Branding And Consumer Perception Study Report

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Branding and Consumer Perception Study of G.G.U. and S.F.S.U. Included Surveys, Interviews, Focus Groups and Recommendations.

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Branding And Consumer Perception Study Report

  1. 1. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT SFSU MBA’s and The Edward S. Ageno School of Business’ Consumption Meanings and Product/Brand Positioning Submitted By: Vivian Wang Seth Breedlove Stoja Djakovic May, 2010
  2. 2. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Table of Contents INTRODUCTION 3 MARKET SIZE, STRUCTURE AND TRENDS 3 HISTORY AND 4CS 5 CONSUMERS’ DECISION MAKING STAGES, ATTITUDES, AND PERCEPTIONS 7 BRAND COMPARISON: COLLEGE OF BUSINESS WITH EDWARD S. AGENO SCHOOL OF BUSINESS 11 EFFECTIVENESS OF COMMUNICATION 14 RECOMMENDATIONS 14 APPENDIX COMPLETE LIST OF MBA PROGRAMS 17 THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS SCHOOLS IN THE BAY AREA ENROLL ANNUALLY 17 TABLE OF SFSU AND GGU’S 4CS 18 INTERVIEW WITH DR. JOHN DOPP 19 INTERVIEW WITH DR. PAUL FOUTS 22 EXTENDED DECISION PROCESS, GMAC 2005 26 STUDENTS’ FIRST EXPOSURE 26 REACH OF INFORMATION SOURCES 27 REACH OF COMMUNICATION SOURCES 28 MEASURE OF INFLUENCE OF COMMUNICATION SOURCES 29 ATTRIBUTE REPRESENTATION 29 2
  3. 3. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT INFLUENCE OF ATTRIBUTES OF DECISION TO ATTEND SFSU 30 MBA PROGRAM EXPECTATIONS 30 SURVEY 31 ATTRIBUTES OF MBA PROGRAM CHART (OPEN-ENDED) 40 TOP 3 ATTRIBUTES OF MBA PROGRAM GRAPH (OPEN-ENDED) 40 FOCUS GROUP ADVERTISEMENTS (SFSU) 41 NON-MBA FOCUS GROUP ANALYSIS OF “PERCEPTION OF VISUAL ADVERTISEMENTS” 41 FOCUS GROUP ADVERTISEMENTS (GGU) 43 FOCUS GROUP ACTIVITY “DISSECTING THE BRANDS”- HERALDIC SHIELD 43 NON-MBA GOCUS GROUP ANALYSIS OF “DISSECTING THE BRANDS” 44 REFERENCES 48 3
  4. 4. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT I Introduction This research focuses on academia, and analyzes the branding and positioning of two local MBA programs: San Francisco State University’s College of Business and Golden Gate University’s Edward S. Ageno School of Business. Both schools are conveniently located in the immediate vicinity of financial district and corporate business world of downtown San Francisco, California . Additionally, both schools offer MBA, MSBA, Executive and Sustainability programs for part and full time enrollment, as well as day and evening classes. However, the Ageno School of Business (ASB) is privately funded, while the College of Business (COB) is funded by the state. This translates into noticeable cost difference (for residents) of approximately $3,000 per 4 class semester. In addition, one school has earned the world’s highest accreditation by the AACSB and selects high profile, Type A personalities to go through a tough admission process before admittance, while the other is accredited by the less prestigious WASC and does not require a GMAT score. II Market Size, Structure and Trends According to Dr. Warren H. Fox and Cheryl Hickey, five out of ten University of California institutions, twenty out of twenty-two California State University campuses, and many out of one hundred and six existing individual and private institutions offer MBA programs at their campuses. In 1998, the 3,000 MBA degrees awarded by private institutions was about twice as much as the amount earned at both UC and CSU programs. (MBA Programs in California: A Wealth of Opportunities, http://www.mba-courses.com/mba_california.htm). While public institutions offer the most excellent faculty, technology, and facilities, private institutions attempt to create more value through increased flexibility (weekend and cyber classes) and network 4
  5. 5. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT building. Within the Bay Area alone exist a wide variety of both public and private MBA schools. Some of the most recognized are: Stanford University Graduate School of Business; Walter A. Haas School of Business, UC Berkley; Saint Mary’s College of California, School of Economics & Business Administration; Leavey School of business, Santa Clara University; and San Francisco State University College of Business. For the complete list of MBA programs in San Francisco Area please see Appendix 1. The COB and ASB enroll approximately 550 and 460 students, respectively (www.princetonreview.com). Neither program earns high sales volumes, nor holds a large fraction of the market share. There are about twenty different business graduate programs in the area, with each program admitting between 350 and 550 students. The only ‘far end’ exception is Stanford with over 700 enrolled students. For more information please see Appendix 2. The plethora of MBA programs in the area is appropriate for the hi-tech and biochemistry port that is Silicon Valley. Moreover, San Francisco, Oakland, and Palo Alto are home to many local, national and international companies, as well as financial institutions. Increased development and globalization across the business world throughout the past decade triggered the need for better and more thorough business education. Additionally, the most recent downturn of the economy initiated a ‘massive ‘going back to school’ trend among both working and prospective professionals. It has been stated that “the number of MBA degrees conferred annually has seen explosive growth over the last few decades, going from under 5,000 MBAs in 1960 to more than 100,000 MBAs in 2000. Enrollment is also influenced by the economy, and as the economy turns toward a downturn, both recent grads and displaced workers head back to earn their MBAs” (Hansen, R. S. “The Master of Business Administration: Is the MBA worth the 5
  6. 6. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Time, Effort and Cost?” www.quintcareers.com). As more MBA programs began to emerged, competition increased within the industry. Only a few schools could afford to continue to prospering through a globally recognized reputation. Others were forced to enter the world of everlasting differentiation in an attempt to begin or continue to attract customers. Since then, the COB and ASB have both made alterations to their positioning. III History and 4Cs San Francisco State University College of Business (COB) The mission of the COB is to “provide high quality business education to a diverse learning community through innovative teaching, research, and support” (http://cob.sfsu.edu/cob/ about/background.cfm). The school was founded in 1899 and has been AACSB accredited since 1964. This highly diverse institution also maintains Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), and has been recognized by both the Aspen Institute and Princeton Review. The school’s most important strategic goals and priorities include integration, industry-ready graduates, internationalization and investment in students, as well as faculty and staff. Affordability, variety of programs and emphasis, guest speakers and career resources, and workshops complete the consumer benefit list for this brand. Part time resident students pay approximately $3,750 for a two-class semester, while out of state students pay $6,000 for the same number of classes. Residents that are enrolled as full time students pay approximately $6,500 for a four-class semester, while out of state students pay approximately $11,000 for the same number of classes. In regards to convenience, the COB is located inside of the Westfield Shopping Centre in downtown, San Francisco. This location provides easy access to the financial district, corporate 6
