and will
allow people to seek value from their chosen social networks, while filtering out the clutter
on their Facebook and Twitter accounts (Armano, 2009).
Foursquare is becoming a major social media platform its popularity in the US is on par with
the number of active Bebo users in the EU. Foursquare is the next step in locational social
media, users log in to locations and if they are very active in certain areas they can become a
foursquare mayor, this has introduced an incentivized approach to social media. Crowding
UP has foreseen this trend and therefore our business model will be based around this
incentivized approach. Our competitions and crowd sourcing utilize this approach in the most
effective way.
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By following the current trends in social media marketing and analyzing the multiple success
areas, Crowding UP will be in a position to take advantage of the future trends of social
media marketing. A number of recent studies into social media marketing suggest that by
2011 organizations will have a specific social media marketing budget. Crowding UP sees
this as a genuine opportunity to get a large number of companies onto our client list. The idea
of in-house social media marketing is fading. For companies who seek to outsource their
social media marketing Crowding UP will offer a wide variety of tailored social media
marketing packages, and therefore taking advantage of future opportunities.
Crowding UP‟s website is designed to be future proof. We can quickly and easily adjust
settings and options to best reflect current trends i.e. our website will be constantly updated
with interesting competitions and promotions. This will help us to maintain our active users,
customer retention is particularly challenging online as users can easily change websites if
they are not satisfied. Crowding UP is acutely aware of this and will work closely with our
clients to be suit their needs.
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3.3 GROWTH DRIVERS: SOCIAL MEDIA

Forrester research has developed the above graph with forecasts for interactive
marketing. Since 2008, expenditure on social media marketing has increased
significantly compared to other forms of interactive marketing. This is one of the key
growth factors of the popularity of social media marketing. The attitude of “you
cannot afford not to be involved” is the best approach to social media for companies.

The opportunity for companies to interact directly with their target markets is seen as
a major change in how organizations communicate with the external environment.
This has further fuelled the growth of social media marketing.

The market is always watching, some companies have learnt the hard way you cannot
simply ignore customer problems as a single person now has the power to
communicate with the vast community i.e. bad news will spread faster than ever
before. Many companies have acknowledged this reality and have developed an
online social media presence, however many of these organizations are unsure as how
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to maximize this, Crowding UP can work with these organizations and help maximize
opportunities and advantages.

Facebook has recently announced that it has over 500 million members. This has
received a large amount of media coverage; the company is seen as one of the most
influential social media companies ever. This has attracted numerous new companies
to Facebook, the company is now seen as one of the best way to communicate with
target markets.
3.4 RISK FOR CROWDING UP:
As crowding up is based entirely online the company may be susceptible to a number of
online risks, online fraud is now one of the largest areas for criminal activity. According to
Dr. Akif Khan, Head of Client and Technical Services at Cyber Source Ltd and co-author of
the Fraud Report, “online fraud represents significant revenue loss for merchants”. “It’s not
just the cost of fraudulent orders that needs to be considered, but also the additional costs of
rejecting valid orders, administration of fraud claims and paying for the maintenance of
internal system” (IMRG, 2010). Other detrimental effects include the loss of customer trust
and also the reputation of the firm being tarnished.
While the likelihood of a malware attack is considerably high, we have found that Crowding
UP will have sufficient controls in place to alleviate these risks. Crowding UP will attempt
to mitigate risks by installing Norton on all their systems which provides comprehensive
protection - blocking identified threats and helping guard PC‟s against all kinds of cyberthreats. In addition, Norton automatically updates itself to maintain protection and expand
and refine its list of known threats.
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Data Loss:
History has proven that computers do eventually fail. However, we cannot be sure when this
will occur. At a certain point in time, every company or individual will be faced with a nonfunctioning computer. The threat in this instance is the loss or corruption of data (Mailat,
2007). More than 40% of small businesses rank automated data backup and recovery as their
primary IT need (Boodoosingh, 2009).
The general rule for protecting data is if the loss of that data will impede with doing business,
back it up. Software programmes can be easily reinstalled but recovering the details of
correspondences, sales transactions and customer history is not viable if those files are
damaged or lost (Centric Technologies, 2010). When data loss or corruption occurs, the only
alternative is to restore data from a backup system (Mailat, 2007). Until a few years ago, the
terms “data protection” and “disaster recovery” were typically associated with enormous
budgets and an array of IT personnel to supervise the process. However, the current business
environment of relatively inexpensive disks, robust software and hard drives allow businesses
of all sizes to guard themselves from loss of data (Centric Technologies, 2010). There are
two critical systems that have been identifies as the most important to Crowding UP. These
are:

Website

Database
The Website is identified as one of the critical systems because if the site is down then we
cannot function. If the website is down for long periods of time then the customers will
simply not return and take their business elsewhere. The website is hosted by a web-hosting
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Company who needs to put the backup systems in place and redirects the customers to
backup server in case the main server is down and website cannot be accessed. One of the
most critical systems to Crowding UP is the database. The database hosts all the customer
data: we need this data to do our analysis from. Loss of this data can be of a devastating
nature to the company therefore the database has been identified as the most important
system that needs to be backed up. It is also important to determine as to how long the
systems can be down before the failure starts to cause serious damage to the company. As
mentioned above the website is hosted by a third-party. Regardless, if the site goes down the
customers cannot access it and will eventually leave the site (after a couple of tries most
customers leave the page). As a result the maximum allowed time that the system can be
down is only a few hours before it will seriously start to impact the company.
The same applies to databases, should they go offline (in complete database failure all the
data is lost and the company is left in a situation from which it is very hard to recover). As
databases are the most central storage spaces for the customer data then in the case they are
down the customer data will become impossible to store.
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To prevent against malware and viruses Crowding Up will install Norton anti-virus on the
computers within the company.
o Global Virus McAfee (2010)
Norton Provides:
 Antivirus

Download Protection

Antispyware

Network Monitoring

Bot Protection

Root kit Protection

Identity Protection

PC Tune-up

Norton™ Safe Web

Norton Browser Protection

Smart Firewall

Pulse Updates
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Exposure
Probability of
Loss Range
Occurrence
1-5
Data Loss
Low
4
Power Failure
Low
3
Hackers
Low
4
Malware
High
3
User Error
High
2
Lack of Training
Medium
2
Below is a list of best practices for online security:
(Symantec Global Internet, Security Threat Report Volume XIV, Published April 2009, Page
93)
Crowding Up aims to follow these best practices to ensure the safe and efficient running of
the business.

Employ defence-in-depth strategies, which emphasize multiple, overlapping, and
mutually supportive defensive systems to guard against single-point failures in any
specific technology or protection method. This should include the deployment of
regularly updated antivirus, firewalls, intrusion detection, and intrusion protection
systems on client systems.

Turn off and remove services that are not needed.

If malicious code or some other threat exploits one or more network services, disable
or block access to those services until a patch is applied.

Always keep patch levels up to date, especially on computers that host public services
and are accessible through the firewall, such as HTTP, FTP, email, and DNS services.
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
Consider implementing network compliance solutions that will help keep infected
mobile users out of the network (and disinfect them before rejoining the network).

Enforce an effective password policy.

Configure mail servers to block or remove email that contains file attachments that
are commonly used to spread viruses, such as .VBS, .BAT, .EXE, .PIF, and .SCR
files.

Isolate infected computers quickly to prevent the risk of further infection within the
organization.

Perform a forensic analysis and restore the computers using trusted media.

Train employees to not open attachments unless they are expected and come from a
known and trusted source, and to not execute software that is downloaded from the
Internet unless it has been scanned for viruses.

Ensure that emergency response procedures are in place. This includes having a
backup-and-restore solution in place in order to restore lost or compromised data in
the event of successful attack or catastrophic data loss.

Educate management on security budgeting needs.

Test security to ensure that adequate controls are in place.

Be aware that security risks may be automatically installed on computers with the
installation of file sharing programs, free downloads, and freeware and shareware
versions of software.

Clicking on links and/or attachments in email messages (or IM messages) may also
expose computers to unnecessary risks. Ensure that only applications approved by the
organization are deployed on desktop computers.
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No Income Risk Range
Duration
Month 1
Month 2
Month 3
Month 4
Month 5
Month 6
Month 7
Month 8
Month 9
Month 10
Month 11
Month 12
Month 13
Month 14
Month 15
Month 16
Month 17
Month 18
Month 19 - 24
Month 25 - 30
Month 31 - 36
Year Starting From
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
No business Interruptions
Major Business Interruptions
Business Failure
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3.5MARKET SEGMENATION:
We are conscious of the importance of correctly identifying our target market. We are fully
aware that by doing this accurately it will allow us to recognise and exploit opportunities and
focus wholly on the interested segments of the market. In order to establish who are target
market is; we found it useful to ask ourselves some pertinent questions including some of the
following:

What value can we offer to both companies and customers?

What do we do differently and better than other social media advertising companies
currently in operation?

What do we have to offer that people would be willing to pay for? (Berry, 2008)
By considering the above questions, it enabled the team to become fully aware as to what we
believe are our strongest features and also determine the various benefits that we can offer
our potential customers.
Target Companies:
Identifying the correct market segment to target our services at will be crucial to the success
of Crowding UP. Recognising and focusing on our specific customer needs and requirements
will enable us to build and maintain strong relationships and should lead to a successful
business relationship for both parties concerned.
During some of the initial market research that we conducted into how companies are
currently employing social media advertising, we discovered that many small to medium
sized Irish companies are either not using this method at all in partnership with traditional
marketing means or they are not exploiting it to its full potential and therefore not reaping the
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full rewards that can be gained by applying social media advertising to their marketing
portfolio. We believe many companies are struggling to understand where to locate
themselves in the new forms of digital communication channels. We feel that by targeting the
companies with minimal social media marketing usage levels and explicitly highlighting the
benefits of working with Crowding UP by advertising on our website, these companies will,
in a relatively short space of time, garner a greater amount of brand awareness and as a direct
result of this, an increase in the number of customers and sales. It is important to emphasise
the importance of connecting companies with their customers and also how easy it will be to
reach out to new customers and maintain these relationships by taking advantage of the viral
nature of social media and working with Crowding UP. However, we will also target our
services to a certain degree at companies that already have a social media presence. While
conducting our primary research, we found that companies who already have an online and
social media presence are more likely to show an interest and have a greater understanding of
our business concept and are therefore more likely to engage with our services.
Charities will also be a key component in our targeting campaign. From our research, we
discovered that the majority of Irish charities such as Bubblegum Club and The Irish Red
Cross have a poor or non-existent social media presence. Following an interview with Focus
Ireland (see appendix 3), we plan to work with them on their marketing campaigns such as
their “Key to a Home” campaign and provide them with a means of gaining a greater level
awareness of the work that they are involved. Working with such a charity will also be
beneficial to Crowding UP, as it should allow us to create a positive public image and gain
exposure through working with a high profile charity.
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We also plan to target businesses that will enable us to tailor prizes around specific events
and festivals. Our aim is to work with companies who can provide prizes that would appeal to
the event or festival clientele, for example, contact businesses that sell camping equipment in
anticipation of the Electric Picnic or Oxegen music festivals or hotels and restaurants in the
lead up to the Galway Races. We have set an objective of targeting one per quarter during out
first year and progressive increasing this over the three year period.
Target Users:
We are also aware that we need to target the correct customers who will be willing to take
part in the various competitions and other features that Crowding UP has to offer. We found
that the largest segment of the population using social media networks lie in the 15-29 age
group, closely followed by the 30-44 year olds. We would, therefore, be eager to target the
15-29 age group as this segment of social media users are more familiar with the numerous
social media tools.
Generation Z = 13-14 year olds
Generation Y = 15-29 year olds
Generation X = 30-44 year olds
Baby Boomers = 45-65 year olds
WWII Generation = 65+ (eMarketer, 2009)
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In order to thoroughly endorse these statistics, we conducted our own survey in order to
establish the type of user profile that would be interested in our in becoming active members
on our website. Following our analysis of the replies we found that our core target users lie
within the 18-24 (71.6% of respondents), followed by the 25-36 age group (24.3% of
respondents). Furthermore, the majority of respondents were female (60.6%).
Universities:
There are a large number of universities and institutes of further education throughout
Ireland. Each year these institutions set aside an advertising budget aimed at attracting future
students. Our company will be able to provide a number of services to these institutions as
social media is one of the most useful channels of communication for people aged between
15-29. Universities annually target students at the leaving cert CAO level, we will be able to
help universities contact and interact with these students directly. Universities will be able to
carry out surveys on these potential students, this will help universities to gauge demand for
college courses and also determine the popularity of certain courses amongst the leaving cert
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level students. Crowding UP can help universities to create a positive image amongst students
at leaving cert level and also mature students returning to university, Crowding UP can help
universities to use a more personalised approach towards promoting the university rather than
the current mass media approach of radio advertisements.
Market Share:
In order to determine the size of our target user market we examined articles provided by the
Irish Internet Association (Aileen O‟Toole, 2010). We discovered that there are
approximately 1.58 million (see figure 3.1) Facebook users in Ireland as of May 2010, with
most users visiting their profiles on average 2.6 times per day. With most users having an
average of 124 friends, we would hope that the viral nature of our website will spread
throughout Irish Facebook users. We believe that Crowding UP could potentially have a user
base in Ireland of approximately 2000 by the end of first quarter in 2011.
Figure 3.1
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3.6 BUYER BEHAVIOUR:
Seasonality: If your product is seasonal, what else do they do during that season? Do they
make their purchase during that season or in advance?
Purpose: How will the product be used? Is it to be a gift for someone else? Will it be used by
many people or just one?
Frequency: How often do they purchase your product/service? How much of it do they buy
at a time?
Location preferences: Where do your consumers buy your product? At one particular store?
Wherever they can find it? Through the mail? Online?
Time preferences: When do your consumers buy your product? What time of day? What day
of the week? What time of the month? What time of the year?
Shopping preferences: Do your consumers shop around for the best quality, price, etc.? Do
they buy it on impulse? Do they buy a lot of it at once or only buy it when needed?
Brand preferences: Are your consumers loyal to a particular brand? What makes that brand
their favourite? Does brand image play an important role?
Purchase roles: There are several parties that affect the purchasing process:

Influencers: Those that submit information, opinions, etc. to influence the purchase
decision

Decision makers: The person(s) who make the decision to purchase or not and which
brand/company to use
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
Purchaser: The person who actually places the order or buys the product from the
store, catalogue, etc.

