Marketing News

Marketing Seniors Have Spotlight Roles at School of Business Commencement

School of Business Dean John Elliott and Brittani Phillips ’14
School of Business Dean John Elliott and Brittani Phillips ’14

The Marketing Department is especially proud of two graduating Marketing majors who featured prominently at the School of Business commencement this year! Brittani Phillips ’14, selected to sing the National Anthem, and Joshua Lagan ’14, chosen to deliver the Student Commencement Address, were front and center on Sunday, May 11, at Gampel Pavilion. Brittani Phillips, with years of opera singing training to her credit, performed a moving a cappella version of the National Anthem. Brittani told only her sister that she was performing at graduation, giving her parents and grandparents a wonderfully moving surprise, fitting for the Mother’s Day ceremony.

Joshua Lagan ’14 and Instructor in-Residence William Ryan
Joshua Lagan ’14 and Instructor in-Residence William Ryan

Brittani, who completed a Certificate in Professional Selling, has taken a sales position with ADP in Windsor, Connecticut. ADP is is one of the world’s largest providers of business outsourcing solutions. Joshua Lagan, chosen from a very competitive pool of applicants, delivered the student commencement address. Joshua reflected on the encouragement and support that he and others received at UConn from faculty, staff and advisors, preparing them for life after graduation. Joshua began working for IBM after graduation as an Associate Consultant in the Enterprise Marketing Performance Division in Manhattan.

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Marketing Students Analyze UConn Foundation Database

amr-studentsProfessor Hongju Liu’s Advanced Marketing Research students worked with Karen LaMalva, director of annual giving at the UConn Foundation, to understand more about donors and their profiles. Using SQL programming and SAS software, the students analyzed the Foundation’s large database to learn more about the timing and nuances of giving practices. The Foundation is hoping to incorporate recommendations from this project into their future outreach strategy. Karen offered praise for the students’ efforts, “I enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with an undergraduate class on this project. They did a great job and seemed genuinely excited about their discoveries. I was very impressed with the professional nature of their final presentation.” Brittney Seyfried ’14, a student who worked on the project, said, “I was always interested in the research aspect of marketing. Professor Liu helped me understand SAS and SQL to effectively analyze large data sets. I am very thankful for how personalized the class was and for the skills I have gained, as they will greatly assist me in the full-time job I am starting.” This course and other analytics courses provide students with hands-on market research and analytical skills, as well as the opportunity to develop strategic thinking about how to use data to make sound marketing recommendations.

Pictured: Top row from left to right: Karen LaMalva, Director of Annual Giving at UConn Foundation; Daniel Buzzell, Graduate Assistant at UConn Department of Athletics; Christine Buckley, Communications Director, CLAS; Hongju Liu, Assistant Professor, Marketing; Nian Wang, Ph.D. Student, Marketing; bottom row: students Dayana Peykova, Mary Cooper, Marc Castonguay, and Brittney Seyfried.

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Digital Marketing & Analytics

media-lightbulbThe Marketing Department has taught digital marketing for almost ten years. Now, with three new hires with expertise in digital marketing (Professors Jane Gu, David Norton, and Hee Mok Park) and growing employment opportunities, we are very excited to offer a Digital Marketing & Analytics Major for business students at the Stamford campus, a Digital Marketing & Analytics Certificate for business majors in Storrs, and a Digital Marketing & Analytics Minor for non-business majors at all UConn campuses. Beginning in Fall 2014, students will be able to enroll in the required courses for these programs, including “Digital Marketing,” “Integrated Marketing in the Digital Age,” and “Marketing and Digital Analytics.”

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Research Study by Professor Bill Ross Finds Charitable Giving Hinges on Perception of ‘Worthiness’

Charities assisting people perceived as responsible for their plight may have a difficult time attracting donations, says a new study.

With more than $200 billion donated to causes each year in the United States alone, consumers are inundated with donation requests from charities supporting an array of recipients. Contrary to the idea that people who fit the profile of “givers” are uniformly charitable, their donations may be based on information or preconceived notions about the beneficiaries.

“As consumers have limited financial resources to allocate to charitable giving, they may evaluate how ‘deserving’ the recipients are before making donations,” according to William T. Ross, Jr., ING Global chair and professor of marketing at University of Connecticut and the paper’s co-author. “It’s not only the characteristics of the giver that determine their likelihood of donating, but of characteristics they perceive in the recipient.”

The finding contradicts previous studies that have focused on characteristics of people with the option to give suggesting an important boundary particularly among the most charitable—those defined as having a strong moral identity.
Ross was part of a team of researchers led by Saerom Lee, a doctoral student, and Karen Page Winterich, assisting professor of marketing at the Pennsylvania State University. Their findings are published in the latest Journal of Consumer Research.

The team looked at the responses of 600 participants studied in four scenarios.

In one, researchers examined the response of participants who were given an amount of cash to donate to a real nonprofit organization, the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers.

Participants were asked to choose between donating to medical patients described alternately as having a low-level of responsibility for their situations and those having a high-level of responsibility. The recipients were described either as unable to pay for medical treatment because of “low-wage jobs with poor benefits due to economic conditions” or unable to pay for treatment because of inability “to hold a steady job due to their drug and alcohol abuse or gambling addiction.”

The findings indicate that charitable organizations marketing their causes need to be cautious when describing the beneficiaries that they support, particularly if the recipient could be perceived as responsible for their plight and, by extension, undeserving.

According to the researchers, even when charities do not specifically highlight the responsibility of their recipients, consumers tend to assign their own preconceived notions about beneficiaries in stigmatized groups. For example, the plight of the homeless or drug addicts is often attributed to their own behaviors.

The study was funded by a Smeal Small Research Grant from the Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University and is based on the dissertation by author Saerom Lee, which was the winner or the 2013 Society for Consumer Psychology Dissertation Proposal Competition.

Experience a Top Ten Business Law Program!

Bloomberg Businessweek has named the UConn Business Law program as one of the top ten programs in the U.S.

This ranking is based on survey responses from graduating seniors regarding their learning experiences in Business Law classes. Members of the Business Law faculty have repeatedly earned national recognition from their peers for their teaching methods and classroom mastery.

The Businessweek recognition indicates that students as well as colleagues recognize the unique quality education offered at the UConn School of Business. The Business Law faculty is proud of its contribution to the School of Business and the University and is dedicated to further enhancing its avowed reputation for excellence in the classroom.


UConn Business Magazine – Spring 2014

The latest issue of UConn Business is now available. In this issue, we focus on making connections. Our feature article highlights the first graduating class of the Business Connections Learning Community. We also share with you “Green Business: Australia,” connecting UConn with faculty around the globe; “CEO Evolution,” a Stamford forum connecting Connecticut’s sharpest business leaders, and one alum’s story about connecting with students through giving.

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