Funding source: Whitehead Internship Program
When I first interviewed with Zoe and Jason for the marketing intern position with Fire Ox Foods, Jason jokingly asked, “Why would a physics major want a job in marketing?” My answer was that data-driven marketing utilizes many of the analytics skills that physics majors are adept at. In my most recent astrophysics course, we practiced analyzing large datasets to understand trends and relationships between variables. In marketing, these same skills can be applied to variables such as ROAS and CPC rather than astrophysical metrics. Zoe and Jason decided to take a chance on the physics major and for the past 8 weeks, we’ve been working closely to improve Fire Ox Foods’ advertising campaign and to better understand their target audience.
For the past 8 weeks, my work has been focused on managing the company’s ad campaigns on FreshDirect and Facebook. Initially, my work was primarily quantitative. I was analyzing large datasets with information regarding which types of ads were most successful. Weeks of analysis informed my proposal to adjust certain aspects of the ad campaign. I proposed strategically increasing our budget and adjusting which keywords we wanted to associate with the brand. Zoe and Jason were welcoming of my suggestions and trusting of my analysis. My work with Facebook ads was slightly less quantitative and more research-based. I read scholarly articles on ad engagement and researched advertising budgeting. This research informed our decision to run Facebook ads with my proposed budget, carefully designed video ads, and thoughtfully constructed target audiences. These Facebook ads provide us with an interesting understanding of our target audience given the demographics and psychographics provided by Facebook.
Creating and managing these ads has taught me many individual and collaborative skills. Much of the initial analysis and research I performed was individual. I learned to analyze large datasets and make meaningful conclusions from these analyses. I learned to apply scientifically backed ad engagement theories to the process of ad development for Fire Ox Foods. Most importantly, I learned to take these individual projects and communicate them to Zoe and Jason. In our meetings, Zoe and Jason would often take my initial findings and explore their implications, suggesting modifications for my proposals and highlighting important next steps for me to take.
Zoe and Jason have been two of the greatest employers to work for. They are passionate about their product, committed to the environmentally friendly goals of the company, and unbelievably hard-working. Managing a frozen-food start-up while each raising young children is no easy task, but Zoe and Jason both somehow manage to find the balance between their families and their business. Whether it’s physically transporting the product between facilities or visiting the kitchen in upstate New York, Zoe and Jason are involved in every aspect of their company. Working with them this summer has taught me valuable skills in data analytics, teamwork in a business setting, advertising, as well as the ins and outs of running a startup in the food industry. While my position this summer has been fully remote, Zoe and Jason have done a great job of making me feel like a part of the company. I am very grateful for the valuable experience of working for Fire Ox Foods this summer.