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  • 1. 0 Table of Contents Executive Summary.......................................................................................................................................1 Statement of Information Needs..................................................................................................................5 Secondary Research......................................................................................................................................9 University Branding...................................................................................................................................9 University Website..................................................................................................................................17 In-Depth Interview......................................................................................................................................19 In-Depth Interview Questionnaire Design ..............................................................................................20 Data Collection........................................................................................................................................22 Data Analysis Procedure .........................................................................................................................22 In-Depth Interview Results .....................................................................................................................24 The Momentum Research Group Survey....................................................................................................36 Questionnaire Design..............................................................................................................................36 Survey Data Collection............................................................................................................................37 Data Analysis Procedure for the Survey .................................................................................................38 Survey Results.........................................................................................................................................39 Recommendations......................................................................................................................................49 Mihaylo College Website ........................................................................................................................50 Background Image of Business College Computers................................................................................55 Brand Message........................................................................................................................................56 Limitations of the Study..............................................................................................................................57
  • 2. 1 Executive Summary The objective of the research done by Momentum Research Group for the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics was to determine effective avenues by which the College could communicate its brand with students. Specifically, extensive research was done to define the usefulness of the Mihaylo College website as a central source of information according to current student perceptions. In addition to the website, Momentum Research Group surveyed students’ use of online tools, including social media, as a way for students to receive information about Mihaylo College. Finally, the research also focused on which services offered by the College were most utilized, and if the availability of such services was effectively communicated with students. The combination of research on the Mihaylo website, online communication tools, and the various services offered by the College resulted in a comprehensive set of recommendations that will further assist Mihaylo College with its goal of effectively and consistently communicating its unique brand. The results of Momentum Research Group’s study derive from three different sources, which include secondary research on branding and university websites, in-depth interviews with current business students, and an online survey. The findings from the secondary research encompassed the importance of a brand in the communication between a university and its consumers, the process of building a brand, and important guidelines for increasing the level of interactivity and usability of university websites. Particular emphasis is placed on the four steps in the branding process, which are creating brand awareness, brand image, brand equity, and brand loyalty. The benefits of a strong university brand are an improved focus on current student needs, positive student perceptions of the university, and the ability of Mihaylo College to
  • 3. 2 distinguish itself from other business colleges. The latter is accomplished by establishing a distinctive brand image, focusing on prestige, and maintaining a credible reputation. A major part of university and college branding is upheld by the organization’s website, which must ensure that information is easily accessible to students, presented in an aesthetically pleasing manner, and consistently updated to remain current and relevant. As Mihaylo College continues to take all these factors into account, it will be able to communicate a strong brand image to the students it serves. All the aforementioned parameters set by the secondary research set the focus for the additional research. The in-depth interview results provided a variety of quantifiable data that remained consistent with the secondary research sources. The focus of the interview was on four main topics, including a comparison of the Mihaylo College website with Chapman Universities’ Argyros School of Business website, the background image of the school computers in Mihaylo College, school services, and the topics of interest for students on the Mihaylo College website. Of the students interviewed, the majority found the Argyros School of Business website to be more interactive and organized than the Mihaylo College website, while both were rated similarly in terms of being informative. However, students said they were more likely to obtain information through online tools such as social media than to visit the website. With regard to the computer background image, many students that regularly use Mihaylo College computers could distinctly remember the content of the image, which showed that this was a useful tool for the College’s communication efforts that was currently being underutilized. According to the interview, many of the school services were unknown to students, resulting in many not being used. The top four results concerning desired content for the College website included degree and class information, a well-organized college event calendar, graduation information, and
  • 4. 3 major concentration services. All these results from the depth-interview coincided directly with results of the survey. The survey focus included questions regarding the demographics of the respondents, the background image on the Mihaylo College computers, Mihaylo College services, and the College’s website. According to the survey, most students used the Mihaylo College website to obtain information about the College. The top four types of information sought on the website were course information, business student services, news about events, and updates on degree information. Most of the students perceived the Mihaylo College website as a good source of information, but wanted it to be more interactive. The majority also said that they used some of Mihaylo College services, mostly the computer lab. Based on the combined results of the secondary research, in-depth interviews, and survey, Momentum Research Group made a series of specific recommendations for Mihaylo College to implement in an effort to strengthen its communication efforts. The three major areas of recommendation include the Mihaylo College website, the background image of business computers, and maintaining a consistent brand message and logo throughout the different communication platforms. In regard to the Mihaylo website, recommendations are made to increase the interactivity of the website, to more effectively highlight the College’s achievements and awards, to supply a greater amount of information that students are interested in, to further integrate the College’s use of social media in order to lead back to the main website as the “hub”, and to highlight the achievements and stories of the professors of Mihaylo College. The background image of the business computers was found to be an underutilized resource, and it is highly recommended that the College use it to vividly portray updated announcements about college events, updates and news. Lastly, it is highly
  • 5. 4 recommended that Mihaylo College eliminate the use of the many different variations of its logo and settle on one logo that will be consistently depicted through every communication avenue. By taking into account these recommendations, Mihaylo College can more effectively communicate its brand message with students.
  • 6. 5 Statement of Information Needs A university brand is defined as "a manifestation of the institution’s features that distinguish it from others, reflect its capacity to satisfy students' needs, engender trust in its ability to deliver a certain type and level of higher education, and help potential recruits to make wise enrollment decisions" (Chapelo). Developing a brand that is consistent and recognizable is vital for the continued success and growth of any organization. The development of a university’s brand allows for the understanding of student’s needs, perceptions, and expectations. Furthermore, it allows for the development of relationships built on trust and mutual understanding. The Steven G. Mihaylo College of Business and Economics is named after the College’s major benefactor. Mihaylo College has achieved dual accreditation by the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This accreditation comes from the premier international accrediting body among business schools. Furthermore, this distinction has only been achieved by 8% of business schools worldwide, making up only one in four business schools in North America. The school currently has close to 8,000 undergraduate business majors, helping make it the largest business school in California and fourth largest business school in the United States (Mihaylo Website). The current vision of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton is that the College “will be the choice of Southern California’s businesses and governments for college graduates, business solutions, and professional development” (Mihaylo Website). In order to do this, the school’s mission is to “create and apply knowledge that transforms student lives, develops business leaders who shape the regional economy, and advances the intellectual capital of the diverse region” (Mihaylo Website). The brand that the
  • 7. 6 College wishes to promote is one of excellence. The College has received impressive accreditations, making it a high-ranking school in volume of attendance, as well as prestige. The slogan “Ready to Work, Ready to Lead,” is a representation of the College's mission to prepare its graduates to “make a difference.” The College is committed to positioning itself as more than just a school – rather, a premiere business school made up of students who have pride in the achievements of their Mihaylo College. Under the leadership of Dean Puri, Mihaylo College has proactively worked towards strengthening the quality and value of communication with current Mihaylo College business students. As part of these efforts, the College has attempted to gain a better understanding into the current needs of its students and adopt a more responsive approach in addressing these needs. The current communication channels that Mihaylo College utilizes include: the Mihaylo Website, Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest), E-mail, Phone, Traditional Mail, Print Publications, and Word of Mouth. The goal of these efforts is to brand the College by creating a “consistent and focused image for the College and to convey the same to all the relevant publics” (Letter of Transmittal).
