Micah Chowning ’14: The nitty gritty of digital marketing in the modern age: Big Data

Micah Chowning ’14:   New York’s Madison Avenue was firmly locked into advertising lore with the TV show Mad Men.    While the luster of the offices and the lusts of the lifestyles are embellished in the show, the fundamental premise of marketing is the same: speak to the individual.

Thanks to the Small Business Internship Fund, I have been on the Mad Ave this summer interning for a digital marketing firm, Wasabi Rabbit.  The nitty gritty of digital marketing in the modern age: Big Data.  Today is the age of social media and data—lots of both—and companies are only beginning to learn how to turn these areas into revenue.  There is tremendous potential in these tools; but marketers are still discovering the path from the data to the individual.

With the team in the conference room

My involvement at Wasabi Rabbit has been diverse.  My first order of business upon arrival was to immerse myself into Google Analytics, the Swiss Army Knife for website data.  With an account, Google will track website data such as unique visitors, visitor paths, click sources, time spent on pages, links, everything.  Its functions range from simple to complex.

I arrived in the midst of online campaign run by Wasabi Rabbit for its major client, Marketwired.  We needed to track which emails and ads generated site traffic, and which site visitors became sales leads.  With Facebook ads, website banner ads, Google search ads, emails, blog posts, and even postcards directing people to the site, there were many different aspects and items to consider.  Along with daily updating the number of unique visitors and goal conversions, I looked into the conversion rate for each day of the week, along with the click rate for each Tip Sheet Marketwired sent out via email.

Marketwired is in the midst of a rebranding, having acquired Sysomos and wanting to combine the Marketwire news service and the Sysomos social media listening tools into one distinct brand.  Hence, Marketwired.  Part of this process is combining two websites into one, and I’ve been responsible for listing the URLs and page names for the resource sections of both marketwire.com and sysomos.com.

Using Marketwired’s social media listening tools, Heartbeat and MAP, I’ve also been able to do research into social media conversations about Marketwired’s products and competitors’ products, along with finding reviews in blogs and tech sites.  While not NSA-level, both tools turn the buzz about products into distinct voices and allow the user to get a sense of what’s going on in the web.

Tim and Gina talk about the campaign in a spirited fashion

A few other research tasks involved more creativity than data analysis.  Tim Lyons ‘91, the managing director here at Wasabi Rabbit, was putting together a marketing proposal for a potential client that is involved in Alzheimer’s education; looking into the proposal’s different aspects and needs was eye-opening.  I’ve also researched the pros and cons of a business using Twitter’s Direct Messaging feature, along with topics relevant to social media and investor relations.

Additionally, the experience of the City has been another great element to the experience.  New York is, in one (overused) word, awesome.  The city crawls with energy, making sleep seem unnecessary and movement mandatory.  My days typically last from 6:30 AM to midnight.  There is always something to do, something to see, something to try.  It suffices to say that I’m on the lookout for a I♡NY shirt.

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