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What Is IMC?

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is a strategic, collaborative, and promotional business function through which a targeted audience senses consistent, persuasive, and reinforcing brand messaging.

As a discipline, IMC attempts to unify all pieces of marketing communications, including advertising, public relations, direct marketing, social media, and sales promotion. Integrated Marketing Communications adopts a human-centered approach where messaging caters to an audience and is consistent across all channels.

What makes IMC different from general Communications?

General Communications

In the broadest sense, to study communications means to study the craft of delivering a message in an effective way.It’s the “marriage of theory and application;” it’s a “wide ranging generalist path that can be tailored to work in a variety of specific industries.” Similarly, advanced communications-related degrees — like a Master of Arts in Communication Studies, Mass Communications, Journalism, orPublic Relations degrees — tend to be more broad and general in subject matter.


When you study integrated marketing communications, you learn how to align marketing activities to ensure a constant flow of information to consumers from a variety of media. As technology continues to advance and as digital media becomes increasingly important, companies must be able to leverage those mediums to create effective and consistent marketing and messaging that connects the consumer to their brand. As a graduate of an IMC program, you not only would excel at marketing communications, but would also be able to analyze data and manage strategic project planning.


The reputation of West Virginia University’s M.S. in IMC program is beyond compare. In fact, 87.5% of our graduates believe that earning their degree at WVU has led to better positions and/or promotions. This completely online, flexible program allows you to customize your education by allowing you to choose from over 25 elective courses. We are ready to help you achieve your career goals.

IN THE FIRST YEAR of an IMC program as a working professional, notice how your classes enhance your job performance by increasing your intersectional knowledge within marketing as a discipline and business as a whole. For an IMC student who goes straight to a graduate program after earning their bachelor’s, these classes will be vital as you learn your new role. For an IMC student who is already in their professional career, your classes serve to hone your already developed skills and allow you to learn new skills.

FIVE YEARS AFTER GRADUATING from an IMC program, expect to continue honing your skills that you learned in graduate school. Now, you can work your way up to a senior role in your given industry. You might consider mentoring other IMC students as they work to establish themselves as professionals as well as facilitating your own networking relationships.

AFTER 10 YEARS EXPERIENCE, you can expect to be considered for management positions and might also be expected to oversee and contribute to the formation of new professionals. At this point in your career, it is important to remember and continue the hard work that got you there and to consider paying it forward to first- year or entry-level professionals.

IMC is a powerful approach because it allows us to reach the consumer with the right message, at the right time, via their preferred media/messaging channels. If you look around, you’ll see evidence everywhere as to why IMC is relevant.