Interview with the CEO of Digiscope Media: what makes Digiscope Media unique and basic dos and don’ts of digital marketing
Starting a company in a very competitive market and especially during COVID crisis can be a proper challenge. Mostly people saw the situation only as a crisis, but in business it means a new type of demand. The year 2020 gave a big push to digitalization and created a new meaning to digital presence. How to seize the opportunity and adapt to the new normal, speaks up the CEO of Digiscope Media – Rainis Vares.
Who are you and what is your role in Digiscope Media?
I am Rainis, the CEO of Digiscope Media. I am responsible for ensuring that all clients who come to Creative Union get a good solutions, which means that they can have a high-quality digital presence and a systemic way to develop it further. My job is to be essentially on the side of the digital system and to be a so called „bridge“ between ignorance and consciousness. Customers have their own opinions on what they want to do, but they don’t know how to do it nor how it technically works. For that they come to us.
What is Digiscope Media?
We make complex solutions simple for our clients, in other words we create simple systems with which they get the necessary solutions to their problems. Digiscope Media is a youthful and sympathetic agency, who provides complete solutions for the development of the entire digital environment.
“We help simplify complex ideas and solutions.”
Tell your story – what is your previous work experience and how Digiscope Media was born
I started as an intern in Swedbank, where I was an administrator in Forum’s branch. From there came a good experience in this direction that every client is unique, every client’s needs are unique. Clients could have similar problems, but they each have their own approach and system that suits them. Next I moved to the back office, where I helped client managers systematize their documents, essentially I was a manager/assistant in the back room. If you write and study these documents enough, you’ll learn from the mistakes made and implement the learned solutions in your work even better. That way you don’t make these same mistakes, you already know how to prevent them and know what to ask. Then I was advising business customers in Swedbank issued lines of credit. From there to SEB, where I was a financial adviser. I dealt with corporate issues and essentially was a large corporate executive.
Then I started going to the Innovation Centre, where we talked about digitalization. There was such a nice and inspirational environment. One could say that at that moment I found my passion for digital marketing. There was a professor of the European Academy of Innovation who gave lectures, he was able to influence me so much in that direction that digitalization is the future and it’s inevitable. I sat there for a year and listened to what was said, at the same time I invited clients to also get innovative there. It provided a good basis for digitizing customers’ needs as a profession. That was the moment I decided to start my own companies. So we created Maitrix OÜ, which is a construction company, and there I had my first direct encounter with marketing, digitalization and the process of starting a company.
Immediately after this I moved forward to a company called Vurr Digital where I was a strategist. The role of the strategist was all that I actually do now. Then I became a member of the board in Vurr and helped Vurr and Newton to join, which was done succesfully.
At that moment I felt it was time to find my own path in marketing and Digiscope Media was born in March of 2020. After we got Digiscope Media up and running, we started a company such as Global Digital Arenas, whose purpose is to serve an international event marketing client who wants to do events simultaneously in several cities at the same time. In other words, we created a new innovative solution for connecting customers during COVID.
Describe a moment you felt proud of Digiscope Media
I would say the speed how fast we got Digiscope Media filled with new clients. It was a giant moment for us when we got so many clients that we had to pause our internal marketing and focus only on our clients. This turning moment was relatively chaotic but so worth it. Another proud moment was when we started working with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where we created new landings and helped carry out the Global Business Summit, which was, to be honest, really awesome.
What has been your favorite project?
So far my favorite project has been Global Virtual Solutions, because when we created the domain and started to fill it, we did not yet know what exactly we were planning to do, but 6 months later the results were mindblowing. It is a continious cogwheel that never stops. In my opinion it is a great case study on how to do an export campaign, how to bring in a foreign client and how to do International business. GVS was essentially made in 1.5-2 weeks. Then we thought: “Well okay, Let’s figure it out and do something great. And we did, big time.
What has been the biggest surprise for you?
My biggest surprise was that you could still start a digital agency in 2020 and become successful even though there’s a lot of competition on the market. Our advantage is that we appreciate each client and offer a personalized solution. When you dedicately cooperate with clients, it actually reflects on the outside world as well, especially in Estonia, where word spreads very fast. It was really surprising that everyone knows everyone, competitors communicate with each other and even recommend different agencies.
My expectations have been greatly exceeded for the first year. Ignorance has become a carrying role, never know what the future will bring, especially given that Digiscope Media started operating during COVID. Not long after Digiscope started, Estonia started lockdown, but we were still in the office working. One could say we were saving the world in our own way, because we helped clients move their presence to a digital environment and without that they could’ve gone out of business during these difficult times.
What is the best part of Digiscope Media?
Best part of Digiscope is our team, which is amazing. We have a very open environment and we are open-minded. All the work we do, is in the form we approve and want. Every day we learn and grow, because in the digital environment nothing is permanently fixed, our team is very open in this direction too and understand that development is the engine of sustainability. We have to feel good in our everyday lives to do good in other areas as well. Life is awesome and we try to enjoy it as much as possible.
How would you describe our team and our work ethics?
We are a team who works passionately, professionally and we help prevent clients worries and think ahead. I like the mentality that the client does not have to worry about every single thing, we are here to advise and help. In other words taking some of the weight off of our clients’ shoulders. We are always honest with our clients, even when time’s are difficult.
“Simple, fast, professional.”
What are your objectives for Digiscope Media in 2021?
