Voluum. A tracker that 5,000 affiliates trust

ZorbasMedia is still in Krakow and today I’m
visiting Voluum ad tracker office. Do you have affiliates in-house? Is it technically possible to analyze traffic? With one single goal: show you where and how
the most successful and biggest tracker for affiliates is made. Here is our secret weapon. Oh, Armory. It actually says Armory. Armory, yes. I will try to answer why it dominates the
market. Then you introduced your $69 plan. Was that because you started to lose clients? So, I am here on this bridge because I have
been asked by Wiola. I believe that there is no single company
that could build what we’ve built here if you don’t have the right people. So, it’s all about people? Yeah. Because according to her there is no better
place to start an interview and here I come waiting. Hi! Hey, Wiola. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you too. Tell me firstly why that is the best place? I was thinking that you’re probably wondering
why I brought you here. Yeah, I am. The truth is that the sound of the river calms
me down. I’m a little bit nervous due to the interview. All right. Aren’t you? But also on our left side we have a beautiful
Jewish district and people that come to Krakow, they usually focus on the main center. It’s worth checking also, our two districts,
the first one is Kazimierz and the second one is Podgórze. So, I wanted just to show you around. Podgórze. Cool. Yeah, let’s do it. I would like to start our interview by asking
you this. What do affiliates use a tracker for? There’s a… Actually, this is a good question. Main thing is, of course, like, every affiliate
will tell you the same that it’s basically to organize all their media buying in one
place to save time. But having a tracker, it’s right now not only
for the tracking. So, all the trackers are getting more sophisticated. Even we are adding a lot of stuff that are
not so obvious in terms of the tracker, it wouldn’t be obvious, like… Like what? Like anti-fraud tools, things that affiliates
actually were using for a very long time, any third-party tools added to a tracker. And you are bringing that into one place? Now we are bringing everything into one place. All right. So, it’s more than a tracker now in a way? Definitely more than a tracker. Let’s get back in the days and tell me, if
you know that, how Voluum was created? What was the idea behind it? So, I wasn’t at Codewise at that time. I know this history from actually the owner
of the company. So, Rob Gryn told me about how it all started. Tell us. The idea was pretty simple, actually. Robert was an affiliate marketer struggling
for a very long time with other self-hosted trackers. The tracker that he was using at that time
was crashing a lot of time. He was losing a lot of money because of that. And when he started to scale, it was actually
a huge pain for him to maintain the servers, he was dealing a lot… he was actually focusing
more on maintaining the servers to make sure that the tracker won’t crash. All right. So, he commissioned it to be developed for
him? Yes. So, the initial… Or he developed it himself? So, the initial idea… At that time he was working on Zeropark at
Codewise. He wasn’t the owner of the company. So, he went to the team that was already building
Zeropark and he said that, guys, I need something that will actually address my main pain points. And the first thing was… there was, like,
a tracker built in two months that later on turned out to be super successful tracker. Right. Tell me this. Was Voluum the first tracker that is cloud-based? It’s actually a good question. I don’t remember because I wasn’t there at
that time in the company but I would say yes. Actually, fun fact is that one of our current
cloud-hosted competition wanted to buy Voluum. Competitor? Competitor. One of your competitors. All right. Wanted to but Voluum? Yes, at that time, when it was launched to
public. All right. For what price, if you remember? As far as I remember, it was 1 million dollars. All right. And Robert Gryn turned him down. So, Robert just basically said no. It was good thinking, actually. All right. Tell me how long you have you been with Voluum? So, it’s three and a half year now. And what is your main responsibilities? It’s changed recently. Now I’m kind of product. So, I’m basically with, along with the team
working on what we will build next. All right. So, you’re responsible for developing Voluum
as a product. Yes. You know, what I wanted to ask you and I have
always been curious to know, how many people are behind Voluum product, how many people
are you total? So, the whole Codewise is about 200 people. Specifically for Voluum, it’s hard to say
because we have teams that are working for both products. So, for Voluum and Zeropark like marketing