User: The person(s) who use the product once it has been purchased
3.7 PROMOTION:
The promotional and marketing aspect of Crowding UP is another pivotal component to the
success of the company in the long term. We plan to promote our company in a variety of
ways, exploiting both traditional and online marketing techniques.
Letters to Companies:
We chose a traditional kind of marketing initially in the form of letters (see appendix 5 & 6)
to gage the level of interest that we could potentially receive from clients. We created a
general template and tailored them to suit each company. The letter outlined the benefits of
social media marketing, followed by the features of our service. Although the letters were not
as effective as we would have liked, we did receive some degree of interest from companies.
Over a two week period we distributed 50 letters and received six emails from businesses
who wished to obtain more information concerning what Crowding UP could offer them.
Radio Advertisements:
We have set aside a budget of €3000 in year one which will be used to promote the company
through a series of radio advertisement on Spin 103.8. We chose this particular radio station
as they target a similar age demographic as Crowding UP (15-34) (Spin 103.8, 2010). We
contacted the company‟s direct sales manager, Garrett Gunnigle and we were informed that a
starting point for a 15 second advertisement would cost €30. This would mean that over a two
month period, Crowding UP‟s advertisement could potentially be replayed on the station up
to 100 times, generating a high degree of exposure for the company, particular in the Dublin
area.
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Press Releases:
We feel that working with charities such as Focus Ireland, will help us to develop a positive
public image. We plan to issue press releases with the aim of attracting favourable media
attention directed at both Crowding UP and the charity that we are working with at the time.
We hope that the press release will form the basis of a positive news story and generate
exposure for the company.
Link Building:
Link building will be an essential ongoing feature of website optimization which is needed on
a monthly basis. We can increase the number of hits to our website if we can boost the
amount of links that we have going to our site. This will be done vigorously on blogs, forums
and websites that mention Crowding UP and the services that we provide and also the
advertising campaign that we will ensue.
Community:
A website that appears to have good content and is of a high standard should reflect
positively on the company. This is important as people search social bookmarks, blogs,
message boards, and other sites that create a good reference to you. We aspire to have a high
standard of news content within our blog, with daily updates.
Google Analytics/ Google AdWords:
Google Analytics now makes the features that experts demand easy to use for everyone.
This program will enable Crowding UP to gain rich insights into its website traffic with
Advanced Segmentation, Custom Reporting, Motion Charts and Google Analytics. These
features can improve our website‟s online results and enable us to learn more about where
our visitors come from and how they interact with our website. Google Analytics will assist
us in finding out what keywords attract the most favourable results, what advertising copy
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generates the most replies and what landing pages and content are most profitable for our
company.
Google Analytics has all the features you would expect from a high-end analytics offering. It
also provides tightly integrated AdWords support, so you can view AdWords ROI metrics
without having to import cost data or add keyword-tracking. By registering for an AdWords
account, it is possible to use Google Analytics directly from the AdWords interface. Google
Analytics also calculates ROI metrics from automatically imported cost and keywordtracking data. Google Analytics tracks all online campaigns, from emails to keywords,
regardless of search engine or referral source.
We plan on having an aggressive ongoing AdWords campaign to ensure, along with our SEO
campaign, that we rank high with our keywords and our site is optimised both organically and
paid search. This along with Google‟s Website Optimiser will enable us to find out which
page designs, headlines and graphics convert the most visitors. It will also let us create
custom reports for every aspect of the site and to see which pages are more popular than
others (Bash Bosh, 2010).
Online PR:
We will invest a significant amount of time connecting with people who are interested in
what we are doing. As we roll out new features it is important that both users and clients
are made aware beforehand via optimised press releases and email campaigns.
Online newsletter/ email campaign:
This will enable us to bring our marketing strategy to a new level. Through Mail Chimp, we
can monitor the progress of every email campaign, enabling us to find out what content our
customers are reading and what users find appealing etc. Email campaigns are a great way to
maintain the relationship with customers and connecting with them every month.
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3.8 PRICING:
During Crowding UP‟s first phase, we plan to charge a compulsory consultancy fee of €99 to
each company. This consultancy service will be provided for three months, however a limited
amount of help will be provided thereafter should the client experience any difficulties. We
felt that this was an appropriate figure to charge clients, as our nearest Irish competitor,
TravelShake, have a similar pricing structure. We feel that our low pricing structure will be
an attractive aspect when promoting Crowding UP to potential clients.
We will also be charging clients €1.20 per survey, with an initial set up fee of €30 for this
service. Users will be paid €1.00 per survey completed, leaving us with the remaining €0.20.
As the Springboard component of the business is relying on other people‟s skills and
expertise to a large degree, we feel that it is fitting to charge €150 to each company for this
particular service. The pricing thereafter will be charged as follows

We will be charging clients €80 for the competition element of our services.

The Race component will be charged at a price of €100.

Advertising will be charged at a fee of €50 per spot. In phase one, there will be two

spots available for companies to advertise their products and services, the second

phase w
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3.9 SWOT ANALYSIS:
Internal Factors
Internal Factors
Strengths:
Weaknesses:


Crowding UP allows for direct contact with
amount of effort required to
marketing tools such as Facebook.
complete competition tasks, i.e.
Crowding UP can offer discussions and
computer users, expert vs.
feedback sessions on products and services
beginner.



Rate of return (ROR) could
Our services will allow community
initially be quite low as the
members to become actively involved in
company will have to generate a
marketing campaigns and contests, for
market presence and customer
example, by creating a YouTube video,
base.
therefore helping to develop strong brand

Level of expertise will affect the
our audience by utilizing social media
online.



Companies are very protective
awareness.
about their brand image and
Our services are highly cost effective and
therefore may be reluctant to
easy to tailor to client requirements when
hand over their marketing
compared to traditional marketing.
management to a third party.
We will offer our services free of charge

Technical concept that may
initially to our clients.
prove difficult for clients to
Crowding UP offers a range of services that
understand.
can help with the development of strong

Website will have to be
business relationships at a faster pace when
manually managed until
compared to businesses who do not embrace
processes can become
social media. Business relationships will be
automated.
stronger as problems can be addressed
immediately.

Our service will provide companies with an
effective means of collecting important data
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concerning their customers or potential

customers by conducting online surveys
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External Factors
External Factors
Opportunities:
Threats:


Help companies with no social media

experience to tap into the market
businesses at the outset of the
effectively.
venture.
Social media is currently one of the biggest

online trends and is set to continue growing
rapidly. Crowding UP will be well


Slow uptake of users and
Existing or start-up companies
with a similar business model

The concept is easily exposed to
positioned to take advantage of this in
competitors once campaigns are
future.
launched on our website.
Our flexible business model will be easily

The viral nature of social media
adapted to other countries when we decide
could allow for widespread
to expand.
negative comments to be easily
The potential to reach out to certain market
spread online, effecting both our
segments where traditional media does not
reputation and that of our
allow you to.
clients.
3.10 PESTEL ANALYSIS:
Political:
The Irish government has helped promote foreign direct investment in Ireland (FDI), many of
these multinational companies have specialized in the high tech sector, because of this the
Irish government has invested significantly in IT infrastructure, there are numerous grants
available for start up businesses, these grants are seen as a key part to the creation of future
jobs in our economy. This can be seen as a very positive environment to operate in, there are
also high levels of knowledge overflows from universities into surrounding high tech
businesses all of these factors are very positive for our business. Ireland does not face any
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political unrest when compared to countries like Taiwan therefore Ireland can be viewed as a
stable environment in which to operate. Ireland‟s Government has significant laws in place
for the protection of intellectual property (IP), many countries do not offer this protection and
some ideas may fall fowl to copyright infringements e.g. China which does not prioritize the
protection of IP and this is a major cause for concern for foreign companies operating within
China. Overall the Irish political environment is positive for our business.
Economical:
The current economic downturn has seen a large decrease of expenditure both individual and
at company level this decrease has effected numerous businesses trying to operate, our
business is able to offer our services free of charge for the first two months, following on
from this we aim to offer a competitively priced services to our clients. Our aim is for
businesses to see our services as an aid to their overall success; the product will be priced
competitively to make buy in attractive. Currently in the Irish market there is no product
which rival our business, this will allow us to be the market leader in this niche market. After
the product has been a proven success in the Irish market it can be rolled out to other
European markets.
Social:
The social factors include cultural aspects e.g. attitudes towards online activities etc, given
the current economic conditions some individuals will have more time to spend on social
media related activities. Research by the Irish Internet Association has shown that Facebook
users are continually growing, social media usage is growing exponentially and other
platforms such as YouTube and Twitter are also experiencing this large growth. Crowding
UP will be in a strong position to tap into this large online community (Aileen O‟Toole,
2010).
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Technological:
Ireland has become a more computerized nation as has a strong computer literacy to overall
population rate. The government has invested largely in IT infrastructure and also third level
courses that promote IT. Experienced computer users will be at an advantage when using our
services. However Ireland still lags behind other EU counter parts in relation to broadband,
this may prove problematic to our business and the product relies on an Internet connection
and access to e-mail. Some parts of the country have more access to the Internet than others
e.g. West coast vs. East coast; this can be seen as a potential barrier to entry. However a large
percentage of the Irish population will be able to access our services this should allow for a
seamless website launch.
Environmental:
Our product should not be effect by environmental factors as it is a SAAS product, one factor
which may pose a potential problem would be and internet outages, The Distribution System
Operator (DSO) in Ireland, in compliance with the Commission for Energy Regulation,
calculated that customers lost on average 132 minutes of electricity supply in 2008 (ESB,
2008). In their 2004 paper on International Reliability Analysis in Distribution Networks,
Sumper et al estimated that Ireland ranked the highest in Western Europe for the number of
minutes of electricity supply interruption at 235 minutes per annum. Complete power failures
are not the only threat to computer systems. Transient power fluctuations, known as brownouts, can also lead to system crashes and these incidents account for 87% of all power
disturbances according to Bell Labs (Sunday Business Post, 2003). These outages could
potentially affect the consistency and communication between ourselves and our clients.
There is a general shift towards environmentally friendly business and social media
marketing reduces the need for paper based forms of marketing media thus reducing the
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impact on the environment.
Legal:
Ireland has strong laws protecting intellectual property this is a significant advantage to our
business in addition to IP laws Ireland has strong laws to protect consumers and businesses
against any potential legal issues arising. Copyright infringement in Ireland is investigated
and prosecutions occur when a guilty party if found. Therefore Ireland offers a safe legal
environment in which to operate. The Irish patents office has a number of reports in relation
to the copyright and IP. The website www.patentsoffice.ie details
3.11 MARKET RESEARCH ANALYSIS:
In order to measure both user and business attitudes towards social media as well as establish
our target market, we conducted a survey among random respondents. We distributed 300
user surveys (see appendix 3.1) and received 170 replies, by issuing 100 via email to a varied
demographic and collected the remainder of responses from shoppers on Grafton Street, in
the Dundrum Shopping Centre and Shop Street in Galway. We also issued a separate survey
to various companies around Dublin. We carried this out by visiting numerous businesses
around the city centre area and also by emailing the survey to several companies. We
received 30 responses, which gave the group a positive insight into the current professional
attitude towards social media.
Survey Results:
As already stated in section 3.3, by conducting the target market (user) survey we established
that our target user base will reside in the 18-24 age group. We discovered that the majority
of respondents would definitely or positively consider becoming active members on our
website and enter competitions in order to be rewarded with suitable prizes (see figure 3.2).
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The survey revealed that among the most frequent online activity is that of social networking,
with almost 76% of respondents claiming to visit their Facebook or Twitter page (see figure
3.3). This encouraging statistic should provide us with an opportunity to exploit the viral
nature of social media by advertising through social networks and targeting this age
demographic. The survey generated a positive result overall, with most respondents reacting
positively to our concept.
Figure 3.2
Would you be interested in a website that rewards users with a sponsored product after
completing a series of social networking and online tasks?
70
76
Yes
No
Maybe
24
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Figure 3.3
If you use the Internet, which 3 main activities do you conduct most often?
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Email
Social Networking
Sites
Search Engine
The survey which we distributed to a variety of companies (see appendix 2) also produced
positive and informative feedback. 70% of the companies that we surveyed have an online
presence; with just 25% of these not availing of the benefits of having a company Facebook
or Twitter profile. This would suggest that the vast majority of companies are beginning to
understand the positive impact that social media can have on their business. We received a
positive reaction from the companies surveyed with regard to how effective they find social
media marketing in creating new business, with 46.7% selecting the above average option
(see figure 3.4). For the companies who are yet to adopt social media marketing, we
discovered that their main reasoning for this is due to a lack of knowledge and expertise,
closely followed by many companies being unsure of the potential benefits (see figure 3.5).
We would hope that we can target these companies and highlight the benefits that can be
gained by adopting this new form of marketing.
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Figure 3.4
How effective has social media marketing been in creating new business?
14.3
4.8
Excellent
9.5
Above Average
Average
47.6
Below Average
Very Poor
23.8
Figure 3.5
What are the main reasons/barriers for not adopting social media marketing for professional
purposes? Please tick all appropriate.
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
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Focus Group:
We conducted the focus group (see appendix 3) in order to gain a further insight into people‟s
attitudes towards social media. We slowly introduced them to our business concept and
garnered some valuable information such as their opinions on competition websites and
filling out surveys online. We concluded that the quality of the prizes awarded to users could
have a lasting effect on the brand and create brand awareness for the company for a
significant period of time. It was also brought to our attention that the quantity of time spent
by a user in completing social media tasks should be reflected in the quality of the sponsored
prizes. We also discovered that cash rewards do not appeal to everyone and are sometimes
not believable. One of our participants commented that “the novelty of entering into a
competition is that you could win something that you wouldn’t buy yourself”, therefore a cash
prize is not always desirable. Finally, we established that in order to entice people to
complete surveys online, it must be made clear to them how long the entire survey process
will take and what monetary benefit exists upon completion.
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CHAPTER 4: COMPET ITI VE REVIEW
4.1 PORTER’S 5 FORCES:
Bargaining Power of Customers:
High
As Crowding UP is primarily a B2B company the initial bargaining power of customers will
be high. As our company grows its customer base the bargaining power for customers will
begin to decrease. The more users we attract to our site the greater the level of brand
awareness which can potentially increase demand for our customers‟ products and services.
Switching costs for customers are very low, this could leave our company in a precarious
situation as there is not obligation for customers to keep using our services.
If the customers have the necessary resources they could replicate our service offerings,
which would immediately remove the need to use our services.
Bargaining power of suppliers:
High
Software suppliers such as web development companies will potentially have quite high
bargaining powers, as Crowding UP may be dependent on the development of website
components i.e. a delay in updating the websites add ons could cause the company to lose
out on potential clients, thus having a negative impact on our business.
Switching suppliers in the IT industry can be difficult and costly as our portfolio of services
can be complex and can be extremely time consuming to change to an alternative supplier.
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Threat of New Market Entrants:
High
Initial investment is quite low and there are no fixed costs these factors make it an attractive
market thus leading to a high threat of new entrants. Our business idea has the potential to be
reproduced and altered making it possible a large amount of similar companies.
Threat of Substitutes:
High
There are many similar reward based websites such as pigsback.ie, and anyluckyday.com.
Brand loyalty for these types of companies tend to be low as users have not switching costs, it
can take less than 5 minutes to become a registered user on another website. This would lead
us to believe that there is a high threat of substitutes within this industry. However, we would
hope that with the now stagnant number of people using pigsback.com, we could entice this
demographic with our new idea.
Competitive Rivalry between Existing Players:
Low-Medium
There are currently a number of social media websites in the UK and Ireland which are
similar to our business. However we feel we will be in a position to offer a number of new
and appealing services such as the crowd-sourcing element of our business. A company that
has a positive experience with us will be more likely to recommend us to other companies
and likewise with users that have a positive experience, this viral marketing is more likely to
happen in Ireland as the number of companies is lower than in mainland Europe.
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4.2 COMPETITORS: COMPETITON & REWARD WEBSITES
Pigsback.com is a rewards based consumer website that was launched in July 2000 by
Michael Dwyer. In 2004, the company‟s turnover was €2.6 million, with a profit of €500,000
and claimed to have 185,000 active users in Ireland within four years of operation. In 2008, it
was reported that Pigsback accounted for over 20% of the online display advertising market.
By June 2005, Pigsback entered the UK market and experienced a considerable amount of
success, with 670,000 registered by the end of 2008 (Mortimer, 2008). Its core demographic
is represented by 23-35 year old females.
When a user registers on the site, they receive 50 piggy points, which translates to 50 cent.
The user can then build upon gaining more points by entering competitions and potentially
winning up to 1000 piggy points. Subsequently, the user can enjoy exclusive offers,
competitions and rewards. The rewards are generally in the form of vouchers, which can be
spent in various retail companies such as A-wear, Xtra Vision and restaurants such as Dante
Pizza and Gourmet Burger. Being a member of pigsback.com allows users to select an area of
interest and enjoy benefits from offers and rewards based on them, shop online while also
earning piggy points. It also gives users the opportunity to submit reviews and participate in
forums, thus allowing them to become part of a community.
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Strengths:

As Pigsback is now a well established means of online advertising for companies, the
website includes impressive rewards and prizes provided by successful and appealing
companies.