  7. 7. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT world, as well as shopping and dining. Furthermore the school offers a San Francisco – Nice dual degree program, enabling students to experience the world’s diversity both within and outside the classroom. The affordability of the program used to be the main positioning strategy for the COB. However, the 2010 marketing campaign has changed its broadcasted message to “rigorous, real world, respected”; a top quality institution that is challenging and will produce hard-working, capable, creative, and smart professionals. This new message has been and still is broadcasted through print (SF Chronicle), web (school website), and outdoor (Bart and Muni stations and vehicles) advertisement media. Golden Gate University Edward S. Ageno School of Business (ASB) The mission of the ASB is “prepare students for managerial and professional careers in a broad range of business fields through innovative programs that integrate theory with practical experience” (http://www.ggu.edu/school_of_business/). The school was founded in 1901, and has since acquired the WACSB accreditation, recognized by Princeton, and been named one of world’s top ten on-line schools by Dr. Fred DiUlus (www.newswiretoday.com/news/69683). In addition to its rankings, this brand’s consumer benefits include advancement, career and placement counseling, variety of emphases, as well as liaisons and partnerships with the business community. The cost for a part time, two-class semester is approximately $4,500 while the cost for a full time four-class semester is approximately $9,000. Tuition is the same for all students (resident or nonresident), with differences existing among its various programs: MBA, EMBA, and PhD. The school has campuses in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Silicon Valley. In 7
  8. 8. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT addition to its several locations, the school offers convenience through on-line, weekend, and mix mode (half in-person, half on-line) classes, personal attentiveness, short program length, a variety of emphases, and both master and doctoral degrees. The combination of convenience and personal attentiveness with its well-established network is what the ASB broadcasts to its prospective students. The school positions itself as an institution that can, in a short period of time, enable anyone to “shine”. It advertises the program in print (local newspapers), on the web (own website, social media, yahoo, and similar servers), through local radio and TV stations, as well as through outdoor advertisements and billboards. For more in depth information on these two brands please see Appendix 3 (table of 4Cs), Appendix 4 (interview with Dr. John Dopp, Director of the SFSU Graduate Programs) and Appendix 5 (interview with Dr. Paul Fouts, Associate Dean at The Edward S. Ageno School of Business). IV Consumers’ Decision Making Stages, Attitudes, and Perceptions Methodology: At the beginning of the decision-making process, students go through three stages of which include evaluating the value of an MBA, gathering information through various sources, and the final decision to attend coupled with which program to attend. This study used a survey to analyze the information sources that prospective students used as well as the influence of each source. Additionally, we looked at the types of sources schools could or could not influence. For more information please see Appendix 6 (Extended decision Process, GMAC 2005). 163 MBA students were surveyed between April 10th and April 30th. Out of 163 participants, 154 (94.5% ) completed the survey. Stage I: A need & want is recognized: “Is MBA right for me?: 8
  9. 9. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Stage II: A brand-level decision is made, “Where should I pursue the degree?” Stage III: Decision to enroll is made, “What can I commit to?” Three Sources of Brand Communication that Influence School Branding 1. School Sources: includes the school’s web-site and personal school correspondence. (‘School sources’ is the school’s most controllable source of branding) 2. Personal Sources: includes word-of-mouth 3. Media sources: includes published rankings Both COB and ASB results show that prospective students rely heavily on the school’s web site for their first source of information and exposure to their chosen programs. This is one of the few media sources that the school can control. For both groups of students, the website is their primary source of exposure. However, when the totals are added for all word-of-mouth sources such as current students, friends and family, and employer/supervisor, the percentage is about 46% for COB and 76% for ASB students. According to these results, the ASB is much more successful in word-of-mouth or viral marketing than the COB. For both universities, word-of-mouth communication is a major component of how prospective students first learn about programs and should be an area of focus for the schools marketing program. For comparative tables please see Appendix 7 (Students’ First Responses). Communication Sources with the Largest Reach Based on survey responses, the three aforementioned communication sources had the largest prospective student reach for each school. The schools’ website ranked highest in reach (COB: 84.7%; ASB: 64.6%), followed by interaction with school personnel (COB:49.5%; ASB:57.4%). However, after that, the schools differ with the third largest communication source reach being ‘MBA related websites’ at 26.5% for COB students and ‘Current Students’ at 33.3% 9
  10. 10. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT for ASB students. Once again, the results show that the ASB has implemented a more effective word-of-mouth campaign while the COB relies more on third party websites, of which it has no control. For complete charts please see Appendix 8 (Reach of Information sources) and Appendix 9 (Reach of Communication Sources). Greatest Influence As the largest communication sources are controlled exclusively by the schools, these are where the most resources should be dedicated. Since published rankings are based on data that are only partly supplied from schools themselves, they are considered uncontrollable and external. Across the board, students of the ASB ranked each information source as more influential than did students of the COB. For a summary table please see Appendix 10 (Measure of the influence of communication sources). Rank of Attribute Representation For students of the COB, the three top attributes are convenient location, accreditation, and diverse population. For ASB students, the top three are sustainable, convenient location, and diverse population. It is of special interest that students of the ASB ranked their program higher in sustainability than did COB students, as the California state school’s crowning program is sustainability. Additionally, while not associated as closely with the ASB as the COB, students of the ASB still ranked their school as affordable despite the higher tuition. For a comparative table please see Appendix 11 (Attribute Representation). Influence of Attributes Students were asked how influential each attribute was to their decision to attend the COB on a scale of 5 to 1. For a summary table please see Appendix 12 (Influence of attributes of decision to attend SFSU). Attributes that were ranked over 3.9 were deemed to be very 10
  11. 11. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT influential to the student’s decision to attend a particular university. For the COB, the top five attributes that rank 3.9 or higher are: accreditation, location of the university, cost of attendance, convenience of facilities, part-time/full-time flexibility. When filtered to distinguish between full-time, part-time, domestic and foreign students, the findings are similar. In total, students of the ASB ranked eight attributes 3.9 or higher, with full-time students ranking fourteen attributes 3.9 or higher (all except published rankings at 3.21). For almost categories, results for ASB were found as more ‘influential’ than those of the COB. An exception to this exists in that students of the ASB who stated that they made the wrong decision to attend the program ranked the quality of the program and faculty as lower than did COB students. However, overall results show that the ASB is more successful than the COB in branding the above attributes for its respective programs. Right Decision to Attend (Cognitive Dissonance) In the survey, students were asked whether their programs met personal expectations. Overall, COB students’ responses were clustered around ‘Somewhat Met Expectations’ then “Fully Met Expectations’. This was similar for ASB students, except that they were twice as likely to state that their expectations were exceeded, and much less likely to state their expectations were not met. When asked if they made the right decisions to attend, COB students were more likely than ASB students to answer that they did make the right decision. However, COB students also scored higher in answering that they did not make the right decision. ASB students had more students indicate they were undecided. It is important to note that 12% of ASB and 31% of COB participants are previous students. With this in consideration, it is believed that overall, students of the ASB would be more likely to say that they made the right decision, which indicates a more 11
