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I had the pleasure of attending Rocketfish’s first ever seminar held in Manchester. Rocketfish (@RocketfishSEM) is a Search Engine Marketing Agency led by the director, John Bonney, who also happened to be presenting the talk that morning.
The audience consisted of around 20 attendees, ranging from small business owners, to digital marketers of larger companies. The morning’s session aimed to cover the key areas of digital marketing.
How was it different?
So far, it all sounds like any other marketing seminar, but Rocketfish’s event was a breath of fresh air for several reasons
Because the session was only an hour and a half long, John stated that his aim was for each person to come away with just one piece of information that will benefit them.
To tackle this aim, John asked the audience what we wanted to know in particular and what areas we wanted him to cover. This was a great change of pace from the usual “I’ll do my presentation and you can ask questions at the end”. Unfortunately, the downside to letting the audience run the show is you are sometimes subjected to basic or silly questions. My favourite of the day was “What’s the point in marketing on Facebook? Don’t people just write about what they had for tea on there?”. Despite these type of questions, I thought it was a great way to ensure the audience are taking away as much as possible.
One attendee questioned if there was an online community hosted by Rocketfish in which the audience could all ask questions and discuss topics, Rockfish didn’t have a community, but stayed true to their promise when they said they would create one. The next day, attendees were emailed this Facebook group, which had been specifically created for us.
At the end of typical seminars, I have learned to brace myself for the upcoming sales pitch at the end, or the endless emails which come afterwards, just checking you don’t need their services. Obviously, Rocketfish weren’t holding a seminar for the good of their health; as John noted at the start, it’s to raise awareness of their services and their brand. But this was the only hint of a sales pitch. Rocketfish seemed to understand if we wanted their services, we’d know what to do. This left the session on a high, as opposed to usual sales dampener at the end of similar events.
What did I come away with?
A nice little analogy from John to explain the difference between unpromoted social media and promoted social media advertisements.
Using a Metro newspaper, John pointed out the adverts that appear alongside articles. These adverts are placed in order for as many people as possible to see them, whether the audience wants to see them or not. This is how paid social media advertisements work; they are displayed next to the content their audience wants to see, and the advertisement will most likely be ignored.
Classified ads, however, are actively sought out by an audience they want to be sold to and they are going to the right place to do it.
Although a simple analogy, I thought it was a great way to show the link between old media and new media, and how marketing tactics used are essentially still the same, just on a different medium.
Rocketfish held two identical sessions in the same day for the convenience of attendees. I think they could benefit by differentiating between the two by holding separate sessions for beginners and advances. This would ensure beginners don’t get lost in terminology and advanced marketers don’t have to cover the basics.
I would absolutely recommend attending a seminar hosted by Rocketfish, even if you are a digital marketing expert. The events are very social and a great place to network. The interactivity of the morning made it stand out from the crowd, and John genuinely seemed to care if the audience gained any value. I’ll be first in line for Rocketfish’s next seminar, so I’ll see you there.
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