It is relatively straight forward to sign up and only general information is required
from the user when creating a new account.
Weaknesses:

A poor level of customer service has been reported on numerous forums, with users
having to repeatedly send emails in order to receive constructive feedback or
assistance (Dooyoo, 2007).

The website‟s usability is quite poor. For first time users, it is difficult to establish
how the system operates and the site can look cluttered with a large amount of
information and images presented to the user.

The longer a user is a member of the site, the more difficult it becomes to gain points
and at times, users have to contact customer services in order to remind them to
continue to accumulate the user‟s points (Ciao, 2006).
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This company claims to be the first competition portal in the UK. The website was launched
February 1998. Loquax considers itself to be a singular access point to the thousands of
competitions available on the Internet. It offers users an opportunity to become members of
an active community, whereby they can enter competitions in order to win prizes. The
company also provides users with a chance to shop online along with bingo and gambling
sections. Similar to Any Lucky Day, the registration process is very straightforward requiring
the user to enter basic information. There is a wide variety of competitions available and
these are updated every day. The competitions are divided into numerous categories,
according to the type of prize on offer, for example, fashion or sports prizes.
Strengths:

The main advantage of this site is that it is a one stop centre for thousands of
competitions. The quality of prizes appears quite high, with many satisfied winners.

There is no subscription fee, which encourages users to register and enter
competitions.
Weaknesses:

The site is not well designed and a complicated layout exists. It appears quite basic
and is not aesthetically pleasing.

It has been reported that occasionally invalid links occur as well as subsequent junk
mail once a user has registered with the site.
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UK Competitions was launched in November 2001. It is a directory of UK based, free to
enter competitions. The competitions are listed from a variety of sources and are updated
daily. The website offers companies an opportunity to advertise their brand, product or
service to UK Competitions registered members. Companies can advertise across the site and
also in a weekly newsletter which is sent to members. It is also possible for members to
sponsor a section of the website for a specified period of time. The competitions are
categorized into various groups, including health, lifestyle and arts and crafts.
Strengths:

This website advertises an impressive amount of competitions and prizes.

A large variety of categories are available to users, suggesting that there is something
of interest for all members.
Weaknesses:

The website‟s usability is quite poor and could be improved immensely. The
homepage is presented in cramped and cluttered manner, which may deter visitors
from returning to the site.

This website does not directly work with the companies who provide the prizes; it
simply provides a link to the company‟s website. Therefore, it does not establish and
maintain relationships between both the website user and the company involved.
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Freebieholics is a UK based website launched in 2001 that shows visitors to the website
where they can find free products and services. It is said to have over 35,000 active members.
The free products and services range from vouchers and beauty products to CDs and movie
tickets. Competitions are also listed for members to enter into in order to win prizes. It also
presents members with the option of earning money by reading companies advertisements
through emails and commenting on them.
Strengths:

The site offers a substantial amount of options for each member including “Freebies”,
“Discounts”, “Competitions” and “Webmasters”.
Weaknesses:

The websites usability is quite poor, with a considerable amount of information
displayed on the homepage and on other areas of the website. This makes navigation a
more difficult and time consuming process.

The registration process is a long winded process, which can prove off putting for first
time users. Users are also expected to continuously sign in again when entering back
into the member‟s area.
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4.3SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING COMPANIES:
TravelShake Social Media is a relatively new, Irish owned company established with the
assistance of the Irish travel and tourism industry. The company owners believe that social
media will soon be a crucial component of marketing strategies for all travel businesses.
TravelShake‟s main objective is to help companies gain a competitive advantage over their
competitors by creating and maintaining accounts on the most prominent social media
website. According to the company‟s website they aim to:

Manage updates and fans on the clients chosen social media websites.

Produce digital travel and accommodation videos.

Develop social media strategies and campaigns (TravelShake Social Media, 2010).
The company has a starter pack which sees clients being charged a rate of €99. This provides
the client with some of the following features:

Unique Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts for the client.

TravelShake helps to create a high impact immediate professional pitch to suit the
client

TravelShake will optimise your Professional Photos/Logo

TravelShake will tag the client‟s profile with keywords relevant to the business.

TravelShake will provide clear and expert training and usage guidelines (TravelShake
Social Media, 2010).
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Strengths:

The company‟s website is very well laid out and organised.

Users can quickly establish the purpose of the website as the company‟s objectives
are clearly expressed.

TravelShake are charging quite a modest amount of €99 for a substantial number of
services. It will be important that Crowding UP can at least match the number and
quality of services on offer by this company.
Weaknesses:

TravelShake are specialising within the travel and tourism industry only, which
significantly narrows their prospective number of clients. We feel that as Crowding
Up is not restricted or tailored to one particular industry, we have the potential to
reach out to a larger audience and gain greater exposure through the viral nature of
social media.
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Channel-ship social media is web agency based is Dublin the companies‟ customers are
based in Ireland, UK and USA, the company has three main services, and they are;

Web Design and development: Channel-ship focuses on usability and
professional website design.

Internet marketing: Channel-ship offers tailored Search engine optimisation
services and pay per click advertising.

Social media training and strategy for business: The Company offers social
media training to companies; they work closely with the clients to develop a
social media strategy.
Strengths:
Channel ship social media is developing a strong online presence by offering webinars and
offer some free advice through the use of YouTube and also their own website. By offering
social media courses the clients remain in control of their social media campaigns and can
use their newly developed knowledge in whatever way they like.
Weaknesses:
Channel ship social media could be potentially reducing its revenue flow by offering courses
instead of an ongoing consultancy service. The consultancy service would ensure a continued
revenue flow as clients would be under contract for a specified length of time, rather than just
paying a once off fee.
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Jump start marketing is an Irish based web marketing and web Design Company with its
central office is in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. It offers a full suite of Internet marketing services.
Jumpstart Marketing aims to provide low cost / results driven web marketing solutions for
their clients. The company also has offices in Naas, which allows it to focus resources on the
Dublin region. The company offers a range of services which include;

Search engine optimisation

Pay per click advertising

Web design
Strengths:
The company offer a wide range of products and services and therefore clients can use a
single company for their multiple online needs.
Weaknesses:
The company does not tend to focus strongly on social media marketing instead it works in a
number of areas which have been in existence for quite some time. Crowding UP offers many
more social services.
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CHAPTER 5: TECHNOLOG Y
5.1 WEB DESIGN SPEC:
While conducting research on our business idea we developed a detailed spec of what we
wanted on our website and our views of what our users required. On examining other similar
websites features we proposed to include the following features on our website.
Home Page
 Registration/Login (Stay logged in feature)

Sign up (Username, password, social networking sites that they are on, age etc.)

Featured Competition/race/crowd sourcing project/survey

How it works (Moving Image and Link to How it works page)

Site Comments (Comment are to look similar to twitter comments)
We have since used the disqus commenting system for this as it enables
customers to uses openID, Twitter and Facebook to login.

Search

View competitions/races/crowd sourcing projects/surveys

Prizes and Points

Contact us

Contact us now for business clients
o Email, phone and comments box.
Search
 By Category
o Competition
o Crowd Sourcing
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o Race
o Survey

By product
Registration
 Name

Age

Address (Optional)

Username & Password

Email Address

Use information for marketing purposes checkbox
Competition Page
Company Details (Web Address, name etc.)

Prize Product Name

Description

Rating

Points

Video (Self loaded or Youtube option for admin)

Pictures

Comments
o Disqus

Number of entrants
Changed to manual entry for the points but will be automatic in the future

Entry Requirements

Enter now
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
Duration

View similar competitions

Back to previous page

Logo

Link to Social networks they are a part of

Admin option to pick winner

Search
Crowd Sourcing Page
 Company (Web Address, name etc.)

Prize Product Name

Description

Spec

Rating

Video (Self loaded or YouTube option for admin)

Pictures

Comments/Questions for company client

Number of entrants

Entry Requirements

Enter now

Upload multiple Images/Documents/videos etc.

Preview Images/Documents

See what other entrants have uploaded

Rate other entrants work

Duration

View similar competitions
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
Search

Back to previous page

Logo

Link to Social networks they are a part of

Admin Option to pick Winner
Race Page
 Company Details (Web Address, name etc.)

Prize Product Name

Description

Rating

Points

Video (Self loaded or YouTube option for admin)

Pictures

Comments – Admin Notification

Number of entrants

Entry Requirements

Enter now

Duration

View similar races

Back to previous page

Logo

Link to Social networks they are a part of

Admin option to pick winner

Who are the top 5/10/20 closest to winning the race

Search
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Survey Page
 Company Details (Web Address, name etc.)

Prize Product Name

Description

Rating

Points

Video (Self loaded or YouTube option for admin)

Pictures

Comments – Admin Notification

Number of entrants

Enter now

Duration

View similar Surveys

Search

Admin option to pick winner

Back to previous page

Logo

Link to Social networks that the customer is a part of
o Results of survey will be sent to admin to compile
o Admin will then send results to client
My Account Page
 Points balance

Picture

Social networking links
Contact Us Page
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
Site improvements section

Name address comment etc.

Email phone etc.

Links to our social networking site pages
How it Works Page
 1,2,3 Steps

Benefits

Why we are free

Site security

Images

Videos

Business Client how it works page

Customer Client how it works page

Links to different parts of the site

Step by step guide
Points Page
 Show the clients points if logged in

Show prizes available for points

Prize Rating (5 stars)

Prize Ranking
Admin Options
 Turn on/off Competition category types across the website

Add in new pages with images links etc. (All the basics)

Create competitions (Competition, Crowd Sourcing, Race, Survey)

Monitor and edit/delete all comments posted
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
Turn on/off advertising throughout the site

Ability to change graphics
Extras
 Google Analytics

Good Search Engine Optimisation

Clean coding
o This is the initial design of the site (Phase 1). Pending on its success other
phases will follow.
5.2 ARCHITECTURE FOR AN ENTERPRISE WEB APPLICATION
A modern web-based enterprise application has four layers, as shown in:

A Client Layer which renders web pages

A Presentation Layer which generates web pages, including their dynamic content.
It interprets web pages submitted from the client.

A Business Logic Layer which enforces validations and which handles interaction
with the database

A Data layer which stores data between transactions
Figure-5.2.1
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The proposed application will be made in PHP and MySQL. It uses an open source web
application called code ignite.
5.3 SYSTEM SECURITY
Security is becoming increasingly important as more networks are connected together.
Organization‟s assets must be protected, particularly its databases, which contain your
project‟s valuable information. Security is one of the critical features of a database engine,
protecting the enterprise against myriad threats.
The three essential components of this initiative are:

Secure by design: Software requires a secure design as a foundation for repelling
attackers and protecting data.
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
Secure by default: System administrators should not have to work to make a fresh
installation secure; it should be that way by default.

Secure in deployment: Software should help to keep itself updated with the latest
security patches and assist in maintenance.
5.4 USER CHARACTERISTICS
There will be two types of users in the system.

Administrator: This user will be the owner of the system. He/She will have entire
control over the operations of different areas of Projects.

User: There will only be one user type. In the long term there will be business and
user.
Specific Functional Requirements
Administrator:

Administrator can manage featured content on the home page.

Administrator can manage the competitions. They can alter videos, testimonials and
competitive ratings.

Administrator can manage the race competitions and testimonials associated.

Administrator can manage the Springboard competitions, testimonials and entries.

Administrator can manage the surveys and add, delete and alter surveys

Administrator can manage the points system on the site.

Administrator can manage the prizes on the site.

Administrator can control the competition, race, springboard and survey categories.

Administrator can control the static contents through the CMS.
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User:

Users can register at the site.

Users can search the website.

Users will be able to login their user name & password.

Registered Users can create & edit their profile & can also upload a profile image.

Registered Users can also upload images, videos and documents in the crowd
sourcing section of the website.

Registered Users can rate competitions.

Registered Users can ask for rewards provided they have the specified number of
points accumulated.

Users do not need to be registered to enter the contests. They just need to comment
and say that they re-Tweeted and/or joined the Facebook fan page to enter the
competition.
5.5 SYSTEM FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENT:
User Panel (Front End)
Home
At the top of the home page we will have two boxers. The left box will have a featured contest box
which can be changed by the admin to display different competitions we want to feature. The right
side box will have a how it works sections for that relevant competition.

Underneath this we have the categories section and the blog posts.
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
On the right hand column we have a box for users to login to the site, advertise on the site,
a prize and points section and a Facebook like module. A module box for email updates is
also available.
Registration
Users can register on the site. Details required are included below:

First name

Last name

User name

Email address

Password

Retype Password

How did you hear about us?(Optional)
Features common to all Registered and Non-registered user
Search & View competitions
Contact Us
The users can search the website with the quick search
The „Contact Us‟ section will allow the
tool by the following options.
user an opportunity to post their queries.




