Founder QA with Alex

What inspired you to create Adadot?

Adadot was created out of necessity. Necessity to find better and faster ways to support ambitious marketing teams. Necessity to improve working conditions for the droves of incredibly talented individuals in digitally enabled fields such as marketing.

The idea was born when I was heading up a performance marketing team in a high-growth startup. 

We toyed with the question of in-housing for a while. We ended up concluding that it would be incredibly difficult to hire properly due to the fact that our marketing strategy was reacting to a lot of change in the market conditions. Our marketing mix and budgets were in constant flux and therefore finding the right combination of skills was not straightforward.

We needed something fast and flexible to help us scale up.

Whilst flexibility for a lot of businesses out there comes in the form of leveraging freelancers, it has its own challenges. Sourcing someone good takes too much time and money to make it worth the while and next time around you have to repeat the cycle.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place I decided to use what I learned about ecommerce and what I knew about marketing in one Service as a Product offering.

Whilst flexibility for a lot of businesses out there comes in the form of leveraging freelancers, it has its own challenges. Sourcing someone good takes too much time and money to make it worth the while and next time around you have to repeat the cycle.

My inert impulse to make things easier, faster and better combined with the accessibility of an ecommerce platform gave shape to what was later to become Adadot and the rest is history.

What’s the meaning behind the name?

Adadot. Add A Dot. Do you see it yet?

Back to a time that feels like centuries ago my course provider at the University of Oxford pointed out that I had an eye for spotting patterns. I think this is why I eventually ended up in marketing. Adding a dot, therefore, symbolises that desire to focus on the broader perspective and how each one of us fits within it.

It is also an ode to Ada Lovelace, the world’s first programmer, a woman very close to my heart. I grew up learning about her father, Lord Byron as the great revolutionary during the Greek-Ottoman war. In my 20s I found out about Ada and I wanted to find a way to honour her. As a result we named our algorithm that powers our solutions engine after her.

Finally I, often jokingly, like to say that Adadot sounds a little bit like antidote e.i. the solution to all your marketing woes.

How is Adadot different and better?

We deliver marketing teams, reliably and flexibly without compromising on quality. We are neither an agency nor a marketplace and there is good reason for that. The traditional agency model whilst reliable it can be slow and expensive. 

At the same time freelancer marketplaces are a race to the bottom. Competing for the lowest rate does mean that the attrition is high and the best talent is less likely to remain.

We have attacked those systemic inefficiencies head on creating a model that can scale your team on demand.

Freelancer marketplaces are a race to the bottom. Competing for the lowest rate does mean that the attrition is high and the best talent is less likely to remain.

We are leveraging our decades worth of experience to prequalify experts in the same way we would if we were hiring for our own in house team. Technical tests and interviews as well as more standard ways of vetting are parts of our unique process. 

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Each team of experts comes together from one single brief, no need to troll through tons of proposals. Experts don’t have to bid on projects but are only notified of there are a perfect match.

Your team gets together and you are good to go! Our website portal can be used to access and manage your team and project as well as to look at your results in the dashboard.

Finally, we recognise that one of the key challenges a marketer faces is continuous upskilling. We therefore provide a community that offers opportunities for constant support and training.

What are the key things you are looking for in experts?

Our network is highly selective and we tend to limit the amount of experts we accept by design. We want to keep a steady flow of work for our experts and keep the bar of quality high for our clients.

We are therefore only looking for people at the top of their game that have excellent technical knowledge of their channel and we test specifically for that alongside written technical assignments. We do recognise that our clients have the opportunity to work with the experts directly so we make sure that they are exceptional at client management too.

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We cover all the main marketing channels in particular paid media, SEO and advertising copy and creative production.

We are only looking for people at the top of their game that have excellent technical knowledge of their channel and we test specifically for that alongside written technical assignments

In essence our unique process offers much more than vetting; we simulate identical conditions to permanent team hiring meaning that you are getting exceptional qulaity without the overhead.

What is the role and future of agencies?

Agencies had a really good time in the past decade. New media emerged leading to incremental budgets and a lot of independent shops opened primarily thanks to digital media. Whilst this made agencies recession proof during the last downturn, it is also a source of significant challenges at the moment.

Digital marketing has become largely commoditised and clients are realising there is little benefit in paying for expensive overheads which are adding process time. 

At the same time agencies need to redefine how they are adding value. Strategy and wider technical support are definitely going to take centre stage, they are, however, harder to monetise.

This is why we built Adadot with the best of both worlds. Quality of staff and support that can only be found in top agencies paired with unparalleled flexibility.

What are Adadot’s key values?

Adadot is based on three pillars, Simplicity, Excellence and Trust. These are our guiding principles when it comes to the way we develop our solutions. Simplicity, because we make something as complex as building a team easy and straightforward. Excellence runs through all of our selection processes, we only accept the best to become part of the adadot family. Finally Trust. We provide a community for all of our members. Part of that community are training sessions as well as documents that help each expert provide a great service. We create Trust, inspire it but more importantly we are able to trust our experts to directly work with each brand in the same way an in-house expert would. 

Our mission is to remove barriers to remote working. Whether thats via sourcing and qualifying or thats through providing the systems that allow clients to manage their teams we are here to make remote working the way of working.

Our vision is to become the #1 destination for high growth businesses and “builders” everywhere. We want to be a centre for innovation and consultancy for the most ambitious startups and companies out there

What is your biggest failure to date?

I fail a lot and I am getting better at learning from it (hopefully). 

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The first time I ever led a team was off to a rough start. I got promoted incredibly quickly within that organisation and the team felt like I had not earned my stripes. 

I ended up spending six months gaining their trust day by day. I made running this team my 100% focus. I dedicated time with each person learning what was their superskill, their motivation.

The result was not only gaining the respect of the team but also making friends for life with some of them.

To this day I remember this as one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It taught me what makes a great team and what means to be a good leader and that knowledge eventually became part of Adadot.

More importantly, I learned it was worth taking that leap into team management

One of the best things that can happen to one’s life is to have the capability to suck at something new!

What is your definition of happiness / success 

Success or happiness is having good options to choose from. Options to decide your own working environment and working hours. The ability to pursue a dream of working on some incredibly cool projects. That unparalleled feeling like the road is open and you get to make the choice of destination. I am very grateful for those moments in my life.

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