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.
Hosting a Thanksgiving meal is an intricate process. With multiple dishes and specific
requests from family members, it takes a lot of planning to create the meal of
the season. While you work hard in the kitchen, you may notice that your dinner
preparation looks a lot like some of your IMC/DMC homework…
Everyone has a specific job when it comes to setting the table, whether it be designing
the centerpiece or simply placing silverware. To have the best set up for your
Thanksgiving dinner, a plan of who is in charge of what needs to be in place. The
table setting is like the initial project planning stages of an IMC campaign. Clients
provide specific requests, then account managers delegate tasks and deadlines.
Careful planning ensures everything can be delivered to the client, or hungry relatives,
on time and while it’s still hot.
Whether it’s surfing Pinterest, or paging through old family cookbooks, planning
your Thanksgiving meal takes a lot of research, like the background for your campaign.
Research should be hyper-focused, based on the desires of your consumers, or your
family members who are picky eaters. Utilizing credible resources, you are bound
to find information and recipes that will guide the creation of a standout menu.
Celebrating 30 years, the 2019 American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Symposium of
Higher Education included record attendance with nearly 1,500 higher education
marketers in attendance. The annual conference covered a variety of topics including
reputation campaigns, changing student demographics, free speech on campus, and
not surprisingly, this year’s varsity blues scandal.
Undoubtedly one of the most relevant presentations, “Selling Higher Education,” with
Brandon Busteed president of Kaplan University Partners, outlined the dramatic
difference between the cost of attendance and the median earnings of bachelor’s
degree holders. Since 1990, average tuition and fee costs in the United States
have increased nearly 400% –– more than double that of healthcare costs. Median
earnings for college graduates, however, have remained relatively flat.
Digital advertising has greatly evolved since the turn of the century. Search engine
advertising is still around, but campaigns are more complicated than ever before.
Social media, as we know it, didn't begin for a couple more years. Flash forward
to 2019. Not only have Google and LinkedIn become behemoths in the B2B digital
marketing space, but we also have more targeting options than ever before. In this
podcast, you will learn how B2B advertisers can leverage the latest digital advertising
tools to build and scale profitable lead generation programs.
Justin Seibert, from Direct Online Marketing, joined us on our podcast to talk about
how B2B advertisers can leverage the latest digital advertising tools to build
and scale profitable lead generation programs.
Nathan Pieratt: What can marketers do in highly competitive industries
to get the most bang for their buck or leverage these tools in the best way?
In 2015, the outdoor recreation brand
REI boldly chose to close its doors to encourage employees and customers to
#OptOutside. The company paid employees to take a hike on the most stressful shopping
day of the year based on the most important consumer insight for their target audience:
these people would rather be outside than standing in line for hours.
REI has turned this "moment" into a "movement" by continuing the #OptOutside tradition
each year. The brand continues to engage with user-generated content on social
media and highlight consumers who did #OptOutside on Black Friday. They have created
several promotional videos and even partnered with other large companies like Google
to create a platform to help consumers who are looking to participate in the campaign
find hiking trails near them.
Other brands who will be, or have taken the leap and focus on the consumer by "going
dark" for Black Friday and Cyber Monday include:
As an award-winning professor, author and consultant,
Susan Jones has had a well-rounded career in direct and digital marketing.
Jones is a professor of advertising, social media, content marketing and B2B classes
at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. Her practice focuses on corporate
training and seminars, as well as marketing planning, product development and copywriting.
Susan is also an IMC instructor here at West Virginia University, teaching
Direct and Digital Marketing online in the Reed College of Media.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Jones on our weekly
Marketing Communications Today podcast — here are her thoughts on Trout and
Ries' ideologies, particularly tying in contemporary brands.
Matthew Cummings: Can you tell us more about the philosophy of Trout and
Ries as it was first presented a few decades ago now?
As the holiday season draws near,
Pinterest may be the first thought of many moms and millennials looking to
"pin" recipes for family parties and catch up on the latest fall fashions. But
what about your brand? How are you using Pinterest? Are you using it at all?
Does Your Audience Use Pinterest?
Sprout Social, Pinterest has 291 million monthly active users both inside and
outside of the U.S. In 2018, 80% of new registrants for the site were individuals
located outside of the United States, meaning marketing on Pinterest has a global
reach for your brand.
In a small organization, communications and marketing might be the same person or
team. As a company grows, marketing and advertising might reside under one leader,
while communications reside under another leader. Communications might prioritize
public policy, issue management, earned media and brand reputation. Marketing and
advertising might be focused on brand awareness, sales revenue, customer relationship
management, and conquest sales. How do you stay integrated when you’re matrixed
differently and reside in different locations?
Whitney Drake, Senior Manager of GM Brand & Story Bureau at General Motors,
joins us to answer these questions.
Nathan Pieratt: How do you stay integrated when you’re matrixed differently
and reside in those different locations?
Whitney Drake: Communications is a huge part of it. Such as asking questions,
making sure you have the right people at the table, and understanding what everyone
does, versus assuming you know what other people do.
I had the good fortune to be part of a client-agency team that announced last week
the design of a new “Salute Our Veterans” potato chip bag that, once on the store
shelves and available online, will help boost the global efforts of the
United Service Organizations (USO).
So, I had been thinking about going back to graduate school for a while and couldn't
really find the perfect fit and then, after speaking with some co-workers that
had already completed the program and also doing a little bit of research on my
own, I found the integrated marketing communications program. I looked into the
coursework and found that it looked like it was going to be the perfect fit for
me and where I was with my career so I was really excited about that.
I think all of it, the curriculum especially. I really enjoy the fact that the faculty
are all over the United States, so they have a lot of hands-on information to give
you and a lot of practical approaches. They're very much on top of their game and
the coursework is very up-to-date and very relevant. It has a heavy focus in creativity,
which is the side of marketing that I'm very interested in and that I that I use
in my job every day.
The Creative Brief is the blueprint of a marketing communications effort. It provides
guidance and vision for all the disciplines required to construct a successful
integrated campaign—Research, Strategy, Account Management, Creative, Media, Production,
PR, Social, Search, and Experiential. Unfortunately, most briefs are poorly crafted,
overly long and often ignored. An effective brief, by contrast, inspires collaborative
excellence among all involved in the process. In an era when brands bring together
multiple agencies to execute an integrated campaign, clear and effective Creative
Briefs are more important than ever.
Jim Copacino, the co-founder and chief creative officer of
Copacino+Fujikado, joined us on our
Marketing Communications Today podcast
to share how to write creative briefs effectively and why it is important.
What is a creative brief?
Jim Copacino: I think every marketing communications team, in agencies
or on the client-side, has some form of creative brief. It’s a document that serves
as a blueprint for a communications effort. In essence, it outlines the communications
objective, the target audience, and it gives us a point of view about the content
and tone of the message. So it's really a starting point for a campaign or for
a marketing program.