  • 8. 7 Mihaylo College is interested in determining the effectiveness of its current communication efforts in regard to its development of brand perceptions, as well as its address of student needs. The specific areas of interest (as quoted from the Letter of Transmittal) include: 1. What is Mihaylo College's perception among students 2. How students formed those impressions 3. What is the student’s level of awareness of different programs and services the College has to offer 4. What sources of information do the students use in learning about the College 5. What suggestions do students have for improving College's programs and services 6. What suggestions do students have for improving College's marketing efforts To address the specific needs of Mihaylo College, Momentum Research Group designed a research process with a direct focus on unveiling the perceptions, feelings, and needs of current California State University Mihaylo College Business Undergraduate Students. Mihaylo College is specifically focused on current student’s needs and thoughts so that the changes or developments made to any efforts of the College will have a direct benefit of the experience of these students. Momentum Research Group has studied the importance of branding and its impact on university efforts. The research process was designed in a way that focused on: 1. Perceptions of the College 2. Perceptions of communication efforts by the College 3. Relevance and effectiveness of the Mihaylo College website 4. Suggestions for moving forward
  • 9. 8 Momentum Research Group’s focus directly reflects the needs of Mihaylo College, and the research efforts were conducted in ways that probed respondents in order to gain a deep understanding of needs both recognized and unrecognized. The goal of the research process was to explore current efforts of Mihaylo College and develop recommendations for adaptations moving forward that are a direct reflection of the input received from Mihaylo College students. A strong and congruent brand message is key to a successful organization, and the Momentum Research Group has committed itself to aiding in the development of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics’ brand. ―By building our remarkable brand together—cohesively and consistently—we can create a single, strong voice that will convince others why they should care about the Mihaylo brand.‖ – Mihaylo College
  • 10. 9 Secondary Research University Branding The building of a brand is a very important concept in defining a business and developing communication. Currently, there are many different definitions of the word branding. Branding is described as a "term applied to names, designs, symbols or combinations of the aforementioned that organizations use to differentiate themselves from the competition" (Kraft, Lee, Miloch, and Tatum). All organizations, even schools, need to have a distinctive brand to differentiate its entity and give consumers a visualization of what the company represents. In order to be successful, every brand should have a well-recognized and established reputation. The concept of branding is formed into a four-step process, all of which contribute to the vision of the brand. The process includes brand awareness, brand image, brand equity, and brand loyalty. Brand awareness refers to "making consumers in the desired target market recognize and remember the brand name" (Shank 210). This is a pivotal step, as consumers must recognize the brand to establish its perceptions. In the case of Mihaylo College, it is important for students to recognize Mihaylo as a business school. Secondly, the brand image is "described as the consumers' set of beliefs about a brand, which in turn shapes attitudes" (Shank 211). The brand image is the vision of a product that allows consumers to develop a perception about the brand based on its benefits and attributes. Mihaylo College desires to be recognized by students and its families as an upstanding business school where its students will receive a quality education that will help them land a job later on. The third step in the branding process is brand equity. Brand equity "is the value that the brand contributes to a product in the marketplace" (Shank 211). Consumers need to see the benefits and values of the product compared to other brands. The
  • 11. 10 ultimate goal in the branding process is brand loyalty, which is defined as "a consistent preference or repeat purchase of one brand over all others" (Shank 215). Every organization desires brand loyalty as it will result in repeat purchases and satisfied consumers, as stated in an article on the subject: "an important goal of branding is to create strong emotional ties with consumers and thereby satisfy functional as well as symbolic needs" (Solbakk and Waeraas). The objective of the Mihaylo brand is for students to create a connection with the school and ultimately establish brand loyalty, which should eventually result in more people having the desire to attend the school. The development of a successful brand is comprised of the definition of brand success and the development of successful branding. In order to establish a successful brand, organizations must establish a definition of branding success, with each entity deferring to its definition through the lens of its specific industry. According to the article What Defines University Branding, "brand success is a multi-dimensional construct comprising both business based and consumer based criteria” (Chapelo). The success of the brand should focus on both business and consumer needs. In the case of Mihaylo College, the business need is to receive funding and provide quality education to the next generation that will enable them to fill jobs and become taxpaying citizens. The consumer need from the student population runs parallel to the goals of the business in that they need an education that will increase its chances of obtaining a job that will enable them to pay to live in society. By developing a definition of brand success, it allows the organization to expand on its ideas and understand its objectives. In addition, successful branding should include 8 prominent features. The features include representing the product/company, ability of pronunciation, legally protected, simple to remember, easily recognized, attract attention, clearly distinguished from competing products and provide efficient
  • 12. 11 product benefits (Budica and Puiu). These features are critical to developing and understanding the success of its brand. The definition of brand success and understanding the prominent features will improve the success of branding. Universities need to develop a distinctive brand to differentiate themselves from other universities. A university brand is defined as "a manifestation of the institutions features that distinguish it from others, reflect its capacity to satisfy students' needs, engender trust in its ability to deliver a certain type and level of higher education, and help potential recruits to make wise enrollment decisions" (Chapelo). A defined university brand allows a university to understand student's needs, perceptions, and develop a trusted relationship. "If institutions of higher education wants to have a brand that attracts the kind of student, faculty, and staff they deserve, the institution must have a deliberately coordinated comprehensive branding message that is consistency communicated through marketing efforts" (Lineberger). In the case of Mihaylo, a specific college within the university seeks to create a brand that is separate from that of the university as a whole in order to convince the community why they should care about the Mihaylo brand. The Mihaylo College of Business and Economics has many branding techniques and strategies to promote its communications to students. Mihaylo College actively uses traditional and non-traditional media to communicate to its students. The traditional media techniques used by Mihaylo are banners, postal mail, flyers/posters, the magazine, faculty, and word-of-mouth. The non-traditional media techniques used are the Mihaylo website (business.fullerton.edu), social media platforms, a blog (bizblogs.fullerton.edu), emails, and announcements through the school portal. The social media platforms predominantly used by Mihaylo are Facebook, Twitter,
  • 13. 12 Instagram, Linked in, and YouTube. The branding techniques of Mihaylo College are established with traditional and non-traditional forms of media. The Mihaylo College of Business and Economics focuses a large emphasis of its branding on social media platforms. The most successful social media platform for Mihaylo is the Facebook fan page. The Mihaylo College of Business Facebook page has over 3,200 likes. The second most successful social media platform is the LinkedIn account. The Mihaylo LinkedIn members account has over 2,100 members while the Mihaylo non-member page account has almost 50 followers. The third most popular social media platform for Mihaylo is the Twitter account. The Mihaylo Twitter account has almost 1,000 followers. The Twitter account is very active with its updates and have tweeted over 1,800 tweets. Mihaylo College is also established on Instagram and YouTube. Within only a few months, Mihaylo’s Instagram account has almost 100 followers while the Mihaylo YouTube account has 35 subscribers with over 17,000 video views. The combination of the social media platforms has attributed to increased members, followers and views for Mihaylo College. These outlets are used to promote Mihaylo’s branding and a strong communication source for students. In order to gage current perceptions of Mihaylo College students, Momentum Research Group used a survey and in-depth interview responses to understand the perceptions of current Mihaylo students. Based on current in-depth interview results, most students felt Mihaylo was a prestigious and respectable business university. Most students described its perceptions in one word and were not able to develop the reasoning of those particular feelings. Princeton Review produces yearly reports about universities and business colleges. Princeton Review called California State University, Fullerton as “a reputable state university with an excellent business school" (Princeton Review). The Mihaylo College of Business and Economics is described as a
