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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: I Scream, You Scream We All Scream for Immersive Experiences

As a Gen Z, there is one thing I know about my peer group, which makes me uneasy about admitting, everything we do is to be seen doing it. In a culture driven by Instagram, Snapchat and documenting every moment, there is almost a competition among generational peers to be having the most fun at all times.

This translates into our consumer behaviors, what young consumers, like myself, spend our money on, what will make us pay more and what we see as valuable. We see the experience, the ability to “Instagram it” as part of that purchase value. This insight is where I believe the emergence of pop up restaurants, “museums,” “mansions,” shops and more came from. So, as a marketing communications student, I had to go experience one for myself – for educational purposes.

How the Museum of Ice Cream Came Alive

Read Full Article: EZ Insider: I Scream, You Scream We All Scream for Immersive Experiences

Marketing Rebellion

Technology has created new ways to help customers discover, share and discuss their favorite products. In fact, most of our marketing is occurring without us. Today, the customers are the marketing department. We can’t buy our way into these conversations, We have to earn our way in with a new business approach that appeals to constant human truths. The businesses of the past were built on advertising impressions. Today, they are built on human impressions that help customers believe, belong and find meaning. It’s time for a rebellious new approach and Mark Schaefer is your guide with an entertaining new book that is instructive, inspiring and filled with actionable ideas and insights.


Cyndi Greenglass: Your latest book focuses on the idea of becoming the most human company. What does this mean and what brands do you think are actually achieving this and succeeding in being most human company?

Read Full Article: Marketing Rebellion

Better Together: Co-Branding vs. Co-Marketing

Some things are just meant to go together, like peanut butter and jelly or macaroni and cheese, but what about your favorite brands? Try Spotify and Uber or the Best Friends Animal Society and Buzzfeed. These brands come together for creative collaborations that boost sales, brand exposure and allow them to authentically enter new markets.

Co-Brand vs. Co-Marketing

Both co-branding and co-marketing involve two brands joining forces, sharing resources and developing an idea together, but the product of that partnership is where the two differ.

Read Full Article: Better Together: Co-Branding vs. Co-Marketing

The Future of Brands (or do they have a Future?)

The future of brands

Here’s a provocative statement or maybe it’s just a statement of fact: Brands as we knew them are dead. OK, here’s something a little more palatable: the way brands have been built up until now, will be very different from the way they will need to be built in the future. The world has changed. The consumer has changed. So why hasn’t marketing? What hasn’t branding? Why haven’t we adapted and evolved to make sure our innovation efforts are aligned with the march and progress of technology itself? Principles and fundamentals of marketing will only take you so far. After which, it’s time to explore what exists at the bleeding edge.  Joseph Jaffe, Admiral at HMS Beagle, joins us on Marketing Communications Today to discuss what kind of future brands have. 

Whitney Drake: The world is changing. Consumers are changing. Why aren't brands and marketing changing?

Marketing Communications Today Joseph Jaffe: I think it is important to recognize that the way brands have been built up until now will be very different to the way that they will need to be built in the future. We can wax lyrical until the cows come home about attention, multiple screen viewing, the clutter that we witness, but the fact is, that the singular blunt object that has been used to build brands over as long as we can remember, which has really been for the most part, advertising, is just that, it's a blunt object. Today, consumers want more, and they need more. What is effective marketing? How is marketing evolving? How can marketing be more believable, more authentic, more persuasive, more transparent and juxtapose back authenticity with the ability to recognize that ultimately nothing happens until somebody sells something, or until somebody buys something, or until there's effectiveness and impact. When we look at this world, this digital world, this disruptive world, this fluid and non-linear world that we're living in right now, do we really see innovation, evolution and disruption in marketing best practices? I don't think so. That's kind of what I'm hoping to bring to the table, which is, ask the tough questions, challenge ourselves, challenge assumptions and recognize that we're actually living in this most incredible time of innovation, creativity and change. Either we can get with the program, or we can be left behind.

Read Full Article: The Future of Brands (or do they have a Future?)

The Data Behind Valentine’s Day

Share of total spending 2010 vs 2020 NRF

February 14, a day to celebrate your romance or lack thereof. Unlike the state of your love affair, data is always consistent. Here is what your consumers are really doing to celebrate the holiday.

Valentine’s Day is for the guys this year, with 56% of men planning to celebrate while only 54% of women report they will be doing something for the occasion. However, men who will not be celebrating are a little more bitter about it.

