— What management and control tools do you use in your work?
— In the partner network, we receive a lot of information every day. There is an endless stream of information – it can be compared to the autobahn in Germany, where the speed is 300 kilometres per hour, you have to make decisions quickly, and the fate of the company depends on how correct the decisions you make are.
To analyse properly, you have to constantly ask yourself: what did we do before, what are we doing now and what should we do next? To answer these questions, we use many tools.
For example, we conduct long-term planning with the help of PowerBI, development and review of processes – also with the help of this programme.
To understand what we have done in the past and what is happening at the moment, we use end-to-end analytics tools. They help us analyse the situation in our work with partners – webmasters, advertisers – and over time draw conclusions, see what activity we have done and what results we have obtained.
It is important to set tasks, for this we use the Ukrainian product Worksection. What is interesting is that Worksection also successfully helps with sales.
We also use Confluence, one of Atlassian’s products. It helps us to collect monthly reports by departments, form our knowledge base, which we plan to revise in the future and make more adaptive for new employees.
Some of our processes are automated with the help of robotic scripts, which save employees’ time. There are processes that should be done on a regular basis, and it is not reasonable to use people’s hands to do these routine moments.
And of course, the base is Google sheets. I don’t know who can give up this tool, except the one who created something similar to these tables, i.e. invented the same bicycle. The thing to realise here is that the number of documents you work with has to be limited. If you create a new document every day, they will accumulate and no one will go there – this will only cause more problems than solving issues.
When plans are created in the company and you start to move on this Mind Map, you may later see that the goal was set incorrectly. It is necessary to abandon it in time – to say, yes, we made a mistake, let’s better redo the strategy and move in a different direction. You don’t need to go all the way to the end to realise that there will be no result.
And if you use these conclusions in further work, in planning, the company suffers losses. In other words, you have to approach everything with your head.
It is not something you have heard on forums “this tool helped me”. You can gather a bunch of tools on the 3rd, 5th, 10th forums and think that if you use them in the company, there will be growth. But if it does not correspond to the strategy, the result will be unexpected.
— How was your work organised when you joined the company? What has changed since then? How has the company developed?
— I will speak not only for myself, but also in general about the development of the company and processes. At the beginning of any company’s development, a large number of processes can be performed by several people. We were no exception.
That is, you need to understand whether your business concept fits into the market, whether it can compete. And then you have to develop.
As the company developed, a large number of specialists appeared who took on certain tasks, which helped to make them of a higher quality. The results became better.
We also changed our approaches to working with partners. At the beginning of our work we had some KPI where we tried to achieve some goals, but after a while we realised that we needed to focus on something else. For example, quantitative characteristics are not always profitable, you need to look more at qualitative characteristics, so we made a focus on them and then mixed them.
These are all constant processes when developing a company that you change, because only with change does a company develop. If you keep looking in one direction all the time, you’ll end up coming to a standstill rather than finding a place where there’s money to be made.
— Did you get into arbitrage right away? What areas did you go through before getting into this niche? Was there anything similar related to affiliate marketing?
— At first I was planning on going into construction. I wanted to be an architect, I was very interested in engineering – making calculations and so on. But after graduating from the institute I realised that I was more interested in everything related to computers, because since my childhood I could disassemble a computer and install any software. This suited me better, so I went into digital. I was involved in everything related to the development and promotion of websites on Google, Facebook, and then there was Yandex. Then SMM emerged as an activity – I was one of the first to develop this area and sell these services to clients. We explained to clients at the beginning that if you didn’t have a website, it meant that your business didn’t exist, which was difficult for many people to understand. Then the same information was explained about social media – people didn’t yet believe that you needed to be on Facebook or Instagram to increase sales.
After a while, I was introduced to the niche of arbitrage, namely merchandise. This was around 2015 – I’ve been familiar with this field for about 8 years now, and I’ve been doing it more professionally for the last 4-5 years. So, in general, my journey started with digital.
This area turned out to be interesting for me because it is more dynamic. Every day there are tasks that need to be solved. And this is not a question of not having planned something, but of the fact that the market is so dynamic and creates such conditions that you are forced to solve tasks that you have not faced before.
— Who in your team does the job better – guys or girls? Is there a difference?
— I can’t single out who in the team is better or worse. First of all, because in our team we have all young people and all specialists in their field, only with such people we work.
I can say that before setting a task to a girl or a guy, you need to clearly understand how many processes a person can work on at the same time.
It is natural that girls can do more tasks at the same time. This is due to physiology, in girls even the vision covers a greater expanse than in guys. That is, a guy only sees what is in front of him. What is on the side, he can no longer see. You know those memes on the internet about how a man can’t find something standing sideways in the refrigerator door? And yes, this trait is noted in tasks, in work, in processes. So when you set a task for a guy, you need to understand that he needs to set priorities, to mark what to do after what, so that he does it gradually. At the same time, a girl can set 2-3 tasks at the same time.
So, in the end, I can’t single out who is better, it’s a question of the approach to work.
— How important is the role of the team in the support and existence of a successful affiliate program?
— I recently heard a thought and I liked it.