team. So, it’s splitted between. But in terms of people who are actually building
the product, so, engineering teams, we have four teams made of back-end, front-end developers,
also product management team. I would say… System administrators, perhaps? Yes, and so on. So, it’s about 100, but there are people who
are working on both products. Right. And in terms of just developers, how many
people do develop the project from technical point of view? So, there are also teams that are splitted
between, like, people responsible for security, but just for product, for Voluum product,
it’s approximately 50 people. 50 people. Yes. 50 developers. Wow. That’s a lot of people. Plus, some people who responsible for, as
I’ve mentioned, security, and so, it’s a little bit more than 50. What is the management structure that you
have? How do you… How supervision is directed? So, there is this sentence that you may hear,
Don’t be a corporate slave. We try to have a, like, flat structure. Of course, there are people who are managing,
like, leaders and so on, but… You are one of them? Yes, I’m one of them, but we’re working closely
with the team. So, there’s no, like, super direct management,
someone who’s telling you how you should work and what you should do. So, we’re, like, we’re working really closely. So, for me structure is still flat. You mentioned that famous quote, Don’t be
a corporate slave. So, your founder, Robert Gryn, put a banner,
a huge one, in the center of Krakow saying, “Don’t be a corporate slave. Join Codewise.” So, I wanted to ask what is different at Codewise
that doesn’t make you a corporate slave? Before answering that question, fun fact is
we’re actually sitting in front of the banner. So, it was there. It was there? Yes, it’s one of the the biggest advertising
space, outdoor space, in the whole Europe. So, it was… People were talking about this when it was
here. So, you knew that I would be going to ask
you that question, and that’s why you brought me here? Everyone is… People are very often asking about this. You told me that coffee here is just good. I’d say both. It’s also a fancy place in Krakow. So, worth checking that as well. All right. Back to the question. So, what is different. I think that’s… that’s that thing that
I’ve mentioned, so… Why you’re not corporate slaves at Codewise? Because there is no structure that’s, like,
we don’t have a direct manager who, like, tells you what to do. We very often work together as a team. And also the fact that we have this kind of
culture, a place, also a place. So, you will, you’re gonna see the office
soon. But there’s, there are plenty of places in
our office that remind you more of a home or, like, space not to only work but also
to live, to have this work-life balance. So, I believe those two things are crucial
part here. So, I believe you’ve seen Zeropark already. So, now it’s the time to take a look at our
Voluum office. I’m excited. Let’s go. So, this is… Where do we start? I believe here. This is where the magic happens. So, here we have our… All of them are magicians? Yes, all of them are magicians. Here we have our customer success team and
account management. What is it, customer success team? This is more like technical support and also
onboarding part. So, they’re working with our customers, helping
them understand the platform and working with them on a daily basis. Here we have our engineering teams and also
product management. So, developers are here? Yeah, developers are here and here is also
where the magic happens. And in terms of magic, how do you test your
product? Do you, like, run actual traffic? Do you have affiliates in-house? It depends, it really depends on the features
that we build. But we do have our beta testers group. We’re working very closely with them gathering
feedback because before everything goes to, like, to… Does he work here or there are just like some
external guys, affiliates who test those? Yeah, those are our customers. So, we have a group of customers for testing,
first, all the functionalities that we built. Right. We’re working closely, actually, you know,
the whole product management team works closely with them to, our goal is to better understand
the affiliate needs. And here’s our secret room. Secret room? Secret, secret weapon, I would say. Oh, Armory. It actually says Armory. Armory, yes. So… Oh my god. Holy! Wow! What is… I mean, that’s how you fight your competitors? Exactly, that’s our secret weapon. And it was originally built for the CS team. CS team, what is that? Counter-Strike. Oh, Counter-Strike. So, those are not real? Yes. We do also have our own map of the office. So, if you want to, if you want to shoot someone,
you can do it in the game. Online?