  • 14. 13 great business school. These reviews help shape the perceptions of students, faculty, and the community. Through the result of in-depth interviews and surveys, the goal is to accurately define the current perceptions of current Mihaylo students and find ways for the organization to better communicate with its target consumers. Mihaylo College can improve its branding in many ways. Mihaylo College educates and instructs over 8,000 students each year within many different concentrations (Mihaylo Website). The Mihaylo majors include accounting, business communications, economics, finance, information systems and decision systems, international business management, and marketing. The management concentration is characterized by standard management, entrepreneurship, and entertainment and tourism. According to the Mihaylo College website, Mihaylo College is the largest accredited business school on the West Coast. With over 8,000 students annually, Mihaylo College needs its branding to be critically developed and focused on its objectives. To improve its branding, Mihaylo College should focus its efforts predominantly on prestige, reputation, student participation, teacher involvement and improving its website. Mihaylo College must better emphasize and promote its awards and accomplishments to enhance the overall prestige of the school. Prestige is a significant branding technique to improve the branding of Mihaylo College. It is one of the major factors in attending and associating with a university. Prestige is defined as "widespread respect and admiration felt for someone or something on the basis of a perception of its achievements or quality" (Oxford Dictionaries). The development of a university's prestige is established on college rankings and reviews. "College rankings and academic reputation play a larger role in influencing the trend of competition, as well as provide a means to increase the prestige of an institution” (Brewer). College rankings characterize student attraction and involvement within a university. Currently, many students
  • 15. 14 attend a university based on college awards, rankings and reviews; Mihaylo College has received several accredited awards and mentions in college ranking reports. Currently, Mihaylo College maintains the AACSB accreditation and is featured in Princeton Review. The AACSB accreditation is described as the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business. Mihaylo received the AACSB accreditation for accounting as well as business administration. This is a prestigious award as the Mihaylo website defines only 8% of business schools worldwide have achieved this distinction. In 2012, Mihaylo College was featured in Princeton Review's Best 296 Business Schools. According to the Mihaylo website, 2012 was the seventh consecutive year the college has been included in the yearly report. A university's prestige is based on college rankings and accredited awards. Another influential technique to improve Mihaylo College branding is a greater focus on reputation. Reputation plays an influential factor in developing the brand of a university. A university's reputation is "defined as collective representations that the university's multiple constituents hold over the university over time" (Alessandri, Kinsey, and Yang). Reputation is characterized by college history, academics, and student involvement. “Reputation is developed over time through social interaction and public communications and takes a long time to build but equally withstands damage” (Brewer and Zhao). In 2008, Mihaylo College was established after Steven G. Mihaylo donated a substantial amount of money to redesign the business college. The designing and implementation of the new business building has increased the reputation of Mihaylo College. "Mihaylo Hall is also a showcase of cutting-edge technology – from teaching tools to office furnishings. With an eye toward society’s priorities in the future, the hall was also built with strong environmental considerations – from the use of renewable building materials to maximum exposure to natural light" (Mihaylo Website.) Mihaylo College needs to continue
  • 16. 15 developing and expanding its reputation with the attraction of the building and its prestigious awards. Student participation is a prominent element in promoting and developing the Mihaylo College brand. Students are influential in the success of a university. Current students and alumni are significant in promoting the Mihaylo College brand. "Students are the core and most important audience on which institutions should focus its attention" (Brewer and Glide). Students need to be attractively aware of the College brand so they develop positive notions when expressing its perceptions. Students are constantly interacting with their peers at Mihaylo as well as students from other colleges. Word of mouth is a very useful, inexpensive and important tool for promoting the Mihaylo brand. Since student participation and involvement is a source of power in student communication, Mihaylo College should focus on utilizing students as resources to better develop and promote its brand by first endeavoring to create a positive perception of the school. Professors contribute a substantial effect on the development and establishment of college branding. They provide a pivotal role in communicating and maintaining the college brand, educational courses, and career success. "An organization's brand is the cumulative impact of the individuals who work there" (Lineberger 28). Professors are constantly interacting with students, faculty, and university leaders. On a daily basis, professors interact with students in classrooms, office hours, and with the exchange of emails. Mihaylo College could improve and further develop the brand with suggestions from faculty professors, based on feedback that they garner from their face-to-face time with students. In addition to providing the College with ears in the classroom to gather student feedback about the school, Mihaylo can utilize professors
  • 17. 16 as channels to further communicate about the benefits and services that the College has to offer and strengthen the brand image.
  • 18. 17 University Website A major point of reference for the brand image of an organization is its website, which is visible to virtually the entire world on the Internet. In a community that is densely populated with technology and people that know how to use it, a website is an easily accessible platform that has the potential to offer a wealth of information to the user. Additionally, it serves as a central “hub” for the university’s online presence. According to Hite and Railsback’s study of content and characteristics of university websites, the majority of university websites did not follow generally accepted design principles for website, including color and hyperlink format (Hite and Railsback). In this day and age, users come to websites with the expectation of compelling, consistent design and current content. In the case of Mihaylo, the business website must have consistently updated and relevant content to appeal to prospective students as well as encourage its use as a major channel of brand communication. According to Ann Pegoraro’s dissertation on using websites for student recruitment, “establishment of a website provides no guarantee that visitors, and specifically prospective students, will find what they seek within a reasonable time frame. Failure to locate desired information or difficulty negotiating the connections might, and likely do, lead prospective students to exit a site” (Pegoraro). To maintain a high degree of usability and relevance to prospective students, the Mihaylo College website must clearly communicate the most outstanding features of the school in a way that is consistent with its brand image. The website must serve as a major platform for the College to showcase the features that distinguish it from other institutions that a prospective student may be considering. The interactivity of a website is an essential contributor to retaining site visitors and capturing interest. According to a study stated in Pegoraro’s dissertation that compared student
  • 19. 18 opinions of 13 different university websites, “Participants ranked most sites low in terms of organization, and the elements they disliked most were: 1) very little information available on a site, 2) hard to find necessary information, 3) the site was slow to load, and 4) not enough entertainment and/or graphics were present on the site” (Pegoraro). In addition to the relevance and ease of access to information on the site, the speed and the presentation were ranked as highly important. To capture the attention of visitors, each page must contain enough visual content to keep the user engaged - yet with enough moderation to prevent cluttering the site and slowing download times. Clearly, the successful positioning of the College’s brand is dependent upon mastery of the organization of information and interactive appeal of its website.
  • 20. 19 In-Depth Interview The purpose of the in-depth interviews was to uncover hidden issues that might not be shared through our surveys. The in-depth interview allowed for developed open-ended questions to probe through the underlying attitudes of the interviewee. The profiles of the participants were Mihaylo students that the interviewer knew through the college. The interview was one on one, on a set time that was convenient for the interviewee and interviewer. Several questions were asked as the interviewer wrote down the responses. Each interview lasted approximately one hour depending on the response length of the interviewee. A total of twelve current Mihaylo College students were interviewed and every student’s participation was of their own free will. The researcher asked various genders, grade levels, and concentrations. A total of 5 males and 7 females were interviewed. The respondents’ grade levels included 3 juniors and 9 seniors. The respondents’ majors included accounting, economics, entrepreneurship, entertainment and tourism, finance, and marketing majors. The in-depth interview questions were topics categorized by the business website, business school, school services, and website redesign.