Only 28% of men who will not be participating plan to even acknowledge the holiday. However, they might still be spending a decent amount of cash on February 14. Men who won’t be celebrating may report a higher intent to purchase “anti-Valentine’s Day” gifts than women.

Read Full Article: The Data Behind Valentine’s Day

The Download on Digital Marketing Communications

Mel (Moraes) Wilson, Digital Marketing Manager at UPMC

The average person spends nearly seven hours a day online, 49 hours a week or 2,555 hours a year. Imagine having seven hours a day to reach and continuously expose a highly segmented audience to your brand – don't just imagine, do it. In a technology-driven world, digital marketing communications is the key for consumers and brands to be connected 24/7.

Digital Marketing Communications is a strategy that uses interactive channels to build a community around a brand or organization. It's about setting the trends, not just following them. 

It's personal – digital media is not only used to inform, but to connect and share. Social media rules the digital landscape and creating effective, platform-specific is critical to break above the noise of an oversaturated media landscape. Digital marketers must understand how consumers use media in their everyday lives to organically insert brands into the conversation and create buzz around content that aligns with an individual's values and interests. Digital messaging must be strategically crafted to be relevant, shareable and timely. 

Read Full Article: The Download on Digital Marketing Communications

Never a Dull Day in Marketing

Thirty years ago, the marketing landscape looked much different than it does today. The internet wasn’t around, there were limited media options and data took a while to compile, analyze and act upon. Today, marketing moves at the speed of light. There are thousands of ways to reach your audience. Data is readily available, decisions happen instantly, changes to campaigns can be made immediately. That’s the beauty of marketing, it is always changing.

While change at times can be hard, having the ability to change leads to results and growth. For over 30 years, our guest Andy Maier has worked in marketing for a variety of agencies and currently on the client-side for the past 9+ years. He and our host Susan Jones will discuss his marketing journey and why two days in marketing are never the same.

Read Full Article: Never a Dull Day in Marketing

It’s All About Who You Know: Networking at Professional Events

It’s All About Who You Know: Networking at Professional Events

You've heard it before – "It's all about who you know." When it comes to the marketing communications industry, I don't think this is entirely true. Just "knowing" people can open doors, but what you  do with those connections and opportunities is what defines your career. This means true success in the industry is two-fold – it's all about what you do with who you know.

Getting to "know" the right people can seem extremely daunting, but most people genuinely do want to help others succeed. Networking and mentorship provide valuable skills for all involved in relationship building. As a student, it may seem hard to make connections in the industry, but there are ways to meet people in the industry's top positions.

Professional events like conferences, industry mixers, panels and summits provide the perfect opportunity to network with high-level speakers and the room of fellow industry attendees. Make the most out of your next event by following these tips:

Read Full Article: It’s All About Who You Know: Networking at Professional Events

EZ Insider: Super Bowl LIV Commercials Ranked

EZ Insider: Super Bowl LIV Commercials Ranked

For most people, February 2, 2020, was a day dedicated to eating wings, buffalo chicken dip and a tray of hoagies with your friends and family. For me, a marketing communications student with an inability to sit still, it was a travel day home from a weekend in New York City and an evening spent watching a recap of game highlights and every single Super Bowl commercial.

*EZ Disclaimer* I enjoy watching football, but really only when it's the Eagles or the Mountaineers. I will say the tail end of Super Bowl LIV was pretty interesting. Still, with no parade to run home to in Philadelphia, the commercials were my main focus this year.

AdAge reports that 30-seconds of airtime for a commercial this year during "The Big Game" cost brands $5.6 million and the 77 airtime slots were booked by Thanksgiving of 2019, the earliest sell out since 2011. For some, I could clearly see that their investment was well thought out and others… well, others seemed like something producer dreamed post-game food coma. Here is the ~official~ EZ Insider on those who were able to make a touchdown and those who fumbled.

Read Full Article: EZ Insider: Super Bowl LIV Commercials Ranked

Why Is It so Hard to Talk About Food?

Why Is It so Hard to Talk About Food?

Food is one of the few universal concepts that connects every living thing—we all eat. So why is the discussion about food, including how it’s produced, how it’s accessed and purchased, and how it’s consumed such a contentious debate? From genetically modified organisms to farm subsidies to local foods to food stamps, there is no shortage of hotly-contested subject matter in the food space. In this podcast, we’ll discuss where sticking points remain, what common ground exists, and where both the public and private sectors are making strides to improve the conversation.


Michael Lynch: What has changed in the conversation about food over the last 10 years or so?

Read Full Article: Why Is It so Hard to Talk About Food?