15 years of experience in telecom: Megafon, Beeline, Rostelecom, Yota.
— You moved from Yota to CarPrice. Why did you do it? Why this area?
—It didn’t matter which sphere to choose, it was just necessary to change something. I worked in telecom for almost 15 years: Yota, Megafon, Rostelecom, Beeline - I wanted to immerse myself in a new area. It’s great and cool to go to some Yandex, Google or Apple, and everyone is like: “Wow, cool!”. But this is not at all interesting, because brands and marketing are already built there. And all you can do is correct something. And to go to those areas where there is a field for restructuring - that's cool, you immediately see the result.
— What are you responsible for in the company?
–For communication and branding. But you need to understand that the brand is present at all points of contact with customers and employees, including in the product, offices, internal communications, etc. In CarPrice, I have two key tasks for the next six months: improving the effectiveness of communications and developing brand positioning. In the future, there will be tasks to rethink the product and the main points of contact with the client.
— How do you measure your result and do you measure it at all?
— It depends on the specific situation in which the business is located. There is a business that needs retention or growth, there is even a business that is interested in a small drop in revenue while reducing the marketing budget several times. Now CarPrice has a target for growth. Growth, both in terms of image characteristics, and in terms of the influx of quality traffic that affects all conversion levels and financial results.
— Were you afraid of losing your expertise when changing industries?
– Any person is afraid to change direction. I had experience working inside an advertising agency as a new business director, which helped me to make sure that marketing is not as specific as many people think.
Tools in 90% of cases are of the same type, the issue concerned the approach and prioritization of these tools for a particular business and market situation. There is no special media for pharma or the car market - these are just the correct settings for the same tools.
At the same time, there is an understanding that in the near future we will transfer the lion's share of work with performance tools to artificial intelligence. Already at CarPrice, we make many marketing decisions based on neural network data, and in the future, thanks to the construction of a high-quality attribution model, we will be able to completely transfer control of some conversion channels to AI. But marketers will continue to be held accountable for the important part – making mistakes. All innovations are mistakes that break the norm and rules. Generation of new ideas, experiments - this is what marketing will always do. Therefore, changing business for me is a territory for experiments, new ideas, and new mistakes.
— You’ve been working for Beeline, Yota, Megafon. A lot of people have passed through you - how do you think we, as a market, are experts?
— Expertise, I think, is growing. The good news is that now the transition from the agency business to the client side - and vice versa - is the norm. There is an exchange: before it was two opposing sides, but now complementary ecosystems are being built: the agency gets access to financial results and can see the impact of its work on the business; the client is more involved in the development of a strategy or creativity. There is a mutual penetration into those areas that were previously closed on both sides.
Technology also enriches knowledge. Now we get many answers that took months of research to get in a couple of days: semantic analysis after the fact makes it possible to build positioning hypotheses, and targeting capabilities help to test creative solutions very quickly and quickly rebuild the course of advertising campaigns, increasing their effectiveness. Perhaps this can serve as evidence of the growth of professionalism and expertise in the market.
— What does the partnership between the agency and the client mean for you?
— Partnerships mean a high degree of trust in each other's expertise. You are completely open, not afraid to be stupid in some situations. This is communication on the same level with people who are simply listed in another company and are in a different room, relatively speaking.
— In such a model, it is normal to conclude a long-term contract, and not for a year/for a project. Otherwise, why should so many resources be invested?
— I think so too. Now those tenders that will be held in CarPrice will be for at least two years. Because teams usually need at least six months to understand the specifics of the business, and it often turns out that you just reach an effective level of interaction, you have to arrange a tender again.
Agencies need to understand that in addition to the marketing team, there is “Purchasing”. They have become part of the process of constantly minimizing the cost of whatever it is. But that doesn't work, especially in the realm of ideas and innovation. In large companies, 30% of the work of a marketing director is spent on proving, substantiating his position to “purchases”. I believe that agencies should help marketing directors build relationships with the purchasing department. You need to start a discussion, try to explain the problems of all participants.
— How do you interact with agencies that are responsible for the result, and not just for ideas?
— Our agencies see the main business results. I consider it wrong to hide the results of the overall work from the agencies.
— How to get to you in the tender?
— For the first, you can just write to me in any way possible. I try to answer all letters and messages. But, to be honest, I’m against the participation of a large number of agencies in the tender. I don't want to waste either the agency's resources or my own. My approach is: the minimum number of agencies is 2-3 with which I had experience, and 1-2 experimental ones.
—Tell us more about the inspiration that you draw for the examination: conferences, professional literature?
— Communication with people of different professions or with some unique experience inspires me. Marketing is about psychology, about influencing people. I try to communicate and look into related areas. The future is in science and art - their interweaving gives rise to the future of marketing. And of course, communication with "colleagues": agency owners, creative directors, teachers, marketers - everything changes very quickly, so you need to keep your finger on the pulse and learn everything firsthand before it all appears in beautiful presentations and video cases at the next conference.
— What do you recommend reading?
— Kotler, Ogilvy, Trout. What Kotler wrote in the 60s or Ogilvy in the 50s is still working, you need to start with the classics, lay the foundation for a correct understanding of marketing and advertising. Once every three years I re-read Kotler, and every time I find something new.
— Who do you consider to be experts in marketing? Who is worth following?
— I like “Dodo Pizza”. For them, the client is above all, and they hone interaction with him to perfection. They want not just to make money, but to make a quality product. A unique product with a unique customer experience is a brand to keep an eye on.
You can follow the people from “Rocketbank” - the guys now have many different projects around the world, but in Russia you can pay attention to “Kukhnya Na Rayone” or “the Collider” coworking.
In general, it is useful to re-listen to an interview with Steve Jobs in 1980 and understand how much he had a long-term vision for the development of the brand. He initially built a strong ideology at the level of human values, which few people still do, and these brands are on everyone's lips.
— Last question. Give some advice to marketing directors.
— Trust your agencies, partners. The marketing mix is not only on the business side. In the current situation, a marketing director is not able to do something on his own in the constantly changing market conditions, tools, and technologies. Many laugh when I say that in the last advertising campaigns in which I took part, another 300, or maybe 500 people, in different departments, different agencies, did full-fledged 360 with me. Therefore, you need to look for partners and colleagues you trust. You need to believe in people, trust them, and then everything will work out.