  12. 12. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT successful branding strategy by the university. For complete tables with more information please see Appendix 13 (MBA Program Expectations). V Comparison of Brands: College of Business with Edward S. Ageno School of Business To further analyze impact of brand marketing on potential consumers, a focus group was used. Two populations were studied: current COB students and non-MBA students. The COB students (6 in total) consisted of 3 males and 3 females, while the non-MBA students (6 in total) were made up of 5 females and 1 male. As ASB students were not studied, only the non-MBA group will be analyzed for the purposes of this research. Participants were between 25-41 years of age, and have all received an undergraduate degree. Aside from one participant who has already completed a graduate program in International Business, the group was mostly made up of individuals who have shown a prior interest in studying for the MBA degree (4 out of 6), as well as one participant who attended GGU for a B.S. in Psychology. The MBA Brands Focus Group was organized in three parts: ‘Brainstorming the Decision-making Process’, ‘Perception of Visual Advertisements’, and ‘Dissecting the Brands’. The first segment (brainstorming) was conducted as a “round table” during which individuals were asked to explain what their MBA program decision-making process was or would be like. The 45-60 minute discussion was precluded by a short introduction with the question: “When did you start thinking about getting an MBA and why?” Most of the participants that expressed a prior intent on earning this degree expressed that it “just wasn’t for me in regards to career-path and time investment.” For more detail please listen to audio recording CD 1 (Non-MBA Focus Group Recording). Another main topic addressed during the focus group is accreditation, its significance, and its correlation, if any, with respect. In general, the group seemed to support a one-directional 12
  13. 13. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT correlation between respect and accreditation. It was agreed that people are more likely to assume AACSB accreditation by schools that have already established a high level of respect, while the accreditation by itself does not necessarily ensure respect for the program. When asked what aspects of a program they would pay a premium for, participants answered “networking” and “personalization”. When asked for their opinions on online-classes, participants’ answers revealed no negative associations with programs such as GGU’s “Cyber-campus”. In addition, the group agreed that an expedited program is preferable to one that is more comprehensive, as experience earned on the job is of equal if not greater value than time spent on the MBA program. The second activity of the focus group (“Perception of Visual Advertisements”) studies the visual and linguistic message put out by both the COB and ASB programs. Three advertisements from each school were altered to encourage an unbiased review through the extraction of their respective “brand names”. Participants were asked to express their observations of the visuals on two different colors of sticky-notes for the purpose of the subsequent activity as well as that of distinguishing between schools. Overall, the group expressed an understanding of the meaning behind the COB’s advertisements: “Rigorous, Real- world, Respected.” For the visual of ads used please see Appendix 17. They understood that an MBA program should be associated with these attributes, and that the idea of an office chair and boardrooms suggest an “end-goal” of success after graduation. However, participants used words such as “cold”, “vague”, and “empty” to express a lack of emotional connection with visuals used by the COB. Please see Appendix 18 for more information on Non-MBA Focus Group Analysis of “Perception of Visual Advertisements.” Contrastingly, the visuals used by ASB’s ‘SHINE’ campaign were more easily accepted and likely to elicit an emotional response by 13
  14. 14. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT participants. For the visual of ads used please see Appendix 19 (Focus group advertisement: GGU ads). Attributes used to describe the advertisements include “happiness”, “success”, and “bliss”. In addition, ideas such as “hard work pays off” and “the light at the end of the tunnel” were also expressed in association with advertisements for the ASB. The purpose of the third activity (“Dissecting the Brands”) is to link previously associated attributes of both brands to a broader perspective through the use of a “Heraldic Shield”. On this shield, four categories for which attributes from the previous activity were provided for individuals to present perspectives on ‘before’, ‘during’, ‘after’, and the MBA ‘program itself.’ For a visual of the heraldic shield please see Appendix 20 (Focus Group Activity “Dissecting the Brands”). The results of this activity served to establish a pattern for categories more likely to be associated with attributes of a certain school. Attributes for the COB, for example, were more often used to describe sentiment for the category of ‘during the MBA program’. Furthermore, the amount of ASB descriptors used was overwhelmingly higher than that of the COB to express feelings for categories of “after leaving” and “the program itself.” For more detail please see Appendix 21(Non-MBA Focus Group Analysis of “Dissecting the Brands”). Overall, the MBA Brands Focus Group provided a deeper understanding of how consumers perceive the COB and ASB brands of MBA programs. While price, accreditation, and reputation may contribute to surface-level understandings of the two programs, the psychological impact of visual and linguistic imagery is not to be ignored. It can be assumed from this research that both campaigns function to send their respective messages to consumers. However, ASB’s ‘SHINE’ campaign is more successful in eliciting a positive emotional response with a future- oriented approach towards earning an MBA degree. 14
  15. 15. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT VI Effectiveness of Communication According to the data collected from this study, the brand communication of the Edward S. Ageno School of Business is more effective than that of San Francisco State’s College of Business. Its message is concise and clear, and its consumers seem to have little difficulty with reception. The brand positions itself as a program that is convenient, short, personally attentive, and tightly connected with the business world’s executives, CEOs, and HR professionals. Consumers receive this exact message through not only advertisements, but also word-of-mouth of previous ASB consumers. Lastly, and most importantly, the service is delivered as promised. Considering a significant variance in budget, the effective communication of the ASB program may not be surprising. However, its competitor’s less than excellent communication is not to be ignored. The effectiveness of communication to customers of its top accreditation and highly recognized faculty and staff for the COB was expected. However, while the communicated attributes and messages were understood, they were also perceived as: “vague,” “dull”, and “cold”. Consumers wanted to see more “personality” and color in the ads, as well as more confidence and emotion conveyed through its messages. VII Recommendations San Francisco State University’s College of Business is undoubtedly an excellent program, but its message is neither widely nor accurately heard. As a state school, it has constrained funds, thus marketing is limited. However, the authors of this report feel that it is crucial for the school to get the word out and recommend the following strategies. First, as both sustainability and accounting programs are well accepted and recognized by the outside business world, the addition of the EMBA program into College of Business could be 15
