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Why I Pursued IMC — Then Came Back for Data Marketing Communications


Here at West Virginia University's Reed College of Media, our online graduate students have always proven to be high-achieving, however, some of our students truly do go above and beyond: Meet Kaitlin Ingram.

Kaitlin is a Marketing Manager at SC Johnson in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a 2013 graduate of the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) master’s program, Kaitlin had already obtained a strong skill set in creating IMC campaigns. But she wanted to take a deeper dive into the data behind marketing campaigns and decided to enroll in the Data Marketing Communications (Data) graduate program this year.

Here's what she had to say.

What inspired you to start the Data Marketing Communications master’s program after completing the IMC program?

IMC and DMC Alum

I knew I want to expand my education after working for a couple of years. I considered a number of different options and in my research, I stumbled across the Data program at WVU. I knew that data marketing was a big need in marketing, and it wasn’t something that I had any experience with or that my company was currently excelling at.

After reading the program details, I knew this was what I needed to excel in the future of marketing. Data will be the component that helps take good marketing to great marketing.

Why WVU's Data program specifically?

Knowing that I was going to be getting a second degree from WVU made the choice even easier. I had nothing but positive memories from completing the IMC program and knew the same would be said for the Data program. I love how the program is flexible enough, so I can continue to work and that I can always tell how I will use each of my classes in real life from day one.

How has Data built upon your IMC learning?

The two programs go hand in hand. Having my knowledge from IMC has helped me succeed in the Data program. When I started in my current position, there was no marketing department, so I needed the IMC program to help with making the change. I needed to understand the best way to create a campaign from start to finish. Now that we have been progressing for a few years, we realized that analytics is the missing piece. However, without understanding the campaign creation, I wouldn’t have a clue as to what data was needed. In my opinion, you can’t have one without the other.

How would you say the IMC and Data programs are similar? Different?

The structure of the two programs is very similar, which helped with the adjustment to the Data program. Both programs are built around weekly posts and writing assignments. Many classes are with the same students, and you really get to build a relationship with your classmates.

The main difference between the two programs is the content. I found the IMC program to be more creative and marketing focused. It was about developing campaigns and layering in traditional and non-traditional marketing concepts. The Data program is much more analytical. It focuses on understanding how the data from these campaigns can help change any future strategies.

How are you applying your Data coursework learning to your career?

My organization doesn’t do a lot of work with data marketing as of today. We collect information, but our systems are not really designed to use this information to the best of our abilities. I am hoping to gain valuable insights on how to set up a business to use data efficiently from marketing to sales and operations. In terms of my job, specifically, it is the hope that with the knowledge gained from the Data program, I can put processes in place to help us better understand each of our customers and their needs in the market.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experiences and takeaways so far?

I can’t say enough good things about WVU and the IMC/Data programs. Both programs are great about teaching material in a way that it is relevant to every student from day one. It’s more than just reading the course material in the textbook. These programs make you apply it and to me, that is more valuable than anything else.

Our IMC and Data graduate programs are designed with your success in mind.

Whether you’re a seasoned marketing professional with several years of agency experience or whether you’re new to the industry, the Integrated Marketing Communications and Data Marketing Communications graduate programs are designed to teach you the skills you need to get ahead of the competition and make yourself irreplaceable in the marketing field.

If you’re interested in accelerating your career in this high-powered field, we encourage you to download the guide below and learn more about transforming the field of marketing with a degree in Data Marketing Communications.

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