Megan Edelson (IMC08), director of marketing at Newsweb Corp – Nine FM & WCPT, says the knowledge and skills she gained in the IMC program have enabled her to embrace many facets of marketing, from social networking to crisis communications to digital marketing strategies.
In her most recent role as the Associate Director for Consumer Marketing at Conde Nast, subscription sales through online channels (website, email, SEM, and cross sells), and digital direct sales (digital editions on tablets) for six of Condé Nast’s brands (Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit, Brides, Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, and W). She also maintains and grows the corporate relationships with Digital Platform Partners (Apple, Amazon, B&N, Google Play, Next Issue, and Zinio for now) as well as the overall Digital Edition/Digital Product Marketing (digital editions, special interest publications, eBooks, apps, etc).
"Being a part of the changing magazine industry is exciting," Edelson says. "It is more than just magazines, it’s about getting great content out in many forms to users when they want it, where they want it, and how they want it. Being a part of such a rapidly changing environment where we are constantly trying and testing new ideas and revisiting old ones to see new results is invigorating."
Edelson credits her IMC degree for helping her excel in her career in three ways: data, integrated marketing and communication.
"First, we use data day in and day out," Edelson explains. "From monitoring subscription sales, to running iterative tests on websites, to consumer surveys, and more, we live in excel and other data programs to inform our decisions. Second, on a more tactical level it is my job to work with all stakeholders for my brands (editorial, ad sales, research, etc) and make sure our marketing efforts are aligned. Thinking back to the principals of IMC, I use these everyday to make sure we are doing the best we can to present our brands to consumers. Third, communication is king. Being able to explain data and how it ties in with our efforts to editorial teams is a valuable skill. Also, as more digital platforms emerge, being able to share information effectively with all stakeholders is important. Finally, as part of the communication abilities I learned at IMC, I use the principals of Crisis Management all the time. Reading a situation, defining the most important elements, and communicating the core message while recognizing all stakeholder needs is invaluable."
Back when she was looking at master's programs, Edelson says she was concerned that she might not be the right age or have the right amount or type of experience. However, her worries were quickly quelled when she met students both older and younger than her, from a rainbow of different backgrounds that ranged from business to teaching to hotel management.
“That was definitely something I didn’t expect, but it was a great addition to my education,” Edelson said. “It was neat working with people on projects that have 10 more years' worth experience than me and also people who are fresh out of undergrad and have a fresh look on things. I was afraid everyone was going to be a marketing person and be way more advanced than I was, but it was a nice mix.”
Edelson’s background was in radio and marketing promotions. Having tapped out that career, she was looking for something different, but knew she wanted a marketing degree.
“Once I discovered Medill IMC, I knew that that’s where I wanted to be,” Edelson said. “It really goes into what it means to be a marketer and all the aspects of marketing, where the other MBA programs I looked at were more general business education with a few marketing classes.
“If you look at the courses and the residency program and all that the IMC program offered at Medill, it was a lot more involved and in-depth than the other schools.”
As she learned more and more, Edelson realized there were myriad opportunities in marketing, many of which she had never been exposed to. This prompted her to take her residency at Condé Nast in New York, a place she said she may have never applied before she started IMC and gained a competitive skill set to be confident in.
“It really showed me how to use the skills I’d learned in class in the real world,” Edelson said. “It was a great way to get out of class and step back into the real world and still have a quarter left to learn what more I needed to learn.”
“I joke because in undergrad you spent four years and a lot of money, and you come out and you didn’t necessarily learn that much. But this program, I feel like I use the stuff I learned every day.”
Once I discovered Medill IMC, I knew that that’s where I wanted to be. It really goes into what it means to be a marketer and all the aspects of marketing, where the other MBA programs I looked at were more general business education with a few marketing classes.