The Medill IMC Curriculum
A deep dive into consumer understanding
Earn the degree that immerses you in consumer insights and human connection. Develop your expertise through hands-on experience, with guidance from marketing leaders at top companies. By completing your studies online, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of integrated marketing communications on your schedule, from anywhere in the world.
At Medill, you have the opportunity to tailor your coursework to your goals and interests by choosing 10 electives in your 13-course program. We continually update our curriculum to adapt to the rapidly changing marketing communications marketplace, so you will always be on top of the latest innovations in the field.
- Designed for the working professional
- Three years post-graduate work experience required for admittance
- 13 units
- Three core courses
- 10 electives
- Four quarters per year
- Program can be completed in less than two years
- Hybrid program: complete coursework online or include on-site classes in your curriculum
- Every online course holds one two-hour, synchronous session each week
- Two opportunities to start per year: January and September
- A STEM-designated program
Core Courses (1 unit each)
IMC Strategic Process
Electives (1 unit each; choose 10)
Elective course options are subject to change.
Advanced Brand Management
B2B Marketing: A Consumer-Centric Approach
Finally, students will gain analytical skills to determine what is working and how to use data to improve marketing eﬀectiveness. This course mixes strategy with practical applications to solve B2B marketing problems. Students learn by analyzing real-world data sets and by using an industry-leading CRM tool in class. More importantly, the course is designed to help students succeed in B2B marketing by taking a customer-centric and strategic approach.
Culture and Inclusion in Marketing
Customer Value Innovation
Digital Marketing, Media and Innovation
Digital Marketing Activation
Students gain a better understanding of search engine optimization, paid search, web analytics, programmatic as well as many different aspects of content and social media marketing. The course provides hands-on opportunities for students to work in small teams and craft a digital marketing plan. This course is suitable for marketers of consumer goods as well as business-to-business products and services.
From Insights to Innovation
- Learn and apply the tools, mindsets and modes of design thinking
- Learn how to better understand customer experiences and develop deeper customer insights
- Gain practical knowledge that's immediately applicable for driving innovation in their own companies
IMC Law, Ethics and Technology
- The First Amendment and its protection of commercial speech, the legal basis for marketing communications
- The U.S. legal system and its relevant statutory, administrative and case law
- Intellectual property, including copyright and trademark law
- Privacy, as it pertains to the collection, aggregation, sale and use of personal data
- Ethics, as there is significant overlap between law and ethics when it comes to making good business and policy decisions
Investor Relations: From Wall Street to Board Rooms
Students use readings, role-playing and discussion to improve their experience with managing and overseeing talent, organization, economics and finance, accountability and business planning. The course will help students learn to communicate ideas, become self-aware of areas of development, participate effectively in organizations, develop business acumen and create and evaluate growth plans for businesses.
Managing Digital Products and Technologies
Two defining characteristics of the technology industry are its dynamic nature and the interconnected nature of technology products and services. This results in a continuous need for new products, and for managing all aspects of discovering, designing, developing, supporting and monetizing innovations. In technology companies, the product management organization is responsible for the “inbound” product development activities as well as “outbound” product marketing activities: discovering customer needs, defining product requirements, orchestrating the development of products and solutions to address these needs, taking new products to market and managing products over their life cycle. In a technology startup, a product manager is often a co-founder of the firm. Larger technology firms have specialized product/tech organizations consisting of various types of roles, including product managers and their core cross-functional teams—product marketing managers, program managers/scrum masters, engineers, UX/UI designers and content strategists, and data scientists.
This course brings digital and software product management framework and knowledge, as well as cutting-edge industry cases together. Students will gain hands-on experience building a real product from the concept all the way to an actionable plan with detailed feature requirements that’s ready to be coded, marketed and funded.
Segmentation and Lifetime Value
- The difference between “consumers” and “shoppers” and how to uncover unique insights that can be used to drive the most successful Shopper Marketing programs
- How to identify how best to manage the conflicting interests of retailers and manufacturers as they attempt to market to their shared target audiences
- Best practices for the various in-store, near-store and online tactics that are used by today’s leading Shopper Marketers
- Metrics used to assess program success
- How Shopper Marketing organizations are integrating their efforts with their overall marketing mix and how retailers are working with manufacturers to develop successful shopper programs
- The tools and understanding needed to develop and execute a comprehensive Shopper Marketing program
Social Commerce Strategy
Students gain hands-on experience with analytic and marketing software research and develop social media marketing. To develop proficiency and expertise with the social business model, they conclude the course with a team project for developing actual social and integrated marketing programs for sponsoring companies.
- Analyze data to uncover insights that inspire creative ideas
- Apply a creative process for strategic idea generation that results in strategies, ideas, programs and/or big thinking concepts that creatively address a business problem and are substantiated in data insights
- Identify and classify dimension and scale of creative concepts and ideas as it relates to business problem-solving
- Evaluate and validate ideas/concepts against strategic business alignment, consumer insight alignment and potential to drive business outcomes
- Utilize data to strengthen creative courage and sell-in ideas
- Inspire creativity in others
Immersive Courses (1 credit each)
Taught in cities all over the world, immersive courses provide in-person learning opportunities within this hybrid program. Learn more about them here.
Building Brand Advocacy
Students will learn how some brands deliberately transcend transactional relationships and not only get consumers to buy, but to buy in. Students will learn eight proven “cult brand principles” uncovered from 10+ years of primary research. We’ll dissect how some marketers are reaping enviable benefits associated with earning heightened brand advocacy. We'll also explore why new leaders beyond the CMO (such as CXOs, chief customer officers, chief growth officers) are being given broader responsibilities for products, services and branded interactions. This course teaches vital marketing skills beyond traditional customer research, optimizing media channels, producing content marketing, or crafting promotional campaigns. We’ll expound upon executives’ growing desire for businesses to be used as a force for good, how and why the customer experience must become central to a firm's competitive advantage, and branding is more important than ever (and more inclusive of purpose and culture).
In doing this, you will:
- Learn and apply the tools, mindsets and modes of design thinking
- Gain a better understanding of customer experiences and develop deeper customer insights
- Gain practical knowledge that's immediately applicable for driving innovation in your own companies
Introduction to MarTech
Introduction to MarTech introduces students to the opportunities and challenges of using these marketing technologies. The opportunities range from targeting the right audiences to personalizing messaging to leveraging new digital technologies to effectively managing complex multi-channel marketing campaigns. The challenges include the gap between how marketers think of their problems and how technology providers describe their solutions and then selecting the best solutions.
Students will learn how marketing executives decide which technologies are right for addressing their marketing problems. This course is meant to be introductory in nature, but should be useful for students who may work with a subset of marketing technologies but feel like their knowledge is primarily operational and/or focused on very specific technology applications. The course will equip students to ask insightful questions and have informed discussions with marketing and IT colleagues and vendors. Specific components of the course include the marketing technology landscape, the marketing technology stack, marketing technology competencies that matter, and the future of marketing technologies.