Pavel, how would you briefly summarize the year 2022 for the company?
This year covid continued. It was still an uncertain time, followed by war, energy crisis, inflation and many other things. Nobody expected all this. It affected all of us, just as the world of e-commerce. Despite all this, however, we managed to grow. There were 15 of us at the beginning of the year. Now we are a team of 30. The investment from Reflex Capital played a large part in this. We financed about half of our growth ourselves, half from investment. This year has been challenging and successful at the same time.
Do you stand for the "office" or the "home office"?
We are back in the office and I believe we will meet more often than just two days a week. The best things are created face to face, at lunch time or during some random meetings, where you chat with a colleague and it turns out to be a divine idea. I'm definitely not against remote work, but I think it's hard to build a big company if we don't meet physically.
What was the most important thing that happened in your life?
I managed to be mentally and physically well for the whole year. I really really appreciate that. I think that as a leader I should set an example, play a support role that does not collapse under the weight of small and big things. The goal was to keep myself fit, eat healthy, sleep well, etc.
Looking back. What has 2022 brought for PPC Bee?
The biggest change was our growth. Although we had to say goodbye to a few people, almost two dozen professionals joined our team. We manage to keep turnover of people at minimum, which is really great in these uncertain times, especially when the market is crowded with startups.
Many people have joined our Product team, developing PPC Bee. At the beginning of the year, the team was relatively small, now it is much bigger and much more professional. I can say the same about the Growth team, which takes care of Sales, Marketing and support. There, too, we have better and more experienced people who move the company forward.
The most difficult moment for the company this year?
Probably keeping calm, positive mood and morale. It was important to convince the team that we are not afraid of our existence. The field in which we work makes a lot of sense for the future. Automation is not just a buzzword, people want to do work that is created for them and has some sort of a meaning. Automation takes away the boring work. But it's also about the fact that, to a certain extent or size, automation will allow things that have not been possible yet. And this was important to pass on to colleagues. Despite these negative influences, global e-commerce and the popularity of automation are growing.
And what are you proud of?
Definitely to our great team. As a founder, you have to do everything yourself in the beginning. You understand the most about UX, marketing, SEO and more. But at some point you start to let go. Because someone will come along and give you a hard time in that area. When I hear a recording of a meeting with a client, I'm so excited that I couldn't have ever done it this well. They're just better at it. And I really enjoy that.
What changes took place in the company after the investor's entry? Where do you invest?
To people. It is important to have a quality tool. You need top developers for that. And then you have to show, introduce and sell that tool to those brands. For this, you need quality marketing and, above all, businessmen who already have experience in conquering the world.
Tell us what 2023 will be like for PPC Bee?
It will be a huge challenge. We want to conquer the world, that's why we are working on "Business Machine". It is absolutely necessary. Everything should be measurable and scalable. The goal is clear: to get as many clients as possible, also from abroad.
In 2023, we will also reveal the result of the rebranding that has been going on for almost a year. It is also related to expansion. After all, PPC Bee is no longer just about PPC, so we have found a new and really cool name.
At the beginning of the year, we will also release one major application update. Until now, it worked in such a way that clients came to us to work with their data, create campaigns, but then go somewhere else to evaluate them. And then came back to us to edit the campaigns or data again. Well, that will change. We're rolling out so called Actionable Analytics, and it's as cool as it sounds. We use data from analytical and marketing systems. All in one place. But the essential thing is in that “action”. You will be able to influence, label, boost, fix, change many things directly in Analytics. Sounds cool, huh?
We will develop the new reporting with additional features. One of them is called “a KPI setter". You will be able to define and set your own metrics and goals, which the app will track to show you how much you are overachieving or how far you are behind the plan. An incredibly useful feature. Every other agency programs its own system, or somehow struggles with it in Excel. This will be very easy with PPC Bee.
When will we see the rebranding happen?
I think it is still in the category of soft deadlines, i.e. those that can be moved. But if everything goes according to plan, then at the end of Q1. We would like to run under the new name during Q2. We are all looking forward to it. So much work no one has seen yet.
Where do you think automation is heading to?
There is quite a misconception that you will deploy an automation solution and immediately start getting more profit. Automation offers solid foundations on which you build something that was not possible before or can be done much more efficiently.
Automation will continue to spread in the whole marketing industry. I will give an example on Google. It's long gone that you ask what Google can do for you. Rather, it's about what you can do for Google. Give him the data. If you give him a conversion goal and enough data, then the algorithm will bring better leads and clicks. It's all smarter. And the same goes for PPC Bee. Give us enough data, play with it, build an automated campaign structure and results will come.
Will marketing ever get to the stage where you can launch all ads by clicking one button?
We are quite already there. A lot of basic things can be set this way using various tools or directly in the onboarding of advertising platforms. It can work to some extent for a small company. But this certainly does not affect the advanced part in which we operate. Like AI, automation will never replace human knowledge and experience. It's about the right use, when automation is your partner.
What presents did you get for christmas?
We haven't given gifts in our family for several years. It's more about the meeting and the family atmosphere overall. I would very much like the war in Ukraine to end already. And I also wish that all people had far less stress in their lives. Despite the war and personal problems, we live in a wonderful time that offers endless possibilities.