Online. Alright. You have your own map? For the Counter-Strike game? Yes, yes. Wow. That entire room is just for people to play
Counter-Strike here? Yes, but we also run meetings here. So, it’s not just used once a week when we
do have, like, gaming sessions but also we use it on a daily basis while having, discussing
topics. We do have projectors here and that’s regular. Kind of unique place to run a meeting. Yeah, it’s unique, yeah. And I wanted to get back to the question regarding
your testers. You don’t have or you do have affiliates who
work here? No, we don’t. We just, we’re just working closely with
our, with our clients. Right. Yeah, because I guess that is what people
are mostly worried about, you know, that you would analyze the traffic? Yeah, actually, there was a, there was a challenge
at the very beginning when Voluum was created that people were, like, worried that, you
know, we will steal the data. But, like, there is a trust that you need
to build at the very beginning when you, when you’re launching it. Is it, like, even technically possible to
analyze traffic that people run? Technically possible… probably is, but we
focus on building products rather than running our own, running our own ads. You know, the thing I didn’t ask you, when
actually the first beta was released? It was in 2013. So, it’s six years ago. Six years ago. Alright. This is the hero of the interview. Yeah. How does it feel to be a part of Zeropark
or Voluum or Codewise, whatever you prefer? What does it feel? I think she’s good. What is done right by management or your CEO
that people really want to work here and to deliver? Okay. I think that it’s not just about the management,
it’s about hiring the right people from the… So, it’s more like having the right people
in place, it’s not just about the management. I’ve heard, like, many times that you are
really focusing and you’re really taking seriously the hiring process. Can you just give me an idea what it looks
like? Is it anyhow different from any other companies? So, first of all you need to be sure that
the person is experienced. Mm-hmm. That’s a, that’s a one side of the coin which
actually all the, all people who are involved in interviewing know, but it’s also good to
have people who are motivated and I believe that kind of understanding the culture that
we have here, people who have this approach to, I don’t know how to say that… Let me help you. So, the first part is to be experienced and
the second important thing is to be responsible or..? Yes, to be responsible for what you do. So, due to the fact that we have this kind
of a flat structure also enables people to, like, plan their daily work. There’s not a manager standing behind you
looking what you’re doing. So, having people who are responsible for
their work is also an important part. How would you describe this, your company
philosophy that you have just mentioned? Oh God. That’s, that’s a, that’s a tough question. I have some. You have some. I would say that everyone would answer if
you would go to people here and would ask the same question, they will have a different
answer to that. What is yours? For me it is working with responsible people,
to be honest. And I believe that there is no single company
that could build what we’ve built here if you don’t have the right people. So, it’s all about people? Yeah. All right. Do you consider self-hosted trackers such
as FunnelFlux or Binom as your competitors or they’re for different audience? How do you perceive those? I would say yes and no. It really depends on the use case. There are affiliates with really totally different
needs, even though they run the same amount of traffic. It really depends on how much expertise you
have. Plenty of things that kind of influence your
decision which tracker to choose. But, like, trying to answer what is the most
important thing from my perspective, from what I know from our customers, it’s the trust
that they have. That’s the first thing. Of course, there are, like, I really like
this, we had during one of the conferences, we had this booth that was saying, Look what
our competitors will copy next. It’s also important to be innovative. Right. You mentioned booth and you don’t visit many
conferences nowadays. Is it a conscious strategy that you took or
something else? So, at the very beginning it was super, at
the very beginning of Voluum it was super important to attend conferences and we still
do so, but also people moved more towards online, I mean, we also moved towards, more
towards online advertising. Plus, there are also plenty of places to go
to advertise. Like what? To be honest, the biggest advantage of the
software that we’re building, the most important part is the word of mouth still. It was super powerful for Voluum from the
very beginning. So, you think that most of your customers
are coming because the word is spread..? Because of the recommendations. It’s not even about the referral program that
we have. So, if you’re an affiliate and if you want
to, like, refer Voluum to someone, you can earn money even on that. So, we’re using kind of affiliate marketing
in our… Yourselves. Yeah, for ourselves. And what is the most effective marketing channel
for you so far? I think that it’s good to be where your customers
are. So, conferences? Conferences and, of course, social channels
like even forums, being on Facebook, and be there where people are asking questions, where
they want to learn stuff. So, yeah, I would say that those, for me personally
it’s the most important part. Do you know what your marketing budget is? How much you spend on the marketing to acquire
new customers? That would be a question to our performance
marketing manager. To be honest, I don’t know. Before you introduced that entry pricing plan,
you increased prices some time ago. Was that because you were trying sort of move
towards enterprise level customers? In other words, work more with, like, teams
and companies rather than individuals? I would say that there were two reasons behind
