Olga Andrienko is one of the key marketing leaders who has grown SEMrush from 300k users in 2013 to 6 million the company has today. She speaks at major marketing conferences, is the Head Judge at Content and Social Media Awards across the USA and Europe.
It’s more important what you produce, not what’s behind the name ~ Olga Andrienko
We go live on our Agency Positioning Podcast with top-class experts like Olga every week and host live Q&A sessions.
00:05 Tell us about yourself and what you do?
01:45 How much has the revenue increased from the time when you took over?
02:25 How do you pronounce SEMrush now after the rebranding?
04:22 Was there any thought about changing the name?
06:32 How did you determine your market positioning seven years ago and how has that grown over the time period?
13:20 What has been the most effective acquisition channel in your experience?
19:20 At what point does the sales team step in on the leads?
27:15 Is there anything else that you want to share with the audience?
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Olga: I’m Olga and I am the Head of Global Marketing at SEMrush and I’ve been with the company for 7 years. In 2013, when the community wasn’t very large, I started as a social media marketer.
I was very close to the audience and I started interacting a lot within the company as well. As I was growing with the community, I was given the biggest region to expand to new markets, covering 50 countries.
Olga: I am not able to share numbers, but this year we have six million people that tested SEMrush.
Olga: We used to call it “S-E-M-rush”, now it’s Semrush. The reason for rebranding came from diversity and it’s fun to have those debates, but when it comes to rebranding, you just have to decide.
Additionally, it was a tool designed for SEO and SEM but then we expanded to 50 additional tools and the abbreviation SEM was limiting our growth.
Olga: It’s more important what you produce, not what’s behind the name. Everyone knows the brand, the fireball, so I don’t really see any purpose in changing the name.
Olga: When I joined, MOZ was dominating the market. We were more focusing on the product side as well as Ahrefs. We believed that the software should sell itself, without any marketing.
I think we were growing because of the freemium model, where people just sign up, and then we start nurturing them.
Also, from day one we were going local, making us different from the others. Now we have a localization for 10 languages and that gave us global expansion.
This strategy is more expensive but it paid off because, in Brazil and France, we are number two in rating after Google Analytics and Google Suite.
Olga: The freemium model definitely helps. Our free product provides a lot of value for the customers and in return, it helps us to get the leads.
With emails, we nurture our leads and turn them into customers. We have a different set of emails but definitely, this is the channel that closes out and converts.
We also bid on competitors’ keywords, I wouldn’t say that this is the strongest strategy we have, but, in some cases that’s really helping us.
YouTube and banner ads are great although it’s difficult to measure the conversions and the outcome. We see that somewhere in the buying funnel, they make a huge difference.
Olga: This is all automated. We collect the information on the name, the company phone number and the country.
For GDPR reasons, we need to ensure that we are compliant with the law of that specific country. They also tick whether they agree to receive a specific email confirmation from the webinar for example.
From there, it’s just automatically going to the CRM and the priority goes to whoever gave us more information.
I had a goal of bringing in completely new leads that we’ve never touched.
This was difficult but that’s when we launched the global marketing day. I wanted something that was huge, that had a really strong marketing trigger of a 24 hours non-stop conference. We got 50,000 new leads, so it was super successful.
Olga: Yes, I have one comment about knowing who our audience is. Yes, we do know, but they are diverse.
We have SEO tools, we have advertising tools, we have tools for content, for social, and then there’s also the head of marketing that needs the analytics, but they don’t need position tracking — they need reporting.
It’s very difficult to align those audiences and glue everything in one platform. This is one of our biggest challenges now. It’s not easy but it’s doable.