My objective for 2021 is to bring in more clients who also want some kind of PR solutions, social media and events. We would like to be the anchor agency for companies that want universal marketing solutions. When a client comes to Creative Union, we would like to be the first door the client knocks on, because we help fixate the focus and the rest of Creative Union agencies would implement our strategic solution. To do this, it is necessary to act carefully, strategically take small steps in that direction, so that people can understand our value, get to know us, understand what we offer and what our services are.
My task as the head of the agency is to offer such an outlook of Digiscope that our clients and partners can understand what is our purpose, when to come to us and what high-quality solutions can be implemented. An important part is to never forget to look at the whole picture of the client to see what is the real source of their problem. Do we solve the fact that the client has some kind of communication errors, lack of internal resources or simply they do not have a strategic plan at all. We will help to think it through and implement long-term cooperation with all channels where they would like to make themselves visible in order to increase sales for example. Often the main focus indeed is on sales because we live in capitalistic world where profit speaks for itself and increasing profits is always pleasing to see in the eyes of the customer.
How does it feel that Digiscope Media is soon turning one year old?
It is a good feeling, I am really proud. In my opinion the survival time of a company is one year, because if during that time there has been no progression or development that would give motivation to continue, then I don’t think it really makes sense to keep running that business. Altough we have had a difficult year, we have succeeded.
What is your first memory of Digiscope Media?
When I created a landing for Digiscope all by myself. Then I hired Kevin, who is our lead designer, who looked at it and said humorously that it is not acceptable at all, it belongs in the trash. And it is completely okay, because I do not see myself as a super human who can solve everything on my own. Instead I believe that behind every great solutions is a great team.
One of the basic principles of marketing communication is that you need to know your client, you need to speak the language of the client and be able to put together solutions that best suit them. I find that you can’t do all of that alone because you don’t have anyone to discuss it with and see multiple perspectives.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment is creating Global Virtual Solutions Web and helping event marketing agency Royal Experience to expand, which would have otherwise gone bankrupt because no physical events took place. The company is now on a new journey and already has 40+ people working there. In comparison, before GVS there were 7 employees. It has progressively grown and I think it has happened all due to the fact that there has been a good digital presence and massive coordination between all parties involved.
Who inspires you?
My greatest mentor has been Madis Laas, who has helped me build Digiscope Media. He certainly is the kind of innovative person who has great ideas and who is always worth listening. Madis has a long-term experience in managing, starting and developing businesses, profitability, numbers, accounting and etc. He is helpful, very smart and his advice has been most valuable in every way, because he sincerely wants everything to go well and other people grow through innovative ideas and brings new way of thinking – which is all appreciated.
How would you define success?
I define success according to whether it brings happiness and generates positivity.
What drives you?
When we have everything done in time and with high-quality. Also when people say thank you for what we have done for them. That makes me the happiest. A satisfied client is going to recommend you to other potential clients. The aim would be to make each client create new leads.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
– Thomas Edison
Digital marketing in the year 2021 and the do’s and don’ts
What is the situation in digital marketing today and what new norms have developed in this industry?
The new norm is that marketing solutions cannot be taken as individuaal solutions: different detailed solutions must be combined to one big solution. For example, you can no longer just do social media and hope that sales will grow. Instead, social media should be supported by a good web as well with good SEO and communication so that people could find you in every way. If you have combined SEO, SEM and all other activities as a single strong component of the whole system and all these components will start to work for each other, then you will get significantly better results. The keyword is to expand different variations, not just one, but several solutions at once. And, of course, testing – you must test your clients, copies, visual solutions and etc. It is necessary to keep variation in constant change in order to find out what works best. In the digital world everything is measurable, which means that everything can also be analyzed.
3 common mistakes made in digital marketing
Not mapping out your clients’ needs. One of the main mistakes is that companies focus more on how to sell instead of their clients’ needs. You should find answers to questions like where is your client, what clients expect from you, what do they actually need, what does your client value, what channels your client uses.
Don’t be afraid. To increase your business’ growth, you need to use call-to-action. Don’t be afraid to invite the client to buy your product or service.
Inadequate SEO. Your web content is not applied to SEO or SEO is not done at all. It is a critical yet really common mistake. You should never skip SEO, because the first place, where the client will look for information about you, is Google. Whether we want it or not won’t change the fact. In order for you to be visible in Google, you must deliberately work for it.
3 recommendations for successful digital marketing
Fix your back room. Before you start with any kind of communication, fix your back room, which means that you think about your visual language, create or update CVI if needed, think about whether your language is clear and understandable and whether it brings out the best. If you have fixed your back room, then you can think about everyday follow-up activities that support the brand you have created.
Don’t stick to mainstream channels only. My suggestions is not to stay only in mainstream channels but also look for new channels. Search for channels that are niche channels, because 2021 is definitely very open and supportive in that direction. People should look for more niche channels, where there is a specific need. Especially when it comes to export campaigns, because if, for example, you want to enter German market and want to stand out in Google, it may be very expensive. Instead use alternative channels in German environment with a niche solution, which are also a cheaper solution. Such channels are definitely worth to be searched and tested.
Content is king. It doesn’t matter how much content you produce, but in fact, what value the customer will get from that content. The development of a valuable and high-quality solution takes time. Link building is also an important part – people, pictures, companies should be referred to. In the digital environment, it is always important that your talk is backed up with another’s. I recommend you to find similar thinkers.