Northern Commerce and Fanshawe College are partnering for the fourth consecutive year to support local businesses and Fanshawe students with The Northern Digital Marketing Challenge. Students gain hands-on marketing experience helping local businesses in a competition that challenges them to create solutions that deliver revenue-generating impact.  The course began on January 9, 2023, and will run until around March 10th. The students will then present their learnings, taking place over Zoom on April 11th and 12th, with a final awards presentation to end the second day.

Funded by Northern, The Northern Digital Marketing Challenge is open to Fanshawe students in the Business Administration - Marketing, Marketing Management, and the Honours Bachelor of Commerce (Digital Marketing) programs. Led by Liz Gray, a faculty member of the Lawrence Kinlin School of Business, students build, execute, and manage live marketing campaigns using Tiktok and Facebook for 12 local businesses over two months. "We are thrilled to be working with Northern Commerce again this year. The hands-on experience this project gives students makes them industry-ready upon graduation. We couldn't deliver this kind of education without our company participants and our generous sponsors. Everyone is very excited to see what the students put together this year." says Liz Gray, Fanshawe College professor. 

Students get an opportunity to learn from the experts at Northern Commerce, an industry leader, named the 2021 Google Premier Partner of the Year for two awards. “Our goal is to provide students with fundamental learning experiences to help launch their careers while sustaining local businesses,” says Corey Dubeau, SVP of Strategy at Northern Commerce.

“Participating in the Northern Digital Marketing Challenge jump-started my digital marketing career. By working on an actual digital advertising campaign for a local business I gained valuable skills that I still use today.” 

- Ashley Skillings, Fanshawe College Alumni and current Digital Advertising Coordinator at Northern Commerce.

“I’m so happy to have the strategic marketing support from the students participating in the Northern Commerce Competition with Fanshawe College - a team that knows and aligns with my goals and brings high-level digital marketing skills into my business is invaluable in helping me take Wheel Easy to the next level. It’s also great to give competitors real-world context in which they can apply their expertise - Fanshawe College has given me so much as a student and an entrepreneur, I’m glad to have this opportunity to work on a mutually beneficial project.”

- Dennis Ho, Founder of Wheel Easy

The following is a summary of the 12 local businesses included in the 2023 program:

  • Evergreen
  • Can-i Wellness
  • Alzheimer Society of Alberta & Northwest Territories
  • North 40 Paws
  • Smitty's Woodcraft
  • Booch Organic
  • Reimagine Co
  • Cutting Edge Dance Studio
  • London Sports Injury Clinic
  • Wheel Easy
  • Chalkboard Publishing
  • Stratford Badminton Club


Alison Spehar
Senior Director Marketing, Northern Commerce

Joanna Dales
Corporate Communications Officer, Fanshawe College

About Northern Commerce

Headquartered in London, Ontario, Northern is an integrated digital solutions agency helping brands navigate digital transformation. Our solutions help brands grow by optimizing their digital customer journey. From initial engagement to conversion, we enhance their audience’s digital experience to support their commerce objectives.

For more information on Northern Commerce, please visit

About Fanshawe College

Fanshawe College is one of Ontario’s largest colleges, serving students with a promise to educate, engage, empower and excite. The College has over 200,000 alumni and attracts students from 100 countries every year, opening up a world of possibilities through more than 200 degrees, diploma and certificate programs, along with apprenticeship training. 

Located in London with additional campuses in Simcoe, St. Thomas, Woodstock and throughout Huron and Bruce Counties in Ontario, Fanshawe College has been providing excellence in academic learning and industry training for more than 50 years helping people to unlock their potential and achieve success.