- Master of Science
Nature of the Program
The Digital Marketing Communications graduate program is offered exclusively online with no on-campus classroom attendance required.
In the digital marketing communications master’s program, students will gain the knowledge and skills to communicate and create dialogue with today’s modern audience. Program topics also include building trust, selling, and maximizing customer long-term value/creating customer advocates who bring you more customers.
The program is taught by a diverse faculty who are recognized leaders in their fields.
Students in the Digital Marketing Communications major who secure a graduate assistant position at any academic or non-academic unit on campus will be eligible to receive a waiver of University tuition for their courses, as well as any stipend/compensation offered by the unit hosting the position. For complete information on graduate assistant options at WVU, please visit the Graduate Education Assistantships webpage.
Due to overlapping curricula and an accelerated course load students are not permitted to double-major in Digital Marketing Communications and Integrated Marketing Communications or Data Marketing Communications.
The program’s academic year consists of five accelerated terms corresponding to the University’s existing parts of term: Early Fall (August–October), Late Fall (October–December), Early Spring (January–March), Late Spring (March–May) and Summer (May–July).
Like all premier academic programs, admission to the Digital Marketing Communications online graduate program at West Virginia University is highly competitive and the total number of available seats for each entry term is limited. Admission to the program is based on a holistic, case-by-case analysis of the applicant’s WVU Graduate Application for Admission, academic record (undergraduate transcript), GRE or GMAT scores, years of relevant professional experience (resume), and writing ability and intent (personal statement).
Students are admitted to the DMC program twice per year, in the Early Fall (August) and Early Spring (January)) admission terms. All applications received by the application priority deadline will be considered, and accepted students will be notified by the corresponding priority acceptance notification date. However, the IMC program operates on a rolling admissions basis and qualified applicants may be accepted earlier than the priority acceptance notification date.
Students who apply for Early Fall (August) admission may apply by the priority deadline of June 15 and will be notified of acceptance no later than July 15. Students who apply for Early Spring (January) admission may apply by the priority deadline of November 15 and will be notified of acceptance no later than December 15.
Visit the DMC website for comprehensive information about the online graduate program, including faculty biographies, curriculum and course information, details on the application and admissions process, and to register for a free online information session.
|Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 required.|
|Minimum grade of C- required in all courses provided that a cumulative 2.75 GPA is maintained.|
|IMC 640||Introduction to Digital Marketing Communication *||3|
|DMC 661||Audience Segmentation||3|
|DMC 673||Campaign Metrics and Assessment||3|
|DMC 665||Customer Engagement Strategy||3|
|IMC 629||Mobile Marketing||3|
|IMC 641||Social Media and Marketing||3|
|IMC 642||Web Metrics and Search Engine Optimization||3|
|IMC 634||Digital Storytelling||3|
|IMC 643||Digital Video Production||3|
|IMC 644||Digital Media Communication Campaigns **||3|
Completion of DMC 640 Digital Marketing Communications students can proceed to the rest of the curriculum.
Upon successful completion of IMC 644 in the student's final term, the student will graduate from the program.
Suggested Plan of Study
|IMC 640||3||IMC 642||3||IMC 643||3|
|DMC 661||3||DMC 673||3||IMC 644||3|
|IMC 641||3||IMC 634||3|
|DMC 665||3||IMC 629||3|
|Total credit hours: 30|
It should be noted that the plan of study above relies on accelerated semesters where two accelerated semesters can be completed within the “traditional” fall and spring semesters.
Major Learning Outcomes
Digital Marketing Communications
Graduate of the Digital Marketing Communications program will:
- Evaluate the importance of digital media and how they are reshaping the world we communicate in.
- Identify how individuals are using digital media for entertainment, WOM, information and community building.
- Assess how companies are using digital media for marketing purposes.
- Recognize the changing codes of practice, ethical and legal issues regarding digital media.
- Identify and define a vast array of digital media terms and technologies.
- Explain how consumers interact socially, via word-of-mouth, and what information spreads/diffuses over social networks and how it spreads.
- Develop basic video editing skills including splitting, transitions, titles and more.
- Produce an original short marketing video using digital production, audio integration and editing techniques learned in class.
- Devise a comprehensive digital media marketing strategy, plan, budget and schedule.
Data Marketing Communications Courses
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.
Integrated Marketing Comm Courses
IMC 511. Marketing Research and Analysis. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 410 or IMC 610. Examines the role of marketing research within an IMC campaign. Students learn to identify research problems and select appropriate quantitative and qualitative designs to address them. They will examine sampling, questionnaire design, data processing and how to communicate research needs and results.
IMC 595. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.
Faculty-supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.
IMC 610. Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communications. 3 Hours.
