Integrated Marketing Communications
The Integrated Marketing Communications Certificate Program focuses on effective marketing communications strategies and tactics for an increasingly digital media environment. It prepares students for entry-level marketing communications positions in such fields as advertising, public relations, corporate communications, and database and social media marketing.
Students develop skills for understanding and analyzing consumers in traditional markets and newly forming digital communities and social networks. They learn how to conduct research and analyze data on consumer behavior, media usage, and marketing communications outcomes. Students also learn about message creation and delivery through a wide variety of media channels.
The IMC Certificate Program invites applications from students in any undergraduate school at Northwestern. As described on the Medill website, to qualify for admission students must complete 3 prerequisite courses and earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 in them. Students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the five IMC courses to achieve the certificate. Students who receive the undergraduate IMC certificate and are admitted into the MSIMC program can complete the master’s program and graduate in just four quarters, rather than the five quarters required for students without the certificate.
Program of Study
IMC 300-0 Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communications (1 Unit) Basic introduction to the strategic marketing communications process, including consumer insight and research, market segmentation, brand positioning, communications messages, and media decisions. Overview of tactical areas, such as branding, advertising, digital media, and corporate communications. Course is for non-IMC certificate students only and does not count toward the certificate. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
IMC 301-0 Consumer Insight (1 Unit) Psychological, economic, communication, anthropological, and sociological perspectives on why and how individuals, families, and groups acquire, consume, and dispose of goods, services, ideas, brands, and experiences. Goals and experiences as means to understanding people as consumers. Prerequisite: Admission to IMC Certificate Program.
IMC 302-0 Research for Marketing Communications (1 Unit) Analytic methods and metrics, including web analytics and social media metrics, to develop, execute, and evaluate marketing communications. Designing questionnaires and analyzing survey results and databases to evaluate consumer behavior. Students develop hands-on analytic skills with Qualtrics survey and SPSS statistics software. Prerequisite: Admission to IMC Certificate Program.
IMC 303-0 Integrated Marketing Communications Strategy (1 Unit) Consumer insight and research, market segmentation, brand positioning, communication messages, and media decisions. Brand communications integrated with other aspects of marketing, including product strategy, pricing, and retailing. Case studies and writing-intensive assignments. Prerequisites: IMC 301-0 and IMC 302-0.
IMC 304-0 Media and Message Delivery (1 Unit) The contemporary media landscape and how brand communications adapt to media technology and usage. Current case studies are used to understand the transition from passive consumption of traditional media to active participation in digital and social media. Engaging and communicating effectively with consumers through media. Prerequisite: IMC 303-0.
IMC 305-0 Message Strategy and Persuasive Communications (1 Unit) Development of message strategies for communicating with audiences. Understanding audiences, persuasion, development and execution of brand communications. Hands-on exercises in writing creative briefs and using digital and social media. Prerequisite: IMC 303-0.
IMC 306-0 Strategic Communications (1 Unit) Development and execution of communications strategies and relationship building with employees, the news media, government, investors, and the public. Outlets include traditional print and broadcast media and contemporary channels including blogs, social media platforms, and emerging technologies. Exercises in written communications. Prerequisite: Non-Medill students, IMC 303-0; Medill students, JOUR 301-0.
IMC 307-0 Digital, Social and Mobile Marketing (1 Unit) Focus on the tools, methodologies, and programs used by companies to develop, justify, deploy, and measure their social and mobile marketing programs. Development of complete social marketing programs for actual companies using best-of-breed social monitoring, web analysis, social marketing systems, blogs, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and other tools. Prerequisite: IMC 303-0.
IMC 308-0 Marketing Models (1 Unit) Quantitative models for marketing and communications. Multivariate statistical methods, such as factor and cluster analysis, and marketing models, including regression, discrete choice models, and time-series analysis. Hands-on experience in handling data types, using SPSS to conduct analysis, interpreting results, and providing recommendations. Prerequisite: IMC 303-0.
IMC 310-0 Integrated Marketing and Communication Law, Policy and Ethics (1 Unit) Legal and ethical issues and the policy side of communications, media, and marketing. Media law, First Amendment protection of commercial speech, contracts, intellectual property, privacy, and ethics. Prerequisite: Non-Medill students, IMC 303-0; Medill students, JOUR 301-0.
IMC 311-0 Data Governance: Critical Issues in Digital Marketing Communications (1 Unit) Data Governance will address the rapid move of companies toward digital marketing and communications efforts, and the world of connected devices known as the Internet of Things. With the emphasis on data privacy and security, the class will explore critical legal and technology issues that create liability for marketing professionals and their companies. Prerequisite: Medill students JOUR 301-0; non-Medill IMC Certificate students IMC 303-0.
IMC 320-0 IMC Capstone Project (1 Unit) Students work with sponsoring organizations to develop comprehensive marketing communications programs in real-world settings. The final product is a report outlining the learning and insight behind strategic, creative, and marketing recommendations; a client presentation; and a project book detailing research, analysis, strategy, creative execution, media use, and other integrated communications activities. Prerequisite: IMC 303-0.
IMC 390-0 Special Topics (1 Unit) Specialized courses include Finance for Integrated Marketing Communications -Finance for IMC will focus on the familiarity and use of financial tools important to marketing executives in budget development and spending allocation; Technology and Innovation for Media-This course addresses the profound impact that evolving media strategies have on news, marketing communications and audience experiences. Prerequisite: Medill students JOUR 301-0; non-Medill IMC Certificate students IMC 303-0.
IMC 390-SA Integrated Marketing Communications Strategy (1 Unit) Consumer insight and research, market segmentation, brand positioning, communication messages, and media decisions. Brand communications integrated with other aspects of marketing, including product strategy, pricing, and retailing. Case studies and writing-intensive assignments. Prerequisites: IMC 301-0 and IMC 302-0.
IMC 398-0 Practicum: Great Lakes Challenge (1 Unit) The Great Lakes Challenge provides the opportunity for the class to complete an actual project for the company in competition with a student team from Michigan State University. Each winter quarter, the instructors and client will develop and assign a new project that both student teams will complete and present. This total IMC project will build upon your learning from the three core courses. Prerequisite: IMC 303-0.
IMC 399-0 Independent Study (1 Unit) Prerequisite: IMC 303-0.