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The Role of Influencer Marketing

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This paper looks at the growth of influencer marketing in application and how it has shifted the relationship between brands and consumers. Barriers to enter the space and methods of practice are discussed and analyzed to project the accessibility of

This paper looks at the growth of influencer marketing in application and how it has shifted the relationship between brands and consumers. Barriers to enter the space and methods of practice are discussed and analyzed to project the accessibility of obtaining influencer status. Best practices for brands and influencers are outlined based on research, and key findings are analyzed from interviewed participants that play an active role in the field. Another component of the paper includes the discussion of the significance of platform dependence regarding influencers and brands using social media channels to reach consumers. The dynamic of the relationship that exists between consumers, brands and platforms is demonstrated through a model to demonstrate the interdependence of the relationship. The final component of the paper involves the exploration of the field as an active participant through an experiment that was conducted by the researcher on behalf of the question: can anyone be an influencer? The answer to this question is explored through personal accounts on the journey during an eight month process of testing content creation and promotion to build awareness and increase engagement. The barriers to enter the space as an influencer and to collaborate with brands is addressed through the process of testing tactics and strategies on social channels, along with travel expeditions across Arizona to contribute to content creation purposed into blog articles. The findings throughout the paper are conclusive that the value of influencer marketing is increasing as more brands validate and utilize this method in their marketing efforts.

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2018-05

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The Dutch Dukeout: Honoring an Everyday Hero

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The "Dutch Dukeout" is a memorial, community engagement venture founded by Scott Fitzgerald and Sam Minton. The event was also supported and facilitated through the help of a third party member, Dylan Bryant. The "Dutch Dukeout" will continue annually, as

The "Dutch Dukeout" is a memorial, community engagement venture founded by Scott Fitzgerald and Sam Minton. The event was also supported and facilitated through the help of a third party member, Dylan Bryant. The "Dutch Dukeout" will continue annually, as an opportunity for Brophy College Preparatory alumni and current students to come together and connect. This venture also exists to celebrate and honor the life and legacy of Fr. Harry "Dutch" Olivier, a former, prominent faculty member of Brophy. Additionally, the "Dutch Dukeout" aims to raise money to support the Brophy Scholarship Foundation, a resource for current Brophy students to offset the financial burden it costs to attend the prominent college preparatory. Foremost, the "Dutch Dukeout" flag football tournament provides a powerful way for Brophy Alumni to reconnect with their school. By communicating and participating with graduates from various classes, alumni have an opportunity to provide valuable life lessons and share personal stories with the youth, as well as bond over their shared experience at Brophy. For a school that is able to continually develop community leaders and social activists, the "Dutch Dukeout" provides a platform for collaboration and inspiration for everyone who participates. By raising money to support the Brophy Scholarship Foundation and providing an opportunity for alumni to engage in their community, the "Dutch Dukeout" is an event that truly embodies Fr. Olivier's values and beliefs. This thesis report documents the ideas, work and efforts that were completed to launch and then ensure the success and longevity of the venture. It also serves as an example for future social entrepreneurs who aim to make a difference in communities of their own.

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2018-05

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Creations by Songbird: An Exploration of Marketing and Selling Handcrafted Home Decor

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The goal of this project is to gain market research insight into the handcrafted goods industry and apply this knowledge towards a business plan for a small crafts business: Creations by Songbird. We accomplish this goal by conducting primary and

The goal of this project is to gain market research insight into the handcrafted goods industry and apply this knowledge towards a business plan for a small crafts business: Creations by Songbird. We accomplish this goal by conducting primary and secondary research on the crafts selling industry to see who the target customer is and what their habits are. First, we conduct a literature review looking into the background of some known crafts sales platforms. We discover several consistent trends in product differentiation, retail price calculation, and search engine optimization that we will apply to our business plan. Next, we conduct primary market research in the form of observations, customer and business owner interviews, and surveys. We learn that Instagram is a widely used marketing tool and that Etsy and crafts shows are popular sales channels. Using the results of our research we conclude that the our target customers are women ages 18-24 and 50-59 who attend crafts shows several times per year and occasionally browse Etsy. Many of these women enjoy objects that are vintage style and on average they spend less than $50 per item. Applying the industry and market knowledge gleaned from our research we create a business plan that outlines a price/cost breakdown, marketing plan, and sales plan for Creations by Songbird. We plan to utilize Instagram as our main marketing tool and will sell records via crafts shows and Etsy. Based on our estimates, we conclude that Creations by Songbird will be a profitable business.

