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Marketing Bootcamp - a one week seminar at University of Economics in Katowice

Louis Havriliuc  //  05.03.2014

This is a summary of the first 2 days of the course. See what happened in Days 3 & 4 

Day 1 

We started with 15 students coming from various backgrounds (all business studies disciplines). After I introduced myself and Simbound I asked what do they know about e-Marketing/inbound marketing. They responded saying they have received no prior lecturing on that so I searched for Inbound Marketing and used this image from an SEOMoz blog post to offer a quick roundup to the range of inbound marketing methods out there. 

After that I briefly described the three channels available in Simbound: website management (&analytics), paid ad inclusion or what we term as search engine marketing and e-mail marketing. Once I showed them how the system works I just sat back and observed their initial experience interacting with the simulation. This was for the first time I actually sat in the same room with a group of students who is using the game for the first time. It was an incredible experience. Although I can’t understand Polish I observed how excited and motivated they were to start working on their online marketing campaigns.

katowice students

We concluded by simulating 1 round of results and then I went on and started to explain the results of each team. All of them got a ROAS over 1 (with one team getting exactly 1) so this was a great first attempt, especially when you consider  that a few hours ago they haven’t even heard about these concepts at all. This is the power of Simbound - it puts internet marketing learning on the fast track. it’s amazing how people who were complete novices started thinking about targeting, budgeting and ad inventory optimisation the same way a real professional would. We ended the day on a friendly note and agreed for a more intensive day tomorrow.

Afterwards I went to visit the Nikiszowiec district which was built for the coal miners in the early 20th century. Many thanks to Slawomir Smyczek from the University. Polish hospitality is not just a myth - it is something which lives up to the legend. Thank you Slawek, I had a great time ! 

louis havriliuc and slawomir smyczek in katowice

Day 2 

Today was the day when we really got down to business. With three rounds scheduled for the day I knew it was going to be demanding  but at the same time I wanted students to get into the action-outcome feedback loop specific to simulation games. They needed to start thinking about higher level concepts such as the consumer journey and taking a combined approach with the different elements of the campaigns. 

Some of the questions were quite interesting: why is my quality score so low even if I had a 3.5% CTR. This student team had an average ad position of 1.1 which means that they were getting a sub-par CTR threshold for that keyword at that position. Then I explained how the compound quality score metric is calculated and why engaging your ad audience is important for this. 

At the end of the three rounds 3 out of the 5 student teams managed to get a profit and I went through each team's results and offered feedback on their individual situation while also offering recommendations for each team and talking about how this would fit in with online marketing operations. Most of them were suprised when I let them know that there is software which can generate thousand of ads just by uploading keywords or optimize your spending as campaigns unfold but they quickly understood the value of what we were doing when I said that even if you’re using such advanced software you still need to get a hold of the basic concepts. 

Towards the end I quickly ran through the e-Mail marketing operations module , talked about the importance of building a quality e-mail list and used a few case studies belonging to our own Simbound e-mail marketing operations. What a day ! 

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