Steven Ayres, CEO and founder, Rocket55


Rocket55 CEO and founder Steven Ayres expects rapid growth in the Minneapolis-based digital marketing agency’s search engine marketing business to continue this year. Ayres attributes that growth in part to Rocket55’s strategic approach to search engine marketing, or pay-per-click advertising, targeting gaps in organic search results

“Our focus is to continually test and experiment with things that we think will get more qualified eyeballs to a website and ultimately drive the cost per acquisition down,” Ayres said

Another selling point is Rocket55’s status as a Premier Google Partner, among only 2 to 3 percent of agencies that manage Google AdWords accounts with that distinction, Ayres said.

Ayres founded Rocket55 in 2007. Clients include Geico Honda, Turn Style Consignment and Mall of America. Rocket55 also offers web design and development and social media management. Content marketing services are available through Workhorse Content, a joint venture that Rocket55 and Level, a Minneapolis-based advertising, digital and brand strategy agency, launched in September. The venture advances Ayres’ goal of making Rocket55 a one-stop shop for digital marketing. Rocket55, which has more than 40 employees, probably will end 2017 with 55 to 60. The agency will look to grow through acquisitions with video content a possible interest, Ayres said.

Q: How has Premier Google Partner status benefited the company?

A: It allows us some tools, training and data that aren’t otherwise accessible. We have a dedicated team [at Google] that helps with insights and directions with client campaigns. A cool thing is that we get included in special training classes quarterly that we send our people to.


Q: How does Rocket55 approach digital marketing?

A: We want to stay on the bleeding edge of marketing technology. But we keep one foot firmly planted in old-fashioned values. I’ve tried to instill that in every person that I hire, that it’s important that we’re good partners with our clients and that everything we do goes through this filter of what’s going to produce the best result. One of our mottos is we measure our success by our clients’ success.


Q: Why is being a one-stop digital marketing agency important?

A: Our industry and the clients are moving in a more sophisticated direction of wanting to have one company that takes a holistic approach to all of their digital channels. If you have different groups working on different parts of that, I don’t think they can work in harmony as well. A lot of our success and growth in 2017 is based on finding those people who want to be aggressive about their digital marketing and want one shop to handle all of it.

Todd Nelson