By category
By product
By the number of entrants
By the amount of points
All the information will automatically
reach the administrator‟s mail ID.
About
FAQ
This will contain details on what the website does.
All the FAQ related to the site will be
displayed here.
Privacy
Press
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Privacy details will be displayed here.
Information and press releases about
CrowdingUP will be displayed in this
Section.
Sponsors
Terms & conditions
This will display a detailed section of all the sponsors
The terms & conditions of the site will
that we have had on the website.
Be displayed here.
Company information and advertising
The information of all the advertising companies
will be displayed here.
Features common to registered users
Login
My Profile
Registered users will be able to login with their
Registered users will be able to view & edit their
profile information. They can also upload their
profile image and social media accounts.
username & password. The login section will be on
the home. The „Forgot Username/ Password‟ link too will be
there.
Springboard uploads
Competition Rating
Registered Users can also upload images, videos and
Registered Users can rate competitions.
documents in the crowdsourcing section of the website.
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Prizes
Categories
Registered Users can ask for rewards provided
The categories can be managed from here.
Administrator is able to add and
they have the specified number of points accumulated.
edit the categories.
The administrator also has the option to
set a particular category as inactive.
Manage competitions
CMS
Admin will be able to manage all the competitions
The static content of the site such as FAQs,
from the admin section.
About us, Help, Terms & Conditions
can be controlled from here.
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CHAPTER 6 - TECHNICAL SOLUTION
In this section we will describe in detail the prototype we have developed and the future
design aspects of it.
6.1 PROTOTYPE:
We considered designing the site in wordpress and later Joomla but picked an open source
web application framework called code igniter. This enabled us to develop a custom content
management system for the website. The initial design for the home page was too cluttered
and after doing some usability research (in appendix) it was altered based on feedback. The
structure of the website is split into different areas. The main body of the site features our
competition(s) while on the right hand column access to login, advertising information, and
social media plugins are located.
This layout is common throughout the competition pages. The layout of the static cms pages
(faq, about us, terms and conditions etc.) is relatively simple as they need to be clear and
concise.
6.2 TECHNOLOGIES USED:
The project will consist of.
On the Client side we will use the following

HTML

CSS
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
PHP

MY SQL
Server Processing

Apache

SQL

MySQL
Databases
6.3 Testing:
We used the following guidelines to test the website to ensure it was functioning properly in
all areas.
1. Functionality:
1.1
Links
Objective is to check for all the links in the website.
1.1.1
All Internal Links
1.1.2
All External Links
1.1.3
All mail to links
1.1.4
Check for orphan Pages
1.1.5
Check for Broken Links
1.2 Forms:
Test for the integrity of submission of all forms.
1.2.1
All Field Level Checks
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1.2.2
All Field Level Validations.
1.2.3
Functionality of Create, Modify, Delete & View.
1.2.4
Handling of Wrong inputs (Both client & Server)
1.2.5
Default Values if any
1.2.6
Optional versus Mandatory fields.
1.3 Cookies:
Check for the cookies that has to be enabled and how it has to be expired.
1.4 Web Indexing:
Depending on how the site is designed using Meta tags, frames, HTML syntax, dynamically
created pages, passwords or different languages, our site will be searchable in different ways.
1.4.1
Meta Tags
1.4.2
Frames
1.4.3
HTML syntax.
1.5 Database:
Two types of errors that may occur in Web applications:
A.
Data Integrity:
Missing or wrong data in table.
B.
Output Error:
Errors in writing, editing or reading operations in the tables.
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The issue is to test the functionality of the database, not the content and the focus here is
therefore on output errors. Verify that queries, writing, retrieving or editing in the database is
performed in a correct way.
2. Usability:
2.1
Navigation
Navigation describes the way users navigate within a page, between different user interface
controls (buttons, boxes, lists, windows etc.), or between pages via e.g. links.
See Appendix 8.
2.2 Content:
Correctness is whether the information is truthful or contains misinformation. The accuracy
of the information is whether it is without grammatical or spelling errors. Remove irrelevant
information from your site. This may otherwise cause misunderstandings or confusion.
2.2.1
Spellings and Grammars
2.2.2
Updated information
2.3 General Appearance:
2.3.1
Page appearance
2.3.2
Colour, font and size
2.3.3
Frames
2.3.4
Consistent design
3. Server Side Interfaces:
3.1 Server Interface
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3.1.1
Verify that communication is done correctly, Web server-application
server,
application server-database server and vice versa.
3.1.2
Compatibility of server software, hardware, network connections.
3.1.3
Database compatibility (SQL, Oracle etc.)
3.2 External Interface (if any)
4. Client Side Compatibility:
4.1 Platform
Check for the compatibility of :

Windows (95, 98, 2000, NT, XP, windows 7)

b. Unix (different sets)

c. Macintosh (If applicable)

d. Linux
4.2 Browsers
Check for the various combinations:

Internet Explorer (latest acceptable versions)

Safari

Google Chrome

Firefox

Browser settings (security settings, graphics, Java etc.)

Frames and Cascade Style sheets

Applets, ActiveX controls, DHTML, client side scripting

HTML specifications.
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Graphics:
Loading of images, graphics, etc.,
4.3 Printing
Despite the paperless society the web was to introduce, printing is done more than ever.
Verify that pages are printable with considerations on:

Text and image alignment

Colours of text, foreground and background

Scalability to fit paper size

Tables and borders
5. Performance:
5.1 Connection speed

Tested with slow and fast dsl.

Time-out
5.2 Load
Check/Measure the following:

What is the estimated number of users per time period and how will it be divided over
the period?

Will there be peak loads and how will the system react?

Can your site handle a large amount of users requesting a certain page?

Large amount of data from users.

5.3 Stress
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Stress testing is done in order to actually break a site or a certain feature to determine how the
system reacts. Stress tests are designed to push and test system limitations and determine
whether the system recovers gracefully from crashes. Hackers often stress systems by
providing loads of wrong in-data until it crash and then gain access to it during start-up.

Typical areas to test are forms, logins or other information transaction components.

Performance of memory, CPU, file handling etc.

Error in software, hardware, memory errors (leakage, overwrite or pointers)
5.4 Continuous Use

Is the application or certain features going to be used only during certain periods of
time or will it be used continuously 24 hours a day 7 days a week?

Will downtime be allowed or is that out of the question?