I very much agree with that. If you take the One Partners team, I can say that the guys here are passionate about achieving results.
There are questions about working hours, when people ask, “What time do you work from?” Of course, I answer that I work from 10:00 to 18:00. But when such a question is asked by a professional who has been on the arbitrage market for a long time, I want to ask him in response “how long do you think you should work?”. You understand that in arbitrage there is no concept of a standardised work schedule. You must always be in focus, solve some issues, because it is not a machine that switches on at 10:00, automatically switches off at 18:00, and everyone goes to rest. Everything is happening all the time.
That is why the team and its composition is one of the most important factors influencing the development of the business and the product, and it is the team members who determine the fate of the company.
— Are there any tips for a successful team interview? What do you pay attention to when choosing a candidate?
As far as successful interviewing is concerned, first of all, you need to understand what tasks the company sets when it is looking for a specialist. You may get an interview in a company that has decided what parameters this or that candidate should fulfil.
Sometimes very weak candidates can be considered, juniors who just realise that arbitrage exists, but they are highly motivated. I have seen such people who came and stated that they would work for free, but they really wanted to gain knowledge. The company would go ahead and take these workers, firstly to see if they are telling the truth about their focus on results, and secondly to see what happens. If everything coincides, the person turns out to be a very good specialist, who then gets a big salary and becomes one of the key employees of the company. So it all depends on the person and their desire to get into the company.
But in general, if you really don’t fit the company, there is no need to create negativity. After some time you may meet these people in another situation, the sphere of arbitrage is not widespread and is kept at the expense of famous people in the market, paying maximum attention to this sphere. You have to behave adequately during communication, because later they may ask you if someone came for an interview and what they told you.
What is taken into account at the interview?
Even if he is a good specialist, we realise that he will create a bad atmosphere in the team and thus have a negative impact on the results. That is, we won’t even talk about what he can or can’t do.
There are also additional hard skills that can be reached, learnt, and for this you usually need to learn the base.
So, in general, understanding what it takes to qualify for a particular job is important.
— Which work tasks do you like to do more, which ones less?
— I find it difficult to answer. I like to immerse myself in processes, find out why we do it, what a certain process gives us in terms of financial benefits, because the task of every business is to make money, not just to gather a good company. I like to understand the mathematics of each process, to calculate its payback, to optimise these processes.
— What departments do you have under your command, what tasks do you give them, how do you check their work?
— We have a technical department, which is headed by a lead who is responsible for the reliability of all technical aspects of data transfer, an affiliate department, a financial department, an account department, a PR department, and a media buying department with which we work closely.
If we talk about cooperation between departments, we have, first of all, planning in the company and the goals we set for each of the departments. Control happens through CRM systems, task setting. We can control the readiness of processes and expected deadlines for their fulfilment, for example through the aforementioned Worksection.
Some processes are built in Mind Map, some in Google sheets. Usually there are non-permanent processes in the sheets, if they are permanent, we move away from them, because usually they are test processes that are decided to be left in the company.
— Is there a CRM spreadsheet template for gambling?
— I recently wondered why there is no CRM for arbitrage. I started monitoring the market, searching the internet to see if anyone had already done such a thing. I looked through several forums and found out that there really is no such thing. Then I thought – why not? And finally, I realised that there are now a large number of products that can be adapted to your needs.
For example, we have a CRM Worksection, with which we have been working for a very long time and only recently started to adapt it for sales. Why only now? We didn’t even think it could be used, we were using Google sheets, which weren’t very user-friendly. Plus, when you set tasks in different CRM for one, second, third person, then you just grab your head and realise that you have a complete mess.
You can also use end-to-end analytics across the bay. You’ll see in all the charts and graphs what budgets are being cast, what the profit is, and other information.
But to do this, you need to systematise yourself, your work. Decide that every day you need to do a lot of reporting, first of all, to yourself. So that this tool can count your profit, analyse all processes.
It should be understood that the correct entry of all data will help to find out where you are and what awaits you next.
Regarding the template of the table – someone has one template, another has another. It is impossible to get and pass information. Finally, there are processes we can’t share, and there are processes that won’t work for you.
— Where can you learn the basics without water?
— Firstly, you need to understand what kind of base we are talking about. Basic knowledge can be found in the public domain on the internet, but if we are talking about practice, then of course you should go to Arbitrage Up. Take courses, with a coach you will be able to start “from A to Z”. You will see how buyers work, you will be able to test, make creatives.
There is a lot of information on the Internet, but if there is no systematic approach, there will be no results either. So before you study anything, you need to develop a structure, a plan, according to which you will receive this information. For example, sequentially – technical part, creatives, pouring campaigns, etc.
If you’re a non-systematic person and don’t understand the field at all, it’s better to find a mentor or a school to help. Keep in mind that more often than not, people are not very willing to share information unless you are a relative or friend without financial motivation.
— What are the top tips for a buyer at a startup?
— Go to One Partners and pour in it. Generally speaking, the more relevant answer to this question will come from a bayer.
— Where is it better to pour into gambling – Facebook or Google?
— This is actually such a rhetorical question. What you pour from, you pour from.