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October 23, 2019

The Shifting Marketing Landscape

Cindy Cragg joins University College as an assistant teaching professor and the academic director of the Communication Management program. With 20 years of experience in marketing communication, Cindy brings a high level of real-life experience to her work. We asked Cindy to share her insights about the shifting marketing landscape and how the Communication Management program is preparing MarCom pros…

The landscape of marketing and communication has changed significantly in recent years, what have been the most exciting shifts you’ve seen?
It’s been a noisy decade riddled with steep learning curves and constantly changing best practices for a seemingly endless number of new online marketing tools and communication platforms. During this time tactics were forced into the forefront and strategy often left by the wayside. Strategic thinking, especially through collaboration, is here in a big way. MarCom professionals are the keepers of the strategic vision and therefore the glue that holds these collaborations together. This is an exciting shift and an opportunity for professionals at all levels to rise up and show strategic leadership.

What are you looking forward to as the “next big thing” in marketing and PR? As we put more emphasis on being smart and strategic with communication efforts, keeping the user top of mind is a natural evolutionary step for PR and marketing. Not only are we refining our messaging to be more useful, relevant, and personalized to the audience but, at the same time, we’re getting more sophisticated with the user data to create communication programs that have value and are measurable. To be able to show how our work moves users and contributes to the bottom line is game changing.

We know communication is a power skill for professionals, how do you approach instilling this skillset in students pursuing the program?
We recently revised our core courses for the Communication Management program to include a course called Storytelling through Research and Measurement. This move defines not only where we see gaps in the industry but also our commitment to equip every single student that enrolls for a credential with strong competencies in using a research-based approach to auditing communications efforts. Our students are positioned to tell compelling, data-driven stories that add value and make an impact.

What excites you the most about teaching in the Communication Management program?Our students want to hit the ground running. Not just after they have their degree but after every week of every course. With every new concept learned our students find ways to apply that knowledge immediately in their professional lives. With a 20 year background in digital marketing, keeping my finger on the pulse of what is needed to ensure students are industry relevant is practically in my DNA. Not much is more exciting or rewarding than seeing the results when students are able to take direct action to enhance their careers and their lives.

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