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Taking on the Marketing World

Eli Kohorst at the Giant Voices office
April 18, 2018

Giant Voices intern goes the extra mile.

The Giant Voices staff has a task: encouraging busy professionals to spend a night at home. The result? A billboard that proclaims “Date Night,” using large letters and bright colors. The photo doesn’t show a restaurant date night, the young man and young woman are in a kitchen. But they are smiling and animated, and the modern, all-new kitchen is pleasant and inviting.

Eli gained insight from this Giant Voices billboard campaign for Johnson Mertz Qualilty Appliance Center.

Eli gained insight from this Giant Voices billboard campaign for Johnson Mertz Qualilty Appliance Center.

“I learned a lot from Giant Voices team. They showed me how to make a customer feel a new spark of excitement,” Eli Kohorst says. “The mantra of the agency is to think differently, and the team shows how on this particular project." They aren’t just selling appliances, "they are selling the enjoyment of two people being together."

Eli is a senior marketing major with an organizational management minor. He is from Becker, Minn., and in spring 2018, he joined Giant Voices as a marketing research intern. “I was really pleased when I got the internship,” he says. “It’s great to have the opportunity to work with individuals with so much experience.”

Giant Voices is a strategic marketing firm that was formerly known as JPG Group, a longstanding advertising agency in Duluth. In 2012 the firm was bought and rebranded as Giant Voices by Pascha Apter and Lisa Bodine. Recently Giant Voices found a new home in their newly renovated office space on Superior Street in Downtown Duluth.

Eli does online research for the Giant Voices account executives, serving as the eyes and ears for his team, combing the internet looking for trends. He reports on the social media traffic of clients and watches what competitors are doing. The team analyzes trends and conducts market research, using tools that reveal information about markets, products, or services.

Along the way, Eli “picks people’s brains.” He isn’t afraid to ask questions and seek advice, because he wants to “learn from the ones that have been doing it for a long time.”

“Everyday is different,” Eli explains. “I like variety. I get different projects, and I love having the freedom to tackle them in my own way.” Working with clients is meaningful. “The internship is much better than a class,” Eli says, “because of the hands-on marketing experience it offers.”

Eli worked at another internship during his college career but that didn’t stop him from taking a second. He knew he would gain even more valuable skills from Giant Voices.

“The little things you do add up to get you where you want to go,” he says.

Eli runs his own digital marketing business, named E-Motion. “The ‘E’ stands for electronic. The name shows how a strong digital (electronic) presence correlates with a human (emotion) presence in today's marketplace.” The company helps small businesses improve their online presence. He is currently working by himself and has five clients in industries such as restaurants, heating and cooling, and landscaping.

Here’s his process. The first thing that Eli does is make sure the businesses website is up to date, responsive to mobile devices, and is user-friendly. After that Eli makes sure the website is optimized for search engines and then works on getting traffic to the sites using search engine marketing and social media.

Eli is putting his knowledge immediately into action through E-Motion, but he is sharing his knowledge with the ones around him.

Eli's passion for entrepreneurship runs in the family, his parents own an equipment rental company in Brainerd. After graduation, Eli will be using the skills he has learned at UMD to help with their sales and marketing.

UMD Department of Marketing

Photo above: Eli Kohorst in the Giant Voices offices.