- Master of Science
Nature of the Program
As more organizations recognize the need for data-driven marketing campaigns, marketers are working alongside data specialists who collect data at all stages of the marketing process. Marketing communications professionals then use that data to predict future behaviors, make data-driven decisions to attract and retain consumers, and measure outcomes to determine what’s successful — and what isn’t.
The WVU Reed College of Media's Data Marketing Communications graduate program is designed for professionals who are passionate about the marketing communications profession — we bring together those who aspire to be leaders in the field of using data to achieve marketing communications results. In this program, students earn a practical, in-demand degree focused on bridging the gap between data scientists and communicators to reach key audiences.They understand how technology and users are changing and are dedicated to learning the skills needed to make data-driven decisions in order to measure productivity and increase ROI. Many academic programs that address this emerging industry need focus on statistics professionals or computer programmers. The Data Marketing Communications program is neither; it is completely designed to support today's marketer.
The Data Marketing Communications program is completely online with no on-campus classroom attendance required. Curriculum consists of 10 courses and can be completed in 16 months. Requirements include the prerequisite course and quantitative assessment exam, followed by eight core courses, and finally a capstone course.
The program offers a specialization with an Area of Emphasis in Integrated Marketing Communications.
Data Marketing Communications instructors are recognized leaders in their fields. These scholar-practitioners provide a carefully balanced blend of academic theory and the practical skills today's marketers need. They teach our “learn-it-today, use-it-tomorrow” curriculum, which provides valuable, practical knowledge that can be immediately applied to a student's current career. Most students continue to work full-time while earning their degree.
All courses are asynchronous, allowing students to participate at any time, from anywhere in the world. While no on-campus residency is required to complete the degree, the program hosts an annual Integrate conference to provide students and faculty an opportunity to network in-person and explore the latest innovations in the ever-changing marketing communications landscape. Learn more about the program's Integrate Conference.
Students in the Data Marketing Communications program who secure a graduate assistant position at any academic or non-academic unit on campus will be eligible to receive a waiver equivalent to the University tuition portion of their total tuition for coursework, as well as any stipend/compensation offered by the unit hosting the position. Payment of the remaining Program Tuition and Online Learning Fee is the student’s responsibility. For complete information on graduate assistant options at WVU, please visit the Graduate Education Assistantships webpage.
The program’s academic year consists of five accelerated terms: Early Fall (August–October), Late Fall (October–December), Early Spring (January–March), Late Spring (March–May) and Summer (May–July).
Admission to the Data Marketing Communications online graduate program at West Virginia University is competitive and the total number of available seats for each entry term is limited. Admission is based on a holistic review of each applicant’s academic history, years of relevant professional experience, writing ability and intent (personal statement) and references/letters of recommendation.
Students are currently admitted twice per year, in Early Fall (August) and Early Spring (January).
Visit the program website for comprehensive information, including faculty bios, curriculum and course information, details on the application and admissions process, and to register for a free online information session.
Completion of DMC 660 and related quantitative assessment exam is required before students can proceed to the core courses.
|Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 required.|
|Minimum grade of C- required in all courses provided that a cumulative 2.75 GPA is maintained.|
|DMC 660||Introduction to Data Marketing Communications||3|
|DMC 661||Audience Segmentation||3|
|DMC 662||Message Customization||3|
|DMC 663||Brand Data Collection & Visualization||3|
|DMC 664||Social Media Optimization||3|
|DMC 671||Data Management Platforms||3|
|DMC 672||Campaign Planning & Programmatic Media Buying||3|
|DMC 673||Campaign Metrics and Assessment||3|
|DMC 674||Messaging for Customer Relationship Management||3|
|DMC 680||Data Marketing Communications Campaigns||3|
* Students complete the DMC 660 course and quantitative assessment test in their first term in the program. Following successful completion of DMC 660, students will proceed through the eight core courses. Campaigns course is taken in the final semester. Upon successful completion of DMC 680 in the student's final term, the student will graduate from the program.
It should be noted that the plan of study listed below relies on condensed parts of term where two parts of term can be completed within the traditional fall and spring semesters.
|Early Fall Part of Term||Early Spring Part of Term||DMC 671||3|
|DMC 660||3||DMC 663||3||DMC 672||3|
|Late Fall Part of Term||DMC 664||3|
|Early Fall Part of Term|
|Late Fall Part of Term|
|Total credit hours: 30|
Integrated Marketing Communications Area of Emphasis Requirements
The Integrated Marketing Communications AOE is intended to prepare non-IMC students for careers utilizing an integrated marketing communications strategy. Students will be exposed to course work focused in IMC, audience insight and behavior, brand management and emerging media.
Course Requirements. To satisfy the requirements of the Integrated Marketing Communications Area of Emphasis, a student must complete the four required courses below.
- For MBA students, two of the courses required for an AOE in IMC may also be applied to a student’s elective requirement, with the other two taken in addition to their MBA degree requirements. Note that a cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation from the Online Hybrid MBA program. The courses and grades from the Area of Emphasis will be counted towards a student’s cumulative GPA (a C- or better is required in courses, with an overall cumulative GPA of 3.0) in the MBA program.