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Date Created
2018-05

Indoor Cycling: Industry Trends and Small Business Planning

Description

A market analysis on the boutique fitness industry, as well as financial plans and logistical planning of creating a unique indoor cycling studio in the greater Scottsdale area. Through competitive, financial, and technological analyses one is able to better understand

A market analysis on the boutique fitness industry, as well as financial plans and logistical planning of creating a unique indoor cycling studio in the greater Scottsdale area. Through competitive, financial, and technological analyses one is able to better understand the breadth and scope of the growing fitness industry as well as see the potential risks and benefits in opening a small business in this arena.
Health and wellness can be found all throughout the market nowadays. Whether it be from the food people eat or the money people spend on self-care, this trend has created a significant niche in today’s market. Create Cycle is the next big player to be stepping into the mayhem that is the health and wellness industry. Create Cycle is a new indoor cycling experience located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Its mission: to provide people with an unforgettably positive fitness experience where each and every person feels empowered to create love for themselves through state-of-the-art technology. With the fitness industry is quickly growing, and it is imperative for Create Cycle to differentiate itself within the Scottsdale market. Create Cycle will be, in theory, based around an entire experience. The classes will consist of some of the best talent and training one can find in the valley. This will be done through a specific hiring process and strategic organizational structure. The goal is to let experiences in class lead to a strong community following, where Create Cycle becomes the place to be. Its vision: to one day break down the notions of exercising solely for physical appearance but rather for one’s own happiness and for those around them in a larger frame of mind.

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Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Political Division in America: A Fresh Perspective of the Chaos

Description

The United States is in a period of political turmoil and polarization. New technologies have matured over the last ten years, which have transformed an individual’s relationship with society and government. The emergence of these technologies has revolutionized access to

The United States is in a period of political turmoil and polarization. New technologies have matured over the last ten years, which have transformed an individual’s relationship with society and government. The emergence of these technologies has revolutionized access to both information and misinformation. Skills such as bias recognition and critical thinking are more imperative than in any other time to separate truth from false or misleading information. Meanwhile, education has not evolved with these changes. The average individual is more likely to come to uninformed conclusions and less likely to listen to differing perspectives. Moreover, technology is further complicating and compounding other issues in the political process. All of this is manifesting in division among the American people who elect more polarized politicians who increasingly fail to find avenues for compromise.

In an effort to address these trends, we founded a student organization, The Political Literates, to fight political apathy by delivering political news in an easy to understand and unbiased manner. Inspired by our experience with this organization, we combine our insights with research to paint a new perspective on the state of the American political system.

This thesis analyzes various issues identified through our observations and research, with a heavy emphasis on using examples from the 2016 election. Our focus is how new technologies like data analytics, the Internet, smartphones, and social media are changing politics by driving political and social transformation. We identify and analyze five core issues that have been amplified by new technology, hindering the effectiveness of elections and further increasing political polarization:

● Gerrymandering which skews partisan debate by forcing politicians to pander to ideologically skewed districts.
● Consolidation of media companies which affects the diversity of how news is shared.
● Repeal of the Fairness Doctrine which allowed media to become more partisan.
● The Citizens United Ruling which skews power away from average voters in elections.
● A Failing Education System which does not prepare Americans to be civically engaged and to avoid being swayed by biased or untrue media.

Based on our experiment with the Political Literates and our research, we call for improving how critical thinking and civics is taught in the American education system. Critical thought and civics must be developed pervasively. With this, more people would be able to form more sophisticated views by listening to others to learn rather than win, listening less to irrelevant information, and forming a culture with more engagement in politics. Through this re-enlightenment, many of America’s other problems may evaporate or become more actionable.

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Date Created
2019-05

Athlete Branding: Making an Undistinguished Player a Household Name

Description

The concept of branding has been around for centuries, but personal branding is a relatively new concept that has been defined and executed by many public figures. With the rise of technological advancements like social media, professional athletes have ample

The concept of branding has been around for centuries, but personal branding is a relatively new concept that has been defined and executed by many public figures. With the rise of technological advancements like social media, professional athletes have ample opportunities to connect with consumers outside of their respective court. Our thesis team conducted research with Dr. John Eaton and Professor Daniel McIntosh to analyze how athletes’ actions and behaviors affect consumers’ opinions about their brand.
We developed multiple surveys that were distributed to Marketing & Business Performance (MKT 300) students at Arizona State University and AWS Mechanical Turk Workers. The goal of obtaining information from both college students and paid survey-takers was to compile a diverse set of opinions regarding how consumers react to athletes’ social media and public behavior. This led us to analyze how consumers interact with athletes on social media platforms based on the sport they play and consequences of their actions. After examining our consumer research, interviewing executives in the legal background, and talking to some of the university’s top-prospective athletes to gain different viewpoints, we created consumer and athlete categories.
We established six main consumer categories and six main athlete social media strategy personas in order to create social media strategy recommendations. With this information, athletes have the opportunity to develop well-thought out social media strategies that are more tailored to their fan base(s). Athletes must be cognizant of how the content on their social media accounts and their public actions will affect consumers’ perceptions about who they are and their personal brand.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Cook, Post, Repeat: Understanding Social Media Influencers One Dish at a Time

Description

The consumer decision making process is becoming less complicated, as consumers are turning more and more to social media and peers for reviews and suggestions of new products to purchase. Changes in purchasing trends, along with other external factors, have

