Integrated Marketing Communication Certificate Program

What is Integrated Marketing Communication? Broadly, IMC is a marketing communication, business process that is customer-centric, data-driven using analytics, technically-anchored, and branding effective. All stakeholders in an IMC-focused organization must systematically engage IMC for it to be successful.

The IMC Certificate is a post-baccalaureate program targeted to communication, marketing, business professionals and students in all types of organizations who want to become knowledgeable integrated marketing communicators and managers. All organizations -- business, government, nonprofit, charitable, education, religious, and volunteer -- need marketing communicators. Marketing is synonymous with communicating. A marketer is a communicator and all aspects of the marketing process communicate. The IMC Certificate Program assumes some basic knowledge of marketing communication theory and practice on the part of applicants but does not require any specific work experience.

The IMC Certificate Program covers areas of marketing communication that are both traditional and digital, but predominantly the latter. You will develop skills for understanding and analyzing consumers in newly forming online communities and social networks and traditional markets. Integrated Marketing Communication is a data driven approach that focuses you on identifying consumer insights and developing a strategy using online and offline channels to develop, nurture and sustain brand-consumer relationships. This involves application of basic qualitative and quantitative analytical skills to discover the right contact points to use to reach consumers and understand how they want to be communicated with and where they consume different types of media. Customer lifetime value, market intelligence, return-on-customer-investment (ROCI), customer aggregation and segmentation, consumer behavior, e-Commerce, basic statistical analyses, among others, are key data elements in this approach.

Class Delivery

The IMC Certificate Program is a concentrated one-semester course delivered through an integration of guest speakers, lectures, discussions, class activities, topic related assignments, and IMC projects. The discussions, assignments, activities and projects strengthen the marketing communicator's ability to employ higher-level critical thinking skills. As such, students do not merely learn new material but creatively apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate IMC related theories, concepts, and models using simulations, case studies, class discussions, and projects.


The intended outcome for you of the IMC Certificate Program is to: (1) recognize the importance of integration in the marketing communication process; (2) understand the stature and importance of IMC as it is practiced against a backdrop of ever-changing social, economic and competitive developments in local, regional, national and global markets; and (3) become a knowledgeable marketing communicator equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to introduce, practice and manage integrated marketing communication in your organization.

Don Schultz of Northwestern University over time has become the undisputed guru of the IMC business model. He promotes the following IMC definition:

Integrated marketing communication is a strategic business process used to plan, develop, execute and evaluate coordinated, measurable, persuasive brand communications programs over time with consumers, customers, prospects, employees, associates and other targeted relevant external and internal audiences. The goal is to generate both short-term financial returns and build long-term brand and shareholder value.

Schultz explains that this definition has four key elements:

 IMC is promoted from marketing tactic to business strategy

 IMC involves the whole organization and spans the entire spectrum of brand, customer, product, and service contacts the firm has with all stakeholders at all levels.

 IMC requires ongoing measurement, evaluation, and accountability for return on the IMC investment.

 IMC is an ongoing process that boosts performance in the long term and builds relationships with customers over time.

IMC educators Hutton and Mulhern say that regardless of how it is accomplished organizationally, the key to truly integrated marketing communication is the integration of marketing communications at all levels.

Integration at the tactical level

Integration at the strategic level

Integration at the organizational level

Integration at the education and training level

Integration at the interpersonal level

Integration at the theoretical level

Integration at the process level

Northwestern’s Clarke Caywood says IMC is a concept of marketing communications planning that represents the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines – general advertising, direct response, sales promotion, and public relations – and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact.

University of Colorado’s Tom Duncan and Sandra Moriarty push (or pull) IMC to the next level when they say: The fuel that drives any relationship personal or commercial is communication. There is no way to have a relationship without some form of communication. For this reason, communication is the lifeblood of integrated marketing.

Marketing consultant Thomas Harris says IMC is, in a word, synergy. When all product and corporate messages are strategically coordinated, the effect is greater than when advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, public relations, and the other tools and tactics of marketing are planned and executed independently, with each area competing for budgets and power and, in some cases, sending out conflicting messages.

Class Meeting Schedule

Formed Fall Semester and continuing on Monday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. for one semester, the noncredit IMC Certificate Program consists of 15 three-hour modular sessions.
The next IMC class begins January 2019 and ends April 2019.


The full tuition for the IMC Certificate Program is $1,500.


The supervising IMC Certificate Program faculty members are Tim Larson and Ken Foster. Each is recognized for his knowledge and experience in integrated marketing communication and teaching. In addition, members from the academic and professional communities are called upon for specialized instruction.

Application Procedure

Fill out the one-page application form below and mail, email or FAX it to Tim Larson to show interest in the IMC Certificate Program. You will be contacted to discuss joining the class after we receive your one page application.

IMC Certificate Program Application

Fill out this one page application form and mail, email or FAX it to Tim Larson to show interest in the IMC Certificate Program. You will be contacted after we receive this form.

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Send Application Form to:

Tim Larson
University of Utah Communication Department
Integrated Marketing Communication Certificate Program
255 South Central Campus Drive, Room 2400
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0491
Fax: (801) 585-6255

Last Updated: 9/14/18