  16. 16. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT used to increase recognition and build stronger and wider publicity. Second, current advertizing images: “Rigorous, Real world, Respected” and “Some jobs are not easy, the same is with schools” have been somewhat negatively perceived. The participants of this study wanted to see a person seated at the desk, or at least one that is covered with notes, papers, phones, computers, pencils, printers, and other gadgets seen on “real” office. They also wanted the ads to convey more color, energy, life, and happiness. The school can use these suggestions if and when altering the current or creating new ads. Third, to get the message heard externally, the school needs to make sure that its message is first heard internally. The ads, lists of accomplishments, images, and stories of successful alumni should cover the walls of: classrooms, lounges, and front desks. The message should be spread among faculty, staff, alumni and business partners, and most importantly, its current students. Only after school’s consumers start believing in its message can the message be broadcasted to and accepted by others. As Bruce Grady and Edgington Rachel concluded: “Word-of-mouth recommendations from current students are an important source of influence when prospective MBA students are selecting a school” (Grady, B. and Edgington, R. “Factors Influencing Word-of-Mouth Recommendations by MBA Students: An Examination of School Quality, Educational Outcomes, and Value of the MBA,” Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 2008). Fourth, San Francisco State’s College of Business has excellent and successful alumni. It should reconnect with it in an effort to provide current students with a network of highly professional individuals who have also endured through the program. “Real-world” today means more than just rigorous knowledge; it expects communication and networking. The current College of Business program possesses these traits but has yet to successfully utilize them. It 16
  17. 17. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT could organize monthly networking events either at the school’s lounge or other locations, which would allow current and previous students to connect while socializing. Top schools such as Harvard and Stanford all have these events through which it earns praise from students and alumni. Lastly, with a tight budget (or no budget at all), the San Francisco State University College of Business program should let its students take the role of marketer. Students can be encouraged to participate in contests such as one for the best marketing message and/or image. As the first end users of the service, students are the most appropriate for this job. Appendix 1 17
  18. 18. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT School – the number of students admitted • Argosy university, san Francisco Center • University of Phoenix, Northern California, Bay area Campus • California State University Craig MBA Program Fresno • College of Notre Dame, Department of Business Administration, MBA Program • DeVry University, San Francisco Center • Golden Gate University, Edward S. Ageno school of Business • John F. Kennedy University, School of Management • Kaplan university • Keller Graduate school of Management, San Francisco Center • Lincoln University, Business Administration and Economics Program • Haas School of Business, University of California Berkley • Monterey Institute of International Studies, Fisher Graduate School of International Business • Saint Mary’s College of California, School of Economics & Business Administration, Graduate Programs • San Francisco State University, School of Business, MBA Program • San Jose State University, College of Business, MBA Program • Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business, Graduate Programs • Sonoma State University, School of Business & Economics, MBA Program • Stanford University, Graduate School of Business • University of San Francisco, Masagung Graduate School of Management • University of California Davis – Graduate School of Management Appendix 2 Princeton review School – the number of students admitted • Golden Gate University, Edward S. Ageno school of Business - 460 • Haas School of Business, University of California Berkley - 494 • Saint Mary’s College of California, School of Economics & Business Administration, Graduate Programs - 351 • San Francisco State University, School of Business, MBA Program - 550 • San Jose State University, College of Business, MBA Program - 347 • Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business, Graduate Programs – 1098 (both undergrad and graduate) • Stanford University, Graduate School of Business 740 • University of California Davis – Graduate School of Management - 522 Appendix 3 18
  19. 19. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT SFSU’s and GGU’s 4Cs San Francisco State University Golden Gate University College of Business Edward S. Ageno School of Business Consumer • Accreditation (AACSB- • Accreditation (WASC) Benefit International; top 40) • CyberCampus • Sustainability (Aspen (online degree) (Program types, Award; 23/100) Emphases, • Affordability • Professional advancement other) • Quality of students • Program types: • Program types: o EMPA o MBA o DBA o MSBA o EMBA o EMBA o PMBA o MBA/MIB dual degree in Nice • Accounting, Decision - Accounting, Finance, Human Sciences/Operation Resource, Management, Research, Electronic Information Technology, Commerce, Finance, International Business, Information Systems, Management, Marketing, International Business, Operations and Supply Chain Management, Marketing Management Emphases and Sustainable Business - Advising Emphases - Internships • Guest Speakers - Placement counseling • Career resources and workshops - Liaisons and partnerships with business community Cost to the CA Resident (regular semester Executive MPA Consumer fees) • $1,980/ 4-unit course (Tuition) • $2,497 + $210/unit (PT) • Approx. total cost of program • $4,038 + $210/unit (FT) = Doctor of BA • $3,600/ 4-unit course Non-resident • Approx. total cost of program = • $2,497 + $582/unit (PT) • $4,038 + $582/unit (FT) EMBA • $55,000 (all-inclusive) 19
  20. 20. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT PMBA • $39,500 (all-inclusive) Convenience • Located in Downtown • Locations*: S.F. (for local o CyberCampus professionals) o Los Angeles • Campus inside Westfield o San Francisco Shopping Centre o Silicon Valley o Shopping o Seattle o Food *different degree offerings • Afternoon/evening classes • The dual degree program • Saturday MBA program in Nice • WASC Accreditation • Affordable Cost • AASCB Accreditation • Cultural Diversity • PRME, Aspen and Princeton recognition Communication • New campaign ad • Through web o Examiner • Local radio and TV stations o Muni buses • In print – daily newspapers o Bart trains • Outdoor – billboards o Social media • Word of mouth o Web • Through web/email (with alumni) Appendix 4 The Interview with Dr. John Dopp, director of the SFSU Graduate Business Program The interview with Dr Dopp was based on the following four questions: 1. Who is SFSU competing against? 2. How is it competing? 3. Which media is the school using to communicate its message – ie how is it advertizing its service? 4. What message is the school trying to get across? The interview was very casual – no structured questions, but rather flowing (qualitative research) open ended conversation. I let Dr Dopp tell me all he thought was relevant and I just asked a few questions when I felt that I needed to redirect the flow of information that he was giving me 20
  21. 21. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Q: Which graduate schools does SFSU consider its competitors? A: USF, Presidio School of Management, St Mary’s, Mills, UC Berkley, UC Davis, Stanford University, Santa Clara University, CSU Sonoma, Argosy University, CSU Hayward, Dominican University of California, San Jose State University. But you have to understand that not all of these are in the same range. Even though Stanford and Berkley are close by we don’t look at them as our real competition because they are too expensive. Our students can’t afford those schools and if they could they probably wouldn’t come to study here. Although we are a very good school and the quality of our students is very high. On the other hand GGU, Mills, Presidio and all of those schools are not accredited – they are accredited by WACS and not AAS so we don’t consider them real competitors even though they do take a lot of the students away. UC Davis and San Jose are too far as are all the schools in the East Bay: Hayward and Dominican so really there is only USF here in the city that is truly a competitor that takes away a lot of our students. But there are other schools as well as I said Presidio and St Mary’s – very good schools. And then Santa Clara – an excellent school as well. Q: How do you compete with them? A: Well we are accredited by AAS.. and we have high quality