Digital Media Technology Research and Design Research Paper

Pages: 11 (3063 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 20  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Recreation

¶ … Digital Media Technology Research and Design

The hospitality industry has become increasingly competitive in recent years as major hotel chains vie for erratic occupancy levels during uncertain economic periods. Therefore, identifying opportunities to gain a competitive advantage in this environment represents a timely and valuable enterprise, and this is the focus of this report on digital media technology research and design. This report provides a description of a proposed digital media product, three personas for the proposed digital media product, and two use cases based on these personas concerning the use of the proposed app. Finally, a storyboard depiction of the operation of the proposed digital media product and its intended use is followed by a description concerning how the product will be evaluated for effectiveness using the DECIDE framework. A summary of the research and important findings are presented in the report's conclusion.

Review and Discussion

Current existing digital media technologies

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Although interfaces and devices differ, most existing digital media technologies ultimately rely on the Internet and World Wide Web. In this regard, Cusick (2009) reports that, "The technological connection to companies and others is represented these days through the Web. The Web is no longer limited to traditional websites. Mobile 'apps' (applications that can be used anywhere through a cell phone, such as online banking or account management) are exploding in certain industries" (p.120). The digital media technology that is envisioned herein consists of an app that will work with a smartphone and other mobile digital devices to access current and archived enterprise resource data.

Research Paper on Digital Media Technology Research and Design the Assignment

The target market for this app will be hotels in general and budget-level hotel chains in particular. The customers for the proposed digital media product will be the business owner and individual hotel managers. The hotel industry is a highly suitable market for these products because they facilitate interaction with the hotel's enterprise resource management system through a far simpler interface than trying to accomplish the same thing by interfacing a Web site or through manual efforts (Mathieson 2010). Further, more and more people are becoming familiar and comfortable with using mobile apps with their smartphones and i-pads and are even willing to pay premium prices to use them as part of their daily lives (Mathieson 2010). According to one industry analyst, "By 2020, mobile apps alone will be as big or bigger than the Internet, peaking at 10 million apps before leveling off" (Matheison 2010, p. 196).

In reality, though, even 10 million may seem a modest projection if current trends are fueled by unexpected innovations in existing technologies. These trends, though, do suggest that in the near future, more and more people in all walks of life will be using mobile apps in the future, and vendors continue to take advantage of these trends in a "build it and they will come" fashion. Nevertheless, it is also apparent that not all digital media products will offer the same advantages for users, and many mobile apps are highly specialized in their applications (Weinstock 2010). One specialized application that has become especially pronounced in recent years has been the use of mobile apps by the hospitality industry to improve consumer interface and promote brand awareness (Cusick 2010). In some cases, mobile apps for the hotel industry in particular have become available for this purpose, but to date, there remains a dearth of specialized mobile apps that can be used by small- to medium-sized enterprise competing in the budget hotel sector (pers. obs.).

Three personas for the proposed digital media product

Personas are useful ways to help marketers better understand the perceptions of actual read-world consumers regarding their products or services. This approach is congruent with the guidance provided by Mathieson (2010) who advises that there are basically two models of behavioral targeting available to help marketers in this fashion:

1. Network targeting: Data is collected across the various sites a consumer visits in a specific network to build a basic profile, persona, or segment; and,

2. on-site targeting: Data is culled from user behavior at a specific site, very typical in e-commerce, and is used to enhance the user experience (p. 235).

Although there is nothing particularly mysterious or difficult about the persona design process, there are some important issues that must be taken into account in formulating personas that are truly representative of the target market. In this regard, Guenther emphasizes that, "This design approach identifies prototypical users and looks at each as a unique entity. Each persona acts as a composite to represent a discrete set of users based on their shared attributes or characteristics" (2006, p. 49). This observation does not mean, though, that an accurate persona can be developed simply by adding up the number of instances of a given attribute or gender, but rather requires a careful analysis of a wide range of behavioral factors that are representative of the target market. According to Guenther, "Personas are based on the notion that current and future customers exhibit behaviors and share personal characteristics, experiences, and goals that can be collectively reflective of a user audience or group. Although a persona represents a fictitious narrative of a user, it is based on input from real users' behavior, preferences, and expectations" (2006, p. 50). Other salient guidance concerning the persona development process provided by Guenther (2010) include the following:

1. From a marketing perspective, personas provide benefits for both internal and external marketing efforts; internally, personas provide a tangible means to kick off the project for which they were written.

2. Some companies have gone so far as to introduce the fictional character to spark enthusiasm among employees and align project work to customer needs in a very visual and meaningful way.

3. Personas also provide a foundation from which the external marketing campaign can be developed and targeted; in this case targeting the campaign directly to those for whom the product was built.

4. Personas do not necessarily align directly to market segments, but they support direct conversations about target audiences, their needs, and how the product fulfills those needs (p. 50).

Therefore, the personas described in Table 1 below were gleaned from actual Facebook pages and personal acquaintances (the illustrative photographs used are representative only and are not actual) according to their respective ages, education levels, experience and cultural backgrounds and how these personas might view the proposed digital media product envisioned herein.

Table 1

Personas for Proposed Digital Media Product

Name/Picture

Age

Education

Experience/Goals

Cultural Background and Mobile App Take-Up

Jill

34

Bachelor's degree in business administration from a midwestern university; currently working towards advanced degree in hotel and resort administration.

Jill has 2 years in entry- level front desk operations; 5 years as assistant hotel manager for housekeeping operations and 2 years in her current position as hotel manager for a budget-level hotel chain. Jill has the short-term goal of becoming a hotel franchise owner and a long-term goal of ultimately owning a series of franchises specializing in Latin- themed units.

Single Hispanic, no children. Proficient with hotel's enterprise resource system. This persona would readily embrace the proposed digital media product. May require brief training in app's features and use.

Bill

65

High school diploma; several workshops, seminars and several other continuing education experiences in the service and afterwards over the years, but no college.

Retired with 30 years service in the U.S. Army infantry; two combat tours of duty in Vietnam. With his wife, Bill currently operates a bread-and-breakfast facility with five small cabins and a main lodge aside a lake in rural Oklahoma. No marina facilities are provided, but there is a rowboat for guests. Bill has one full-time housekeeper, one part-time chef. Bill's main goal is to maximize the efficiency of his current operations and reduce the workload on himself and his wife.

Married WASP; two children, three grandchildren who visit as guests from time to time. Dubious of computers and has never been on the "InterWeb" (as he calls it). Although wife owns a "Jitterbug" cell phone, Bill still relies on his landline and refuses to use a cell phone because "it doesn't have a dial tone and the buttons are too small." This persona would probably dislike the app unless its attributes were clearly demonstrated and carefully explained.

Will

52

Bachelor's degree in organizational leadership and a master's degree in hotel administration.

Five years in hotel management and administration training program; 5 years as hotel manager; currently owner of five franchise operations. Will's short-term goal is to improve the efficiency of all five hotel's operations and to grow his chain as much as possible in the future.

African-American, no children. Expert with computers. This persona would be delighted by the proposed digital media product and would require no specialized training.

Two use cases based on the personas for the proposed digital media product

Based on the personas for Jill and Will outlined above, two use cases for the proposed digital media product are presented in Table 2 and 3, respectively,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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