The consumer decision making process is becoming less complicated, as consumers are turning more and more to social media and peers for reviews and suggestions of new products to purchase. Changes in purchasing trends, along with other external factors, have created a perfect environment for influencer marketing to become more effective for brands than traditional marketing strategies (including television, print, email and radio advertising)—by reaching the right target market with easier ways to track conversion rates and other returns on investment. This thesis looks at the factors that go in to influencer marketing, including why brands utilize this strategy—in terms of budget, returns on investment and best practices for finding the perfect influencers. It also looks at influencer marketing from the view of the influencers themselves. This thesis looks at the spectrum of influence and the motivation and goals of each level—from macro-influencers to micro-influencers and brand advocates. To better understand the research presented in this thesis, a case study of a successful brand, analysis of influencers and a creative project are all presented.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Analysis of BoostOR: A Twitter Bot Detection Classification Algorithm

Description

The prevalence of bots, or automated accounts, on social media is a well-known problem. Some of the ways bots harm social media users include, but are not limited to, spreading misinformation, influencing topic discussions, and dispersing harmful links. Bots have

The prevalence of bots, or automated accounts, on social media is a well-known problem. Some of the ways bots harm social media users include, but are not limited to, spreading misinformation, influencing topic discussions, and dispersing harmful links. Bots have affected the field of disaster relief on social media as well. These bots cause problems such as preventing rescuers from determining credible calls for help, spreading fake news and other malicious content, and generating large amounts of content which burdens rescuers attempting to provide aid in the aftermath of disasters. To address these problems, this research seeks to detect bots participating in disaster event related discussions and increase the recall, or number of bots removed from the network, of Twitter bot detection methods. The removal of these bots will also prevent human users from accidentally interacting with these bot accounts and being manipulated by them. To accomplish this goal, an existing bot detection classification algorithm known as BoostOR was employed. BoostOR is an ensemble learning algorithm originally modeled to increase bot detection recall in a dataset and it has the possibility to solve the social media bot dilemma where there may be several different types of bots in the data. BoostOR was first introduced as an adjustment to existing ensemble classifiers to increase recall. However, after testing the BoostOR algorithm on unobserved datasets, results showed that BoostOR does not perform as expected. This study attempts to improve the BoostOR algorithm by comparing it with a baseline classification algorithm, AdaBoost, and then discussing the intentional differences between the two. Additionally, this study presents the main factors which contribute to the shortcomings of the BoostOR algorithm and proposes a solution to improve it. These recommendations should ensure that the BoostOR algorithm can be applied to new and unobserved datasets in the future.

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Date Created
2018-12

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Social Media: A Case Study in Socially Connected Entrepreneurs

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The purpose of this study is to examine how social connectivity in a collaborative business environment translates to online social communication, namely to social media. Not a lot of academic research focuses in-depth on how startups and entrepreneurs within the

The purpose of this study is to examine how social connectivity in a collaborative business environment translates to online social communication, namely to social media. Not a lot of academic research focuses in-depth on how startups and entrepreneurs within the technology industry perceive social media, or how their work environment can influence the ways they see the role of these platforms. Gangplank was chosen as the subject of this case study based on the emphasis they as a coworking space put on connecting to others in order to accomplish mutual goals. Initial research showed that entrepreneurs using social media did so with a collaborative focus in mind. However, it was unclear if, by developing their businesses in a space devoted to fostering social relationships, entrepreneurs would be more likely to engage and interact with other users on social media platforms. Furthermore, it was unclear if their attitudes toward online and offline communication would be affected by spending time in a dedicated social workspace. In order to find how some entrepreneurs that started or worked closely in the beginning stages of a collaborative, connection-driven workspace used social media and see whether or not they used the platform to establish and build relationships and connect with others, three entrepreneurs from such a workspace were personally interviewed. In these interviews, each entrepreneur gave their personal feelings and opinions on the space itself, their view on the role of social media, and whether or not they connected their space to their social media use. The study also examined each entrepreneur's social media profile on one prominent social network to see how each was practically using the platform, and to analyze how each entrepreneur's use of the platform compared to his perceptions of social media as a whole. The study found that entrepreneurs who became established in a collaboration-oriented space definitely interacted frequently on social media. Each entrepreneur interviewed expressed the importance of working closely with others and forming valuable connections through both online and offline means. These entrepreneurs were established to have followed all the best practices of social media use outlined through research, and to have had a large number of personally engaging interactions and conversations on observed social media platforms.

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Date Created
2015-12

LED Product Development

Description

SparkLED designs innovative and intelligent LED products to concert attendees for the music industry (specifically, electronic dance music). Unlike other LED product distributors/manufacturers, such as emazinglights.com, orbitlightshow.com, and led-clothing.com, we offer products with higher degrees of customization, while maintaining higher

SparkLED designs innovative and intelligent LED products to concert attendees for the music industry (specifically, electronic dance music). Unlike other LED product distributors/manufacturers, such as emazinglights.com, orbitlightshow.com, and led-clothing.com, we offer products with higher degrees of customization, while maintaining higher quality, such as battery life and product durability. Our venture aims to solve the problem that consumers have with current LED product offerings. In most cases, consumers have a problem with the quality of their products while they are used throughout the day at a concert, club, or festival. In addition, with an over saturated market of LED product vendors that strictly utilize online channels, we hope to offer the physical channel needed to foster customer relationships and development at various events.

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Date Created
2014-05