Seeing Results

14When I was first asked to create a new version of our website, I was ready to jump right in. I thought it would be rather simple – I’d go through our existing product selection, group all similar products together, and sprinkle in a few new products here and there; done. Needless to say, I underestimated the magnitude of the task at hand.

 

With minimal reorganization efforts made over the past few years, navigating the existing site was a challenge. Looking for a notepad, a clock, or a car charger? Those were all in the same place. How about a personalized umbrella? Naturally, those were in our “Fun in the Sun” category. If I was having issues finding what I needed, I could only imagine how frustrated a first-time customer must have felt. While my anticipated level of work may have improved our website, a stronger effort was clearly required. Especially in an industry where competitors seem to be relatively homogenous, visitors would have no qualms about searching elsewhere – a more organized site – for their promotional products.

 

From the outset, my manager suggested that I conduct thorough research for this project. While we wanted to maintain the essence of PGI Products, we also had to devise a website that was consistent with current e-commerce trends. After all, this was the lifeblood of our business – I didn’t want to make key changes on a whim. I spent countless hours perusing our competitors’ websites, trying to gain a sense of the functional features and methods of organization that resulted in an enjoyable customer experience. Integrating these elements into PGI Products, I felt, would be very useful. In fact, delving into their product categorization and site design proved to be an effective means for highlighting our own strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Additionally, I analyzed sales, as well as our web traffic, to determine how to best cater to our customers’ needs. With these findings in tow, I had all that I needed – a vision and supportive research – to make everything come to fruition.

 

After countless modifications, added products, and brief testing, the new version of the Progressive Gifts and Incentives website finally launched. Internal feedback has been positive, and I’m currently researching ways in which the site can be taken to the “next level” (in terms of its design) after my tenure with PBP has ended. Not only has it been rewarding to perform truly impactful work on a daily basis, but it is reassuring to know that my efforts will not fall by the wayside. In hindsight, I could not have found a more supportive and empowering group of people to work with this summer. This has been a great learning experience, both personally and professionally, and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to contribute to this company’s longstanding success.

 

For a closer peek at my work, be sure to visit www.pgiproducts.com

Making a Difference

7Hey, my name is Jon Erman. I’m a rising senior at Bucknell University, where I’m majoring in Business Management. Over the past few years, I’ve developed a particular interest in pursuing a career in marketing, as this field seems to lend itself to creative and analytical work – both of which appeal to me. Of course, this was mostly speculation. With little previous exposure to marketing in a real-world context, I sought a summer internship that would provide me with a stronger grasp of this area.

In March, I was browsing my school’s online internship database, where I noticed a posting for a “Summer Marketing Intern” with Progressive Business Publications. I was intrigued by the description, which touted the opportunity to perform meaningful work, not the menial tasks that are often associated with these positions. I felt that I would fit well in a company that promoted empowerment and hard work, so I decided to apply. I had never heard of the company; however, that didn’t matter to me. After a thorough interview process, it was clear that a Fortune 500 Company wasn’t the only path to a valuable learning experience for the summer. I accepted my offer and began my new role – working in our Gifts and Incentives division – with an open mind.

Thus far, I can certainly say that this internship has been exactly as advertised. Our CEO advocates taking risks and making mistakes as vehicles for growth, and this has manifested itself in a culture of autonomy here. Even as an intern, you are given guidance – not constant supervision. At the same time, I’ve had multiple opportunities to collaborate with others on projects, and my colleagues have been more than willing to answer my questions and provide feedback on my work.

Specifically, a lot of my time has been dedicated to re-tooling our e-commerce website. I began my summer extensively exploring our competitor sites’ pricing strategies, product selections, and website designs – producing numerous documents detailing my findings. With my newly-acquired knowledge, I’ve taken on a leadership role in creating a vastly improved version of our site. It feels great to know that my manager has enough trust in me to grant me such a huge responsibility. It’s also truly rewarding to know that my work will undoubtedly impact our organization well beyond my brief time here. This task has required a lot of effort, but – much like the rest of my experience with PBP – I’ve enjoyed every second of it, and have learned something new every step of the way!