of the students and professors as well. We still have low price, although not that low anymore. But even with the increases we’re still on the low end. As I said most of the schools in the city are not accredited, which gives us the advantage. We are in the Princeton Review and we are really well accepted by everyone. Our real competitor is USF and they take away our students. USF is convenient, has good networking, long history and it takes less time to earn degree. They are also much easier when they admit students their GMAT scores are lower than ours and they lure the students by promising them scholarships and financial aid. So they do take a lot of traffic. Dominican on the other hand has great green program, but s not accredited. Presidio School is convenient – classes are only given one weekend per month, St Mary’s is much shorter program. It’s great but is only accredited by WACS still. Mills is too expensive but the school is good. Their head came from USF. Sonoma State still uses index system, we moved away from that long time ago, but they still use it. Stanford and Berkley are too expensive and they used to be much tougher in admissions, but now they are lowering their standards. People have no money and also GMAT scores used to be over 700, now they are below. We have good GMAT scores – median is 520-30. USF has lower GMAT scores and we are really increasing the quality of our students. Our admission is strict and dubious, we look at both GMAT scores and all previous transcripts. We also read all the statements and look at the recommendations. We don’t accept everyone. I just turned out a student with GMAT of 650 because he had no writing skills. Our problem comes from a lot of international students. Some of them have really low writing skills and we often fight with the office of international programs because they want us to admit them, but we don’t want to have students who can’t follow the lectures. We don’t want them to have problems understanding their teachers because than their grades fall down and they end up being on 21
  22. 22. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT probation. We really want to have high quality of the students. And we do, we have great students. And we have great professors and our Dean Helen is fantastic and she worked hard to get us recognized. And we have a lot of guest speakers – especially now that we are n downtown. And that is another advantage we are right in downtown and it’s convenient for people. Although a lot of people still don’t know that we are here and when they come to visit us – a lot of our guest speakers- are pleasantly surprised. They love it here, the school looks professional, and equipment is great; we have great emphasis and programs. Our executive program is getting a lot of attention and the sustainability program as well. We also have the dual degree program – SF – Nice and that is just wonderful. After you get the foundation courses you’re here for semester and there for semester and then you have two degrees. I mean it’s fabulous opportunity for students. Q: How does school advertise itself? Through which media and with what image/message? A: You’re here at the best possible time – we just had our ad published in SF Examiner. (showed me the paper). As you can see we intentionally left the chat empty – there s no student or person in it. Well first of all who do you put in the picture – man or woman? Then we also didn’t want people to draw little mustaches on the face etc as this ad is intended for Muni and Bart. We wanted to make it simple yet powerful. And you see we just said some jobs are tough and so are the schools. In other words we are an excellent school, the quality of the program and students and professors is high. Not everyone can study here, it’s tough. But once you are finished you know how to write, how to express yourself, how to communicate, how to do the research. I mean we are really great in teaching our students for the real world out there. We took MacKenzie to do our campaign. It cost us only $200,000. Can you believe it? It’s an excellent price – compared to some schools that spend million dollars on their marketing. We got all costs covered with 200,000. It’s great. And the money came from the increase n price. You see it’s a very bureaucratic school. We have no money and no funding and when something is needed even if you have the money you have to go through many offices to get approval. Dean Helen is great, she helps us a lot. But its hard we have no money to do anything. The campaign is starting next week, the ads are going to be in Bart and Muni and next week social media starts too. We gave up on SF Gate because no one reads it. But the ad was in yesterday’s Examiner. And then we use web – web is how people find us and hear about us. We also communicate with alumni through our web and through email. We hope that alumni will hear about us and donate. We really have no funding, and we used the increased price to fund the campaign. Otherwise how would we do it? We wouldn’t have been able to do it. Last advertising came from the executive program. We brand ourselves as the school that students are proud of. Our accreditation just got renewed and we have the sustainability program. Together with the executive that’s starting in 2011 and the Nice program we are really differentiating ourselves as a school with high standards. I am also working on the pre MBA – program. Something that CSU East Bay has. This s something I 22
  23. 23. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT have been working for a while now with no success, but I keep bringing it up with the president and I am hoping that they will approve of it soon. This is for the students who have finished BA with low scores – 2.9 or even 2. They have no chances of getting higher education because their GPA is bellow 3.00. And some of those people have such devastating stories. I know them people who have to work and go to school; some of them had to support their whole families, parents, siblings, and children. They joggled a lot and their grades were not high. They just wanted to graduate and work. Now after they have been working for 5 years they need MBA but they can’t get the degree because they can’t even apply. CSU East Bay has pre MBA to allow all those people to raise their GPA. That is what I am working on, I hope that people could do it through the college of extended learning, but will see. I haven’t been successful yet. Appendix 5 The Interview with Dr Paul A. Fouts, Associate Dean of The Edward S. Ageno School of Business My interview with Dr Fouts addressed the following areas: 1. The Edward S. Ageno School of Business’ competitors 2. The Edward S. Ageno School of Business’ differentiation 3. Customer Value that The Edward S. Ageno School of Business provides 4. The Edward S. Ageno School of Business’ marketing strategies The interview was very casual – no structured questions, but rather flowing (qualitative research) open ended conversation. Mr. Fouts shared a lot of valuable information and was very open to all of my questions. Q: Which graduate schools are your competitors?? A: University of Phoenix is our biggest competitor. It has become very popular and its cyber program takes a lot of our students away. Otherwise there are three tiers of business schools: there’s Berkley-Stanford tier, lower tier and middle tier. The middle tier consists of for profit business schools such as: USF, Presidio School of Management, St Mary’s, Santa Clara University, Dominican University of California and others in that range. We are one of them. We belong in the middle tier together with the rest of the for profit schools. The higher tier – Berkley-Stanford is just that: Berkley and Stanford. No one else is in that range. Lower tier is SFSU, SJSU and other state schools that are offering the same product for very low price. These schools are mandated by their low price and law as well. The law “tells” them who to hire and they have to have full time faculty. There’s really no competition, we are all very different in what we offer, how we offer it and for what price. Q: So how do you differentiate your service? In other words how does your service differ from 23