Verify that the application is able to meet the requirements and does not run out of
memory or disk space.
6. Security:
6.1
Valid and Invalid Login
6.2
Limit defined for the number of tries.
6.3
Can it be bypassed by typing URL to a page inside directly in the browser?
6.4
Verify Log files are maintained to store the information for traceability.
6.5
Verify encryption is done correctly if SSL is used (If applicable)
6.6
No access to edit scripts on the server without authorization
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CHAPTER 7: FINANCIAL PLAN
Financial Assumptions
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Assumptions
Area
Description
All statistics are based on our target goal for 100
business clients and 2000 end users at the end of
Number of Users Phase 1, 270 business clients and 40,000 end users at
the end of Phase two and 75,000 end users and 330
client businesses at the end of Phase 3.
Pricing
Profit
On site
advertising
Contest
Affiliate linking
Consulting and
development
Paid Surveys
There will be two advertising spots available in
Each advetising spot will cost €50 each
Phase 1. In Phase 2 there will be two sites (UK & IRL) per month and gives the customer a
so there will be four slots available. Phase 3 will
featured contest for two weeks and an
include full page featured advertisments.
ad space for the following two weeks.
Assuming the target number of businesses are met!
Based on a 10% comission on an
Available through the "BUY NOW" button on the
average prize value of €50 and three
website.
sales for every contest. 10% is the
standard comission online
Maximum number of businesses is 100 in a year due
to limitations on staff.
This number is calculated by assuming 25% of
We will charge businesses €1.20 for
contests on the website will be surveys. survey
each. Other prices online from other
entry on top of the €30 setup fee.
Irish companies range from €1-€5.
Loss
Survey Payment
Custom website
improvements
Paypal/SagePay
payment
We will pay survey entrants €1 for every survey
Included in this arer redesigns and outsourced
modules that are too difficult to develop in-house
This includes monthly fee and per transaction fee
based on the target number of businesses.
Banking
One off merchant account set up fee.
Points
We will need to buy some prizes for points if we run
low and we will also have a cash for points system in
Radio
One off radio advert test
Rent
Tax
€190 set up fee and 2.75% on every
transaction
75 adverts for €2,000 on Spin 103.8
Office is available with all utilities on Westmorland
Street in Dublin
VAT is based at the 21% rate. Irish tax is paid on
exports to UK up to €100,000
Profit and Loss Statement
As on online business Crowding Up requires initial software in order to operate. The major
start-up cost will be the elements of the website development that need to be outsourced and
the other major cost will be marketing. Initial start-up is estimated to be at €15,000 and these
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costs include rent, wages, operating expenses, marketing, loans and online expenses. Regular
monthly expenses are estimated at €1,300 in the first year, €2,000 in the second year and
€3,000 in the third year. Start-up costs are covered by a loan of €10,000 from AIB.
Crowding Up will make an initial loss of €9,400 in its first year of operation. This will be
covered by the AIB loan. Based on the assumptions contained in this plan, we estimate that
our gross profit will double year on year and we will break-even in the third year of
operations, with a net profit of €7,500 that will be reinvested in year 4. Further information
can be seen in Appendix 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3.
Cash Flow Statement
As the owner of Crowding Up, Robert will invest a €10,000 loan from AIB into Crowding
Up. This money will be used to cover initial operating costs. Operational costs such as office
space which is in Dublin City Centre and includes all utilities, and administrative expenses
are included in this statement in Appendix 9.4. As continued positive cash flows permits after
year 1, the load that has been invested will be repaid by year 5.
Balance Sheet
As our company supplies services to our clients and not products having a large inventory is
not a concern. As can be seen from the balance sheet in Appendix 9.5, Crowding Up will be
in a solid financial position. We do not anticipate problems in the collection of accounts
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receivable as our main online service requires payment in advance and our consulting service
which is invoiced after the service will shrink in importance to the overall income each year.
Grants
We are currently applying for a priming grant of up to 50% of investment from Fingal
County Enterprise Board. Priming grants from this Enterprise Board are specifically designed
for small growth businesses employing up to 10 employees. We fulfil all requirements to
receive this grant so we are optimistic that we may receive up to €10,000 in year 1 or year 2
depending on how much money Fingal County Enterprise Board has available to them. If we
received this grant we could further grow our website with an improved blog and also use it
to advertise our launch in the UK.
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APPENDICES:
APPENDIX 1
Target Market Survey (User)
What is your gender?
Male
Female
What is your age?
18-24
25-36
37-45
46-55
56+
Where do you live?
City
Suburban
Rural
What is your marital status?
Single
Married
What is the highest level of education you have completed?
Primary level
Secondary level
Third level (undergraduate degree)
Fourth Level (postgraduate degree)
Other (please specify)
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Do you have access to the Internet?
Yes
No
If you used the internet, which three main activities did you conduct most often?
Email
Search engine
Social networking site
Reading blogs
Play games online/gambling
Watching videos (YouTube or other)
Purchasing online
Job searching
If you are a member of a rewards system, please specify.
Tesco Clubcard
Superquinn Reward Card
SuperValue Real Rewards
Dunnes Stores Value ClubCard
Marks & Spencers Premium Club
Topaz Fuel Cards
Texaco Fuel Cards
Pigback.com
Other
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Would you be interested in a website that rewards users with a sponsored product after
completing a series of social networking and online tasks?
Yes
No
Maybe
If you received a reward from a company, for example a meal for two at a restaurant
and you enjoyed the experience, would you pay another visit?
Yes
No
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APPENDIX 2
Survey for businesses:
1. Company Name: ______________
2. Does your company have an online presence? (YES/NO)
o Yes
o No
3. Have you heard of “Social Media Marketing” and its positive impact on
businesses?
o Yes
o No
4. How much do you spend on marketing annually?
o Below €1000
o Between €1000- €5000
o €5000- €10,000
o Over €10,000
5. How much of the marketing budget approximately is assigned to online
marketing? (only if company is online)
A.________________
6. How is your marketing currently managed i.e. In-house Vs Outsourced
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o In-house
o Outsourced
7. Does your company have an online social media presence? I.e. Facebook,
Twitter. If NO-go to question 12.
o Yes
o No
8. What is your primary reason for using social networks for professional
purposes?
o Professional Networking
o Keeping in touch with former colleagues/contacts
o Sharing knowledge and information
o Socialising with colleagues
o Finding sales/business leads
o Recruitment
o Other
9. How often do you use social networks for professional purposes?
o Daily
o 1-3 times a week
o 1-3 times a month
o Less than once a month
o Never
10. How effective has social media marketing been in creating new business?
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o Excellent
o Above average
o Average
o Below average
o Very Poor
11. How effective has social media marketing been in generating brand loyalty? E.g.
(twitter followers buying products)
o Excellent
o Above average
o Average
o Below average
o Very Poor
12. Which marketing medium do you believe is more effective? Traditional
marketing (newspaper/ radio) or online marketing? (Please tick appropriate)
o Traditional marketing
o Online marketing
13. What are the main reasons/barriers for not adopting social media marketing for
professional purposes? Please tick all appropriate.
o Costly.
o Time consuming.
o Lack of knowledge.
o Unsure of benefits.
o Security.
o Company‟s reputation may be effected.
o Other (Please state)
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14. How satisfied are you with the response rate that your company receives from
using traditional advertising means?
o Very Satisfied
o Somewhat Satisfied
o Somewhat Dissatisfied
o Very Dissatisfied
o Don‟t Know
15. Our social media marketing company has many services to help you build your
business and get your company noticed by new consumers. Some of these include
o Online brand loyalty programs.
o Online viral video promotional campaigns.
o Blog commenting campaigns.
o Many other Customized services tailored to your business.
o Online reputation management.
Would you be interested in trying our services free of charge for a limited time to
further develop your social media presence or help to start and grow your social
media presence?
o Yes
o No
APPENDIX 3 CLIENT MEETING
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Summary of Meeting with Focus Ireland 21/07/10
Attending Emmet McNally (Crowding Up Managing Director), Sinéad Price (Events
Fundraiser) and Lucinda McNally (Communications Executive)
Sinead: To start off what we are looking for is to develop a social media plan. We are going
to be launching “A Key to a Home” campaign in November and we will need a social media
page for fundraising and to gather volunteers. We have some basic ideas but we have no
experience with social media and we don‟t really have a clue where to start.
Emmet: My experience is based around what I have learned from my company Crowding Up
and from my masters in eCommerce. I would be glad to help you in any way and I hope I can
show you what my company can do for your organisation. We would of course only be too
happy to volunteer our services.
Sinead: We have very limited social media experience. We have no budget and limited
resources.
Lucinda: We need you to help us determine what can be achievable in a social media plan
and help us to prioritise the possibilities according to our resources.
Sinead: One of our ideas on how our campaign would work are supporters would upload their
answers either text or pics on our wall or on twitter.
Emmet: You have many options here. You can use Twitpic for Twitter and Facebook fan
page for photo uploads. You can use our sites upload feature as well if you wish to make it
into a contest. You should also consider videos. Look up “Old Spices” social media strategy
when you get a chance. An interesting case to say the least. Or even look at the Lynx or Axe
social media campaigns. You should also think about usine Flickr for users photo‟s and
groups.
Lucinda: We will look into those campaigns.
Sinead: Another idea is we would encourage supporters to change their status to the one thing
they would miss most and link to our Facebook page.
Emmet: Good idea, with a clear post and reward system in place this can be very successful.
Consideration of what your reward is very important. It needs to reflect what you do and your
brand and its value to the user. This is actually quite similar to what we do at crowding up.
Lucinda: Interesting. We would publicise some of the celebs responses and link in with their
facebook/twitter pages as well possibly.
Emmet: Would it be possible for you get celebs to comment on the photos that are uploaded?
Sinead: What about if we have a reward scheme where there will be a new “face of the
campaign” on our page every day.
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Emmet: Every week would be better. Daily is too often and a few days means people will
check back in to see updates. It also gives the competition a chance to start off. You could be
in a position where you only have 2 uploads when picking a winner. That would not be ideal.
Sinead: We currently have a link to our webpage and volunteer recruitment page which will
be dedicated to “Key to a Home campaign” on Facebook.
Emmet: Consider an open volunteer application page or message board. If not a focus Ireland
message board you could create a post on www.boards.ie. Create an online volunteer
community and update with what volunteers are currently doing and what they will do.
Lucinda: What do you think of a link to our virtual keyring which can be purchased online
for the campaign.
Emmet: It only has value if a large audience is aware of these “keyrings”.
Sinead: How can we provide continuous updates on the progress of the campaign?
Emmet: Easily done through Facebook and Twitter but one mistake or badly referenced
comment can undo months of work. Social networking is unforgiving so for every 10 words
you type take 10 minutes to consider what you‟re saying. I would advise you to take on
somebody who has a very strong grasp of social networking. Using people who do not
understand how it works will guarantee serious mistakes. Continuous communication is a
100% must have if you want to be a success and in order to do this you need at least 1
dedicated person who‟s responsible for it. Having multiple people placing comments is a road
to disaster. Alternatively if you cannot hire anybody we can help you for a short period on
you campaign.
Sinead: We are going to look into Facebook advertising and banner ads to drive traffic. What
expertise is required and what do you think about the costs?
Emmet: Costs of Facebook can be considerably better then Google ads. A very rough
estimate for what you will be doing would be 25 euro for 100 fans.
Lucinda: We are in favour of keeping everything simple as this is what makes the theme
work
Emmet: Simple is good - unique is better. Having something that nobody else does or has
will create a viral effect – the holy grail of social media marketing.
Sinead: While the campaign ends in November, we want to retain the followers we build for
future fundraising events and campaigns.
Emmet: This is possible but you need to be innovative and interesting. What are the limits of
your budget and resources?
Sinead: as always a limited budget, we are a charity after all.
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Emmet: Social media needs to be considered as a whole new department like accounting dept
or communications dept. When it is done the right way the rewards are worth the investment.
Lucinda: We will have a project manager who will be solely responsible for all the
fundraising management of this campaign so will be tied up with that. I‟m responsible for
raising the profile of the campaign but this is just one project among many for me so I am
hoping to get some support from an intern. There is debate about how much we can achieve
on the social media side within the current resources.
Emmet: If you cannot provide a person to constantly monitor and improve your social
network then there is little point in trying. It is not something you can pick up and put down.
Social media is a long term strategy – think 5-10 years. If you begin to use it then you‟re in
for the long haul. Social media is very flexible so it can be used for many campaigns and in
this day in age it should be. Thinking short term in social media will damage your brand. It
does not turn on and off. Think of it like your friends. You cannot turn them on and off when
you need them.
Lucinda: Which brings us back to our limited social media expertise.
Emmet: Get somebody in with good expertise. There is no such thing as a GURU, Social
media is relatively new. The top people in this field are the people who use it every day. You
need to be trained if you intend on using social media successfully. Alternatively a cheaper
option could be to get a consultant who you can get ideas and bounce ideas off – doing this
will limit your exposure to error. We would only be too glad to help for free.
Sinead: Will you help us determine what can be achievable in the social media plan and help
us to prioritise the possibilities according to our resources as we go along?
Emmet: No problem.
Sinead: Can you help us determine, if we had to choose, should we go with a Twitter or
Facebook campaign?
Emmet: Definitely both. Have Facebook as the main and Twitter as backup. Don‟t forget also
– YouTube is good too. You could also use Flickr. Twitter is less popular in Ireland and
more business focused. Few Irish people who have a Twitter page are not doing it for
business.
Lucinda: We will need you to advise us on development of a Facebook and/or twitter
account. We currently have Focus Ireland Facebook and Twitter accounts but we don‟t know
whether we should be tying Key to a Home into these or whether we should be creating
entirely new Focus Ireland‟s Key to a Home pages. We need advise on this, taking into
consideration the limitations that one option would have over another and our ideas we have
already spoken about.
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Emmet: Keep it to the one fan page. It ensures that fans are constantly kept interested with
new events/campaigns etc. Instead of your current Facebook page however consider having a
Key to a Home page set as the “home” page for a short period and once the wall posts build
up then have it landing on the wall where there will be a nice back and forth conversation
flowing between focus Ireland and the fans. The support page that you currently have is not
entirely a good idea. It directs people away from Facebook and the community. The reason
businesses create landing pages like that is because they are too scared to have an open forum
on what people think of their products/services because it is inevitable that they will get a
disgruntled customer. Focus Ireland is a charity. It is incredibly easy to create a community
here that governs itself and will defend the focus Ireland name for you. This is a far better
method and great PR. What you have does not add value to developing a community. There‟s
a lot online about not having a wall as your landing page. This attitude does not create a
community. When you take the good with the bad in an online community you will build
loyal followers. People like to see honest mistakes. It gives a personal and human side to a
campaign. Don‟t be afraid to let people land on your wall.
Sinead: Can you advise us on how regular and how much work realistically needs to go into
the social media project.
Emmet: A lot. The big expense with social media is time. You need a dedicated person. All
successful social media pages have a dedicated person in charge of it, even when they go
home after work. Social media is not a 9 to 5 job.
Sinead: Can you share your ideas on how we can drive traffic to our Facebook and Twitter
pages.
Emmet: Be different and a little quirky. Videos are an important ingredient. You have access
to celebs, can you use this? Ask them to place a comment in your community.
Sinead: How we can engage the users.
Emmet: Only have one social media campaign at a time. A clear concise and single message
at a time is important.
Lucinda: Can you advise us on costs and required expertise for Facebook advertising and
banner ads?
Emmet: Not too expensive. Twitter will have adverts soon. Google is also another alternative.
My team has in-depth experience with Google Adwords so if you need advise on this then
just ask. Maintaining an online advertising campaign will requires around 2 hrs a day. It is
not a simple task and requires constant perfection but it is extremely cost effective. The cost
all depends on how many users you want. What‟s your target? Be realistic.
Sinead: OK, that a lot of information for now. This was brilliant. We will discuss this with
Mic (Director) and get back to you. We really appreciate your time.
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Emmet: Not a problem. I look forward to building a campaign together.
Lucinda: Yes, it will be interesting. Thanks
APPENDIX 4 FOCUS GROUP Q&A
Focus Group
Question 1:
Andrew Fitzpatrick (AF): Our practicum is based on social media. So, when you think
about competition websites such as Pigsback.com, what would make you actually use them
or go back to them?
Fergus Scott (FS): The quality of the offers
AF: Have you heard of Pigsback.com
Zara Walsh (ZW): No
Michael Hill (MH): It‟s been years since I‟ve been on that website.
AF: It‟s basically a competition website where you can win a prize by entering competitions.
Has anyone used it before?
FS: I‟ve used it before, they‟d send me an email with an offer and I might use it but I
wouldn‟t regularly check it.
Alan O’Neill (AO’N): I‟ve used anoffer.ie. I use it because they put the competitions up on
Facebook. They show “Enter Competition Here” and I‟d click on it.
AF: And does that come up on your on your Facebook profile?
AO’N: It does yeah.
Conor Skinnader (CS): The only thing I‟d use is the Heineken page because they‟ve offers
for tickets and stuff, but actual competition sites I‟d never use.
Question 2:
AF: Why do you think people stay on these specific websites and remain active on them?
FS: The discounts and the chance of winning a prize.
Brendan Davis (BD): A lot of the time, some of the stuff you might not be interested in, but
maybe you‟re hoping something will come along that you‟ll be interested in.
AF: And would there be anything else external that you can think of, like the way Pigsback
have the piggy points, that would make you want to use it at all or is it just the chance of
winning a prize?
CS: How do the piggy points work?
AF: You get a certain number of points by entering into competitions and then you can buy
cinema tickets and phone credit and stuff like that.
FS: Can your friends get points for referrals?
AF: Yeah they can
FS: Yeah because I‟ve gotten emails off people and that a reason why I might consider
joining a particular website…if someone needed you to join so they could get the points.
Question 3:
AF: Have you ever created a video for Youtube and if so, why did you create it?
MH: It was part of our course.
BD: I had to make one for my course but apart from that I wouldn‟t make one.
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AF: If you had to make one to win a prize for a competition would that entice you to do it at
all?
ZW: No
MH: No
CS: I‟ve seen competitions like that before but as good as some of the prizes were I just
thought that I wouldn‟t really have the time.
AF: It wouldn‟t even have to be a Youtube video, it could be a photo or design or something
CF: O2 had that photo competition.
ZW: As in, a photo of yourself?
AF: No, I mean things like logo creations or “whoever takes the best photo, wins a prize”.
FS: I think photo competitions might work because a lot of people are passionate about that
kind of thing. I know my father would enter into something like that because it‟s his hobby
and it‟s a chance to see other people‟s work against your own.
Question 4:
AF: If you received a sponsored product for free, would this affect your opinion of the brand
in the long term?
MH: It depends on what you got. If it was a good product, I‟d have a positive opinion of the
brand but if the product wasn‟t good I‟d probably have a negative opinion.
AF: Would it affect your opinion of that brand if the product was given away for free?
AON: It would make you more aware of the product, usually you send away for some of
these competitions and hope you might win something usually you never hear back from it,
your left wondering was the competition legitimate or was it just a waste of my time?
Question
AF: Do you think the brand would stick in your head more the fact that you have applied for
the competition?
AON: I‟d say so yea,
BD: Depending on the effort involved the brand will stick in your head.
CS: Guinness sent me out a poker set and a glass years ago and I still have it and still use it.
(Comment, this would suggest some sponsored prizes and rewards can last for a number of
years and still hold onto the brand awareness)
Question 5:
AF: Have you ever joined a Facebook fan page or added a business on Twitter?
AF Q: Are you all on Facebook or Twitter
Group response: Yes
CS: I‟ve joined Facebook fan pages and added businesses on Twitter.
AF Q: What made you do that?
CS: Generally for Twitter I would join businesses if they would be discussing something
interesting, if I am interested in bands or music I would join them as well. For Facebook I
would only really join (become a fan) if I was going to get something in return.
(MH) I think with that as well ones that send numerous updates it becomes very annoying,
however once a day is fine.
(ZW) If someone updates more than twice a day I get rid of the page.
Question 6:
AF: Would consider joining a business on Facebook to be in with a chance of winning a
contest?
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FS: Yes if it was quick, if its just one or two clicks to be in with a chance of winning
something.
CS: Some site direct you to the back of the page where you have to fill out lots of details, this
is a pain.
AF Q: So if was just a like or follow click?
Group response: yes
ZW: Spin 103 and FM104 you just click like and then you are added into the competition
BD: Some of them are sneaky as you think you just have to fill 2 lines of information, when
you click on that you are then required to fill out a whole page of details, when this happens I
couldn‟t be bothered filling it out.
CS: There was a successful campaign run by Dublin bus called cheating on your car, this was
very popular and people had to write a poem about cheating on your car.
Question 7:
AF: What would convince you to fill out a survey online?
FS: Well the one‟s we do now are because we know people (Comment More likely to fill
surveys out as a favor or for people you know)
AF: have you ever filled them out for companies in general?
Group response: Not really
FS: RTE are running a survey at the moment where you could win a €50 Amazon voucher it
was short so I filled it out.
MH: On the very rare occasion I might fill out a survey if I was bothered.
Question 8:
AF: If you were offered money or something you really wanted, would this entice you to fill
out a survey?
FS: If there was a prize I would
CS: I was asked at a concert to fill out a survey to be in with a chance of winning concert
ticket to the next year then so I filled it out. There was a huge incentive to for me to fill it out.
AF Q: Would the length of the survey affect your attitude?
FS: Yes.
ZW: Kind of yes.
CS: Definitely.
AF Q: One page vs. 5 page
FS: Anything over a page is too long
CS: Anything longer than 5 minutes I wouldn‟t even consider doing.
Question 9:
AF : Have you ever heard the term crowd sourcing?
CS: Yes
AF: You may have this year WIKIPEDIA definition ………..
AF: Well it will be on our website. The Facebook and Twitter link is already built in so when
they click on that they are sent to that specific competition.
Emmet McNally (EM): Each page has its own competition on the site so you would know
that it was only the one competition that you were entering into.
ZW: Oh, so you wouldn‟t have a main Facebook site for the company.
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EM: No. It will be an external webpage. It‟s just so you can browse all the competitions that
are available. You can just click “Like” and then go onto the next competition and click
“Like”.
AF: You can actually click like on the website and it will say you have entered into this
competition and you will see how many other people have entered into that same
competition. We were just wondering if there were any limitations or negative aspects.
MH: Say if he asked you to make up something. If you make up an idea, do you then head to
him with the idea before it goes live or does it just go live?
AF: He would come to us and we would do a race or a competition.
MH: Yeah, but would you would make all the clips online, the advertisements. Does he head
to you or do you make up everything and he has to choose if it is alright or not.
AF: No well we would get in contact with him about a brief and we would say give us the
information even if it was on t-shirts or whatever. And we would wear them in a video and
talk about the product and it‟s basically to promote them on Facebook as well.
EM: And they let us know as we consult back and forth on what we can offer, and they
would say “well we would like A,B,C” and then we would have different types of contests
for different things. Some people might want crowd sourcing or if they wanted a normal
competition where it is a straight up raffle where a person is picked and wins or even if there
was a survey or something like that.
Question 10:
EM: Just as another question, would you rather cash prizes or play stations and that sort of
thing.
FS: Cash.
AON: Well I don‟t think they exist in my eyes. When I see a cash prize I just think that‟s
some sort of lie.
ZW: Yeah I wouldn‟t believe in a cash prize.
CS: It just doesn‟t seem tangible.
ZW: The novelty of entering into a competition is that you could win something that you
wouldn‟t buy yourself sometimes as well.
CS: Yes that‟s a good point.
ZW: You‟re obviously not spending the money so it‟s more of a luxury item but if its cash
you always have some just there.
Question 11:
EM: If you were paid to do a survey, just say you were paid one or two euro, would you be
more likely to go on surveys thinking oh if I fill out 5 surveys then I will have 10 euro would
that make you more likely to want to go to our website and fill out a survey?
CS: That depend how long it took.
EM: Say if it took only 5 minutes.
ZW: For a euro, I wouldn‟t do that.
CS: I would do it because you would make ten euro for ten minutes, sorry every 50 minutes.
AOH: Is there a cash limit? I was on those sites before where they don‟t give out cash until
you reach a limit.
AF: It‟s not exactly.
EM: We are thinking of using a points system where we would give you out say one hundred
points where each point would be would be worth one cent, every time you enter into a
competition and every time you reach a thousand points you can cash out for ten euro.
FS: Would you just transfer the money then.
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AF: If we had extra products and services from our clients we would put that up in our points
system and users can build it up to win that. But it‟s just something we are trying.
FS: It‟s just something you are considering.
AF: Like survey is just this extra thing if a company just wants to market with us as well. We
just wanted another way we could use points to retain people on the site. We were just
looking for things that might work.
CS: It might work for some people, I mean if you were really stuck for cash.
ZW: I think students probably more would do stuff like that.
AF: Yeah we were even considering doing things for colleges like DCU. Focus Ireland as
well. Thanks all for your time.
EM: We really appreciate it!
ZW: No problem
APPENDIX 5: LETTER TO COMPANY WITH SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
****NAME****
****Business Name****
****Street Address****
****Town****
****County****
****DATE****
Dear ****NAME****
I am writing to introduce you to Crowding Up, a new online company that aims to provide
your organisation with the opportunity to develop your social network. We are a new online
company that is set to launch on the 1st of July 2010. We would like to offer you the
opportunity to use our services free of charge with no obligations.
Having visited your ****“Social Network”**** page we have noticed that you currently
have **** fans. Communicating with new and current customers through social media
portals such as “Facebook”, “Youtube” and “Twitter” is something that your business can
clearly benefit from. Social media is not another expense. It can save you time and money
through cheaper marketing that communicates to a much larger audience much more
effectively than traditional methods. Most businesses however need a helping hand to
transform their social media page from being a small unproductive experiment to a key
profitable section of their organisation.
Traditional online advertising such as advertising on “Facebook”, “Twitter” etc, can be very
expensive. We would like to help you further develop and maintain your social media
presence online. Using our services and support you can establish a major social media
presence online.
An example of how “Crowding Up” works is:
1. You provide us with a prize based around your products. For example, *****.
2. We create a competition and users will sign up to your social network to enter.
3. We then get contestants to join your social network who are interested in your
****P/S***.
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Crowding Up offers many different packages that are tailored to your business needs. We
hold “design contests”, where thousands of members can compete to create a design you
love. We hold “races” where members will rush to win your prize. We also host “surveys”
and other competitions. We can advise you on what package can best fit your organisation.
If you are interested in our services please call us on 01 4433 423 or alternatively you can
email us at [email protected]. We'll be happy to assist you in any way we can.
Yours sincerely
Robert McNally
Client Services Manager
P.S. Don’t forget, for this short period this is all free!
APPENDIX 6: LETTER TO COMPANY WITHOUT SOCIAL MEDIA
PRESENCE
****NAME****
****Business Name****
****Street Address****
****Town****
****County****
****DATE****
Dear ****NAME****
I am writing to introduce you to Crowding Up, a new online company that aims to provide
your organisation with the opportunity to develop your social network. We are a new online
company that is set to launch on the 1st of July 2010. We would like to offer you the
opportunity to use our services free of charge with no obligations.
Don‟t look at social media as another expense. Social media has a better ROI than other
forms of promotion. It saves money and increases revenue through cheaper marketing that
communicates to a much larger audience much more effectively than traditional methods.
Having visited your website we have noticed that you do not advertise a social media
presence. The prospect of communicating with new and current customers through social
media portals such as “Facebook”, “Youtube” and “Twitter” is something that a business
such as yours can benefit from.
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Our team can guide you through the stages of developing and maintaining your social media
presence online. Just imagine being able to update all of your customers instantly on your
****NEW PRODUCT/Service**** or even being able to develop your brand further by
setting yourself up as the place to go for information on ******. By using our services and
support you can establish a strong social media presence for your organisation online.
An example of how “Crowding Up” works is:
1. You provide us with a prize based around your products. For example, ******.
2. We create a competition and users will sign up to your social network to enter.
3. We then get our members to join your social network who are interested in your
****P/S**.
Crowding Up offers many different packages that are tailored to your business needs. We
hold “design contests”, where thousands of members can compete to create a design you
love. We hold “races” where members will rush to win your prize. We also host “surveys”
and other competitions. We can advise you on what package can best fit your organisation.
If you are interested in our services please call us on 01 4433 423 or alternatively you can
email us at [email protected]. We'll be happy to assist you in any way we can.
Yours sincerely
Robert McNally
Client Services Manager
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APPENDIX 7: TEMPLATE FOR CROWDINGUP FOLDERS
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APPENDIX 8: USABILITY AND WEBSITE EVALUATION
CrowdingUP website evaluation.
We will evaluate the website crowdingup.ie using a number of evaluation techniques.
These techniques will be evaluated at different stages and will need different numbers of
users. The finds and evaluation techniques have helped us with designing the website.
The Evaluation techniques we will use will be



