Microsoft Office: Gaining Insight into the Life of a College Student (B) Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Microsoft Office: Gaining Insight into the Life of a College Student (B) Case Solution


               The case is about the Microsoft engagement with its core audience being young college students. The company intended to have close interactions with the college students since they are more likely to use technological concepts and belong to a more tech-savvy generation that has a greater exposure towards technological concepts and products. Therefore, the company wants to hire a team of experts that can identify needs and requirements of the core segment of the market. However, it is very difficult to have interactions with this segment of the market.

            Thus, the team decided to make exceptional efforts, and marketing tactics that could provide effective understanding of a mindset of a college student. In order to accomplish the goals and objectives of the company, the team had to develop effective marketing techniques that could address strategic efforts of competitors in the market.

Ethnographic Research to get the insight of college students:

In order to gain an insight on college students, the team decided to utilize different research tactics and techniques. Therefore, the team chose ethnographic research to learn more about targeted segment of their market. Ethnographic research is a study of people, nations, and culture. Apart from the traditional research, ethnographic research requires detailed evidence, which is based on the observations of the research in the field. (Scott Reeves, 2008) Moreover, after evaluation the team decided to conduct a primary research, as it would produce more valuable and accurate information that would help the company in getting a close understanding of college students in order to achieve their goals. The primary research plan of the team consisted of diaries, focus groups, and interviews.

Ethnographic Research from Day Diaries:

Students registered in their activities every 30 minutes on Twitter for a 24 hour period of time. Therefore, it was expected that day diaries would provide ethnographic view regarding how students spent their time and how they divide their time in different activities. Furthermore, the team assumed that the day dairies would also provide valuable insight from the mind of a typical undergraduate student, which in turn would help the company to gain understanding of their targeted audience. Moreover, the day diaries would also expect to provide information regarding the students’ use of technology specifically, twitter.

Ethnographic Research from Technology Diaries:

The team recorded students’ use of phones or internet for more than a 24-hour period. In addition, the usage of phone time was sub-divided into the time spent of text, time spent on call, and time spent on other activities. Moreover, online time of students was divided into school, Facebook, Google, and others. The research team of Microsoft was interested in identifying the online behavior of student in real time. It is expected that, the technological dairies were the best available alternative to the observational results, as it would give a more accurate result on the students’ online behavior that how they interact with online media.

Ethnographic Research from Interviews:

Focus groups are considered as the most vital tactic of research data collection. Therefore, in order to collect information on marketing efforts by other firms, which they were using in campus, the team decided to conduct focus group interviews. The composition of the focus groups was designed in a way that could extract numerous examples together with experimentation of students, with different activities that would help the company in revealing students’ perception towards the value proposition of Microsoft as compared to that of Google and other technological competitors in industry.............

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