that, one of which was that we invested a lot of time and effort into building more
sophisticated tools like, for example, anti-fraud kits, the AI that I’ve mentioned and a couple
of other things. And that was the first thing. But we made maybe not a mistake but our assumption
at that time was that everyone needs the same kind of tracker and afterwards it also…
we received a lot of feedback that we’ve listened to that there are people who have less sophisticated
needs, people who are just starting their, their, like, they’re starting their business,
affiliate business, who are more, you know, they’re looking for a more cost-effective
solution. That’s why we’ve came up with an idea to release
an entry plan which doesn’t have the AI or anti-fraud kit but it’s still enough for those
people who are starting their affiliate businesses. You said there were two reasons to increase
prices. The first one was that you introduced new
tools and the other one? The other one is that we also, what you mentioned,
we’ve started seeing more and more, like, businesses that were coming to us. At that time we also released collaboration
tools. So, it’s like another step. So, when you’re starting your journey you’re
basically working on your own but then we had more and more customers working in a team. So, that’s why… That was slightly move towards enterprise
level? Yes, right now I would say that we cover both
cases. Right. And after, then you introduced your 69 dollars
plan. Yes. Was that because you started to lose clients
or you just sort of wanted to cover every segment of the market? So, I got this question during the last conference
I’ve attended. I was asked by one of our ex-customers, ex-customer
about, like, release, like, doing the enterprise kind of plan, did you lose customers? There were people who left but even without
the entry plan they were very often coming back. So, it wasn’t, like, a huge, huge movement
towards other trackers, but there were people who are coming back saying, even asking about
discount, and this was also the feedback that we got that they really need the tracker like
Voluum but with reduced prices. So, they wanted to go back because other trackers
that they were trying to use had even the same functionalities that we had at that time
but it wasn’t the quality that they were expecting to get. Right. And what is the feedback so far? How is it going so far? Do you have a lot of clients on that plan? It’s growing super fast. But we are also adding more and more functionalities. To that plan or..? To that plan and to other plans as well. We’re still… What we’ve learned is that, as I’ve mentioned,
there are different needs. So, we keep that in mind while building new,
like, while expanding our functionalities. Do you remember how many affiliates use Voluum
tracker for now? Right now we’re about, I don’t know, it’s
hard for me to count, it’s growing every single day, probably right now while we’re talking,
but it’s about 5,000 customers. 5,000 customers? Yes. And do you know how many of those are on the
entry plan? This will be super hard to say because that’s
the, that’s the most popular plan at the moment. Would it be fair to say that small amount
of your customers generate you most of the profit? It really changes in time. People use, people tend to apply for entry
plan and then they, while they scale, while they notice some, that they have more sophisticated
needs, they move towards higher plans. So, it’s super hard to say. Of course, we do have a lot of custom plans,
people who are way above the highest plan that we have, like, public online. And I believe that this is also the advantage
of Voluum. So, the ability to scale. Right. I personally know people who are clients of
yours and they spend more than $6,000 a month. Do you have customers who pay even more? Yes, we do. As I mentioned, we have plenty of custom plans
that are just tailored to our customers’ needs. It’s mainly related to those affiliates that
are running a huge amount of pop traffic. But on the other hand, we also do have big
accounts that are just basically big because of the fact that there are multiple people
using one account. Another thing that I wanted to ask you regarding
to your users, do you know what is average revenue generated by a single user? If I will give you the average, it wouldn’t
tell you much because we… So, the lowest plan is entry which costs 69
and the plans that we have, those custom plans are generating way much more than 69. So, I don’t believe that, I don’t think that
the average will tell you something, how much revenue we take, we generate. Right, okay. So, entry plan, it’s 69, and your biggest
payers, how much approximately they might spend on tracker? I don’t think I can disclose this information
with you. Right, but we already know that it’s like
more than 6,000 or something. Definitely more than 69. Right, okay. What is the most important metric here for
you at Voluum. What is the most important numbers, in other
words, that you keep your eyes on? The most important number. That’s a good question. Me personally, I would… It’s, but it’s just me, it’s not about the
company. Whenever we launch something new, I always
focus to see how people react to the feature that we launched. So, I’m usually looking at success metrics,
what is the acceptance criteria. But I’m, like, very focused on the customers. So, that’s, I would say, that for me personality
it is the most important. Do you know what cloaking is? Yes. You recently removed traffic segmentation
by IP and user agent. Is that because people use that for cloaking? So, there are different ways of how to take
care of the cloaking part. The removing, the IP rule was actually related
to the fact that plenty of our customers are using Facebook as a source, and Facebook wasn’t
okay with the fact that we do have this part, this kind of thing in our system. That’s why we decided to be on a safe side
with Facebook as it is growing more and more in terms of… It’s actually the most popular traffic that