PR: Admission to the program. Introduces students to the fundamentals of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). Students learn and apply the IMC planning process and examine the role of integration to ensure consistency of creative strategy and complementary use of traditional and digital media. This course also provides a comprehensive orientation to the WVU IMC graduate program.
IMC 611. Marketing Research and Analysis. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Examines the role of marketing research within an IMC campaign. Students learn to identify research problems and select appropriate quantitative and qualitative designs to address them. They will examine sampling, questionnaire design, data processing and how to communicate research needs and results.
IMC 612. Audience Insight. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Provides an in-depth look at consumer behavior and its role in IMC. Examines consumer behavior in terms of internal influences, external influences, the consumer decision-making process, and consumers and culture. Students also learn ethnographic research.
IMC 613. Brand Equity Management. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Explores strategic and creative decisions to manage, build, and measure brands. Brand management issues investigated include consumer perceptions, competitive analysis, new product development, crafting communication messages, crisis management, and development of marketing programs.
IMC 614. Integrated Marketing Communication Media Analysis. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Addresses the role of media analysis and planning in IMC. Covers basic media terminology and media math, the distinctions between media objectives, strategies and tactics, and the different ways of allocating resources in media.
IMC 615. Creative Strategy and Execution. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Takes a comprehensive look at creative strategy and its role in IMC. Students master the fundamentals of conceiving and executing an eye-catching, effective and integrated campaign that uses traditional and digital media.
IMC 616. Direct & Digital Marketing. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Covers direct and digital marketing from an IMC perspective. Includes database marketing, direct marketing message strategies across multiple media, direct and interactive marketing metrics, and the role of direct and interactive marketing in IMC campaigns.
IMC 617. Consumer Sales Promotion. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Overview of the role that sales promotion plays in IMC. Examines the functions of sales promotion in the marketing process as well as the legal regulations on sales promotion. The course focuses only on consumer promotion.
IMC 618. Public Relations Concepts and Strategy. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Examines the various functions of public relations in IMC, its impact on key publics, and its role in society. Covers the field's evolution, the responsibilities of PR practitioners, law and ethics, and emerging trends.
IMC 619. Emerging Media and the Market. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Examines how modern industry uses emerging media, such as blogs and virtual worlds to enhance the IMC process. Addresses the creative and ethical issues unique to digital media.
IMC 620. Research Methods. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Focuses on data analysis in marketing research. Emphasizes core statistical techniques, the application of statistical software, and the interpretation of statistical outputs. Ethical issues in marketing research are also discussed. SPSS software is required.
IMC 621. Current Topics in Integrated Marketing Communication. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. A seminar that highlights significant issues and trends in Integrated Marketing Communication. Topics vary by term.
IMC 622. Multicultural Marketing. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Teaches cultural sensitivity and prepares students to promote products and services to a diverse marketplace within the U.S. The course focuses on racial/ethnic groups in the U.S., and it also covers mature and gay/lesbian markets.
IMC 623. Global Brand Communication. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. This course examines key issues needed to develop strong global brands by considering past successes and failures in strategy, addressing the importance of knowing local culture in communication and positioning, and discussing emerging issues in brand globalization.
IMC 624. Cause Marketing. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Examines the marketing techniques used by businesses to make a difference in the world, focusing on partnerships between businesses and non-profit organizations. Through case studies, the history and uses of cause marketing are examined as well as predictions for the future of the marketing practice.
IMC 625. Advanced Creative Concepts. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Emphasizes the creative aspects of executing an IMC strategy including visual branding, verbal branding, creative direction, and art direction. Focuses on conceiving, developing, expressing, and executing a coherent visual identity using a comprehensive IMC strategy.
IMC 626. Business-to-Business Direct Marketing. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Course builds upon the basics of Direct Marketing developed in IMC 616. Students will learn to apply those concepts and techniques in the world of Business-to-Business IMC Direct Marketing. Some assignments allow the students to apply the strategies and tactics to their present employment.
IMC 627. Healthcare Marketing. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Explores various levels of the healthcare campaign and marketing process. Students learn the basic types of health campaigns, theories of health behavior change, issues in design and evaluating healthcare marketing, and the effects health outcomes.
IMC 628. Applied Public Relations. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Provides practical knowledge and hands-on experience in public relations from both the client and agency perspective. Students develop and produce PR tools and tactics including press releases, public service announcements, crisis communication plans, speeches, newsletters, and special events for a chosen client.
IMC 629. Mobile Marketing. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Examines exciting new business developments in mobility, explores fundamental forces that shape the wireless industry, discusses keys to establishing a competitive advantage, and examines emerging trends that may include where the industry is heading.
IMC 630. Sports Marketing. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Explores the history and present-day state of the sports marketing industry. Analyzes the field's major components, use of theory and research, consumers (aka fans), endorsements, sponsorships, branding, products, and particularly, its sport stars.
