How to sell the context: without a budget, more expensive than the market and on its own terms
How we started: don’t know the rules – play your own way
Before I started doing agent business, I worked in an in-house. I did not like sales managers, I thought that the main thing is more traffic, and at times I suffered from perfectionism – this is typical of many conscientious specialists when they consider other people’s money. As a result, we made a bunch of different interesting automation for internal use, some of it later floated into the public.
Then, when I began to count my money, taking up the agent business, it turned out that infrastructure development pays off for a very long time – and making 10 rubles from one is sometimes easier using the “Chinese method” using cheap and well-regulated manual labor.
However, this is lyrics. The bottom line was that in 2014 the construction market resembled a man who was shot in the back of the head – he fell sharply, right away, and did not move anymore. Therefore, money for marketing in the company began to be sharply missed – this was a good enough reason to take the team with us and make our own agent business, having no idea how it works.
So, what was at the start: a team of 12-15 most loyal employees, with purely in-house competencies, raw regulations, a rather poor idea of how the market works, where to take customers, and how to convince them to give you at least as much money how much is needed for salaries.
True, there was one “but”: there was a service. There was a Yandex.Metrica keyword database MOAB PRO. It generated a stable stream of applications – both from customers who bought the database but did not pull the marketing themselves, and from those who were sorry to buy the database for a dozen samples, and it was easier to buy a ready-made service.
It was on the example of this service that I learned an important thing, which I then extrapolated to my other and partner projects – packaging. From the word “packaging” it smells like business schools, smiling coaches who have only recently learned to use a razor, success without labor and such nonsense – I hate this word, but everyone uses and understands it – so I will have to.
To be honest, the correct name for “packaging” is mythology. In this context, “mythology” does not have any derogatory connotation. This is a set of media activities that provide an introduction to the target audience, on the basis of which people can think up and create in their heads the image of your product that suits you.
Example: I am not writing an article on how to correctly attract hundreds of applications per day from the context and SEO. I write about what we did when we attracted these calls and it turned out that we cannot process them normally. The reader thinks up the thought “this guy knows how to attract leadgen” based on my information. I do not need to convince him of this, this is his independent conclusion.
Therefore, at the first stage, the most obvious channel for attracting applications for me was content marketing: conferences, articles, webinars. But a sales driver was needed, some key advantage that firmly draws a person into interaction with the agency.
Forecasting became this driver: we decided to offer our customers a free forecast of traffic, budget and applications based on the free semantic core. At the time of launching this marketing structure, there were continuous minuses and no pluses:
at least 10-20 hours to compile a semantic core and forecast for one application, even before we receive the money,
possible errors in forecasting,
“Fraud” at the expense of market colleagues ordering such forecasts,
incomprehensible forecast – check conversion,
the inability to predict the conversion of the site – and therefore the volume of applications.
But there were pluses – however, we learned about them much later.
How we made traffic forecasting, budgeting and requests forecasting with a sales driver
So, every entrepreneur wants to know where the pheasant sits, that he will be given investment in advertising. This completely natural desire in most cases encounters some obstacles. There may be several options:
a) A forecast of the results of the work will be given, but with openly declared errors (ranges) of 50-100%, as a result, such a forecast is only formally, it is impossible to build business planning on it.
b) They will give a forecast of the results of work, but the values in this forecast will not be drawn by PPC specialists, but by sales department specialists: “okay, does the client have 50 requests a day? Draw him 100! ” Further inconsistencies are handled by the legal department.
c) Forecast of work will not give.
Entrepreneurs, in turn, are distinguished by the fact that they want to operate primarily with money and applications, and it is most difficult to predict them, since the practical significance of conversion after working on traffic and the appearance of landing pages is most often difficult to predict.
Thus, on the one hand, there was a supply vacuum in the market – no one made normal forecasts, on the other hand, it was caused by objective difficulties in creating them.