we have. Oh, so, Facebook is the most popular traffic
source. Right. What is your relationship to Facebook in general. I know that you have, like, kind of meetings
sometimes. So far there are no, like, close relations
with Facebook. The only thing that is like connecting us
is the fact that a lot of our customers are running Facebook traffic. Yeah, it’s getting more and more popular. It’s getting more and more popular. What is your philosophy here in general towards
this, you know, what is called gray advertising things like shady ads, in other words? So, if you take a look at the DSP site, for
example, we do have moderation. So, we work pretty much on moderating what
goes through our DSP. So, for this we focus to have a good relationships
with our ad exchanges. And the thing that we’re experiencing more
and more is that actually affiliates are moving towards, more towards white hat and this applies
not only to us but to the whole industry as a whole. So, do you think that you take enough efforts
to move the industry towards that white hat kind of things? Or it’s probably not your part of the business? I would say it’s natural, like… If you ask an affiliate who’s been doing this
business for a long time, he will tell you the same. So, it’s not real thing to… that it moves
more towards… I mean, like, in my opinion, if I sell, for
example, knives to, you know, to slice bread, it’s not up to, it’s not my fault that some
people might, you know, use those knives to stab people. Exactly, exactly. I’m usually comparing this to cars. So, I agree here with you. Right, right. You are among the fastest growing companies
in Europe. Yes. What generates more profit, Voluum or Zeropark? Ah… it also changes in time. So, it really differs. So, recently we’ve released push, which is,
as you know, getting super popular among affiliates. So, it’s also growing super fast. So, Zeropark took over? You need to always calculate the cost. And so, it’s not so easy to say who is earning
more or less. So, more or less it can be like 50/50? Yes. Right, okay. Has your profit been growing every year or
you’ve seen some bad times? There is, of course, a part of stagnation. So, at the very beginning when Voluum was,
like, people didn’t know about Voluum and the thing was spreading among affiliates,
it was faster, like, so, the growth was more significant when you compare it to the current
situation. But it’s kind of obvious because it was a
new product at that time. What was your growth in 2018 comparing to
2017 percentagely? Oh, I don’t remember, like, the exact data. So, it would be hard for me to answer. But there was growth anyway? Yes, yes. All right. Is this year going to be successful for you? Hopefully. I believe so. Right. What is the single thing that you learned
here working for Voluum that you will never forget? It won’t be related to Voluum, it’s more related
to people that are working on the product. So, the motivation that you get whenever you
go to work is, I mean, this is something exceptional that I’ve never had before. So, like, the fact that we’re working in this
kind of agile environment and also the fact that we’re working, the structure is pretty
flat. It gives you the feeling that this is a place
where you want to work. And this, with this, with the people that
you have next to you you can build great things. Mm-hmm, so… And in terms of product, it won’t be something… It is something obvious, but you have to listen
to your customers. All right. And what is your future plans? So, you’re responsible for the product. What we will see next or what you are personally
trying to achieve? So, I won’t tell you exactly what kind of
functionalities we are building because the competition… Right. …would like to know what they will have
to copy next. Yes, they are always listening. There are two things that are the most important,
I believe. Of course, there’s side of things that we
need to be always okay with big players like Google. So, if they will introduce something, we need
to adjust. So, that’s the thing that we also need to
keep in mind for most of the time. But those two things that we will focus on
right now, it’s first of all still working on fighting fraud. That’s definitely the first thing. And the second thing is also working on, so,
automation processes, maybe more sophisticated ones, more adjusted to the type of traffic
that you are using. So, I would say those two things. Do you have, like, proper scientists who are
focused on artificial intelligence here in a team? Because, as far as I know, it’s not an easy
thing. It’s definitely not an easy thing. This is something that we’re still exploring. And as I mentioned, there are people who are,
like, building things, building things that somehow address the artificial intelligence,
one thing. And second thing is convincing people that
with this kind of solutions they can actually earn more. So, doing whatever we can to make them trust
into what we build. Competition! I have asked as many questions as I could
come up with. Of course, I couldn’t cover everything. So, now I give you, our loved audience, this
opportunity and pleasure to ask more questions and they all will be answered by Voluum tracker. And the best comment will be rewarded by… One year of entry plus dedicated onboarding. So, to summarize it, comment on this video,
ask questions regarding to affiliate marketing, make it specific. The best comment will be chosen and the winner
will receive one year entry plan subscription from Voluum tracker plus dedicated account
manager. Why it can be useful, dedicated account manager? Because dedicated account manager can answer
more questions that you might have during the onboarding process, so. Great opportunity to start with affiliate
marketing. And, well, that was a pleasure. It was a pleasure too, thank you. It was extremely interesting. Don’t forget to subscribe to this channel. You will never see anything like this anywhere
else. ZorbasMedia. That was
the best. ZorbasMedia.


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