On its surface, WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics Marketing Chair Michael Walsh’s first published textbook seems a bit of a paradox.
Using the most traditional of media, Walsh and co-authors Thomas Flynn and James Smith are attempting to prepare marketing students for an ever-changing digital world in the pages of Integrated Marketing Communication: A Consumer-Centric Approach For the Digital Era.
Walsh and his colleagues recognized a void in teaching material that addressed the continuing evolution of the marketing landscape.
“Before, the marketers had all the power in the marketer-consumer relationship. Today that notion is no longer valid. At best, it’s shared,” Walsh said. “It has forced marketers to think very differently about how they use these various media properties.
“At the turn of the 21st century, the vast bulk of their money was spent on traditional legacy media. The world is just a very different place. And we felt the textbooks were still not as consumer-driven as the marketplace has shifted towards. That was the motivation behind writing the book.”
Walsh recognizes that it’s a much different marketing world than the one he spent two decades in before moving into academia at West Virginia University.
“Back in the heyday of traditional mass media tools — television, radio, magazines, newspapers and such — pretty much that period in time could be characterized as the marketer saying ‘I speak, you listen,’” he said. “That was by necessity, because the communication was one-way. Things were not interactive and if they were, it was hard to pull that off.
“Since the start of the 21st century, one of the big characteristics of the online world has been two-way communication. It’s very easy for consumers to participate in that dialogue with the marketer. And it facilitates consumers speaking to one another.”
The marketing world has even changed over the course of writing the textbook, a project that dates all the way back to 2016.
Walsh says the textbook will have the versatility to be used for both marketing and journalism/media courses.
“We’re targeting both kinds of programs,” Walsh said. “That’s a good thing for us. The other thing that’s influenced us is that all three of us have a lot of experience teaching students and we try to be as contemporary and real-world as we can be. We think that’s something students are looking for, and expecting from their coursework.”
CONTACT: Heather Richardson, Assistant Dean for Strategic Communications
John Chambers College of Business and Economics