Curriculum

The DMC program is specially designed so that students move through the program as a cohort completing 11 courses, eight of which are thematically-paired in blocks.

Course Descriptions

Below is a full list of online courses offered by the Data Marketing Communications (DMC) program at West Virginia University. 

Introductory Course – 3 Credits 

DMC 660 - Introduction to Data Marketing Communications 

An overview of the program with a focus on upcoming curriculum and industry trends at large and an overview of campaign management systems available in the market. Students learn how to combine multi-channel metrics, baselines, and benchmarks with thoughtful and actionable analysis. They will review the fundamentals of business and marketing measurement, and also learn best practices in data visualization.

The course also includes a quantitative “boot camp” to ensure students are ready to progress on to other courses within the sequence.  This “boot camp” will consist of a series of modules students must complete concurrently with their other coursework to ensure that students have a solid understanding of the quantitative terms and concepts they will need to succeed in future Data Marketing Communications courses.


Core Courses – 24 Credits 

Audience Block


DMC 661 - Audience Segmentation – (Quantitative Course 1) 
Potential customers demand to be seen as more than simply a face in the crowd, but reaching specific target markets can be an increasingly difficult process.  Whether an organization can achieve its’ goals can hinge on how effectively it can target receptive clients in an over-crowded market.  This course is an analytical exploration of how data can be used to break down mass markets into specific, reachable target markets and how that can impact addressable advertising initiatives. Students will closely examine what demographic data and other key indicators are essential to developing successful campaigns.  Students will focus on what data best serves as lines of demarcation in the development of unique market segments to support specific marketing communications goals. 

DMC 662 - Message Customization – (Applications and Strategies Course 1) 
Communicating to a mass audience is a tricky proposition as consumers demand a more personalized approach.  Can you reach a mass audience while still insuring that each potential consumer feels like you’re communicating directly to them?  This course offers 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.

Data Block


DMC 663 - Brand Data Collection and Visualization – (Quantitative Course 2)  
With more being created every day, the world is drowning in data it doesn’t know what to do with. What we know is no longer as important as how that information can be presented in a succinct and impactful way to key-stakeholders. This course offers 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 – (Applications and Strategies Course 2) 
A successful organization doesn’t wait for their audience to come to them, but instead takes their message to where their audience can already be found. More and more, that means navigating a rapidly expanding and every shifting social media landscape.  This course is an examination of how data from the social media sphere can be leveraged to ensure marketing communications reach their intended audiences efficiently and effectively. This course will focus on both gathering data from social media as well as customization of messages for maximum social media reach.  Students will focus on how marketing communications initiatives succeed and fail in the social media sphere and which data sets can best inform their social media campaigns.

Platforms Block


DMC 671 - User Experience Platforms - (Quantitative Course 3) 
A carpenter couldn’t build a house if they didn’t know what their tools could do, and the same goes for marketing communicators.  Knowing what tools are available and what their strengths and weaknesses are is a key component of leveraging big data for any organization.  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.  Platforms such as ‘R’, ‘Hadoop’, ‘Orange’, ‘Tableau’, ‘MongoDB’ and ‘Apache Cassandra’ will be examined. 

DMC 672 - Campaign Planning & Programmatic Media Buying – (Applications and Strategies Course 3) 
Automation can make life easier – or much more difficult.  As advertising agencies rely more and more on automated programs to place media buys it becomes increasingly important to understand how those tools operate and what costs and benefits are associated with their use. Students will focus on the development of a media plan that relies on automated buying tools. This course is 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.

Assessment Block


DMC 673 - Campaign Metrics and Assessment –  (Quantitative Course 4)  
At the end of the day, your client only wants to know one thing: was your campaign a winner or a loser?  Success can be measured and planned for and this course offers an exploration of how data can be used to assess that success, failure or need for modification in advertising and marketing communications campaigns. This course will have a specific focus on how metrics and assessment can rely on data for maximum benefit. The course will include a survey of available metrics and assessments platforms.

DMC 674 - Messaging for Customer Relationship Management – (Applications and Strategies Course 4) 
The only thing more important that gaining new customers is keeping them.  Sometimes that can be a much more difficult task than attracting them ever was.  ‘How can I message current customers to ensure they’re retained for the long run?’ is an essential question many firms are asking themselves daily.  This course is an examination of how data is leveraged for communications intended to retain current customers and acquire new ones. Will focus on how to accurately assess per customer lifetime value and the best data-informed communications strategies to maximize and retain that value. 

Elective Courses – 3 Credits Data Marketing

Communications Elective Courses


DMC 681 - B2B Programmatic Marketing Communications 
Communications from one business to another can be daunting.  How do you know that your message made it through, let alone was received by the person who needs it most?  This course examines how data can be used to craft automated B2B marketing communications. Students will examine which data can best inform programmatic B2B communications. 

DMC 682 - Creativity & Data 
Quants and creatives are often kept far from each other but the walls have become increasingly blurred as data is used to inform creative decisions.  This course explores how creative projects can be influenced and propelled by using customer data with a focus on which data is best leveraged to inform creative decisions.  Students will make the connection between creative output and measureable client goals and how the creative process can be influenced by data. 

DMC 683 - Data Communication and Visualization for the Client 
What you know is much less important than being able to demonstrate that knowledge.  Breaking down complex ideas for the client in a way that doesn’t overwhelm them is a crucial skill for twenty-first century success.  This course offers an examination of how complex data can be communicated to clients and presented in a visual manner that allows them to easily understand the implications and to get the maximum value out of their campaigns.  Students will examine which data can best tell the story they want to tell without bogging the client down with extraneous information which might cloud their message.

DMC 684 - Digital Marketing Communications Channels 
You’ve got a great message, you just don’t know where to take it!  That problem has vexed firms for decades and this course offers an exploration of the various channels available to marketing communicators with an emphasis on recognizing, leveraging and identifying the most effective channels available.  Students will examine which characteristics make various channels, such as mass media, social media, B2B communications more or less effective for various communications initiatives. 

Current Applicable IMC Elective Courses 
  • Emergent Issues in Media Law & Ethics
  • Media Analysis
  • Consumer Sales Promotion
  • B2B Direct Marketing
  • Applied Public Relations
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Visual Information Design
  • Social Media and Marketing
  • Web Metrics & SEO

Capstone Course – 3 Credits

DMC 680 - Data Marketing Communications Campaigns 
The capstone course that brings everything together into one real-world project that will give DMC graduates a leg up on their competitors. No longer will students have to convince potential new employers to give them the opportunity to develop their first campaign: they’ll already have one in the bag by their graduation date!  In this course students will develop a cohesive marketing communications campaign that demonstrates a conceptual mastery of data driven marketing communications for a real world client.