  • 21. 20 In-Depth Interview Questionnaire Design In understanding the students’ thoughts regarding the Mihaylo College website, the interviewee analyze both Mihaylo College and Chapman Business websites for 1-2 minutes each. The visual aid helped guide the student in analyzing the differences in the two websites. Between the two websites, the respondents were asked which website was more interactive, informative, organized and the color scheme. This led into the likes and dislikes of each website, and suggestions on how the Mihaylo College website can be improved. The next category was based on the student’s knowledge of Mihaylo College. The first question asked the interviewee about the background image on the business school computers. The goal was to analyze the effectiveness of the background image that is displayed on all Mihaylo College computers. Then, respondents were asked to rank according to their usage of the Mihaylo Colleges' online tools, including Facebook, Twitter, Mihaylo Website, LinkedIn and Instagram. The goal was to understand which online platform is used more frequently than others and why. Next, personal questions pertaining to the perception of Mihaylo College and reasons for choosing Mihaylo College were asked. The following category of questions referenced Mihaylo school services. The goal was to gain insight into the knowledge and thoughts of students in regard to the school services being offered. The interviewer asked if they have ever used academic advising, major concentration centers, leadership center, tutoring center or teacher’s office hours. This was in order to better understand which services are useful to students and why. Students were asked if they received emails from school, and if they found this platform of communication to be helpful. This allowed to better analyze the effectiveness of current communication and how they can possibly be improved.
  • 22. 21 The last category of the in-depth interviews was about the website redesign. The purpose was to explore changes that should be made to the Mihaylo website, in order to increase student traffic. One of the questions asked listed 14 options of what students would be most interested seeing on the website, and respondents’ top 3 choices were further explored.
  • 23. 22 Data Collection The data collection of the in-depth interview was comprised of current Mihaylo College business students. The selection of students was analyzed by the researchers. The researcher targeted undergraduate students currently enrolled in business classes or business classes in previous semesters. During the data collection process, the sampling was based on the respondent’s grade level, concentration, and gender. Momentum Research Group tried to obtain a varied response collection of concentrations and genders. The response rate included 12 interviewees, who were contacted via email, text message, or telephone to engage in one-on-one in-depth interviews in which respondents were asked to navigate the Chapman University business website and the Mihaylo College website. Then, the respondents were asked to respond to a set of pre-designed questions that consisted of both structured and unstructured designs. Each interview lasted approximately one hour depending on the response length of the interviewee. Of the twelve asked to be interviewed, all twelve agreed to the in-depth interview, which gave Momentum Research Group a 100% response rate. Data Analysis Procedure In analyzing the in-depth interviews, both EXCEL and SPSS Statistics programs were used for tabulating the data. The hard copy papers from the in-depth interviews were translated into EXCEL sheets. This allowed an easy analysis by providing visualized data in order to better analyze the 12 respondents' answers. In addition, the EXCEL program also allowed us to make graphs from the website questions, which aided in the presentation of the collected data.
  • 24. 23 After tabulating the EXCEL data, SPSS Statistics was used to further assist in tabulating the in-depth interview results. The primary focus of the SPSS Statistics program was cross tabulations. Momentum Research Group determined the most efficient way to use SPSS Statistics was to gain a richer understanding of the gender, grade levels and concentrations for the 12 respondents. The data was characterized by 26 variables. The main variables were demographics, social media choices, individual Mihaylo services, and information pertaining to websites. After inputting the variables, each answer choice for each variable of the EXCEL program was numbered. The numbers ranged from 2-7, with a major focus on the “Yes” and “No” questions. When the inputs from the data view were finished, the cross tabulations tool was utilized to analyze the data. The cross tabulations tool is located under analyze, descriptive statistics, and then cross tabulations. Cross tabulations for genders, grade levels, and concentrations in correlation with the 26 variables were conducted. For example, the report enabled viewing of gender differences regarding the Mihaylo website interactivity. The ability to use cross tabulations allowed for further development of results and recommendations.
  • 25. 24 8.4% 91.6% Interactive Mihaylo Chapman In-Depth Interview Results For the questions pertaining to the choice of the website, the respondents were asked to view both the Mihaylo College website and the Chapman University business website. 1. Which Website is More Interactive? The in-depth interviews were used to gain better knowledge and understanding of students' perceptions of website interaction. According to the results of the in-depth interviews, 91.6% of respondents chose the Chapman website over the Mihaylo website as the one that was more interactive. Only one respondent believed the Mihaylo website was interactive. One respondent stated, "The homepage (Chapman Website) is more interactive with pictures of students." The cross tabulations showed, 80% of men and 100% of women chose the Chapman website as interactive. The analysis of grade levels showed, 100% of juniors and 88.9% of seniors chose the Chapman website as the most popular choice for website interaction. The analysis of concentrations showed, the majority of the majors chose the Chapman website as the most interactive. Based on the data responses, most respondents chose the Chapman website as more interactive because they felt Chapman showed a greater interest in students' lives.
  • 26. 25 50% 25% 25% Informative Mihaylo Chapman Both 2. Which Website is More Informative? The in-depth interviews provided insight on website content information. The in-depth interviews showed 50% of students thought the Mihaylo website was more informative compared to the Chapman website. In addition, 25% concluded that the Chapman website was more informative than the Mihaylo website. While 25% of the respondents concluded that both websites were informative in different ways. One respondent stated, "The two websites differ in how information is presented. The Chapman website is easy to follow and key details pop out. The Mihaylo website is overwhelming and dry in terms of information." The cross tabulations showed, 40% of males and 57.1% of females preferred the Mihaylo website. The analysis of grade level showed, 55.6% of seniors thought the Mihaylo website was more informative. When concentrations were analyzed, the majority of majors agreed with the Mihaylo website being the most organized website. Based on the results, respondents thought the Chapman website presented the information better, but the Mihaylo website had easier access to obtain the information. This can be easily fixed with a different layout on how information is perceived.
  • 27. 26 8.4% 91.6% Organized Mihaylo Chapman 3. Which Website is More Organized? The in-depth interviews allowed a better understanding of students' perceptions regarding the overall organization of the website. According to the in-depth interviews, 91.6% of respondents chose Chapman as the most organized website. The cross tabulations showed, 100% of males and 85.7% of females thought that Chapman was more organized. One respondent referred to the Chapman website as “more organized, had simplicity, a nice flow of words and pictures, and the business services are clear.” During the analysis of grade levels, 100% of juniors and 88.9% of seniors thought the Chapman website was more organized. When concentrations were analyzed, all the different majors selected Chapman as the more organized website. Overall, respondents chose the Chapman website as the most organized website because the layout was presented neatly and was more appealing to college students.
  • 28. 27 4. Insight into the Color Scheme of Both Websites The in-depth interviews provided insight on the design and color scheme of the two websites. One respondent referred to the Chapman website as “bright, lively, aesthetically pleasing, and the graphics are high quality and nice,” whereas another respondent stated that the Mihaylo website “could use a facelift.” Overall, the respondents viewed the Chapman website color scheme as more appealing and interactive with pictorial images. 5. Insights on What They Liked About Mihaylo Website The in-depth interviews provided insights on what the respondents liked about the Mihaylo website. One respondent appreciated that the Mihaylo website has “a lot of information and a lot about the business college and the centers and the opportunities it offers.” However, most of the respondents did not care too much for the Mihaylo website. One respondent said “I would only go there if I really needed something.” Overall, the respondents felt that the website had a lot of information, however opinions differed on the actual presentation of the information. 6. Insight on What They Disliked About Mihaylo Website The in-depth interviews provided insights into what the respondents disliked about the Mihaylo website. One respondent referred to the Mihaylo website as “old fashioned, boring, and cluttered; dislike the appearance, and would not want to skim through every single word trying to find information on a topic.” Overall, the respondents disliked the lack of color, up-to-date information, and organization.