Heuristic Evaluation
Thinking Aloud
Questionnaire
Method
We held our study in DCU‟s Computer Lab. We had 5 Participants take part in our study.
Our approach was to take groups of 5. We based this on the common belief that the best ratio
of problems found to people used was 85% of problems with 5 people 18. Nielsen J,
Landauer TK. Why You Only Need to Test With 5 Users [all alertbox columns page on the
Internet]. Fremont (CA): useit.com:
held our first group just before
development was finished and final
testing began on the website. We
were then able to act on the results
and hold a second group to reassess
the website after the improvements
were implemented.
We made it clear to participants that
any positive or negative feedback
was useful.
Participants were first of all given a
quick survey to compete to identify
their experience online. They were
then given a talk on what the test
was about and what was expected of
them. After answering any questions
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we then asked participants asked to „think aloud‟ during the usability test. We asked them to
describe their reactions to the new pages as well as their thoughts while completing the
requested tasks. This information would help us determine what users were thinking when
they clicked on a particular link or what information might be confusing to them. (University
of Washington, usability testing report)
Participant
1
2
3
4
5
Usability Test Participants
Age Sex Computer Literacy
Is On a Social Network
30
M
Expert
Yes
19
F
Advanced
Yes
26
M
Novice
Yes
28
M
Advanced
Yes
22
F
Novice
Yes
We decided to test our intermediary and advanced users in our first group as the website was
still unfinished and they could have the greatest input here.
While the participants were performing their given tasks they were directed to think aloud.
This gave us real insight into the tasks and also allowed us to measure how long it took to do
each individual task.
“This method is also beneficial as it occurs simultaneously while the user interacts with the
website and does not rely on selfreport measures, which can lead to incorrect or incomplete
accounts of users‟ actions.”
A “fake” Facebook and Twitter account was set up and the account details were handed out
in the packs to the participants. This enabled us to test the full range of features on the site.
After all of the tasks were finished the participants completed a questionnaire on their
experience of the website on a series of five-point Likert scale questions. Items were scored
on the five-point scale where 1 equals strongly agree and 5 equals strongly disagree. We
found this to be the typical technique employed when performing a usability test on a
website.
The first method used is an Heuristic Evaluation.
This is done well by an experienced web evaluator which looks at your interface and comes
up with an opinion about what is good and bad about the interface. The number of evaluators
is one at this stage (Ross Lundy) due to cost benefit. Ross has been a website designer for 13
years and would be referred to as an expert user in usability terms.
Ross has evaluated the interface numerous times and compared it with a list of recognised
usability principles.
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Home Page

The featured contest enter now button needs to link to a specific competition, race,
springboard or survey, not just the first contest in each section.

The facebook share button needs to be a unique to each competition when I tested it,
it the share value was linked to all the facebook share buttons in the other
competitions.

The third box down on the right hand side on the contest pages is not currently
working and it becomes deformed when you click on springboard.

The “Enter Now” and “Find out more buttons need to be level with each other.

What is the purpose of the whats new box? It does not do anything?

Number of entries do not tally up when I enter a competition, is this manual?
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
There are multiple font and font colour issues across the site these need to be resolved
to ensure consistency.

I am unsure how the points system work and cannot check how many I have.

The URL for enter now button on the home page is
http://crowdingup.ie/main/competitions/ however the url for the competition is
http://crowdingup.ie/main/competition/
Race Page

The rank for users needs titles – “Place”, “User” and “Amount”.
Survey Page

Why is there a buy now button? I do not see its purpose or functionality?
Springboard page

If I am not signed in it says
You rated this competition !
Points page
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
What‟s stopping people clicking on the rewards all the time? How do they know how
many points they are on?
Advertise

Your site has an advertise option but there is no advertising box visible on the site, Is
this a functional module box that can appear?
Search Page

Only the race produces results the search currently does not function properly. Can
you also produce the results in boxes scrolling down rather than show 1 result and
having to click a small 1,2,3… button.
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Thinking out loud Protocol.
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Here I assessed three users and recorded their responses to a set number of questions.
This enables us to see at first hand the process of task completion.
Questions asked.




