In November 2016, Dmitry Gupalo became a co-founder of cheapmedia. In February, an IT-startup was invited to the Tyumen Technopark.
1tmn: Dmitry, tell us what it's like to open an advertising business in a crisis?
Dmitry Gupalo: (smiles) To create a company today is not a problem. Here is the fundamental point: there was a hypothesis, and I really wanted to test it.
Create a marketplace from regional advertising?
Basically, yes. Marketplaces today are popular with a certain audience. You not only get all the goods and services in one place, but you can compare products with each other. Create a media plan and launch it on air, paying for advertising under an offer contract.
How did the idea come about?
The idea was long ago, five years ago. There have already been attempts to create similar projects, but here it is worth paying attention to two important points: how to implement and when.
Then there was a growing market: why expose the product at transparent prices, if it is sold for almost any? And the prices were constantly growing. Now the growth has stabilized, the competition has grown to the limit, everyone wants to get the client through different channels. And now is the time for cheapmedia.
The second point: cheapmedia is not the next aggregator of price lists. Unlike them, we form packaged promotional products, which can be customized in a couple of clicks, compare, create a media plan and buy under an offer contract without unnecessary papers. For beginners in advertising created an algorithm that will select products for the purpose and audience of the client. Epoch "you tell us about yourself, and we will prepare an offer for you" goes away. Algorithms have replaced endless briefs. The robot collects the information and immediately gives out the result - it happens in any office in Digital. We will do this for offline and now we are studying api in digital-sites. According to our plan, the client should have a single cabinet for all advertising.
And how does advertising space go?
Now in the catalog cheapmedia there are products of all types of media, the range is constantly updated. 80 percent of the Seller project is interesting, they allocate a person who will add new products in their personal cabinet and accept applications. By the way, special offers that appear in sellers will also be on cheapmedia - it's easy to manage in your personal account. Sometimes, sometimes they take a break and study at first - this, after all, is a new product. There were several cases when we were released by sellers who did not have a sales department, they offered an exclusive for their resources.
Another important point: now the audience has blurred in different channels and finding a replacement is not difficult. We with the seller are negotiating in such a way that from its prices make an understandable and effective product. All promotional products we bring to uniform standards, so they can easily be compared with each other. Moreover, often in prices there is an inflated price - this is a feature of some sellers that give big discounts. We put only market prices, that is already at a discount. It is important that when the advertiser checks the price directly, the seller's price does not differ. Otherwise it will not work.
Now we are negotiating with neighboring cities so that we can plan advertising for the whole region.
Is there a conflict? After all, "not very good" promotional products will look unprofitable?
Service themes and it is convenient that it offers only those products that solve the client's tasks and fit the audience. And if he gave out two similar products, they are easy to compare and choose the best.
Yes, there is a conflict, but how can I influence this? If the advertising product is bad, it is in any case difficult to sell.
And take the commission from the advertiser?
No, we are paid by the seller. As well as to the manager. The application comes to him for the finished product. The labor cost of the Seller is less - you do not need to create a presentation, do not have to plan for media planning, just put it on air or send it to the press.
Now in the catalog cheapmedia there are products of all types of media, the range is constantly updated. 80 percent of the Seller project is interesting, they allocate a person who will add new products in their personal cabinet and accept applications
You said that you are the co-founder of the project. With whom and how did you start?
We started with colleagues. Everyone was infected with this idea. First I invested my 60 000 rubles in the first version of cheapmedia.ru. But I realized that this was not serious, the product was damp, it required refinement. Then, I started looking for investment. In one of the conversations with Artem Androsov from "OPORA RUSSIA" he told about the project. He brought me with the company "Kapinvest 21", which invests in IT-startups. So we attracted the right amount to create an MVP (minimum work product - Ed.), And for two months made a working version. In early December, a test opening was held, and immediately made the first sale of the main business model - the advertiser himself chose and designed. Also, several deals were concluded on the model of attracted agents. In parallel with the opening, they took part in the marathon of start-ups, organized by the FREI ("Fund for the Development of Internet Initiatives." - Ed.). There we were invited to the fund accelerator. Now we work and study in parallel.
And who are the customers of your service?
Now we have three groups of customers. The first is a company in which there is no marketer. Usually this is an employee who also deals with advertising issues. For him, cheapmedia is convenient because he knows exactly what he needs, and time for document circulation, there is no agreement. He makes out an advertising campaign online in all environments in a couple of clicks and pays under the offer contract.
The second group is marketers who need tools for media planning in all environments, data for analysis, and timely reporting. That all tools are in one place and accessible at any time. Sellerers are already ready to provide reports by default, and not on demand.
The third is agents. Adverts are waiting for advertising. The agencies are already looking for new business models. And we tested one of them. Cheapmedia, as an aggregator, is small enough commission to earn, because all processes are automated. The rest of the commission we give to the agent for the fact that he accompanies his customers through our service. Previously, it was necessary to register a legal entity for this, enter into contracts with sellers, study their products, conduct bookkeeping, use the services of a lawyer. Now there is enough phone and an account in cheapmedia.
It is important that all customers are clear and comfortable. We tested media plans created using the cheapmedia designer on different clients. They sent through messengers to the post marketers and directors in other cities and even countries. It was necessary to achieve that it was understandable and convenient, and we achieved it. By the way, during the tests we made several deals.
You're talking about standardization, but what about non-standard advertising?
If it can be packed into an understandable product - it can and should be placed in the cheapmedia catalog. And if not, then, most likely, the seller herself will not be able to sell her. After all, the sales department must understand what it is selling. Now there are startups who have learned to "pack" contextual advertising. Digital agencies pack their services. For example, fine-tuning of targeting advertising is sold as a separate service. And if the client has a product designed for a broad audience, then he buys the number of contacts, taking into account age and gender. The time of endless briefs is over, the production of promotional materials and one-page websites is already packed into products and there is a catalog of cheapmedia.
And how to analyze? After all, the advertiser needs customers and an understanding of how much is their attraction?
The convenience of the service is that the audience indicators were not on demand, but by default. An advertiser can put numbers on his sales funnel and count the conversion. Not the advertiser asks for, but comes with full sweep in the personal account. Now we are negotiating with the ether monitoring services, so that their developments are integrated into the advertiser's office. And the reports and "broadcasts" will request the system by default and store them also in the office.
What are your plans for the near future?
Now we scale the project in the Tyumen region. We conclude contracts with advertising platforms in the south of the region. In the near future we leave to the north: in the spring the audience of the northern regions starts buying real estate and land, and in the summer to travel and rest. Therefore, we want to prepare the site in advance, so that Tyumen advertisers could talk about their products and services. We start work in Surgut, Nizhnevartovsk and Khanty-Mansiysk and other cities.
Next, we will train the robot so that it will only give out the most suitable promotional products to customers. In addition, we expand the functionality for generating reports.