IMC 631. Crisis Communication. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Applying theory and case study analysis, students gain the expertise required to maneuver through myriad potential crisis situations that today's organizations and individuals encounter.
IMC 632. Political Marketing. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Covers political marketing from its roots to its current state and provides the necessary knowledge for strategizing and applying a political marketing plan within the context of today's elections and political climate.
IMC 633. Entrepreneurship in Integrated Marketing Communication. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Identifies what it takes to be a successful IMC entrepreneur by showing students how to assess risk, raise capital, position a new entity, organize, and keep and maintain sales.
IMC 634. Digital Storytelling. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Students will design a brand for a product or service and express that brand as a video for the Web. This course will provide guidelines for how to create a movie that reaches the desired audience and can be shared via social media.
IMC 635. Visual Information Design. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Students explore the power of imagery and how visual perception drives our memory. Students examine how to look at images, deconstruct layouts and apply color, design and typography to create effective verbo-visual messages for print and online and will gain valuable creative insight and skills that will serve them now and into the future.
IMC 636. Integrated Marketing Communication Campaigns. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. A rigorous and comprehensive capstone course that requires students to develop a thoughtful and professional quality IMC campaign for a real- world client. This course must be completed in a student's final academic session.
IMC 637. Internal Brand Communication. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Addresses the important roles that internal communications and branding play in a company's successful operation by examining internal communication strategies and implementation, the use of consistent messaging, and company -to-employee crisis communication.
IMC 638. Public Affairs. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. This course explores ways to leverage public policy relationships and strategic partners to enhance an organization's brand and marketing strategy. Incorporates theory and real-world experience through examination of case studies.
IMC 639. Content Marketing. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. An exploration of how the role of content is evolving in the modern marketing landscape and how to apply different types of content generation to new and traditional marketing channels. Additional topics cover the pros and cons of content marketing vs. traditional marketing as well as processes and tactics to create and implement content marketing strategies.
IMC 640. Introduction to Digital Marketing Communication. 3 Hours.
Provides an overview of digital media and the latest methods for collecting, creating and disseminating persuasive messages. Focuses on the evolution of digital media and the ways they are used in entertainment, information-gathering and community-building.
IMC 641. Social Media and Marketing. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610 or IMC 640. Examines the latest strategies for monitoring and engaging consumers in social media from a marketing perspective. Explores popular platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook that are used to connect with and analyze target audiences.
IMC 642. Web Metrics and Search Engine Optimization. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610 or IMC 640. Examines how marketers strategically gather online information to measure traffic, engagement, and potential impact on ROI. Explores search engine optimization (SEO) and social media optimization (SMO) strategies used to build a presence for clients.
IMC 643. Digital Video Production. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610 or IMC 640. Introduces the technical and conceptual skills needed to create and add videos into integrated marketing campaigns. Covers the basics of selecting the best hardware and software for video projects. Students gain hands-on experience in shooting and producing engaging videos.
IMC 644. Digital Media Communication Campaigns. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610 or IMC 640. Apply the knowledge and skills acquired in previous DMC courses to develop a creative, innovative, and complete digital campaign for a selected organization in this capstone course.
IMC 645. Diversity & Inclusion in IMC. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Focuses on the practical application of diversity and inclusion and their impact on marketing and communications brand strategy to diverse consumers and audiences. The concept of culture will be dissected as it relates to cohort comprehension and acceptance or rejection of companies or brands. The role of ethics and corporate social responsibility in diversity/multicultural marketing communications will be explored.
IMC 646. Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality in IMC. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Examines how brands are using transformational Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) platforms such as Google Cardboard, Samsung GearVR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Microsoft HoloLens to expand customer interaction and build brand affinity. This course focuses on how brands have effectively combined technologies as part of an integrated marketing communications campaign.
IMC 647. Higher Education Marketing. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. This course examines the role of marketing in American higher education in an ever-increasing competitive landscape, including the role of market analysis, audience segmentation, value messaging, marketing mix and budget and ROI assessment.
IMC 648. Executive Communication & Leadership. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Provides a study of public relations, and reputation management and communication. The course includes an introduction to communication strategy, function and performance. Students will be introduced to the principles of executive and personal branding; media relations; community relations; multicultural and multigenerational communication; integrated marketing communication; crisis communication; social media; and how organizations manage relationships with important audiences.
IMC 649. Brand Evolution Strategy. 3 Hours.
PR: IMC 610. Explores strategies and tactics that are used to help brands manage an endless barrage of disruption and disruptive technologies, changing consumer demands, internal and external pressures from startups, talent erosion and changing market dynamics. Also provides a new platform for brands and brand building in this “brave new world.”.
IMC 693W. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.
A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.
IMC 695. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.
Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.