To enter a competition on CrowdingUP
To register as a member at crowdingup.ie
Find out how to personal your profile page.
Navigate through a race.
For this evaluation I have asked three people to do the following tasks below on the
website. I specifically got people that fitted into different user classifications.
Note: The dialogue transcript has not been altered from what the user said and is not
rewritten.
The classifications I used were:
Expert User
User 1 John
Age: 30
Computer literate
User 2 Lauren
Age: 19
Novice User
User 3 David
Age 26
Advanced User
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User4 Adam
Age 28
Novice User
User 5 Jessica
Age 22
For testing purposes we created random competitions for this usability study.
Task 1: Entering the I Phone 4 competition.
Goal/output: To enter a competition on Crowding UP.
User 1 John.
Ok well it‟s here on the home page as iPhone 4 and if I click here it brings me to the
competition page to win an iPhone 4. It says to enter the competition I need to press the
retweet button and facebook like button of the Crowding UP and comment below that I
have done so. It is quite simple to enter the competition, but I can see how it may be
confusing to some people though.
User 2 Lauren
Competition, here ok. It says I need twitter to join but I don‟t have twitter, does that mean
I can‟t enter the competition?
User 3 David
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To win this iPhone I need to enter a contest, I have done one or two of these before. I like
the fact it explains what I have to do and has a video of the product. I don‟t have twitter
but I have facebook. I click this link and it updated my facebook. I now have to comment
that I have done this. That was easy enough and simple. I like the structure.
User 4 Adam
If I click on the competitions tab it brings me to the iphone4 competition. From here there
are clear instructions on how to enter this competition. I clicked the like and retweet
buttons and have added a comment to the comment box to enter the competition.
User 5 Jessica
I can see the competition in the features competitions box so it is easy to find. It says I
have to like it on facebook and twitter; I have clicked on the buttons so I should be
entered according to the specification written here.
Task 2: You are interested in joining Crowding Up and becoming a member. Please see
if you can register as a member.
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Goal/output: To register as a member at crowdingup.ie
Register
User John
Ok so register is over here at the right hand corner. If I click on the link it brings me to the
Crowding UP registration page. I am going to fill out the standard fields and clicks
submit. Ok done it tells me that I have an email and I need to click on the link to register
myself. I have done that now and am registered. It is a standard web registration found on
most sites.
User Lauren
Register, register oh it‟s here in the corner. Can I put anything in the how did you hear
about us box? Ok I am now registered, its wants me to activate my account by email. I
have now done so.
User David
Ok I can input my details in the box here, and it does not work.
„you need to register before you can login‟
Ok, sorry I see it here. I am entering the details, what is this verification do I need to use
caps? I don‟t like that part. Its working now, I need to check my mail to vertify. Ok done.
User 3 Adam
I can register for the site by pressing the register button in the corner. The details seem
standard and should have me registered in a simple manner. I like the way you have
included a capcha button as it is good security. I have registered and can now access my
account.
User 5 Jessica
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I see the register button here In the corner. I am filling out the details and it seems
straight forward. I am know registered on CrowdingUP. It asks me to check my email and
there is an email from the site there that logs me in.
Task 3: Personalise your profile
Goal/output: Find out how to personal your profile page.
You are a fully registered member of Crowding Up. You want to personalise it
however. See if you can add in your Facebook page to your profile and upload a
photo for your profile photo
User John
Ok when I am logged it I can click on the picture here and add one. I will add a random
picture for this test. I can update my facebook profile here as well. I do not see the point
of the social media entries really unless they are just for your databases?
User Lauren
When I am logged in I can see the update facebook option, I need to just check my
facebook. Ok I have my facebook url and am uploading it. That was easy. Profile should
be here, so I am just going back to facebook to get a picture. Ok I am uploading this one
now and it worked.
User David
I can login to the site now that I have a user name and password. Here is the login box, it
worked. Ok I see a blank picture and a option to change it so I‟ll do that. Ok I am there
now, facebook is here so I put my facebook page here? Is it the one from my profile? Ok I
have that and have put it in.
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User 3 Adam
As I can now login to the site I can access my account. Here I see the avatar and the
option to upload a new pic. I have now changed this. The facebook link is here and I have
added my facebook page.
User 5 Jessica
I have entered my login details on the site and am logged in. Is my facebook page the
details at the top of facebook? I have entered that and changed the picture as well.
Navigate through a race.
Task 4: Race details
1. Goal/output: You are interested in viewing a race. Navigate through a race and visit
the sponsor of one of the races. The race is for fictional Gyms
You must visit our facebook fan page and add a picture and a caption of why you should win
a 3 month pass to a fictional gym of your choosing. The picture with the most likes wins.
User John
Ok so I go to their page and add a picture and get people to like it. Seems straight
forward. It is easier that you have added a link to the facebook upload page. I signed into
facebook and uploaded a test picture.
User Lauren
I like this competition. I need to join a gym. So from reading the spec I have to create a
picture on their page and drive people to that picture to win the prize, sounds grand. I can
just upload a picture of me here? Ok I have done that, now to win!
User David
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Right I am on facebook so I can do this competition. I go there and upload a picture. I
clicked on your link and I can see the option here on facebook. I have uploaded it now,
and commented on CrowdingUP website.
User 3 Adam
I have gone to the fictional gyms facebook fanpage as stated and liked fictional gyms. Now I
have uploaded a picture of myself with a caption and sent it too friends to comment on. I
have gone back to CrowdingUP and gave a link to my picture.
User 5 Jessica
Ok so the link to the facebook page is here and it tells me to go to the page and add a
photo. I don‟t have access to that until I like the page, you need to add that to the
specification. I can upload now hopefully. Yes I have uploaded a picture and liked it so
people will see it. (I deleted the like as it is made up)
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QUESTIONNAIRES
QUESTIONNAIRES ARE USEFUL TOOLS IN EVALUATING WEBSITES AS THE
USERS GIVE FEEDBACK ABOUT THE WEBSITE WHETHER POSITIVE OR
NEGATIVE.
QUESTIONNAIRES ARE THE BEST METHOD FOR GETTING A LARGER
NUMBER OF USERS TO TEST THE SYSTEM. THEY ENABLE THEY ENSURE
THE POSSIBILITY FOR DISCOVERING BETWEEN VARIOUS GROUPS OF
USERS.
19 PEOPLE IN TOTAL COMPLETED THE SURVEY.
RESPONSE SUMMARY
Total Started Survey: 19
Total Completed Survey: 8 (42.1%
1. What age group do you fall into?
57.9% OF PEOPLE ARE 18-24
42.1% OF PEOPLE ARE 25-30
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 125
FULL RESPONSE ALSO ACHIEVED
4. GENERAL APPEARANCE
EXCELLENT
37.5% (3)
ABOVE AVERAGE
25% (2)
AVERAGE
37.5% (3)
THIS SHOWS THAT THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE LIKE THE GENERAL
APPEARANCE OF THE CROWDINGUP.IE WEBSITE.
5. EASE OF USE
EXCELLENT
50% (5)
ABOVE AVERAGE
25% (2)
AVERAGE
25% (2)
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 126
GREAT FEEDBACK ON THE EASE OF USE/APPEARANCE OF THE
WEBSITE. 50% SELECTED EXCELLENT.
6. RELEVANCE OF INFORMATION
EXCELLENT
50% (5)
ABOVE AVERAGE
37.5% (3)
AVERAGE
12.5% (1)
RELEVANCE OF INFORMATION ON THE WEBSITE AS THE MAJORITY OF
PEOPLE WHO VOTED RATED IS AS EXCELLENT AND ABOVE AVERAGE.
7. CLARITY OF INFORMATION
EXCELLENT
25% (2)
ABOVE AVERAGE
50.5% (4)
AVERAGE
12.5% (1)
BELOW AVERAGE
12.5% (1)
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
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THIS IS SOMETHING WE WILL HAVE TO LOOK INTO. ALTHOUGH A
GOOD SCORE IT IS LOWER THAN THE OTHER TEST RESULTS.
8. OVERALL SATISFACTION
EXCELLENT
37.5% (3)
ABOVE AVERAGE
37.5% (3)
AVERAGE
12.5% (3)
BELOW AVERAGE
12.5% (1)
THE OVERALL SATISFACTION OF THE SITE IS QUITE HIGH. THE
SCORES RANGE FROM AVERAGE TO EXCELLENT. JUDGING FROM THE
OVERALL RESULTS THE WEBSITE IS EXCELLENT IN ITS EASE OF
USE/APPEARANCE AND ITS RELATIVE INFORMATION. GENERAL
APPEARANCE SCORES QUITE HIGH ALTHOUGH THE CLARITY OF
INFORMATION WOULD BE THE MAIN POINT I WOULD ADDRESS FROM
THIS SURVEY.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECO MMENDATIONS
AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE RESULTS THAT WE HAVE OBTAINED THERE
ARE NUMEROUS THINGS THAT USIT CAN CHANGE BASED ON OUR
FINDINGS.
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 128
A detailed list of usability problems with the product under study.
• An overall expert opinion (based on data) about the usability of the product or website.
• Recommendations for short-term, relatively inexpensive user interface improvements that
will noticeably improve usability.
These typically deal with language, prompts, dialogs, some aspects of navigation, the
functional options provided, keyboard interaction techniques, screen layout, use of colour,
audio feedback, visual feedback, the use of user interface controls, and the addition or
clarification of help information, FAQs, “tool tips,” and other forms of on-line assistance.
• Recommendations for longer-term, more comprehensive improvements that would
significantly differentiate the usability of the website from others. These typically deal with
deep and pervasive changes to the information architecture which may be required to make
the website correspond more closely with the user‟s mental model of the information space;
this correspondence will in turn dramatically simplify and improve navigation.
1. Homepage
We have made the following changes in different drafts based on user comments.
Facebook share and tweet need to be unique.
Font colour is changed to match the colour scheme we have chosen.
The points system is changed.
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 129
The featured contest was changed to show what the admin wants.
A scroller has been introduced to showcase competitions.
2. Competitions.
Overall people found it easy to understand how to do the competitions. Any confusions
that we have had we have either changed it or made it more clearer.
The race information and steps will be updated to reflect information and comments given.
Survey buy now button has been removed.
The rank for users has changed.
3. Points page
The Points system have been changed and can be edited in the admin panel. The points
and prizes modules have been updated.
Points will be assigned automatically for Survey and Springboard contests as was mentioned
before. Points for the other contests will be assigned by the admin.
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 130
Site designs
The site has gone through many redesigns since we started the initial design plans based on
user input and our own choices.
First design of the site was done in paint and was just done for layout purposes.
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 131
The next design was something we were happy with as most of the design has remained to
this day.
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 132
Original competition page design
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 133
Final home page design.
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 134
APPENDIX 9.1: PROFIT AND LOSS FORECAST 2010 - 2011
Profit and Loss from March 1st 2010 - Feb 31st 2011
Month
March, 2010
April, 2010
May, 2010
June, 2010
July, 2010
August, 2010
September, 2010
October, 2010
November, 2010
December, 2010
January, 2011
February, 2011
Totals
Income
Sales
On site advertising
Contest
Affiliate linking
Consulting and development
Paid surveys
Gross Income
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€60.00
€65.00
€100.00
€0.00
€10.00
€0.00
€120.00
€230.00
€100.00
€0.00
€20.00
€825.00
€180.00
€1,125.00
€100.00
€0.00
€40.00
€825.00
€240.00
€1,205.00
€100.00
€0.00
€80.00
€825.00
€252.00
€1,257.00
€100.00
€750.00
€130.00
€825.00
€252.00
€2,057.00
€500.00
€750.00
€285.00
€3,300.00
€1,104.00
€5,939.00
Domain registration
Hosting
Survey Payments
Custom website improvements
Skype
Survey monkey
SSL encription
PayPal
Points
Folders
Total General & Administrative
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€20.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€20.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€50.00
€186.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€236.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€45.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€45.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€2,000.00
€5.00
€0.00
€150.00
€0.00
€15.00
€230.00
€2,400.00
€0.00
€0.00
€50.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€0.00
€2.56
€15.00
€0.00
€72.56
€0.00
€0.00
€100.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€0.00
€8.52
€15.00
€0.00
€128.52
€0.00
€0.00
€150.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€0.00
€41.15
€15.00
€0.00
€211.15
€0.00
€0.00
€200.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€0.00
€43.87
€15.00
€0.00
€263.87
€0.00
€0.00
€210.00
€250.00
€5.00
€0.00
€0.00
€45.64
€15.00
€0.00
€525.64
€0.00
€0.00
€210.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€0.00
€72.84
€15.00
€230.00
€532.84
€50.00
€186.00
€920.00
€2,250.00
€80.00
€20.00
€150.00
€214.58
€105.00
€460.00
€4,435.58
Google Adwords
Facebook advertising
Radio
e-mail campaign
Business cards
Total Marketing & Promotional
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€50.00
€50.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€30.00
€0.00
€30.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€30.00
€0.00
€330.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€30.00
€0.00
€330.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€30.00
€0.00
€330.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€30.00
€0.00
€330.00
€200.00
€100.00
€2,000.00
€30.00
€0.00
€2,330.00
€200.00
€100.00
€1,000.00
€30.00
€0.00
€1,330.00
€1,200.00
€600.00
€3,000.00
€210.00
€50.00
€5,060.00
Postage
Travel
Sundries
Video Camera
Total Operating Expenses
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€20.00
€100.00
€120.00
€0.00
€0.00
€20.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€220.00
€220.00
€220.00
€220.00
€220.00
€220.00
€200.00
€350.00
€1,050.00
€160.00
€100.00
€1,660.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€2,580.00
€2,580.00
Permanent
Total Employment Expenses
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
Rent
Total Occupancy Costs
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
Expenses
General & Online Expenses
Marketing & Promotional
Operating Expenses
Loan
AIB Bank Loan 10k
Total Loan Repayments
Salary & Wages
€0.00
€0.00
Occupancy Costs (inclusive of utilities)
Total Expenses
Net Profit / (Loss)
€235.00
-€235.00
€215.00
-€215.00
€451.00
-€451.00
€335.00
-€335.00
€330.00
-€330.00
€3,090.00
-€3,090.00
€1,062.56
-€997.56
€1,118.52
-€888.52
€1,201.15
-€76.15
€1,253.87
-€48.87
€3,515.64
-€2,258.64
€2,502.84
-€445.84
€1,575.00
€1,575.00
€15,310.58
-€9,371.58
APPENDIX 9.2: PROFIT AND LOSS FORECAST 2011 - 2012
Profit and Loss from March 1st 2011 - Feb 31st 2012
Month
March, 2011
April, 2011
May, 2011
June, 2011
July, 2011
August, 2011
September, 2011
October, 2011
November, 2011
December, 2011
January, 2012
February, 2012
Totals
Income
Sales
On site advertising
Contest
Affiliate linking
Consulting and development
Paid surveys
Gross Income
€100.00
€750.00
€130.00
€825.00
€252.00
€2,057.00
€100.00
€750.00
€130.00
€825.00
€252.00
€2,057.00
€100.00
€750.00
€130.00
€825.00
€252.00
€2,057.00
€100.00
€750.00
€130.00
€825.00
€252.00
€2,057.00
€100.00
€750.00
€130.00
€825.00
€252.00
€2,057.00
€100.00
€750.00
€130.00
€825.00
€252.00
€2,057.00
€100.00
€750.00
€130.00
€825.00
€252.00
€2,057.00
€100.00
€750.00
€130.00
€825.00
€252.00
€2,057.00
€100.00
€750.00
€130.00
€825.00
€252.00
€2,057.00
€100.00
€750.00
€130.00
€825.00
€252.00
€2,057.00
€200.00
€750.00
€335.00
€825.00
€564.00
€2,674.00
€200.00 €1,400.00
€2,025.00 €10,275.00
€335.00 €1,970.00
€825.00 €9,900.00
€564.00 €3,648.00
€3,949.00 €27,193.00
Domain registration
Survey Payment
Hosting
Custom website improvements
Skype
SSL encription
SagePay/Paypal payment
Banking
Points
Folders
Total General & Administrative
€0.00
€210.00
€0.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€72.84
€0.00
€15.00
€0.00
€302.84
€0.00
€210.00
€0.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€72.84
€0.00
€15.00
€0.00
€302.84
€50.00
€210.00
€0.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€72.84
€0.00
€15.00
€230.00
€582.84
€0.00
€210.00
€0.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€72.84
€0.00
€15.00
€0.00
€302.84
€0.00
€210.00
€186.00
€0.00
€45.00
€0.00
€72.84
€0.00
€15.00
€0.00
€528.84
€0.00
€210.00
€0.00
€0.00
€5.00
€120.00
€65.50
€246.57
€15.00
€230.00
€892.07
€0.00
€210.00
€0.00
€0.00
€45.00
€0.00
€65.50
€56.57
€15.00
€0.00
€392.07
€0.00
€210.00
€0.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€65.50
€56.57
€15.00
€0.00
€352.07
€0.00
€210.00
€0.00
€1,250.00
€5.00
€0.00
€65.50
€56.57
€15.00
€230.00
€1,832.07
€0.00
€210.00
€0.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€65.50
€56.57
€15.00
€0.00
€352.07
€0.00
€470.00
€0.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€65.50
€73.54
€100.00
€0.00
€714.04
€0.00
€470.00
€0.00
€250.00
€5.00
€0.00
€74.50
€108.60
€100.00
€230.00
€1,238.10
€50.00
€3,040.00
€186.00
€1,500.00
€140.00
€120.00
€831.69
€654.97
€350.00
€920.00
€7,792.66
Google Adwords
Facebook advertising
Radio
e-mail campaign
Business cards
Total Marketing & Promotional
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€50.00
€0.00
€350.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€50.00
€0.00
€350.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€50.00
€0.00
€350.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€50.00
€50.00
€400.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€50.00
€0.00
€350.00
€200.00
€100.00
€50.00
€0.00
€350.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€50.00
€0.00
€350.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€50.00
€0.00
€350.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€50.00
€0.00
€350.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€50.00
€50.00
€400.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€50.00
€0.00
€350.00
€200.00
€100.00
€1,000.00
€50.00
€0.00
€1,350.00
€2,400.00
€1,200.00
€1,000.00
€600.00
€100.00
€5,300.00
Postage
Travel
Sundries
Video Camera
Total Operating Expenses
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€100.00
€320.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€220.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€220.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€220.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€220.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€220.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€220.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€220.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€220.00
€50.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€220.00
€270.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€440.00
€270.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€440.00
€1,040.00
€1,800.00
€240.00
€100.00
€3,180.00
AIB Bank Loan 10k
Total Loan Repayments
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€2,580.00
€2,580.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€0.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€1,730.00
€1,730.00
Rent
Total Occupancy Costs
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€2,700.00
€2,700.00
VAT (21%)
€135.27
€156.27
€97.47
€145.77
€108.81
€32.54
€137.54
€145.94
-€164.86
€135.44
-€28.36
-€80.66
€821.17
Expenses
General & Online Expenses
Marketing & Promotional
Operating Expenses
Loan
Salary & Wages
Permanent
Total Employment Expenses
Occupancy Costs (inclusive of utilities)
Taxes
Total Expenses
Net Profit / (Loss)
€1,548.11
€508.89
€1,469.11
€587.89
€1,690.31
€366.69
€1,508.61
€548.39
€1,647.65
€409.35
€1,934.60
€122.40
€1,539.60
€517.40
€1,508.00
€549.00
€2,677.20
-€620.20
€1,547.50
€509.50
€2,780.68
-€106.68
€4,252.44
-€303.44
€24,103.83
€3,089.17
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 136
APPENDIX 9.3: PROFIT AND LOSS FORECAST 2012 - 2013
Profit and Loss from March 1st 2011 - Feb 31st 2012
Month
March, 2012
April, 2012
May, 2012
June, 2012
July, 2012
August, 2012
September, 2012
October, 2012
November, 2012
December, 2012
January, 2013
February, 2013
Totals
Income
Sales
On site advertising
Contest
Affiliate linking
Consulting and development
Paid surveys
Gross Income
€200.00
€2,025.00
€335.00
€825.00
€564.00
€3,949.00
€200.00
€2,025.00
€335.00
€825.00
€564.00
€3,949.00
€200.00
€2,025.00
€335.00
€825.00
€564.00
€3,949.00
€200.00
€2,025.00
€335.00
€825.00
€564.00
€3,949.00
€200.00
€2,025.00
€335.00
€825.00
€564.00
€3,949.00
€200.00
€2,025.00
€335.00
€825.00
€564.00
€3,949.00
€200.00
€2,025.00
€335.00
€825.00
€564.00
€3,949.00
€200.00
€2,025.00
€335.00
€825.00
€564.00
€3,949.00
€200.00
€2,475.00
€410.00
€825.00
€684.00
€4,594.00
€1,200.00
€2,475.00
€410.00
€825.00
€684.00
€5,594.00
€1,200.00
€2,475.00
€410.00
€825.00
€684.00
€5,594.00
€1,200.00
€2,475.00
€410.00
€825.00
€684.00
€5,594.00
€5,400.00
€26,100.00
€4,320.00
€9,900.00
€7,248.00
€52,968.00
Domain registration
Hosting
Survey Payment
Custom website improvements
Skype
SSL encription
Realex payment
Banking
Points
Folders
Total General & Administrative
€0.00
€0.00
€470.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€74.50
€49.00
€108.60
€0.00
€707.10
€0.00
€0.00
€470.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€74.50
€49.00
€108.60
€0.00
€707.10
€50.00
€0.00
€470.00
€250.00
€5.00
€0.00
€74.50
€49.00
€108.60
€230.00
€1,237.10
€0.00
€0.00
€470.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€74.50
€49.00
€108.60
€0.00
€707.10
€0.00
€186.00
€470.00
€0.00
€45.00
€0.00
€74.50
€49.00
€108.60
€0.00
€933.10
€0.00
€0.00
€470.00
€250.00
€5.00
€120.00
€74.50
€49.00
€108.60
€230.00
€1,307.10
€0.00
€0.00
€470.00
€0.00
€45.00
€0.00
€74.50
€49.00
€108.60
€0.00
€747.10
€0.00
€0.00
€470.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€74.50
€49.00
€108.60
€0.00
€707.10
€0.00
€0.00
€570.00
€2,000.00
€5.00
€0.00
€74.50
€49.00
€126.34
€230.00
€3,054.84
€0.00
€0.00
€570.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€74.50
€49.00
€153.84
€0.00
€852.34
€0.00
€0.00
€570.00
€250.00
€5.00
€0.00
€74.50
€49.00
€153.84
€0.00
€1,102.34
€0.00
€0.00
€570.00
€0.00
€5.00
€0.00
€74.50
€49.00
€153.84
€230.00
€1,082.34
€50.00
€186.00
€6,040.00
€2,750.00
€140.00
€120.00
€894.00
€588.00
€1,456.62
€920.00
€13,144.62
Google Adwords
Facebook advertising
Radio
e-mail campaign
Business cards
Total Marketing & Promotional
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€75.00
€0.00
€375.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€75.00
€0.00
€375.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€75.00
€0.00
€375.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€75.00
€50.00
€425.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€75.00
€0.00
€375.00
€200.00
€100.00
€0.00
€75.00
€0.00
€375.00
€300.00
€0.00
€0.00
€75.00
€0.00
€375.00
€300.00
€0.00
€0.00
€75.00
€0.00
€375.00
€300.00
€0.00
€0.00
€75.00
€0.00
€375.00
€300.00
€0.00
€0.00
€75.00
€50.00
€425.00
€300.00
€0.00
€0.00
€75.00
€0.00
€375.00
€300.00 €3,000.00
€0.00 €600.00
€1,000.00 €1,000.00
€30.00 €855.00
€0.00 €100.00
€1,330.00 €5,555.00
Postage
Travel
Sundries
Video Camera
Total Operating Expenses
€270.00
€150.00
€20.00
€100.00
€540.00
€270.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€440.00
€270.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€440.00
€270.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€440.00
€270.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€440.00
€270.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€440.00
€270.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€440.00
€270.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€440.00
€330.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€500.00
€330.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€500.00
€330.00
€150.00
€20.00
€0.00
€500.00
€330.00 €3,480.00
€150.00 €1,800.00
€20.00 €240.00
€0.00 €100.00
€500.00 €5,620.00
AIB Bank Loan 10k
Total Loan Repayments
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00
€215.00 €2,580.00
€215.00 €2,580.00
Permanent
Total Employment Expenses
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€865.00
€1,730.00
€1,730.00
€1,730.00
€1,730.00
€1,730.00
€1,730.00
€1,730.00 €13,840.00
€1,730.00 €13,840.00
Rent
Total Occupancy Costs
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00
€225.00 €2,700.00
€225.00 €2,700.00
VAT (21%)
€214.60
€235.60
€124.30
€225.10
€188.14
€109.60
€227.20
€235.60
-€316.23
€345.80
€303.80
€107.45 €2,000.96
Expenses
General & Online Expenses
Marketing & Promotional
Operating Expenses
Loan
Salary & Wages
Occupancy Costs (inclusive of utilities)
Taxes
Total Expenses
Net Profit / (Loss)
€3,141.70
€807.30
€3,062.70
€886.30
€3,481.40
€467.60
€3,102.20
€846.80
€3,241.24
€707.76
€3,536.70
€412.30
€3,094.30
€854.70
€3,062.70
€886.30
€5,783.61
-€1,189.61
€4,293.13
€1,300.87
€4,451.13
€1,142.87
€5,189.78
€404.22
€45,440.58
€7,527.42
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 137
APPENDIX 9.4: CASH FLOW FORECAST
Cash Flow Forecast
For the Year Ending
Cash at Beginning of Year
31/02/2011
31/02/2012
31/02/2013
TOTAL
10,000
628
3,718
15,703
Operations
Cash receipts from customers
Cash paid for
5,939
52,968 86,100
Inventory purchases
(770)
(1,360)
(1,360)
(3,490)
General operating and administrative expenses
(10,386)
(15,733)
(24,961)
(51,080)
(13,840)
(15,570)
Wage expenses
Net Cash Flow from
Operations
27,193
0 (1,730)
Loan
(2,580)
(2,580)
(2,580)
(7,740)
Rent
(1,575)
(2,700)
(2,700)
(6,975)
(9,372)
3,090
7,527
1,245
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 138
APPENDIX 9.5: BALANCE SHEET FORECAST
Balance Sheet Forecast
Assets
Current Assets
Cash
Accounts receivable
Inventory
2011
2012
2013 Total
10,000.00
628.00
3,718.00
5,939.00
27,193.00
52,968.00
1,424.00
2,010.00
2,010.00
Total current assets
Fixed (Long-Term) Assets
Long-term investments
Property, plant, and equipment
(Less accumulated depreciation)
Total fixed assets
Other Assets
Deferred income tax
Other
Total Other Assets
17,363.00
29,831.00
58,696.00
14,346.00
86,100.00
5,444.00
105,890.00
2,250.00
1,690.00
100.00
100.00
790.00
2,270.00
1,560.00 480.00
2,750.00
100.00
790.00
2,060.00
6,690.00
300.00
3,850.00
3,140.00
-
-
-
Total Assets
18,923.00
29,351.00
60,756.00
109,030.00
11,156.00
17,914.00
821.00
1,730
20,465.00
28,322.00
2,001.00
13,840
44,163.00
57,392.00
2,822.00
15,570.00
75,784.00
Liabilities and Owner's Equity
Current Liabilities
Accounts payable
Income taxes payable
Accrued salaries and wages
Total current liabilities
Long-Term Liabilities
Long-term debt
Total long-term liabilities
Owner's Equity
Bank Loan
Retained earnings
Owners Savings
Total owner's equity
Total Liabilities and Owner's Equity
Common Financial Ratios
Debt Ratio (Total Liabilities / Total Assets)
Current Ratio (Current Assets / Current Liabilities)
Working Capital (Current Assets - Current Liabilities)
Assets-to-Equity Ratio (Total Assets / Owner's Equity)
Debt-to-Equity Ratio (Total Liabilities / Owner's Equity)
11,156.00
12,900.00
12,900.00
-
-
10,000.00
2,000.00
12,000.00
36,056.00
1.27
1.56
6,207
1.58
2.00
12,900.00
12,900.00
628.00
2,000.00
2,628.00
3,718.00
2,000.00
5,718.00
10,000.00
4,346.00
6,000.00
20,346.00
23,093.00
[42]
49,881.00
[42]
109,030.00
[42]
0.70
1.46
9,366
11.17
7.79
0.73
1.33
14,533
10.63
7.72
0.81
1.40
30,106
5.36
4.36
MINUTES
TEAM SIGNATORY CODE FOR THE DCU MASTERS IN
ELECTRONIC COMMERCE PRACTICUM
To ensure the best possible outcome from our group work we developed a group signatory code to
address and highlight some of the issues which could potentially effect how our group would
operate. All group members contributed to the signatory code and all members signed the
document. Below you can see the signatory code and also a number of our meeting minutes.
Meeting minutes proved to be very useful when recalling tasks, At the end of the group meetings
an e-mail was sent to each member with a to do list of tasks, by delegating the workload our
group managed to cover a large amount of work while also undertaking a significant amount of
research. Overall we feel that we had very positive group dynamics, after a number of meetings it
became clear that some individuals were stronger in certain areas, this further added to the overall
efficiency of the group. Any group member who struggled with an area or task had no problem
asking for advice from other members.
Subject Company:
“Crowding Up”
Legal Structure:
Sole Trader
Team Leader / Director:
Robert Emmet McNally
Team Members:
Andrew Fitzpatrick
Gillian Reynolds
Eoin Corry
Practicum Duration:
01 June 2010 – 28 August 2010
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 140
Attendance
Group meetings shall be held weekly and must be attended by all members. In the case of
emergency and you cannot attend a meeting, you must inform the entire group. The reason for
absence must be deemed valid by the group. When a member is absent, he/she must stay up on
work. If members need to go on holidays they should say so as soon as they know. In terms of
fairness small breaks are allowed for each member for up to one week or multiple trips up to a
combined total of 8 week days. Timelines must be followed by all members.
Workload
Have and present work that is delegated to you. Each member must put in the same amount of
work; if a member is not then the signature code will be put in place. The practicum is a big part
of the college and should be treated the same way. It should take precedence over work. Work
delegated to members must be completed in a timely manner and to an excellent standard.
Confidentiality
Each team member agrees that any and all knowledge or information that may be obtained in the
course of this college practicum with respect to the conduct and details of the business and with
respect to the secret processes, formulas etc. used by the business in manufacturing its services will be
forever held inviolate and be concealed from any competitor and all other persons and that he or she
will not engage as employer, employee, principal, agent, or otherwise, directly or indirectly, at any
time in a similar business, and that he or she will not impart the knowledge acquired to anybody and
that should he or she at any time leave the practicum team, he or she agrees not to enter into the
employ or service or otherwise act in aid of the business of any rival company or concern or
individual engaged in the same or in similar lines of business. If he or she does so in violation the
organisation, “Crowing Up” shall be entitled to an injunction by any competent court of equity
enjoining and restraining him [her] and each and every other person concerned from continuance of
employment, services or other acts in aid of the business of the rival company or concern.
Financing
Payment for posters, printing or anything that is considered “group work” is to be paid equally by
all team members. Any other expenses such as software/web development will be paid by the sole
trader.
Voting
A majority vote is considered final. The sole trader will have the deciding vote in a tie situation.
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 141
Signatory Breach
The breach of any section of this document will result in the exclusion from the practicum group.
Signed
Title:
Robert Emmet McNally
Title:
Andrew Fitzpatrick
Signed: ___________________
Signed: ___________________
Date:
_01_/06/10
Date:
01__/06/10
Title:
Gillian Reynolds
Title:
Eoin Corry
Signed: ___________________
Signed: ___________________
Date:
Date:
_01_/06/10
01__/06/10
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 142
Crowding Up meeting 09/06/2010 DCU Business School QG27 @ 12.30pm.
Present
Andrew Fitzpatrick
Emmet McNally
Gillian Reynolds
Agenda

