Marketing Communications Today is a resource for marketing communications
professionals filled with industry research, marketing trends, and career
information about integrated marketing and data-driven communications.
Fueled by the academic innovation coming out of WVU’s own Integrated Marketing
Communications and Data Marketing Communications programs, these articles
will provide both aspiring learners and seasoned marketing professionals
with better insights into what’s now and what’s next in marketing and communications.
As a new year and semester begin, some students will find themselves embarking on
the title all college students are striving for – second-semester senior. This
title means going out on any random weeknight because “I’m a senior dude” and only
writing four pages for your five-page research report because “it’s our last semester,
what are they going to do, fail me?” (The answer to that one is yes; they really
can fail you).
While it may seem like all fun and games at the beginning of January, take it from
someone who has been there, it’s a rollercoaster of a few months. Looking back
on my experience, there is a lot I wish I had known about how it would all play
out, so here is what I learned, but set to music.
The start of 2020 is the perfect time to clarify and sharpen the vision for your
personal brand. Too often we take for granted first impressions and how others
perceive us. However, such perceptions frequently form the basis for personal and
professional success. And today, many first impressions are made online through
search engines and social networks. Your personal brand is bound to exist, especially
in an online environment — whether you explicitly create it, or whether it is implicitly
created for you.
In this interview, Dr. Dawn Edmiston will discuss the value of a personal brand promise
and examine practical tools that can be leveraged to create and maintain a professional
online profile. Dr. Edmiston will also share how LinkedIn was responsible for finding
her dream job and tips for how to leverage your personal brand for success in 2020.
Nathan Pieratt: Could you explain more about the value of a personal brand
After recovering from the evening before everyone swears THIS is the day, they will
start hitting the gym every day, eat more spinach, waste less time and become the
“best version of themselves.”
I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but as a rising marketing communications professional,
I think I have a good idea of how to set a goal. We have all studied the SMART
method for writing marketing objectives, but how can this be applied to our New
“I’m going to work out more,” that’s a great goal, but what does “more” mean. Make
sure your goal is clear and outlines steps you will need to take to achieve it.
If a goal is focused and specific, you are more likely to stay with it because
you know what you need to do to reach it, there is a level of accountability to
Tradd Salvo, Senior Data Strategist at Droga5, shares his industry expertise on the
importance of understanding data’s role in an agency workplace and why young professionals
should seek education on data-driven marketing.
I think what makes someone coming into an agency, or interviewing for an agency,
more useful is their understanding of critical thinking. Anyone can teach a skill,
like Python or C-Force or something like that, those are easy to teach. The hard
thing is understanding how to solve a problem and the steps that it takes. So,
that fundamental critical thinking is what everyone is really looking for right
now. Also, understanding the role that data plays. Data doesn't really answer the
question, it helps you answer a question, but it doesn't do all the work. Understanding
how you put systems in place and use data to solve a problem means you inherently
understand the overarching goal of that campaign. You use your critical thinking
to do all that. That's really what's valuable to agencies.
I think that data's a buzzword. I think that a lot of people just assume that it's
just spreadsheets or measurements, which in a lot of cases it can be, but I think
people need to really hone in and focus on what they want to get out of data. Data
is essentially a tool, right? So, it's more of understanding what companies need
from that tool and learning the types of skills needed to get that information
Think about the brands to which you feel strongly connected. The brands that really
seem to get you. These are the ones whose newsletter you look forward to and from
which you’d never entertain the idea of unsubscribing. The ones with the social
media presence you instantly navigate to each time you sign on to your favorite
Now think of those annoying brands that leave a bad taste in your mouth. The ones
you run from rather than to. The ones that leave you pondering how you even wound
up subscribed to their newsletter in the first place. The ones whose posts you
banned from appearing in your social media feeds years ago.
Video content is becoming increasingly more important for both social media and website
landing pages. According to Forbes,
a user spends 88% more time on a webpage if there is video content on it,
but this means the video content has to be accessible.
Videos without captions make it difficult for those who are deaf/hard of hearing
to view and understand the content, as well as create a barrier for those who come
across content while in a sound-sensitive environment, like when you're scrolling
through Twitter during class or a work meeting. It is reported that
85% of videos viewed are played without sound, meaning if your messaging
is highly reliant on voiceover information or audible information, the target audience
isn't being exposed to that content.
Having a landing page or full website for your brand, product, organization or service
is great to provide consumers with more information, content or a call-to-action,
but only if they can access it.
Roughly four billion individuals access the internet from a mobile device globally.
If your online content is not optimized to fit a mobile screen, you may be missing
billions of potential consumers.
Whether it's because I am a Gen Z, or because the internet and social media is such
a large part of my studies, I love "Internet Culture." Internet Culture is the
blanket term given to social movements, trends and conversations that stem from
the various communities individuals are a part of online. Many classic examples
of this manifest themselves in the form of "memes" and "viral" social content.
It's the content we DM to our coworkers and friends, the photos we repurpose to
get a laugh on our own social media pages. These are what I think were the highlights
of this content for 2019.
*Presented in no particular order and based on the opinions of EZ only*
This photo collage of a pair of unhappy "Real Housewives" and an unbothered, or confused,
take your pick, cat from Tumblr made jumping to conclusions and voicing your pet
peeves potential for viral content. The original meme began trending on Twitter
in early May 2019, but seemed to hit its peak trending point in the middle of November.
If you scroll through your Twitter feed, you're still bound to see some version
By Susan K. Jones
Susan K. Jones & Associates
and Ferris State University
Q. We direct marketers know full well that direct mail is far from dead,
but rumors of its demise continue to swirl in the business world. Do you have any
recent examples of direct mail success?
A. It was a pleasure to hear Josh Wilson, Vice-President of Marketing
for Whitefish Credit Union (Kalispell, Montana) speak at the recent
Integrate conference at West Virginia University. This event is sponsored
by WVU’s Integrated Marketing Communications and Data Marketing Communications
master’s degree programs.
With the holidays creeping up in just a week, many of us are frantically Googling
what gifts can still be shipped in time for our gift exchanges. While a Yankee
candle or a pair of fuzzy socks are great, for the IMC/DMC student on your list,
here are some more creative ideas they will actually use.
It really doesn’t have to be that big, but IMC/DMC students have a lot to schedule.
Between lessons, required readings, projects, and potentially a job outside of
school, deadlines, and appointments, things can get lost without writing them down.
While a digital calendar is great, having something to hang in an office or bedroom
will help them look at the tasks ahead and plan accordingly.
Marketing communicators also have schedules that are always changing. With a whiteboard,
deadlines and plans can be easily changed, and it will serve them for the entire
length of their degree!
Chief communications officers (CCO) and the entire communications/PR team at every
business and organization will face no greater challenge than a real, full-blown
crisis. It is the only time that your work will be scrutinized and evaluated in
real-time; that one slip-up can cost you your job; and that success will never
All eyes will be on you. Fortunately, you are not alone. All eyes will be on everyone
in the C-Suite, too, especially the chief executive officer (CEO) and the general
Crises never evolve as planned, that’s why they are crises. Your long-term planning
efforts, while important, will not be enough. You may have a plan and protocols
in place, draft statements ready to dust off, and a dark website ready to turn
on, but it will not be sufficient.