Event report: Online Marketing Event

Event report: Online Marketing Event

When Marketing meets the digital era
On the 27th October, the first edition of the Online Marketing Event took place. The focus was largely drawn on the use of new technologies in the marketing function. The two partners of the day, namely RockBoost and Expand Online, are both important actors in this large online trend. 

A significant location
The first edition of the Online Marketing Event was hosted in a very significant location, namely Rotterdam’s CIC (Cambridge Innovation Center). This branch opened three months ago and just like its headquarter in Cambridge (MA), it aims to enhance natural connections between people from different companies working in the same building.

An outline of the day
The event started with brief presentations by both companies, explaining their respective activities and providing some key insights on their identity as a firm. After that, some participants headed to another room for RockBoost’s case, while some stayed to participate in Expand Online’s case. Each participant was assigned a workgroup number. Group 1 to Group 5 first participated in RockBoost’s case, while Group 6 to Group 10 worked on Expand Online’s case. Participants were given approximatively 1h to solve each case with their teammates. They were then expected to do a little presentation in front of the company’s representatives. The best group per case and per period (morning and afternoon), was awarded a prize. They were given the opportunity to have a more personal encounter with the company whose case they had won.

After the lunch break, the groups switched cases. 

Further key elements were presented afterward by both companies in a talk that was open to the public. The event finished with the social drink that occurred on the ground floor of the building.  The chance was given to participants to ask further questions to the professionals in an informal environment.

Expand Online
Expand online is a rapidly growing online marketing agency, that ambitions to develop internationally. Its motto, “Hous pocus, keep the focus”, has helped the company to channel its workers’ effort towards specific achievable goals. A strong belief in data also characterizes Expand Online. Moreover, they value the combination of complementary skills (such as IT and commerce). 

Expand Online’s case focused on the purchase of keywords to become a top result when those words would be typed into a search engine (in that case Google). The difficulty lied in the level of convergence that was desired combined with the budget one was ready to spend. Participants had to come up with the optimal buying strategy to maximize the revenue for the case’s startup. Winning teams successfully identified precise keywords, and associated them accordingly to the different customers’ phases. 

In the final brief presentation given, Expand Online further developed the process of smart bannering. Keywords are used as a strategy to target customers in specific phases. The focus was once again drawn to the importance of data in this type of online marketing.

RockBoost is the first Dutch Growth Hacking agency and located in Rotterdam. Its customers range from high-potential startups to corporates. The company aims to help its customers achieving exponential growth by using various means. They can offer an educational service (in the form of workshops for example), act as consultants or provide software. With the term hacking, the process of finding a weak spot in the system is designated.

RockBoost’s case was centered around one of their clients, Cocoon. This young startup adopted the concept of an online meeting website, to serve the needs of young professionals by displaying job offers that match their skills. The case aimed to develop a method to gain more customers with the use of channel stacking. Different traction channels (such as viral marketing or offline events) had to be used. Winning teams provided solutions that matched the small budget of the startup. Furthermore, they focused on the activation phase where most of the potential customers were lost.

In the final brief presentation given, RockBoost presented one of its case, their strategy for Dotcontrol. The use of prizes as well as A/B testing was thoroughly discussed. Participants were thus given an additional opportunity to glance at a real-life situation.

Last remarks
All in all, the event was a great success. Representatives from both RockBoost and Expand Online celebrated the excellent organization of the event and were pleased with the participants’ enthusiasm. Robert Verbeek from Expand Online was particularly impressed with the real business solutions that were presented for the case. He also remarked along with Willem Blom (Expand Online’s founder and director) that with this success, the event should have been started even earlier. Moreover, they pointed out that such an event allowed students to go beyond their education, “into our vision of marketing”. They also indicated that it was very interesting for their hiring strategy.  Niels Zee from RockBoost was also very satisfied with how participants picked on the case and hinted that the company would be very interested in joining again next year.
On the participants’ side, the event was branded as very informative. Furthermore, they were pleased to put into practice what they learned in their education years. The cases were very practical and it allowed them to think of business solutions in a more realistic environment.  Their expectations were met in a very satisfactory manner.

The Online Marketing Event was a great success and it will certainly come back next year. We were very happy to have such motivated participants. We are looking forward to seeing all of you at our next events!