Discuss sources of income and other financial components.

Set up Skype phone line.

Discuss milestones for company i.e. 5000 customers in Ireland by the end of the year.

Discuss petty cash required for letters, interlocking folders etc.

Check web development companies for more B2C companies.
Andrew Fitzpatrick

Set up Crowding Up email address.

Work on business plan section.
Emmet McNally

Set up Skype phone line

Work on financial component

Work on part of Business plan.
Gillian Reynolds

Letter to companies

Check web development companies for more B2C companies in order to target.

Review client list.
Tentative agenda for the next meeting
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 143
Have letters ready to send out to potential clients and contact details set up. Work on given
tasks, most important being the business plan.
Actions
Meeting with Cathal Gurran Friday 11th at 12.
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 144
Crowding Up meeting 14/06/2010 DCU Business School Q220 @ 2pm.
Present
Emmet McNally
Eoin Corry
Gillian Reynolds
Agenda
 Overview of what has been going so far.
 Look into receiving financial assistance.
 Look at Cro.ie in order to finish and personalise letters.
 Research into the social media tools currently being used by colleges and universities.
 Start blogging.
 Discuss design for interlocking folders.
 Contact print companies for prices.
 Set up meeting with Marcus Helfert.
Andrew Fitzpatrick

Blogging

Contact Marcus Helfert to set up meeting.
Emmet McNally

Apply for financial assistance, contact Fingal County Council and Dublin City
Council.

Design second page to be included with letter.
Eoin Corry
 Review college/university list.
 Tailor letters to specific colleges.
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 145
 Finish Market Analysis section of business plan
Gillian Reynolds

Review college/university list.

Start marketing component of business plan

Contact printing companies.
Tentative agenda for the next meeting
Discuss business plan and review work completed so far.
Actions
Send letters to companies and finalise design of folders.
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 146
CrowdingUP meeting 03/06/2010 Library mentor room.
Present
Andrew Fitzpatrick
Emmet McNally
Eoin Corry
Gillian Reynolds
Agenda

Organise meetings with practicum supervisors and Cathal.

Organise Business Plan.

Team Signatory Code.
Andrew Fitzpatrick

Email Markus for next week

Stick more data into Business Plan Pro so it is easier to follow.

Work on engagement for CrowdingUP names and social media tools.

Detailed website flow for developers
Emmet McNally

Elevator Pitch

Work on part of Business plan.

Detailed website flow for developers
Eoin Corry

Sort out the meeting with Cathal
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 147
Gillian

Letter to companies

Client List
All
Install business plan pro and read the business plan pdf‟s.
Tentative agenda for the next meeting
Work on given tasks, most important being the business plan. We should have a better
understanding of everything after we meet Cathal and supervisors.
Actions
Meeting with Cathal Gurran Friday 11th at 12.
Meeting with Patrick Wednesday 9 th at 2.
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 148
Crowding Up meeting 09/06/2010 DCU Business School QG27 @ 12.30pm.
Present
Andrew Fitzpatrick
Emmet McNally
Gillian Reynolds
Eoin Corry
Agenda

Discuss quotations from various printing companies.

Set up email account using Microsoft Outlook

Discuss design for packs (250 interlocking folders)

Discuss what should be said in the letters to colleges

Begin blog posts

Discuss business plan progress
Andrew Fitzpatrick

Set up Crowding Up email address.

Work on business plan section.

Blog posts
Emmet McNally


Work on part of Business plan.
Gillian Reynolds

Letter to colleges

Work on competitors profile
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 149
Eoin Corry
Tentative agenda for the next meeting
Have letters ready to send out to potential clients and contact details set up. Work on given
tasks, most important being the business plan.
Actions
Meeting with Cathal Gurrin Friday 11 th at 12.
The weekly group meetings continued however some weeks required more meetings than
others for example when carrying out the research for the practicum all group members
stayed in close contact to ensure no element was overlooked. Some unforeseen circumstances
such as delays called for a number of unplanned meetings to resolve issues within the group
and also externally. E-mail proved to be one of the most important tools for the practicum.
All group members had smart phones which allowed each individual to receive instant email; therefore no individual was left in the dark regarding work or difficulties.
Masters in E-Commerce 2010 – Dublin City University
Page | 150
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Alterian. (2010). Your Brand: At Risk or Ready For Growth.
AnyLuckyDay. (2010). Any Lucky Day FAQ. Retrieved June 21, 2010, from
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Armano, D. (2009, November 2). Six Social Media Trends for 2010. Retrieved June 2010,
2010, from http://blogs.hbr.org: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2009/11/six_social_media_trends.html
Bank of Ireland. (2009). Latest Bank of Ireland Barometer shows 13,327 new business startups in 2009 . Retrieved 2010, from www.bankofireland.com:
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InsideIreland. (2010, July 9). Irish businesses target social networking. Retrieved July 28,
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Mortimer, R. (2008, August 4). Banner blindness” boosts Pigsback’s proposition. Retrieved
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