  • 29. 28 7. Usage of the Mihaylo Website The in-depth interviews provided the frequency of visits by students to the Mihaylo College website. The choices were comprised of never, 1-4 times, 5-9 times, and 10 or more times. The most popular choice with 66.6% of respondents was “Never.” The cross tabulations showed, 70% of males and 60% of females never use the Mihaylo website. When asked to elaborate on why they do not use the website, a respondent stated, “I never found a reason to use the website. It’s too cluttered and a waste time of time to find information.” The analysis by grade levels showed, 100% of juniors and 55.6% of seniors never visit the Mihaylo website. In addition, seniors listed 1-4 times at 33% for using the Mihaylo website. Based on the results, the majority of respondents never visit due to limited knowledge about the website and the usefulness of finding the correct content.
  • 30. 29 8. Suggestions for Mihaylo Website The in-depth interviews allowed respondents’ to offer suggestions for the Mihaylo website. One suggestion offered was to “remove the clutter, make the links larger and easier to see.” While an additional respondent stated, “incorporate a slideshow similar to the Chapman website.” Based on these suggestions, the majority of respondents would like to see the Mihaylo website redesigned in a way that is similar to the Chapman website. This can be done by integrating pictures and showcasing interactions with the students and the livelihood of Mihaylo College. 9. Current Perception of Mihaylo College The in-depth interviews allowed for the creation of greater insight into the current perceptions of Mihaylo College. The in-depth interviews concluded that 91.6% of students had positive words to say about Mihaylo College. One respondent said, “I love the school. It offers so much more value for your dollar spent on education.” The cross tabulations showed, 100% of males and 85.7% of females had positive feelings about Mihaylo College. During the analysis of grade levels, 100% of juniors and 88.9% of seniors had a positive perception about Mihaylo College. Overall, respondents had positive perceptions about Mihaylo College due to the quality of education provided by the College.
  • 31. 30 41.60% 41.60% 0.00% 58.30% 16.60% Online Tools Facebook Twitter Mihylo Website LinkedIn 58.3% 41.7% Mihaylo Computer Background Image Correct Incorrect 10. Mihaylo Online Tools The in-depth interviews provided information regarding which online tools were most frequently used by students. The EXCEL tabulations showed that 41.6% use Facebook, 41.6% use Twitter, 58.3% use LinkedIn, and 16.6% use Instagram to get their information about Mihaylo College. One surprising statistic stated that 83.3% of people did not follow Mihaylo’s Instagram, most likely due to lack of awareness of the extent Mihaylo’s online tools. In addition, none of the respondents used the Mihaylo website as a source of information. 11. Mihaylo College Computer Background Image This question probed the interviewee to state the current computer background image that is shown in all Mihaylo computers. The EXCEL tabulations showed that 58.3% were able to correctly state the image of the Mihaylo building.
  • 32. 31 16.70% 8.33% 16.70% 41.70% 16.70% How Well Mihaylo Communicates ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE 12. Use School Services The in-depth interview results show that 91.6% of students do not use all of the school services. The responses obtained revealed that Mihaylo College lacks in the communication between the students and the opportunities the College offers. Most students stated that the minimal use of services was a result of lack of knowledge or information of the service. 13. Academic Advising Center The academic advising center is a very popular Mihaylo service used by students. All the students said they have used this service. In addition, 41.6% of students use this Mihaylo service all the time. This is most likely because Mihaylo College mandates every student to visit the academic advising center before taking any business classes.
  • 33. 32 16.7% 83.3% Major Center Yes No 66.7% 33.3% Tutoring Center Yes No 14. Major Concentration Centers The majority of respondents do not use the major concentration centers. The in-depth interviews showed that 83.3% of students do not use this service. The cross tabulations showed, 80% of males and 85.7% of females do not use the concentration centers. This was most likely a result of lack of information regarding the concentration centers and offerings. 15. Tutor Center The in-depth interviews showed that 66.6% of respondents use the tutor center. The cross tabulations showed 85.7% of females regularly use the tutor center while 60% of males do not use the tutor center. Overall, the most common reasoning to use the tutor center was to gain extra help in a particular class.
  • 34. 33 75% 25% Emails Helpful? Yes No 16. Emails The in-depth interviews showed that 75% of respondents enjoy receiving emails from Mihaylo College. The most favored information was in regard to college events and news updates. The cross tabulations showed, 80% of males and 71.4% of females like receiving email from Mihaylo College. The majority of students appreciated receiving emails because this was a main resource for Mihaylo news and updates. 17. Professors Receiving information from professors was very popular among our respondents. All of the respondents liked receiving information from professors resulting in 100% of respondents wanting this information. This type of information is desired among respondents, and Mihaylo College should focus on this information channel. 18. Professor office hours The in-depth interviews showed that 100% of respondents use professor office hours. Professor office hours are convenient for students as they can ask questions and receive advice.
  • 35. 34 41.7% 58.3% Career Center Yes No 19. Career Center The Career Center is not quite popular with students as the majority are not even aware that it exists. The in-depth interview showed 75% of the respondents do not use the Career Center. The cross tabulations showed, 60% of males and 57.1% of females do not use the Career Center. Overall, the respondents revealed that information about the Career Center is lacking among students. This is a very valuable resource provided by Mihaylo College, and therefore, the College should focus on marketing the service in order to increase awareness. 20. Leadership Center The in-depth interview showed that 100% of the respondents do not use the Leadership Center. In fact, none of the respondents were aware or informed of the service. Mihaylo College needs to better communicate to the students and be vocal about these student centers. This in return will allow students to become aware and informed about the opportunities of the leadership center.
  • 36. 35 21. Website Redesign This depth-interview question allowed the interviewee to acknowledge all the topics that they would be interested in reading on the Mihaylo website. The interviewees were mainly juniors and seniors, therefore majority of them wanted information on degree updates, courses and graduation. In addition, 83.3% of students wanted a Calendar of Events and 75% of the students wanted more information on Major Concentration Services. In addition, 50% of the students wanted information on professors achievements/background and college services infornmation. 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% 100.0% MIHAYLO WEBSITE INTERESTS
  • 37. 36 The Momentum Research Group Survey Questionnaire Design In the Constant Contact survey created by Momentum Research Group, the questions used to relate to the problem definition highlighted ways to better communicate with the current undergraduate students of the Mihaylo College. The majority of the questions highlighted the students’ perceptions of Mihaylo, the level of awareness of the business services, and the use of the business website. The survey began with the demographic questions and proceeded to the background image found on the Mihaylo business school computers. It is important to analyze if students can identify the background image on the computers, in order to gage the level of awareness among students regarding this communication channel from Mihaylo College. The desktop image for the business computers provides an ideal opportunity to communicate with students. The design of the survey consisted of several questions about the website, communication and school information topics. The next few questions focus on the Mihaylo school services and how students obtain information about Mihaylo College. These questions show the level of awareness of the resources offered by the school. The concluding questions refer to the Mihaylo website regarding how often it is used, for what reason(s) it is used, and the perception of it among students.
