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Marketing Communications Today Blog

      

About Marketing Communications Today

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, Data Marketing Communications and Digital 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.


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EZ Insider: An IMC Thanksgiving Feast

EZ Insider

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.

Read Full Article: EZ Insider: An IMC Thanksgiving Feast

2019 AMA Symposium for Higher Education: Key Takeaways

 AMA Symposium for Higher Education

By Dr. Adrienne King
The University of Toledo

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.

Read Full Article: 2019 AMA Symposium for Higher Education: Key Takeaways

B2B Demand Generation: What Really Works in Digital Advertising?

B2B Demand

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?

Read Full Article: B2B Demand Generation: What Really Works in Digital Advertising?

Brands "Go Dark" for Black Friday

Brands

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:

Read Full Article: Brands "Go Dark" for Black Friday

[INTERVIEW] Susan Jones on the Teachings of Trout and Ries Relevance in 2019

Susan Jones

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?

Read Full Article: [INTERVIEW] Susan Jones on the Teachings of Trout and Ries Relevance in 2019

Pinterest Marketing: Is it Worth it During Recipe Pinning Season?

Piinterest

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?

According to  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.

Read Full Article: Pinterest Marketing: Is it Worth it During Recipe Pinning Season?

How Do You Drive IMC in Large Matrixed Organizations?

Whitney Drake shares how to use IMC in a matrixed organization

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.

Read Full Article: How Do You Drive IMC in Large Matrixed Organizations?

“Salute Our Veterans” Client Campaign Makes Us All Reflect Year Round

Mister Bee

By Mike Fulton
Asher Agency

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).

Read Full Article: “Salute Our Veterans” Client Campaign Makes Us All Reflect Year Round

What is the Integrated Marketing Communications Program? – The Student Perspective

What is the Integrated Marketing Communications Program? – The Student Perspective

M.S. Integrated Marketing Communications student Holly Legleiter shares her thoughts on how her graduate studies benefit and compliment her full-time job as a Senior Administrator at WVU Health Sciences Campus.

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.

Read Full Article: What is the Integrated Marketing Communications Program? – The Student Perspective

How to Write Effective Creative Briefs and Why It's Important

How to Write Effective Creative Briefs and Why It's Important

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.

Michael Lynch: 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.

Read Full Article: How to Write Effective Creative Briefs and Why It's Important