Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hi there, I'm Aida, and I'm CEO & Co-Founder at ProDigi. Let me tell you our story.
In a world overwhelmed with digital marketing offers, you have a 0.01% chance of establishing a company that will become one of the local market leaders in 3 months and will be able to become internationally competitive. But when you gather a group of digital enthusiasts who love digital marketing, just like Kanye loves Kanye, share the same values and approaches for the common goal, the impossible becomes possible. Look at the results - we are one of the fastest-growing advertising companies in the industry.
We provide digital marketing and production services worldwide. Our primary services involve Video Production, Social Media Marketing & Paid Advertising. ProDigi's in-house production team offers cost-effective, high-quality video content with full service.
Our team consists of digital marketers, copywriters, designers, and videographers who are continually finding new ways to narrate our clients' stories. ProDigi excels at building laser-targeted campaigns with expertise in developing, displaying, and modifying paid advertising services. Our expertise allows us to help you with a custom social media marketing plan, increase your brand awareness and recognition, generate leads, and impact sales through Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
Starting in 2017 with our 5-person team in an 18-square-meter small room, today we have a 29-member amazing, creative, and intellectual professionals, a 200-square-meter digital home in Yerevan, and sales agents in the UK, Norway, Russia, and Georgia. Our services are provided in over 12 countries, including Australia, the USA, Canada, UK, Singapore, New Zealand, Germany, France, Poland, Israel.
Having gone this far, still thrive on being even better and bigger.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I've always been fascinated by the idea that it's impossible to be successful without being passionate about your profession. ProDigi has been established based on the same principle - we adored everything about digital marketing literally. However, we faced an issue with an appropriate work environment to make our dreams come true. I got an offer from my partner to establish an organization and insert his business skills and professional experience to run a digital business.
The first and most crucial point to understand exactly who your customer is because targeting everyone is the same as targeting no one.
We were sure the essential part of the beginning is understanding our purpose and the values we provide. And no matter what, stay loyal to our mission. Business overall seeks the environment of self-improvement through customer feedback and market trends, so we stayed open to modifications to help us evolve. In the track of time, our inputs gave outputs and a better understanding of our chosen path.
As we all know, the beginning is always the toughest. We worked 24/7 because the same team was engaged in service design and CRM, not to mention the administrative jobs. The essential part was to keep in touch with the founders constantly to discuss and consider more efficient ways of working, measuring, and minimizing risks. The hard work eventually paid off! A month later, we managed to develop unique tools for our customers, such as branded mini-games, social media interactive contests, AR games, etc.
Simultaneously, our company has become the top one Digital Marketing Agency in the local market. The most outstanding achievement in this phase was the signed partnership with Porsche and Audi after only 1.5 months, which inspires us to work even harder.
Although, as a personal matter, we have struggled financially at the beginning due to high-salary secured job losses, the overall company's financial fluctuations remained stable and even experienced growth. Various organizations worldwide utilized our digital solutions, while the long-term and mutually beneficial relationship with them played a core role in our company's gradual development.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
Initially, we believed that no one could be an expert in everything. Therefore three years ago, we started our journey by choosing SMM as our first service, where we hold more than 8 years of experience and excellent knowledge. We offered local middle-to-large businesses our service from strategy to performance analysis, applying all the knowledge, expertise, and resources on SMM as our first launched product.
Product development requires continuous research and improvement, so accordingly, we mainly focused on ProDigi's presence on different social media platforms. The product launch was implemented by the "Something great is coming" campaign, and we conveyed direct messages to our targeted audience throughout the campaign's frameworks. The success of SMM was based on two key factors - creativity and measurability. We comprehended that the internet's information flow with banner blindness was enormous, whereas the existing tools have an efficiency-reducing tendency in those conditions. Branded games for social media operated successfully as we deliberately concentrated on adding value to user-generated content and created a more interactive tool.
A short time has passed since this product became the most favorite for both clients and users. Adhering to this approach, we have developed an alternative method of emotional communication, qualified leads generation, and raised brand awareness - the technology of branded advergames in social media. The first games were created in 2017 and spread virally, exceeding the pre-defined KPIs by 2.5 times. Five months later, the ever-striving program led us to expand our services in addition to SMM - measurable digital advertising and digital production services worldwide.
Describe the process of launching the business.
As I mentioned, the digital business launch's first step was positioning our presence on the web. We have started a very budget-affordable company with efficient and high-quality solutions. Our website's original version was created via WordPress - the cheapest and the fastest option.
