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Christian Rhodes ’17 Hanapin Marketing Internship

christian winning office olympics

My name is Christian Rhodes, and I have spent my 2015 summer working in Bloomington, Indiana¬†at Hanapin Marketing, which was founded by Wabash Grad Pat East. I have been working¬†as Hanapin’s digital marketing intern, and it has been an awesome experience. I cannot thank the Lilly Endowment enough for giving me the opportunity to work with such a reputable company that is an expert in their field.

Before starting my internship, I knew absolutely nothing worthwhile regarding digital marketing. I had no idea that the ads that pop up in Google searches are PPC advertising. I had no idea that those ads are placed there with no charge to the company. I had no idea that if the ad is clicked, there was a predetermined “bid” or amount the company was willing to pay once their ad is clicked. Little did I know that I would soon be able to write ad copy, run ad testing cycles, and know how to perform analysis of companies websites through platforms such as Google analytics.

On a day-to-day basis, I don’t report to a specific person. Yes, I have a designated supervisor, but it would be pointless for me to check in with her on a daily basis. I know what I have to do as part of the team, and if I need help/ have questions, I know here she is. I have been working closely with account managers and production specialists in building out new ad copy testing for new ad campaigns that specific clients want to be tested.

I recently completed a week where one of our account managers was on a 12-day vacation. During those 12 days I was tasked with testing 4 different brands campaigns and I had to determine a winner of a test between ad “A” and ad “B” using an excel macro function that took into account: number of impressions, conversions, and percent of conversions. Once a winner was determined (ad “A”), I needed to build out an ad campaign that tested the ad “A’s” brand in the title vs. the brand in the description. Once I got the ads QA’d, I could upload them into the Google ad words editor. Once in the editor, they get checked one last time before they are posted as live ads.

Once the ads are live, I let them run for a week or two to be able to see how they are performing. Based on their performance the account manager will decide if they want to run another test or the necessary bid changes to make the ads perform better and increase the number of conversions or impressions based on whether the ads are e-commerce or lead gen targeted.

That is roughly what I do on a daily and weekly basis. I also write journals for the HR team with feedback on my internship so that they can make the onboarding process for interns smoother and easier in years to come.

Hanapin has a very laid back culture: there are many alternative workspaces, the dress is relaxed business casual, we play office games, and even have had an office Olympics afternoon. I am proud to say that after a hard fought battle I came out victorious as the Gold medal winner in said Olympics.

All in all my summer at Hanapin Marketing has been an eye opening experience. I have learned more in the field of Pay-Per-Click advertising than I could have ever imagined.