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 

This course offers an overview of the program, focusing on upcoming curriculum, industry trends and campaign management systems available in the market. Students will learn how to combine multi-channel metrics, baselines and benchmarks using thoughtful and actionable analyses. They will review the fundamentals of business and marketing measurement, and learn best practices in data visualization.

This course also includes a quantitative “boot camp” to ensure students are ready to progress to the other courses in the program’s sequence. This “boot camp” will consist of a series of modules, which students must complete concurrently with their other coursework. Completing these modules will ensure that students have a solid understanding of the quantitative terms and concepts needed to succeed in future DMC 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 target markets has become an increasingly difficult process. Whether an organization achieves its goals often hinges 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. 


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 and still ensure that each potential consumer feels like you are communicating directly to them? This course explores how data allows marketing communicators to customize messages to target audiences as small as a single consumer. Students will examine how different messaging strategies impact advertising and marketing goals, and which data can have the most influence on potential messaging strategies. This course will focus on which data are the 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, and we don’t know what to do with it. 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 explores the benefits of mining your own brand for insights that can influence marketing communications decisions, and emphasizes 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 become familiar with the times at which each approach is recommended. They will also learn about the sources and processes essential to collecting data both internally and externally.


DMC 664 - Social Media Optimization – (Applications and Strategies Course 2) 

A successful organization doesn’t wait for its audience to come to it. Instead, it takes its message to where its audience can already be found. More and more, that means navigating the rapidly expanding and ever-changing social media landscape. This course examines how data from the social media sphere can be leveraged to ensure marketing communications efforts reach their intended audiences efficiently and effectively. This course focuses on both gathering data from social media and customizing 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 social media campaigns. 


Platforms Block


DMC 671 - User Experience Platforms - (Quantitative Course 3) 

Carpenters couldn’t build houses if they didn’t know what their tools could do. The same goes for marketing communicators. To successfully leverage big data for a company or organization, marketing communicators must be aware of the available tools, and understand their employer’s strengths and weaknesses. This course explores the myriad of database platforms available, as well as how data can be analyzed to develop specialized and highly targeted marketing communications messages. Students will examine the relative merits of various platforms based on their specific needs. Platforms such as “R.” “Hadoop,” “Orange,” “Tableau,” “MongoDM” and “Apache Cassandra” will be studied.


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, as well as 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, and focuses on the tools used, as well as the risks and rewards of automated media buys. Students will examine software platforms available for automated buying and learn how data input affects media buying output. Students will study which pieces of gathered data will best 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 planned for and measured. This course explores how data can be used to assess the success, failure or need for modification in advertising and marketing communications campaigns. This course focuses specifically on how metrics and assessment can rely on data for maximum benefit. This course also includes a survey of available metrics and assessment platforms.


DMC 674 - Messaging for Customer Relationship Management – (Applications and Strategies  Course 4) 

The only thing more important than gaining new customers is retaining current customers. Sometimes customer retention can be a much more difficult task than attracting new customers. “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 examines how data can be leveraged for communications intended to retain current customers and acquire new ones. This course focuses on how to accurately assess per customer lifetime value, and and determine 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 messages. Students will study which data can best inform programmatic B2B communications.


DMC 682 - Creativity & Data 

Quantitative analysts and creatives are often kept far from each other, but the walls are becoming increasingly blurred as data is used to inform creative decisions. This course explores how creative projects can be influenced and propelled by customer data, and focuses on which pieces of data are best leveraged to inform creative decisions. Students will make the connection between creative output and measurable client goals, and better understand 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 the ability to demonstrate that knowledge. Breaking down complex ideas for clients in a way that doesn’t overwhelm them is a crucial skill for twenty-first century success. This course examines how complex data can be communicated to clients and presented in a visual manner, allowing them to easily understand the implications of this data and how to use it to get the maximum value out of their campaigns. Students will study which data can help them tell the most effective stories. 


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. This course explores the various channels available to marketing communicators, and emphasizes the importance of recognizing, identifying and leveraging the most effective channels offered. Students will study which characteristics make various media channels, such as mass media, social media and B2B communications, more or less effective for 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 course is the program’s capstone course. It requires students to bring together everything they have learned throughout the DMC program to create one real-world project. 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. No longer will students have to convince potential new employers to give them the opportunity to develop their first campaign, because they will already have completed one by their graduation date.