  • 38. 37 Survey Data Collection The data collection process for the questionnaire was administered in the form of a survey with 13 questions. The questions of the survey focused on many different areas, including: demographics of the respondents, the image on the business school computers, the Mihaylo school services, and the Mihaylo website to collect key data that will help the problem definition. The contact procedure that was used to conduct this survey was formed through Constant Contact, which allows customized surveys to be created and sent out to the specified respondents. On Constant Contact, the survey was customized to highlight the school’s colors of blue and orange as well as the school logo. The survey link was then administered by Mihaylo College’s Information Technology Department to current undergraduate students. The target respondents of the Constant Contact survey are the current undergraduate business students of the Mihaylo College. The survey provided a way to gain insight into better ways to communicate with the current undergraduate students by encouraging respondents to offer feedback. The survey was running for about two weeks on Constant Contact and resulted in a total of 71 respondents. The survey took less than 5 minutes for each respondent to complete.
  • 39. 38 Data Analysis Procedure for the Survey Constant Contact provided individual survey data spreadsheets, which compiled the individual results of the 71 respondents. This spreadsheet was very valuable as it allowed us to analyze each respondent to determine the answers. The individual Constant Contact survey was also tabulated using SPSS Statistics 21. On SPSS Statistics, the survey data was divided up into 13 variable categories. The variables were gender, grade level, concentration, background image on computer, top resource used for information, website topics, usage of the Mihaylo services, most used Mihaylo service, website visitation, why students visit the website, Mihaylo website improvements, perception of the Mihaylo website, and scale of communication. Then, each variable was used in the SPSS data view section with the survey questions. After analyzing each question, the answers from the survey were ranked. Each answer was given a number and entered in the SPSS Statistics data view section of the program. For some of the questions, the judgment sampling technique was used. As the textbook mentions, judgment sampling is "a form of convenience sampling in which the population elements are selected based on the researcher's judgment. The researcher chooses the sampling elements because he or she believes they represent the population of interest" (Malhotra 343). The SPSS Statistics program only allowed one choice so the data was sampled based on the majority response from the Constant Contact results. The input numbers ranged from 2-11 depending on the survey questionnaire choices. The main focus for the SPSS Statistics program was to utilize the cross tabulations tool. After inputting all of the 71 respondents’ choices, the data was analyzed with the descriptive statistics cross tabulation tool. The cross tabulation tool can be found under analyze, descriptive statistics, and then cross tabulations. Next, the program compared independent and dependent variables. The cross tabulations tool compared the genders, grade levels, and concentrations of
  • 40. 39 each respondent with the other 10 questions pertaining to Mihaylo College. This tool allowed for greater development of the Constant Contact survey data. Survey Results 1. Background image Of the 71 respondents from the Constant Contact survey, 64.7% were able to recall the Mihaylo Building image and only 14% of the respondents did not know the image. The cross tabulations showed, 66.7% of men and 70% of females correctly knew the background image on the Mihaylo College computers. With the use of SPSS Statistics, the responses were analyzed to develop how grade level affected the background image retention. With the exception of freshman respondents, the majority of the grade levels knew the background image. The cross tabulations showed 50% of freshman did not know the image background. This statistic may occur due to freshman not having many classes or familiarity with the business building. An interesting fact was only 4.5% of seniors were unable to recall the background image while the majority of the students' concentrations were able to recall the background image. An interesting statistic was that 45.5% of finance majors recalled the background image as business students.
  • 41. 40 2. The Top Resource to Obtain Information about Mihaylo College The Constant Contact survey developed many opinions from respondents to obtain information about Mihaylo College. The top resource to gain information was the website at 87.3%. The next top three choices were 43.6% professor/office hours, 39.4% word of mouth, and 21.1% Facebook. The cross tabulations provided insightful statistics. The analysis of gender showed, 48.5% of men and 37.5% of female chose the website as their top resource. Women rated high with word of mouth at 20%. Women are known to be social with others, and this is believed to be the reason that female respondents were rated so high. The analysis of grade level showed, seniors felt the website was the most helpful resource at 43.2%. Seniors are better experienced with Mihaylo College and feel the website provides adequate information. In addition, freshman listed the website, academic advising, word-of-mouth, and professors as top resources. In the analysis of specific concentrations, the majority of respondents chose the website as a top resource. In addition, LinkedIn was rated at 20% among economics majors and 50% of entrepreneurship majors chose the Career Center as a top Mihaylo College resource. LinkedIn did not garnish high results in the survey, so this showed us that economics majors focus on
  • 42. 41 social media platforms for obtaining information. In addition, 45.5% of finance majors used word of mouth as a top resource. This statistic may be high because finance majors take many classes together and develop solid relationships with students. 3. Top Topics/Subjects for the Mihaylo Website The Constant Contact survey provided competitive results for the top tools for receiving information on the Mihaylo website. The most popular topic that respondents wished to receive more information about was college events with 66.1%. The example topic provided on the survey was "5 reasons to attend business Madness". This topic was included for respondents to provide an example of the types of topics that would be covered. The next two most popular choices were college news at 59.1% and professors with 47.8%. The cross tabulations showed, 36.4% of men and 27.5% of females chose college events as the most popular choice for website topics. During the analysis of the grade level, 18.2% of seniors were interested in alumni success stories. Seniors most likely chose this topic as they are nearing graduation and want to see other student's success. It was also interesting regarding freshman, 0% chose success stories as a
  • 43. 42 choice for desired website topics. This may be due to the fact that freshman do not feel the need for these stories since they still have 4 years of schooling left. During the analysis of concentrations, the majority wanted topics relating to college events. It was discovered that 100% of entrepreneurship majors wanted alumni success and 26.7% of management majors wanted professor stories. Alumni success stories were most likely popular with entrepreneurs as they are highly focused on success and owning their own business. Professor topics related to management majors as they want to become leaders. Professors are great examples of leaders both in and out of the classroom. 4. Use the Mihaylo Services The Constant Contact survey provided informative statistics about the use of the Mihaylo services. According to the survey, 83% of the respondents use the Mihaylo services and 16.9% do not use the services. The cross tabulations showed, 84.8% of males and 80% of females use the Mihaylo services. The Mihaylo services are free to students, which could be a reason as why they are popular. During the analysis of grade levels, the majority of juniors and seniors used the services the most. It was discovered that 50% of freshmen do not use the Mihaylo services. This statistic was surprising as freshman have greater opportunity for the services and are not making use of the valuable services. The statistic could also be high due to the fact that many freshmen do not know where and how to find information. Most freshman do not start their first classes in Mihaylo College resulting in a lack of knowledge of the services.
  • 44. 43 5. Most Often Used Mihaylo Service The Constant Contact survey provided insight into the most popular Mihaylo services used. The most popular service was the student computer lab at 56.3%. Most likely, the computer lab is the most used as it is a convenient tool to study, complete homework, or print a quick paper before class. The student computer lab is a free service for students and many students use it for these conveniences. The next most used service was professor office visits at 47.8% and the Mihaylo website at 40.8%. The cross tabulations showed, 24.2% of males and 20% of females use the student computer lab. In addition, only 6% of males used the leadership and tutor center services. Furthermore, only 5% of females use the major concentration centers. This could occur because the respondents do not have enough information or awareness about these services. When grade levels were analyzed, juniors and seniors used the student computer lab the most. The cross tabulations showed again that 50% of freshman did not use the Mihaylo services. The different school concentrations varied on their most used Mihaylo service, but the student computer lab ranked the highest. Accounting majors used the computer lab and professors the most with 47% while finance majors used the Mihaylo website with 27.3%.