- For DMC students, one of the courses required for an AOE may also be applied to an DMC student’s elective requirement, with the other three taken in addition to the general IMC master’s degree requirements. Note that a cumulative GPA of 2.75 is required for graduation from the DMC program. Courses and grades from the Area of Emphasis will be counted towards a student's cumulative GPA (a C- or better is required in courses, with an overall cumulative GPA of 2.75) in the IMC program.
|IMC 610||Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communications||3|
|IMC 612||Audience Insight||3|
|IMC 613||Brand Equity Management||3|
|IMC 619||Emerging Media and the Market||3|
EMBA students who elect to enroll in this Area of Emphasis will be required to complete IMC 610 before moving on to the other courses in the Area of Emphasis.
Major Learning Outcomes
Data Marketing Communications
Marketing communications professionals have been relying on data in various forms since the early days of media. However, new technologies are having a dramatic effect on how marketing communications campaigns are planned and assessed. With unprecedented access to individual transaction-level data, marketing communicators can now use available information to customize a target consumer’s exposure to advertisements and other promotional communications. While much of the data processing is automated, marketing communicators increasingly must be adept at managing vast amounts of information to glean key insights and give their organizations a competitive advantage.
Upon completion of this program students will be able to:
- Understand the basic principles of data marketing communications, media and web analytics.
- Understand the differences between reporting and analysis.
- Recognize how metrics and analysis inform marketing communications decision making.
- Explain how marketing communicators use current analytic methods such as segmentation, profiling, and recency, frequency and monetary (RFM) analysis to deliver return on investment (ROI) for their clients.
- Communicate key insights gleaned from data to marketing communications decision makers.
- Make marketing communications decisions informed by data.
DMC 660. Introduction to Data Marketing Communications. 3 Hours.
An overview of the Data Marketing Communications program with a focus on upcoming curriculum and industry trends at large and an overview of campaign management systems available in the market. Course will include specific units on privacy, law and ethics and focus on the many uses of data and the ramifications of misuse.
DMC 661. Audience Segmentation. 3 Hours.
PR: DMC 660. An analytical exploration of how data can be used to break down mass markets into specific, reachable target markets and impact addressable advertising initiatives. An examination of what demographic data and other key indicators can inform successful campaigns, and what data best serves as lines of demarcation in the development of unique market segments to support specific marketing communication goals.
DMC 662. Message Customization. 3 Hours.
PR: DMC 660. An exploration of how data can allow marketing communicators to customize messages to target audiences as small as a single consumer. Students will examine how different messaging strategies impact different advertising and marketing goals and which data can most influence potential messaging strategies. This course will focus on which data can be most effective in developing unique messaging strategies.
DMC 663. Brand Data Collection & Visualization. 3 Hours.
PR: DMC 660. An exploration of the benefits of mining your own brand for insights that could influence marketing communications decisions with an emphasis on how that data can be presented visually to key stakeholders for maximum impact. Students will examine the relevant merits of internal versus external data collection and the proper times, sources and processes to engage in either.
DMC 664. Social Media Optimization. 3 Hours.
PR: DMC 660. An examination of how data from social media can be leveraged to ensure marketing communications reach their intended audiences effectively. This course will focus on both gathering data from social media as well as customization of messages for maximum reach. Students will focus on how marketing communications initiatives succeed and fail and which data sets can best inform their campaigns.
DMC 665. Customer Engagement Strategy. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 640. Examines contemporary content strategies for engaging customers through the channels and at the times they prefer. With omnichannel marketing at the center, students will learn to recognize and facilitate customer journeys that provide seamless user experience and path to purchase.
DMC 671. Data Management Platforms. 3 Hours.
PR: DMC 660. This course offers an exploration of the myriad database platforms available and how data can be analyzed to develop specialized and highly targeted marketing communications. Students will examine the relative merits of various platforms based on their specific needs.
DMC 672. Campaign Planning & Programmatic Media Buying. 3 Hours.
PR: DMC 660. A survey of the automated media buying landscape with a focus on the tools used, risks and rewards of automated media buys. Students will examine software platforms available for automated buying and understand the connection between how data input affects media buying output. Students will examine which data is best gathered to better inform mass media advertising decisions.
DMC 673. Campaign Metrics and Assessment. 3 Hours.
PR: DMC 660. An exploration of how data can inform key performance indicators that define a campaign’s success. This course will have a specific focus on how metrics and assessment can rely on data for maximum benefit and will include a survey of available metrics and assessments platforms.
DMC 674. Messaging for Customer Relationship Management. 3 Hours.
PR: DMC 660. An examination of how data is leveraged for communications intended to retain current customers and acquire new ones. This course will focus on how to accurately assess per customer lifetime value and the best data-informed communications strategies to maximize and retain that value.
DMC 680. Data Marketing Communications Campaigns. 3 Hours.
PR: DMC 660. Students will develop a cohesive marketing communications campaign that demonstrates a conceptual mastery of data driven marketing communications. All aspects of the campaign will be informed by data including ad placement, message strategy and campaign assessment.