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.
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.
By 2021, 3.1 billion people are estimated to be using social media and four billion
are estimated to be online regularly. In a culture where the majority of life is
spent in a digital world, authentic and exciting content is the only way to break
beyond the noise. To take on this competitive digital media environment, content
marketers should focus on five important practices to become an industry leader:
Research and, more importantly, follow industry leaders, publications and other sources
of content specific to your industry. You can subscribe to emails, read blogs and
follow on social media easily those giving your up-to-date content in your industry.
This first step helps you establish a funnel of good content at your fingertips
whether you share or curate your own this will help you stay on top of your industry
What is important to you, your clients or your boss in terms of results. That is
what you should be measuring. Write your objectives based on these key points to
see clearer results of your content marketing efforts.
As a discipline, Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) attempts to unify all
pieces of marketing communications, including advertising, public relations, direct
marketing, social media, and sales promotion. In a fast-paced industry, with highly
saturated marketing channels, forward-thinking and staying on trend is the only
way to make an impact on your target audience.
“2020 Watchlist for Marketing Communicators,” presented by West Virginia
University’s IMC and DMC Graduate Programs, provides insight into the future of
marketing based on the rising trends and tactics today, backed by insights from
our extensive network of alumni, industry leaders and professional faculty, as
well as case studies and tactic examples to help inspire your next-level marketing
Influencer Marketing is the practice of leveraging an individual’s following
to promote, endorse or support brands.
For many families, Thanksgiving and the winter holiday season comes with the annual
return of many holiday traditions. For many families, this may include traveling
to visit extended family, having family holiday brunch at the same restaurant or
hosting an annual gift exchange. One tradition unique to my family growing up was
attending the Thanksgiving Parade in Philadelphia.
Each year we would overtake a curb along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, or as I called
it as a kid, the street with all the flags. Floats, clowns and bands marched down
the road as I shared hot chocolate, baked goods and blankets with all of my cousins.
Growing up, I didn't really notice all of the branding and sponsorship that took
place; I was more concerned with making sure the volunteers dressed as elves got
my letter to give to Santa on his float that was always the caboose of the parade.
Now, as a hyper-sensitive marketing communications student, the logos and branding
interest me more than if the massive character balloons are going to make it all
the way to the art museum steps.
Here is a breakdown of all the pieces of marketing communications that make up one
of the most festive events of the season:
Thanksgiving is a perfect time to reflect on how we show gratitude toward clients
and consumers. Bonnie Harris, founder of Wax Marketing, and host Michael Lynch
will explore the ways you can authentically express thanks.
Many companies confuse gratitude with a rewards program, but they are quite different.
In this session, we’ll discuss how gratitude benefits an overall brand, its contribution
to the customer experience, and companies that are outstanding at demonstrating
an attitude of thankfulness.
As the founder of Wax Marketing — an integrated marketing agency based in St. Paul,
and her team design and implement
strategies for clients across the United States, focusing primarily on mid-sized
companies in the healthcare, technology, and manufacturing industries. Harris is also an instructor for the IMC program.
For those who don’t know the story of my undergraduate college search — it was pretty
non-existent. Long story short: I was a nursing major, I applied to maybe four
schools, WVU gave me the largest scholarship, I enrolled, changed my major in July
before school because I’m deathly afraid of needles. I stepped on campus as a strategic
communications major with an emphasis in public relations.
I had no idea what strategic communications or public relations were when I started
my courses. My orientation course opened my eyes to the world of communications
and marketing, and I realized I had a lot of options upon graduating, an overwhelming
number of options. It’s great to do research, read job descriptions and take a
variety of courses, but you still won’t be able to get a grasp of the full capacity
of the industry this way. It was only when I was able to connect with people who
were leading the industry and my high-achieving peers that I began to develop an
idea of what my path could be in the vast world of marketing communications.
These connections, whether they be industry professionals, WVU alumni, internship
supervisors, professors, advisors or senior peers, are my mentors. The relationships
I have been able to build and the advice given to me have helped shape the young
professional I am today.