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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.


Hanes ’16 Hanapin & the PPC Community

Sam Hanes ‘ 16  – So this is awesome. I am in week four of my internship here at Hanapin Marketing in Bloomington and it’s been a blast!

As soon as I got back from studying and singing in Ecuador (also a Wabash occasion), I had two days to gather myself and get down to Bloomington. The first day was a great day for orientation, as I was able to sit in on REDBOP day at Hanapin. REDBOP is held once a month and is a day of research in which we all get together and discuss and present new topics and tactics that we have learned or problems that we have solved. The Director of Talent and Culture at Hanapin, Chris Martin, was my first contact as he guided me through the interview process and coordinated my internship. It has also been great to meet and interact with the CEO of Hanapin and Wabash graduate Pat East (’00).

I have really enjoyed my time at the office. All of my coworkers have been pleasant to work with and are always willing to help me out no matter how busy they are. Since the internship is Pay Per Click Marketing, the work environment is relaxed (they bump music in the office all day) and the employees are young and tech-savvy.

Sam Hanes

But it hasn’t all been rainbows and lollipops. Going into the internship, I had barely any marketing experience and absolutely no PPC experience. For those unfamiliar, Pay Per Click, PPC and Paid Search are all terms for advertising online (like on Bing or Google) where a company pays money for users to click on that advertisement. Hanapin specializes in digital advertising for their clients.  Without any experience, and without being extremely techy (for a young guy), the initial tasks were quite overwhelming.

I was finally able to get the ball rolling. Each day I worked with my mentor, Amanda West-Bookwalter, on learning new tasks. Each time I learn a new task, I get account managers that ask me to perform those tasks on their accounts. The amount I’ve learned about PPC and all of the work that Hanapin does for their clients in just four weeks has been incredible.  Despite all the fun and learning, I have still been put to work! I have:

  • Ran spelling and 404 checker audits for all of our clients
  • Put together congruency analysis and reports for enterprise-level clients
  • Performed a mobile audit for an enterprise-level client
  • Worked on keyword research for enterprise, small business, and retainer clients
  • Done landing page assessments for Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Run affinity analytics in Google Analytics
  • Worked on a keyword build-out for an enterprise-level client

These are just a few specific tasks I have worked on, not to mention all of the different software and PPC terms and tactics that I have learned!

I couldn’t be happier with my internship here at Hanapin. I’d like to give a big thanks to Hanapin, Wabash, and the Lilly Endowment for making this possible. I’ve become extremely interested in the world of PPC and the PPC community, and the company culture at Hanapin is something that I enjoy and appreciate. My first internship experience is something that will benefit me in the future no matter what path I take!