Participation Soars at Virtual Boot Camp

Manufacturers agree that a robust marketing plan plays a strategic role in their short- and long-term growth objectives. But finding time to develop or update a plan can be challenging. So to make marketing content more accessible, CIRAS offers on-demand training using recordings from its successful Digital Marketing Strategy Boot Camp series.

“I’d talk to lots of people who wanted to come to our boot camps but maybe less than 30 percent would actually make it because they just couldn’t be gone from work two solid days,” said Paul Gormley, CIRAS growth project manager. “I was constantly competing with ATOT—’All the Other Things’ that people must do. When we went virtual, we saw a significant increase in participation. It can be tough to find a time for an in-person event that works for lots of people, but everyone can be available asynchronously. They can watch the recordings and schedule hands-on time with instructors, all at their convenience. They still get all the instructional content of the course, but they can take their time with the practical application of their learnings, spreading it out over days or weeks, instead of hours at a time-limited boot camp.”

Introducing concepts over time also makes it easier for participants to absorb information and share it with colleagues, Gormley added.

“A lot of information is provided at the boot camps,” he added.  “With the recordings, you can go back a year later and look at the index to find the spots in the videos that describe how to solve the problem you’re currently having.”

Boot camps are designed for people who were hired to do marketing and just want to do it better as well as those who interact with a third-party provider. Topics covered include overall marketing and digital marketing strategy development, web and e-commerce development, search engine optimization, pay per click, social media, email and video marketing, web analytics, and conversion rate optimization.  Participants learn the strategy and tactics of the given topic and how to use data to modify or strengthen their current methodologies, all under the guidance of an instructor.

“Communication with the instructors is vital,” Gormley said.  “The nuance to the application of the best practices to your situation is the key to success. Not every application of a tactic, even a very successful one, will work for all companies or with all markets and personas.  In other words, you might understand how a hammer works, but unless you know how to swing it properly, you might just end up with a big dent in a piece of wood next to an undriven nail.”

Boot camp fees are charged on a per company basis to encourage groups of people to attend. Gormley said groups tend to make better progress towards a goal than individuals.

CIRAS will continue offering in-person camps but on a limited schedule based on demand. The current library of recordings is regularly evaluated, as well, to ensure that current topics are addressed.

For more, contact Paul Gormley at or 319-721-5357.