  24. 24. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT all the others available out there? A: We target different customer group. Our customers are all mature people with 5-10 years of work experience. All our students undergraduate and graduate are between 32 and 38 years old. We have very few 20 year olds. Thus we provide academic service to serious professional individuals who have earned their BAs long time ago and who have done all the “wild and crazy” things. Individuals, who are ready to dive in and get serious about their education and their further professional advancement. In that sense we offer three types of MBAs: regular, professional and executive. Regular offers evening classes for working professionals who want to work but also earn a degree. It is convenient because it allows customers to choose the speed at which they want to study. It takes from a year to six years to finish depending on pace that was chosen by the customer. Professional MBA – includes in person classes given every second Saturday. People meet at the campus and take 3 classes during the day. In between the classes they have cyber classes through which they keep up with the classmates and the professors. We call this program a mix mode because it consists of in person and cyber learning. It lasts 16 months. Lastly Executive program is truly “crazy” people who take it meet every second weekend both on Saturday and Sunday and they do their work in the meantime. This is really only for type A personalities. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work and commitment to succeed in this program. Individuals work on a project that lasts for 10 months in which they work on a real company and a real problem. They start at the bottom and finish at the top and are supported by the professors and counselors all the time. As I said all our students are serious and experienced individuals, they have a lot of work done behind them and that is what we are looking for. Other schools especially those in the lower tier are supported by the state and alumni and they have to do certain things certain way and they employ certain type of professors. They basically accept anyone into their programs and often time you’ll find students with no work experience what so ever in the same classroom with someone who has 20 years of experience. Well those two cannot communicate well even though they speak the same language - if you know what I mean. So it is very important to us that we maintain the same level of communication in the classroom. And our students love that. We also employ different faculty. We have a full time faculty and a part time – adjacent faculty. We like to keep the higher percentage of the part time faculty among our professors. And the reason is this: we don’t want a lot of full time tenure professors because they are not connected to the real world. To get the tenure you have to work for 5 years and you have to publish work in academic journals. Then you have to keep publishing your work. And once you become a professor with a tenure you’re no longer working outside the academics. And in business if you don’t stay connected with the world you are not as good ( in my opinion ) to teach about business. That’s why we have a lot of part time professors who are all CEOs, VPs and such who work and are very successful in what they do. And they love doing what they do. They only teach one class and that’s what they like to do. Some of them teach one class per semester, some 2-3. But we put a limit on the hours that they can work for us. I don’t want them to teach 12 24
  25. 25. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT classes because then they don’t do anything else. Even our full time faculty has to do other work outside academics. They have to keep up. We condition them to either stay in touch with the real world through consulting or through boards of directors. So they have to do at least one of those two things to be able to stay with us. And that’s how we like it and that’s how students like it. We don’t have professors who teach accounting or finance for example who have no experience. We want our students to learn the best from the best experts and that is not the case at some other schools. Schools like state schools depend on the state for financing and also for “labor” – they have to have full time faculty and that’s why they have professors who are great professors but not as great experts. On the other hand you have St Mary and Stanford – they also have to hire certain professors because they depend on their “sponsors” as their endowment is high. We on the other hand have a small percentage of endowment, we are tuition driven and we can decide what we want to do and who we want to hire. If we need more revenue we just accept more students or we open a new section. And our students current and former love our politics and our policy and we won’t change it for anything. It is a wonderful technique, don’t you think? Q: Yes I do! It seems to be a perfect program when it comes to students and their customer values.. A: But it is not perfect. It has drawbacks.. Q: Such as? A: AACSB – You didn’t ask me yet but I know you want to talk about it.. Q: I do! You only have WASC, how come? A: Because to get AACSB you have to have certain number of full time faculty and we don’t for the reasons I just explained. There are other conditions that need to be satisfied and we satisfy all of them except “certain level of full time faculty.” It comes down to a number and we don’t satisfy that number. Q: Excuse me? So just because you opt to employ people with up-to-date experience you can’t get AACSB? A: Yes, I bet you didn’t know that it works that way. Q: No, I didn’t. So then you said that you won’t change your policy re: full time faculty. Does that mean that you’ll never get AACSB? A: That’s what it means. Q: How does that affect your service? In the eyes of the customers both end users – students and companies who employ your students? A: Our students love our programs and they don’t care. As I said our school is a small school and 25
  26. 26. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT it only suites certain people. These are our customers. We are not a big school like state schools that have undergraduate programs and a lot of programs in general. They are after a lot of customers. We are small and people who come to us come for the service we offer: convenient classes, current updated excellent knowledge that is directly linked to the real world. Our professors are not professors who work only in academics and who only lecture and teach theory. Theory is far different from the real work and real world. We offer a little theory and a lot of real knowledge and skills The companies who hire our students look for that. They want to hire people who will know how to get the ground running. That is what they say to us “your students know how to get the ground running.” The other schools whose professors teach a lot of theory have a lot of “snobbish” students whose noses are up in the air because they think that they know it all. In reality they don’t know a lot at all. So in that sense AACSB does not affect our service when it comes to the end users. It started to affect the company who are hiring as they are all looking up to the AACSB and are looking for it in diplomas of the people they hire. But we keep spreading the word about what we are and we are well connected with the business community so we are all good. We just have to keep spreading the word.. Q: Obviously your customers get a lot of value form your service through lectures and top notch faculty. What are some other values that you provide them with? A: Our students get a lot of support from our faculty and stuff. Our counselors and advisors meet with each student almost every week. They work with them on their resumes, cover letters, academic progress, financial aids and their personal lives. WE know how hard it is to both work full time, have family and life and go to school.. So we spend a lot of time to get to know our students. We talk to them and help them with everything they need. If they have personal problems we listen if they have financial problems we have our financial advisors help them and solve them for them so that they can only focus on what we want them to do and what they ultimately want to do – study and get their degrees done. They also get a lot of network building; we are well connected with the companies and business world. We connect them so that before they finish they have their business connections and networks well built. As I said we offer variety of programs, evening and weekend classes, so that they can choose the one that best fits their life and their schedule. Q: Is that how you market yourself? Can you tell me something about your marketing strategy: How do you market yourself, through which media and with what message? A: Internet. Mostly. We had a TV ad for local community that took over our “thrive” campaign. The “shine” tagline. Then we have some newspapers, radio but mostly internet. Word of mouth is the most important for us. We are very limited in resources – just like everyone else – but opposite to everyone else who spend a lot of money on marketing we don’t. SFSU I think spends a lot on marketing. We just rely on the word of mouth and we use internet to target and “catch” customers. Basically what we do is we pay attention to our customers. We listen to them and we listen to what they say. We do everything to make their experience the best so that they walk out 26