  • 45. 44 6. How Often Do Respondents Visit the Mihaylo Website? The Constant Contact survey showed how often Mihaylo students use the website. The survey concluded that 57.7% of respondents went on the website 1-4 times a week. In addition, 30.9% of the respondents never go on the Mihaylo website. The cross tabulations showed, 60.6% of males and 55% of females visit the Mihaylo website 1-4 times a week. In addition, 30.3% of males and 32.5% of females never the website. The low website visits may be due to the Mihaylo website not being easily accessible or promoted for students. Many teachers and administrators rely heavily on the California State University Fullerton portal and the Mihaylo website is not easily viewed from the portal. During the analysis of grade levels, sophomores, juniors and seniors viewed the website the most. It was discovered that 50% of freshmen never visit the website. When analyzing concentrations, over 40% of all the majors visited the website at least 1-4 times. Based on these results, students are not aware of the website.
  • 46. 45 7. Why Do Respondents Visit the Mihaylo Website? The Constant Contact survey provided informative and insightful information pertaining to why students visit the Mihaylo website. The most popular reason students visit the website is to view course information at 50.7%. The next two choices were news/event updates at 29.5% and business student services at 28.1%. Course information is very valuable and the website provides detailed information to help students, which is most likely why it is the most popular reason to view the website. The cross tabulations showed, 30.3% of males and 42.2% of females visit the Mihaylo website for course information. When grade levels were analyzed, seniors and sophomores visited the website for course information the most. An interesting statistic discovered was that only 6.8% of respondents visit the website for degree updates. This is interesting considering the large number of seniors who participated in the survey. During the analysis of concentrations, all the listed majors chose course information as their top reason to visit the website. It was also discovered that 13% of seniors use the website for faculty information.
  • 47. 46 8. Ways to Improve the Mihaylo Website The Constant Contact survey allowed greater knowledge and insight into ways to improve the Mihaylo Website. The results showed the most popular way to improve the Mihaylo Website was to make it more interactive at 43.6%. The next two most popular ways to improve the website were more updates at 36.6% and more organized at 28.1%. The cross tabulation showed, 21.2% of males and 30% of females chose increased interaction as a suggestion to improve the website. During the analysis of grade levels, freshman and juniors chose more interaction as the most popular suggestion. Seniors and sophomores chose more updates as their suggestion to improve the website. During the analysis of concentrations, the results of improvement suggestions varied. At 47%, accounting majors listed improvements as more updates and more interaction. At 40%, economics majors chose more pictures as a way to improve the website. Marketing majors chose more interaction with 39.1%. Finance majors chose more updates and more pictures at 54.3%. Based on these results, the Mihaylo website is not very interactive with students and very basic in terms of content. By improving the interaction and content of the website, more students will visit the Mihaylo website.
  • 48. 47 9. Perception of the Mihaylo Website The Constant Contact survey assisted us to visualize and understand respondents' perceptions of the Mihaylo website. The most popular perception of the Mihaylo website was that it was a "good source of complete information" at 45%. The other responses were quite lower. The next two perceptions included “user friendly” at 16.9% and “we have a website?” with 14%. These perceptions were formed due to visiting the website in the past. Respondents most likely felt the website provided a good source of complete information due to course information and degree updates. Course information was the most popular reason as to why students visit the website which in return shows the website provides a good source of complete information. The cross tabulations showed, 39.4% of males and 52.5% of females chose a good source of information as their perception. When grade levels were analyzed, seniors, juniors and sophomores most frequently chose the website as a good source of information. In addition, 50% of freshmen chose, "we have a website?” as their perception of the Mihaylo website. This further elaborates the assumption that freshmen are unaware and/or unexposed to the Mihaylo website. When concentrations were analyzed, the majority of majors felt the website was a good source of information. It was also discovered that 17.4% of marketing majors said the website needed significant improvements. Based on the findings, it was assumed that marketing majors are more
  • 49. 48 artistic and design oriented, which is why they feel the website needs significant improvements. Overall, the Mihaylo website has a positive perception among most students. 10. Scale of Communication The Constant Contact survey determined how well Mihaylo College communicates with their students. The survey concluded 42.2% of students felt Mihaylo was ranked a 3 out of 5 in terms of communication. The cross tabulations showed, 42.4% of males and 42.5% of females perceived Mihaylo College with a ranking of 3 for communication. The analysis of grade levels showed that students’ perceptions varied. Mihaylo College ranked a 1 out of 5 among freshmen at 50%. In addition, 50% of sophomores and 47.6% of juniors ranked Mihaylo College communication with 4. Finally, 50% seniors ranked Mihaylo College with a 3. When concentrations were analyzed, the different majors ranked their communication scales between 3 and 4. It was discovered no marketing major ranked Mihaylo College with a 5. The respondents ranked an average of a 3 for communication as they most likely do not use all the Mihaylo services and are not utilizing all the Mihaylo social media platforms for additional information.
  • 50. 49 Recommendations To address the specific needs of Mihaylo College, Momentum Research Group designed a research process with a direct focus on unveiling the perceptions, feelings, and needs of current California State University Mihaylo College Business Undergraduate Students. Based on the marketing research conducted, Momentum Research Group recommends the following actions be taken by Mihaylo College of Business and Economics to better position its brand and further develop its communication efforts. 1. Mihaylo College Website 2. Background Image of Business Computers 3. Consistent Brand Message and Logo
  • 51. 50 Mihaylo College Website A major portion of the research conducted by Momentum Research Group was in regard to the current Mihaylo website. Based on the sample responses, Momentum Research Group recommends that significant changes be made to the current website in order to position the website as a “hub” for all other communication channels. These changes include: Interactivity: Making the website more interactive. The Mihaylo website should invite students in by creating a design that is easy to access, view, and digest. The current website design is hard to navigate, and it does not provide a pleasing atmosphere for students. When comparing Mihaylo website’s interactivity with that of the business program of Chapman University, 91.6% of respondents preferred the Chapman website. Respondents noted that the most appealing aspects of the Chapman website was in regard to the slideshow image on the homepage. Also, the presentation of the information on the Chapman website was more aesthetically pleasing. It was easier to navigate and absorb the information being presented. Also, some respondents noted that the website was hard to find, and 14% of respondents stated they did not even know there was a website. The website should be easier to access for business majors. This could possibly be achieved by creating more linkage between the Student Portal and the Mihaylo website. Increasing the website’s accessibility would increase student’s use, allowing the website to be positioned as a more accessible information resource. Achievements: The Mihaylo College website should better highlight its achievements and accreditations. These achievements are of great value to the College, and its students should have the opportunity to understand the value and feel the pride. Currently, the achievements are not highlighted in a way that students can truly understand the value or meaning of such
  • 52. 51 recognitions. By presenting them in a way that highlights what the accreditation means and allows students easy access to the meaning, the school will better achieve the brand perceptions it is hoping to garner in its students. Information: The Mihaylo website should attempt to keep its information relevant and current for students by highlighting the happenings of the college. This can be achieved by incorporating an interactive events calendar to highlight the many opportunities for students provided by Mihaylo College. Also, the calendar will allow for more informative information sharing and easier access to detailed information regarding each events. Furthermore, the college should use the Website to communicate college news with its students. Based on research findings, 59.1% of students wanted college news to be more effectively communicated through the website. By incorporating an events calendar, the website will be positioned as a relevant information source for students to continually return to and utilize for their information needs. Mihaylo College can also achieve this by using the “BizBlog” to communicate this information with students. This allows for simple postings that can constantly be kept up-to-date and relevant for students. Also, because this is a tool that the College already uses, it can easily be refocused to incorporate these new changes. Currently, Mihaylo College offers a wide range of services and programs to assist business students. Based on the research conducted, most students are unaware of these offerings. Momentum Research Group recommends that Mihaylo College focuses on raising awareness for the services and programs by promoting them through the website and social media channels. This can be achieved through weekly campaigns that emphasize a different program or service and provide information regarding the benefits and uses of the different
  • 53. 52 offerings. Once the College raises this awareness among students, additional research should then be conducted to assess the usefulness and perceptions of each of the offerings.
