Cultivating connections in 2012 -- web strategies used by forest products businesses in the southern U.S.
In: Aronow, Mary Ellen, ed. Proceedings of the 2012 Southern Forest Economics Workers (SOFEW) annual meeting; 2012 March 19-21; Charlotte, NC. Southern Forest Economics Workers: 112-124.
Twelve years ago, many wood products manufacturing companies were just beginning to gain awareness of the potential of e-commerce and e-business. Most scoffed at the idea that e-strategies would become commonplace in the wood industry during the next decade. The "digital divide" between developed and developing countries, urban and rural areas, types of industries, sizes of enterprises, and generations has eroded faster than any futurist could have predicted. Globalization of markets has accelerated the development of a Web presence by U.S. wood products manufacturers as they understand the potential for e-business to help them reach and service new customers. The degree of development of Web-based communication and commerce within the forest products industry in 2012 was assessed for four southern states: Georgia, Louisiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Web page components were evaluated using a checklist developed for this project. Differences in Web usage among industry sectors were analyzed as were differences within sectors for companies of different sizes. While larger businesses, as expected, are more vested in Web-based communications and commerce, many outstanding examples of small business Web communications were identified. This evaluation will be used as a benchmark for future assessments of new developments and expanded use of the Web by companies in the forest products industry.
Keywordssocial media; competitiveness; forest products; marketing
Montague, Iris B.; Wiedenbeck, Jan. 2012. Cultivating connections in 2012 - web strategies used by forest products businesses in the southern U.S. In: Aronow, Mary Ellen, ed. Proceedings of the 2012 Southern Forest Economics Workers (SOFEW) annual meeting; 2012 March 19-21; Charlotte, NC. Southern Forest Economics Workers: 112-124.