  27. 27. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT happy and so that they talk about their experience. We analyzed and asked our alumni and current students what they think we are, what we give them, what they like about us. And that’s what we work on. We spent a lot of time on analysis of what they think. And then we tailored our marketing. We looked at what the aspiring students were looking for and how we could turn that into what we are. So first came “thrive” and then we got “shine.” When it comes to marketing through the internet we advertise at certain “places” and then we follow the leads, look at the statistics, numbers. We compare different places and act accordingly. Sometimes when we don’t acquire enough leads we change places - try the other ones. We also hold informative sessions for prospective students. And we follow up with them. And we keep following up. Because that decision is not made in two days or even two months – sometimes it’s a 6 months or even a year log process. So we follow up continuously with them. We also occasionally advertize in papers as some people still read papers you know? (wink) and we do advertize on radio sometimes, as some people still listen to the radio. (wink) But as I said: mostly through the internet and the word of mouth. I don’t know much about the branding strategies because I am the Dean and I deal with academic stuff but I am sure that the people in the marketing could “blab” more about it with you. Appendix 6 Extended Decision Process: Source GMAC 2005 Appendix 7 Students First Exposure to Program 27
  28. 28. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Appendix 8 Reach of Information Sources SFSU GGU 28
  29. 29. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT 29
  30. 30. Reach and Influence of Communication Sources SFSU Reach and Influence of Communication Sources GGU % 1.5 4 SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Appendix 9 Reach of the Communication Sources Pu blis hed ran kin gs 13. 3% 2.2 0 M BA - rela ted we bsit e (fro m ano ther sou rce bes ide sch ool ) 26. 5% 2.1 3 Onl ine bus ine ss ma gaz ine/ ne ws pap er 7.1 % 1.6 8 30 M BA
  31. 31. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Appendix 10 Measure of the Influence of Communication Sources Source SFSU Source GGU School Website 3.73 School Website 4.16 Interaction with 2.72 Interaction with 3.82 admission/MBA admission/MBA program personnel program personnel Reception/Open 2.31 Personal School 3.39 House correspondence Friends & Relatives 2.31 Friends & Relatives 3.19 Published Rankings 2.20 Current Students 3.05 Appendix 11 Attribute Representation Attributes SFSU GGU Sustainable 3.52 3.89 Convenient 4.50 4.36 location Diverse population 4.01 4.02 Accredited 4.38 3.87 Globally 3.08 3.28 recognized Affordable 3.77 3.28 Personally 3.30 3.73 attentive Networked 2.90 3.64 Other: 2.06 2.67 Appendix 12 31
  32. 32. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Influence of Attributes of Decision to Attend SFSU 5= A great deal 4=A good amount 3 =Some 2 =A little 1=None at all It was an Location of the School offered the The students and Career guidance accredited university specific faculty had available to program curriculum I diverse graduates wanted backgrounds and experience Quality/reputation Cost of Local respect (of Appearance of Part-time/Full- of the faculty Attendance School) facilities time flexibility Quality/reputation Published The school's Convenience of Cost of of the university rankings of its reputation in facilities Attendance MBA program placing graduates Appendix 13 MBA Program Expectations San Francisco State University 32
  33. 33. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT School Segment Made Right Decision Did Not Make Right Decision Not Decided Grand 69.50% 20.00% 10.50% Full-Time 71.00% 17.70% 11.30% Part-Time 71.10% 23.70% 5.30% EMBA 66.70% 33.30% 0.00% Domestic 74.70% 16.90% 8.40% Foreign 50.00% 31.80% 18.20% Golden Gate University School Segment Made Right Decision Did Not Make Right Decision Not Decided Grand 58.00% 12.00% 30.00% Full-Time 50.00% 20.80% 29.20% Part-Time 92.30% 7.70% 0.00% EMBA Domestic 60.00% 10.00% 30.00% Foreign 55.00% 15.00% 30.00% Appendix 14 Survey 1. Are you now or have you ever been enrolled in the MBA program? Yes, I am currently enrolled in the MBA program. Yes, I was previously enrolled in the MBA program. No, but I have thought about it. 2. Please specify under which school your MBA program (past/current/potential) is offered. 33
  34. 34. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Golden Gate University San Francisco State University Other (please specify) 3. Are you/were you enrolled in the MBA, MSBA, or Executive MBA program? Yes, I am or was part-time student: MBA or MSBA Yes, I am or was a full-time student: MBA or MSBA Yes, I am or was in the Executive MBA program. No, but I am considering applying to/attending the MBA or MSBA program. No, but I am considering applying to/attending the Executive MBA program. 4. Are you/were you a foreign or a domestic student? Foreign Domestic 5. How did you hear about this program? Check all that apply School Web site Current student Interaction with admissions Friends and family Employer/supervisor 34
  35. 35. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Check all that apply School/career counselor Published rankings MBA-related Web site Advertisement Other: (please specify) 6. If you checked "Advertisement" in the previous questions, please indicate the media through which it was communicated. Check all that apply I did not check "Advertisement" Internet Radio Billboard T.V. Print (newspaper/magazine) Other: (please specify) 7. Please name at least 3 attributes that you most value about this school/program in the order of significance (1 = most valued). Attribute #1 Attribute #2 Attribute #3 Attribute #4 Attribute #5 35
  36. 36. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Attribute #6 Attribute #7 8. Please rank how representative each of the following attributes are of your MBA program. Extremely Very Somewhat A little Not at all Sustainable Convenient location Diverse population Accredited Globally recognized Affordable Personally attentive Networked Other: (please specify) 9. Do you feel that you made the right decision to attend your current or previous MBA program/school? Yes No I have not yet made a decision 10. If you answered "No" in the previous question, which local school should you have attended instead? College of Notre Dame Golden Gate University CSU Hayward JFK University 36
  37. 37. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Monterey Institute Presidio Graduate School Santa Clara University San Francisco State University San Jose State University Stanford St. Mary's College UC Berkeley UC Davis University of Phoenix University of the Pacific University of San Francisco Other: (please specify) None of the above; I chose "Yes" in the previous question. 11. Which of the following most represents how you feel about your former/current MBA program? The program has not met my expectations at all. The program has somewhat met my expectations. The program has fully met my expectations. The program has exceeded my expectations. I have not yet decided which program I will attend. Next 12. Please evaluate how influential was each of the following facts on your decision to attend your current MBA program 37
  38. 38. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT A good A great deal Somewhat A little None at all amount It was an accredited program Quality/reputation of the faculty Quality/reputation of the university Location of the university Career options availability to graduates Published rankings of its MBA program Cost for attendance School offered the specific curriculum I wanted Local respect (of school) The school's reputation in placing graduates The students and faculty had diverse backgrounds and experience Appearance of facilities Convenience of facilities Career guidance available to graduates Part-time/Full- time flexibility 38
