Although CarMax is nationally known as a great way to buy and sell cars, the members of the JMU Ad Club found out there’s a lot more to CarMax than that. On Friday, January 27, JMU Ad Club visited CarMax Digital in the Shockoe Bottom area of Richmond, Virginia to learn more about the digital aspects of the company.
Students first met and ate lunch with Bill Nash, CarMax CEO and JMU Alum, Jim Lyski, CMO, and Laura Donahue, VP Marketing Services. Students inquired about the role of technology and data in the future of companies and how to use data to better understand customers. After lunch, students learned about developing a communication architecture from the Manager of Integrated Marketing, Lindsey Stone. She taught Ad Club members the importance of creating a customer journey to help focus a company’s advertising efforts. Archie Miller, Team Manager of Interaction Design then walked the students through a case study on developing new web products. He stressed the importance of constant collaboration and dialogue between team members. Lastly, students learned a new technique to effectively approach projects as Kylie Turnauer, Senior Manager of Marketing Operations described an agile development approach to marketing projects.
Matt Merola, junior Marketing major and VP of Research for JMU Ad Club said, “It was interesting learning about all the different aspects that it takes to create a successful campaign, especially for a company like CarMax.”
We want to extend our gratitude to everyone at CarMax that made this trip not only possible, but a fun and unique learning experience! Your time and insight was a great gift to our members.
Somewhere in the cobblestone downtown of Richmond, Virginia, people are writing on walls, standing at desks, meeting in glass conference rooms and occasionally, when supervised, passing around an Emmy. All of these things and more are happening at the Martin Agency, a full-service advertising agency headquartered in the city. On Friday, January 27 members of JMU Ad Club visited the Martin Agency for a tour and to learn a little more about what goes on inside the beautiful building at One Shockoe Plaza.
The tour, led by Martin’s Chief Communications Officer, Dean Jarrett, traveled up all floors of the agency, showcasing the creative and strategic talents of everyone in the company. Students learned about the different departments at Martin including, Account, Creative, Media and Social. 2015 JMU and Ad Club alum Allie Waller, now an Account Coordinator at Martin also joined the group. After the tour, Waller and Jarret answered students’ many questions from “Should I go to portfolio school?” to “What’s your favorite project that you’ve ever worked on?”
Haley Boerger, a junior Graphic Design and SMAD double major and Art Director for the Club said, “It was interesting to see the open and creative floor plan that the Martin Agency has built to enforce a constant creative flow of ideas.” Beyond that, Boerger was “impressed to see how above and beyond the company goes for their clients. They once built a soccer field inside to show their willingness to work for their client.”
The Martin Agency, recently named to Ad Age’s Creativity Innovator List, has clients ranging from Geico to Oreo, Discover and Tic Tac. It has locations in Virginia, NY and London. On behalf of everyone that made this trip possible, thank you! As students and advertisers, we learned a lot and had fun along the way.