  • 54. 53 Social Media Integration: Mihaylo College is currently utilizing different social media channels consistently and effectively. These channels fall short in regard to the linkage back to the Mihaylo website. All of Mihaylo Colleges' social media channels should be tools that link students back to the Mihaylo website as the main information source. By linking the social media channels, the Mihaylo College can have stronger control over the message and information communicated with its students. By creating both a stronger link and congruency between the information shared on the different channels, the individual channels will be strengthened through the combined use of each. For example, when a posting is made on the Mihaylo College Facebook Page, the posting should be linked back to a specific area of the website or blog in which the posting should have originated from. By doing this, Mihaylo College will draw in students to the information source (Website/Blog) using the social media channels (Facebook). The result of the information source (Website/Blog) will be positioned in the students mind as a valuable source that they will utilize on their own in the future. Professors: Responses by students continually noted the interest in information about Mihaylo College professors. The professors of Mihaylo College each have their own impressive resume of achievements that add to the prestige of Mihaylo College as a whole. These achievements should be highlighted and communicated to students through the Mihaylo College website. This can be achieved by putting this information in an easily accessible location within the Mihaylo website or BizBlog that highlights each professor using personal biographies, photos, and accomplishments. Interest and awareness of this information can be achieved through the linkage of social media channels. For example,
  • 55. 54 Mihaylo College can highlight a professor each month and use the social media channels to link students back to the chosen professor’s highlights page within the Mihaylo website or BizBlog. This will not only increase awareness of the Mihaylo website as an information source, but it will strengthen the brand of Mihaylo College among students by showing the value that the professors bring to Mihaylo College.
  • 56. 55 Background Image of Business College Computers The background image on all Mihaylo College computers is an important resource for the school to communicate with students. Currently, this resource is being underutilized. The results of the survey administered during the research process resulted in 64.7% of students being able to accurately describe the background of the computers. The problem with this number, is that Mihaylo College is currently showing an image that does not add value or provide the student with information that re-affirms brand messages or communicates brand information to the students. The image shows the Mihaylo Building, and highlights the office locations for a small number of Mihaylo services. Mihaylo College can better utilize this highly visible resource by promoting information that adds value and reinforces the message of the College. Also, to increase the absorption of this information, Mihaylo College should change this image periodically throughout a semester. Once an image becomes repetitive, an individual will tune it out, decreasing responsiveness to it. To avoid this, Mihaylo College can create many different background images that promote an event or a Mihaylo College brand message. By phasing these images in and out, the College can better communicate with students. This resource is one that is highly visible to almost every current business student, and Mihaylo College can effectively utilize it to better communicate relevant information.
  • 57. 56 Brand Message Mihaylo College wishes to establish a brand perception and awareness that is congruent with the vision and mission it attempts to promote among students. The issue with the current branding efforts is that Mihaylo College lacks a consistent logo, tagline, and message across all the different communication platforms. For example, as shown in the appendix, there are currently multiple logos used across all the platforms to represent Mihaylo College. This incongruence among the different platforms creates an unclear message to students. It is important that Mihaylo College establishes one logo that is consistent across all the different platforms. To strengthen the logo, and the meaning behind it, Mihaylo College should also establish a consistent message and tag line that is also congruent across all platforms. This will provide a consistent message for students, controlled by Mihaylo College, and brand perceptions can begin to mimic the perception promoted by Mihaylo College. These recommendations were developed based on the research gathered from current students of Mihaylo College. The members of Momentum Research Group stand behind these recommendations. Momentum Research Group feels that the successful implementation of these recommendations will aid Mihaylo College in building a remarkable brand that is cohesive and consistent with the College’s mission.
  • 58. 57 Limitations of the Study All research studies result in some level of error. The Momentum Research Group has gone to great lengths to avoid any types of error, however there are some specific points that must be addressed and taken into consideration. These include the areas of time, experience, and sample conditions. The biggest area of limitation confronted by Momentum Research Group was the time frame in which the research was conducted. Within the four months that the research was being collected, the client, Mihaylo College, made many changes to its communication channels. These changes included the launch of a new website, an increase in updates of information and stories being shared by the college, and increased integration between social media channels and the website. In order to keep the research conducted and recommendations presented valid, Momentum Research Group based all information on the original Mihaylo Website and social media channels, before any changes were made. Also in regard to time, Momentum Research Group conducted this research report in a short four-month time frame, of which one month of this was actually gathering data. The information collected could have resulted in stronger sample numbers if more time could have been devoted to the collection of data, thus strengthening the quality of data. Also, the time frame that the self-administered survey was open to our target was around two weeks. This short time frame resulted in only 71 responses. This number is higher than the minimum survey responses that Momentum Research Group had planned for, however a higher number of respondents could have strengthened the overall quality of data. Experience in research design and data collection can greatly enhance the quality and effectiveness of a research report. Momentum Research Group conducted all actions with the
  • 59. 58 utmost care and professionalism; however, this group has limited knowledge and experience in the area of research design and data collection. Momentum Research Group participated in a four-month training and education course conducted by an experienced marketing research professional. Even though the group was involved in this short training, greater training time in the areas of marketing research would have been beneficial and the research process could have been strengthened. Another aspect is in regards to the level of experience in designing a survey. The research group went through great lengths and multiple drafts to ensure questions were designed in a non-leading way. Due to Momentum Research Group’s inexperience in market research, the survey design may not have been fully developed or unbiased. With greater experience, these limitations could have been reduced or eliminated. The sample represented in our report consists of current California State University Fullerton Mihaylo College students. This sample represents the target of this research report. Due to this sample, the occurrence of sampling error was greatly reduced. On the other hand, due to the self-administered aspect of the survey, other errors could not be controlled. The non- sampling error could have resulted in less conclusive data results. For example, because Momentum Research Group could not control who was actually taking the survey, non-business students or other members of the population could have taken the survey. This could have resulted in respondents who do not fit into the target population submitting data. Furthermore, due to the fact that multiple responses were allowed from the same computer, this could have resulted in the same respondent participating in the survey multiple times. Momentum Research Group went to great lengths to ensure accurate and representative data was collected throughout the research process. Momentum Research Group attempted to
  • 60. 59 control the level of error throughout the research process, however as mentioned above, all errors and limitations of the marketing research design could not be eliminated.