Predicting Patterns in the World of Ecommerce
Pay It Northward and Chris Feiss ’85, P’22 turn sociology training to tech-focused marketing
What tips the scales and causes someone to make a purchase?
That’s the kind of question Lexi Hanus ’20 explores every day as a digital account analyst at Compass Marketing, a full-service marketing agency focusing on ecommerce for big-name brands like Duracell, Neutrogena, Gillette, Tide, and more.
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A sociology major with a minor in human development, Hanus spent her undergraduate career examining the patterns that people make—understanding why people do what they do and how that fits into broader societal trends. With so many real-world applications, her job search spanned multiple industries from teaching to consulting, eventually zeroing in on marketing.
But with COVID-19 turning everything upside down, the job search took much longer than she anticipated.
DavisConnects and Pay It Northward introduced her to Chris Feiss ’85, P’22, chief strategy officer at Compass Marketing. Feiss had been involved in networking for and with Colby alums for some time, and when President David A. Greene sent out the Pay It Northward call for alumni to help the Class of 2020 enter the workforce, Feiss responded.
Feiss offered Hanus the opportunity to intern with their team to see firsthand how COVID-19 accelerated ecommerce trends by five years or more.
“It all happened so fast,” Hanus said. “Within a few days of the interview I got the internship offer. It’s been an incredible learning experience because I’m seeing a whole new side of business that I didn’t know existed.”
Feiss and his team were so impressed with her internship performance that they offered her a full-time position last fall.
Client-facing teams at Compass sit at the intersection between creative campaigns and complex technological platforms. Feiss knew that Colby students have the ability to juggle both sides of the equation, and he soon saw that Hanus was no exception.
“It’s an incredibly competitive market, but I’m unsurprised at how successful Lexi’s been at Compass, because I know that someone who has gone through a rigorous Colby education comes out with the raw skills they need to be successful,” Feiss said.
When you think of marketing, you’re probably picturing Mad Men-style advertising agencies with fancy headquarters on Madison Avenue. But today’s marketers work from anywhere and use data to identify patterns of human behavior to maximize customer value. Working with top-tier brands at Compass is the first step in a career for Hanus in the most in-demand sector of marketing.
As a liberal arts graduate, the Boston resident knows she isn’t alone.
“We’ve expanded our entry-level hiring to go beyond undergraduate business degrees and include more liberal arts hires,” Feiss said. “It’s been incredibly successful.”
Pay It Northward and DavisConnects
Pay It Northward, overseen by DavisConnects, is the Colby campaign to provide postgraduate opportunities to the Class of 2020. Last year’s graduates entered a job market profoundly impacted by Covid-19. Hiring freezes, withdrawal of jobs and fellowships—all of this threatens to derail graduates’ careers and keep them out of the workforce when the world needs their talents most.