This past Wednesday, we wrapped up our latest Digital Marketing Strategy Bootcamp in Toronto. As always, my favourite part of the event is the final exercise of the day: The Guest Client Brief. For this activity, I bring in a senior marketer from a different organization to provide students with a ‘real-world’ problem to solve through digital marketing. The students work in groups to apply the lessons from the day in order to address their particular brief and share their responses with the class. The Guest Client (and I) provide feedback to the students and—painstakingly—select a winner. The Guest Client Brief has proven to be a fantastic exercise to engage students after an intense day of training. Why? It turns out we all want to win.
For this past Bootcamp, I fanned the flames of our intrinsic human competitiveness by inviting Jordan Markowski of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) to join us. Jordan is a Digital Strategy Lead for MLSE and has overseen many impressive programs for the Leafs spanning social media, CRM, augmented reality, and in-venue digital activations. He shared with the group some of the unique challenges that MLSE faces and a number of valuable ‘digital’ lessons that he has learned along the way. Having Jordan as our Guest Client also allowed us to create teams rather than groups, and the competition was fierce!
Participants were divided into different MLSE teams (e.g. Leafs, Argos, TFC), and assigned team-specific briefs. In a short period of time, a number of smart ideas were generated that spanned the full playing field (pun intended) of digital services, content, social, advertising, and direct. In addition to the competitive group dynamic, I find that it is also motivating for students to work on briefs that are aspirational and outside of their own day-to-day roles. Seeing how your own experience readily applies to solving business problems outside of your own company or comfort zone can provide you with a renewed sense of confidence.
In the end, the scrappy Raptors Team was victorious—but we all won. Thank you to Jordan for your participation in the Bootcamp, your involvement was instrumental to its success. Thank you as well to everyone who attended and supported the event. The Bootcamp was another sell-out and 100% of participants would recommend the event to a friend (all completed surveys are posted unfiltered here). I am currently finalizing plans for another Bootcamp in Toronto before the summer, until then – game on!