  39. 39. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT 13. How did you gather information that was crucial for your decision? Please check all the sources that apply. How did you gather information that was crucial for your decision? Please check all the sources that apply. School Web Site Interaction with admission/MBA program personnel Personal School correspondence Current Students School Alumni Admissions interview Receptions/open house Previous experience at the school MBA forums/fairs Electronic advertisement Friends/relatives Peers Individual in professional organization Mentors Current employer/supervisor Former employer /supervisor School/career counselor Published rankings MBA-related website (from another source beside school) Online business magazine/newspaper MBA-related books/publications Media coverage Chat rooms/threaded discussions 39
  40. 40. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT 14. Please state how influential was each information source in making your final decision to attend the specific program? A good A great deal Some A little None at all amount School Web Site Interaction with admission/MBA l program personnel Personal School correspondence Current Students School Alumni Admissions interview Receptions/open house Previous experience at the school MBA forums/fairs Electronic advertisement Friends/relatives Peers Individual in professional organization Mentors Current employer/supervisor Former employer /supervisor School/career counselor Published rankings MBA-related website (from another source 40
  41. 41. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT A good A great deal Some A little None at all amount beside school) Online business magazine/newspaper MBA-related books/ publications Media coverage Chat rooms/threaded discussions Appendix 15 Attributes of MBA Program Chart (open-ended) Rank Attribute % of Total 1 Location 29% 2 Affordability 14% 3 Program qualities 13% 4 Faculty 8% 5 Diversity 7% 6 Sustainability Emphasis 6% 7 Flexibility 5% 8 Accreditation 4% 8 Recognition/reputation 4% 9 Other 4% 10 Facilities 2% 10 Students 2% 11 Timely 1% 12 Published Rankings 1% 13 Networking 1% 14 N/A 1% Appendix 16 Top 3 Attributes of MBA Program Graph (open-ended) 41
  42. 42. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Appendix 17 Focus Group Advertisements (SFSU) Appendix 18 Non-MBA Focus Group Analysis of “Perception of Visual Advertisements” MBA Brands Study- Focus Group Post-it note color (#1-3): Image No. found on top right corner Image No. 1 Image No. 2 Image No. 3 What 3 thoughts/feelings/ideas come to mind when you look at this image? 42
  43. 43. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) Post-it note color (#4-6): Image No. found on top right corner Image No. 1 Image No. 2 Image No. 3 What 3 thoughts/feelings/ideas come to mind when you look at this image? (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) (place Post-it here) 43
  44. 44. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT What is the message behind this ad? Appendix 19 Focus Group Advertisements (GGU) Appendix 20 Focus Group Activity “Dissecting the Brands” Heraldic Shield: Please take a few minutes to reflect on the overall experience of your MBA program. Then, using the Post-it Notes from the previous activity, represent your feelings before, during, after*, and finally, about the program itself. Before attending the program While attending the program 44
  45. 45. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT The program itself After leaving the program [*Note: If you are currently in a program, express how you expect to feel after leaving] Appendix 21 Non-MBA Focus Group Analysis of “Dissecting the Brands” Image 1 Thoughts/feelings/ideas: Rigorous Worthy Success Unclear Wage So serious Something strict Unclear Shyners Reality Hard working Blue collar Market dynamics Well founded institution 45
  46. 46. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Ego Heartlessness Coldness The message behind the image: A program that will kick your butt but will prepare you for the real life. Big words…. But where does it lead us? That it’s offering something that is related to business, military, politics. Work hard and make money to be respected. These are the 3 key characteristics of an MBA school. Fears competition, profit oriented struggle, wealth oriented, respect seeking. Image 2 Thoughts/feelings/ideas: Lies University of Phoenix Breeds slackers Too cold Empty No human touch No personality Hard work Promise of success So right Why life is difficult? Commitment is key. Long nights at work. The message behind the image: That you don’t have to work hard to succeed. Don’t like it! That you’ll get good education that will provide you with a good job. You will get good education and it will pay off. Studying is difficult so is a good job. Better opportunities come to those who commit 100% Image 3 Thoughts/feelings/ideas: Nothing So…? Pointless Immaginative Catchy Creative School in the business surroundings School is in the office and office is in the school 46
  47. 47. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Again too cold Confidence in their ability to provide good education. We value experience on the job a lot. Decision making Not ??? would be nice to feel like a student/scholar instead of a future employer. The message behind the image: Does that make you a school you want to go to? That you’ll go to school that’s offering work experience, cause they are surrounded with offices??!! Real life experiences, promise of success after graduation. Exposure to real world problem is key for good education. That classroom must be like a work place. (I wish) Image 4 Thoughts/feelings/ideas: A movie advertisement Redemption success. Again.. what is “shine”??? Unclear Happy Freedom Success Be happy at your workplace, be creative, be free. Competitiveness Ego centric Success Bliss The message behind the image: That in answering/participating in this ad you will be happy like him. No message You’ll get something that will make you happy, fulfilled excited. Find a job where you can be yourself. You are the key to your success. This is someone who is already “shinning.” He’s older ad happy with education and success that he achieved through his school. Image 5 Thoughts/feelings/ideas: Bright future Promise of positive experience Train station Bittersweet Contemplative 47
  48. 48. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT Message unclear What “shine” stands for??? Good feeling Shine Jpersonality, “human touch” Be serious, Be carefull. Personal satisfaction The message behind the image: If you get our education you will be able to maximize your potential and “shine” That everything will be “all right” You will get something that will make you happy, fulfilled, excited. Don’t share all your thoughts with other employees. From now on it is all “downhill” Image 6 Thoughts/feelings/ideas: Again, bright future is waiting for you Light at the end of the tunnel Unclear The emphasis is on the light Success Good feeling Personal satisfaction Pretend to be busy and energetic Interconnected Winning a deal The message behind the image: Hard work pays back Make everybody think that you work hard and that you are the only person who can do it. Hey if you do this with us you are going to be successful and happy and you’ll enjoy it. No message at all. If you attend this institution you will be a successful businessman/woman. Network, have fun at our school and bright future is guaranteed for you. 48
  49. 49. SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MKTG 861 Prof. GULNUR TUMBAT References Fox, H. W. and Hickey, C. “MBA Programs in California: A Wealth of Opportunities,” retrieved from www.mbacourses.com on May 8, 2010. Grady, B. and Edgington, R. (2008), “Factors Influencing Word-of-Mouth Recommendations by MBA Students: An Examination of School Quality, Educational Outcomes, and Value of the MBA,” Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 18 (January), 79-101. Hansen, R. S. “The Master o Business Administration: Is the MBA worth the Time, effort and Cost?” retrieved from www.quintcareers.com on May 10, 2010. www.ggu.edu www.princetonreview.com www.sfsu.edu 49

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