Afterward, we began working on product development. Our initial strategy to attract new customers was based on B2B direct sales. Of course, the vision is to provide services all around the globe, but we needed to take everything step by step - from local to global. We needed our products to match the international standards after getting recognition locally. From the perspective of effectiveness and lead generation, our original website was not expedient to serve global customers.
Therefore, almost one year was spent on new website creation with a custom-created design and programming. The successful new website launch gave origins to online sales and differentiated sales directions.
The biggest lessons learned from the process of starting - multitasking and running ideas on different projects during a daily routine may result in the accumulation of the development process, which is the absolute opposite of your original goal. That's why you need to have a clear vision of your current location and prioritize your short-term goals to reach your future destination.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
The first and most crucial point to understand exactly who your customer is because targeting everyone is the same as targeting no one. As a consequence, you wasted your time and experienced financial instability. As our first task, we defined our buyer persona, and based on that, formulated our marketing and advertising strategy. Furthermore, to continue attracting customers, a significant contribution was the website creation, which increased sales by 80%.
Having a website is crucial for every business type, but when you also want to control sales via a website, a 100% customized, trustworthy and high-quality website is required. It's worth mentioning that it is not a one-time process, which means that we've been consistently working on website optimizations to maintain customer loyalty since then. We continue working on different clients at different stages of the buyer's journey and pay a lot of attention to testings.
For lead generation, paid advertising tools alongside organic growth, analysis is the best strategy for us, of course doing everything with the same passion, compassion, and style. And that combination with added creativity is the formula we imply. But lead generation is not enough to sell products. The potential customers need to realize that they receive value and give it back to us. The market presents clients with attractive and diverse offers, and customers often hesitate to make a final decision. Most importantly, you need to earn their trust. We guarantee maximum transparency and 24/7 professional assistance to answer the client's questions or concerns during every production process stage.
Clients can also stay informed about the previous and current clients' reviews about us and get in touch to get a reference. The client's satisfaction and the indeed surpassing results are our number one priority. Our team does its best to reach the following and never stops learning, analyzing, and improving.
Annually, all the specialists in our company participate in mandatory certified training in Google, Hubspot, Hootsuite, Facebook, and LinkedIn academies. After completing the program, they get a certificate. One of our career achievements in 2020 was the participation in masterclasses by international organizations such as Cannes Lion, Ogilvy, Paddle.
The gained knowledge and skills are applied to Digital Marketing, SMM, Video Production. All these experiences directly influenced the creation of long-term cooperation with our clients. More than 70% of our clients come back to continue their new projects with us as a trusted partner.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Even though 2020 was a year of struggle and hardships for most businesses, our company gained an opportunity for unprecedented growth. Presently, we undergo fast-paced development boosting the company's financial progress.
Talking of numbers: our company's gross margin is 27%, which is planned to increase to 35% during 2021; the profit margin is 16%; the acquisition cost is $320; ROAS is 468.75%.
Facts from digital marketing: avg time on site is appr. 5 minutes, the conversion rate is 3.36%, total social media followers are appr. 11000 (Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter).
Currently, we are working on new product developments. In 2021, we plan to launch 2 new products, expanding our cooperation in the US, the UK, Canada, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand.
Our main purpose is the extension of customer service and providing customers with new and unique digital solutions. Among the short-term goals are website redesigning, branch opening, and international creative festival participation with our existing cases.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
I keep learning new things 24/7 in various fields, starting from administrative to business development. During this process, the failures and mistakes were unavoidable while working with the staff, developing the products, and marketing strategies.
The most important thing I have learned was not to give up because of failures or stay demotivated. On the contrary, this should become a turning point for the creation of something better. An essential issue in team compilation is to select such people who really love their profession and are eager to add extra value to the company. One of the critical steps in business development was my flexibility and adaptation to changes without stress.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Tools and Platforms are mostly used in our activities.
Management & Communication
- Trello - Task Management
- Slack - for team communication
- Hubspot - for CRM & Marketing Solutions
- Calendly - online appointment scheduling
- Adobe Creative Cloud (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Character Animator, Premiere Pro, etc.)
- Cinema 4D
- Spark AR Studio
- Lens Studio
- Google Web Designer
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
I will highlight Harvard Business Review as most useful for my professional growth. Here you can find the most interesting books and articles on business, management, marketing, planning, etc.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?
My advice to new starters is not to be scared to take risks, not to get demotivated because of failures, and to remember what they have started their business for. The essential component for business success is to realize your values and missions, without which there seem to be no perspectives.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We’re looking for a flexible, creative, and ambitious scriptwriter to write, edit, and review video scripts. Must be able to generate great ideas and write scripts/treatments for a wide variety of client’s products and services.
Where can we go to learn more?
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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