Hackathon as a cure for creative boredom

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    10 years ago, SEMrush began as a two-seo startup. Today, the product offers about 40 tools for the digital marketer, and this happened due to the fact that the team always encouraged new ideas. Maintaining an environment in which ideas drive the development process is one of the main tasks of the company.

    Creativity outside the work week


    So that creativity is not limited to the framework of the working schedule, we carry out small “shakes up”: events that help encourage people, awaken in them start-up spirit and motivate to think outside the box.

    In 2016 and 2017 we had a Innovation Week. Participants were divided into teams and created tools for solving internal problems. Everyone chose for himself what it was more interesting for him to work on: on the bot, telling how many days of vacation were left, or on the service for creating business cards. But this format turned out somewhat tightened, and we decided to try something new.

    This year, we reduced the deadlines to weekends and raised the stakes: a new iPhone X was received by each member of the winning team. But what is more important - this time we have made our clients a target audience of projects. This added to the teams responsibility and motivation to create a truly cool product that will make the professional life of marketers easier.

    Our hackathon


    Developers, UX-designers, analysts and marketers have teamed up to bring their ideas to life. In total, we had 60 hours of work and 30 participants in 7 teams. Remembering Innovation Weeks, we knew that teams may not all go smoothly. However, this time everyone reached the end and managed to unleash by Monday. So, here are the results of the work days of our guys.

    PPC Spend Analyzer allows you to quickly assess in which regions it is cheaper and most expensive to advertise. The tool also reveals the most expensive and popular search queries for promotion. The user optimizes costs by creating an advertising campaign at the local level.



    Trends will help generate ideas for social media posts based on data from Twitter. The most popular topics are reflected relative to the desired location. Data is updated several times a day. The user receives a full picture on the hottest topics and the basis for creating relevant content.



    SEO Writing Assistant- This is a WordPress plugin for instant SEO content optimization. The service analyzes the top 10 Google issue by keywords and locations, and then checks the generated text for compliance. The user does not spend time analyzing the issue, the optimal length of the text in this topic, work with key queries.



    Signa is suitable not only for internet marketers, but also for everyone who writes a lot of letters. Using Signa, a user in a couple of clicks creates an electronic business card that can be copied to Gmail.



    MasterCalendarwill help out all those involved in situational marketing. All important international events are collected in one tool: conferences, exhibitions, film premieres, sporting events, holidays, festivals and much more. The user will no longer be confused in the tabs with the list of events and forget about the important.



    SEMpie easily and quickly visualizes data. The user gets beautiful graphics for a couple of clicks without working in graphic editors and can use them in presentations, social networks, on websites.



    Cohort Analysisbuilds marketing cohorts: tables reflecting the degree of influence of specific actions on the business performance of the coming months: user retention and company profits from specific customers. You can also analyze the seasonality of demand, long-term customer value, predict the care of a particular customer and do much more based on the data that the user loads.

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    Summing up


    Hackathon was a success: our guys warmed up, switching from the current roadmap, many tried themselves in new roles and developed cool tools for marketers. Since the guys tried for the users, we decided that they should evaluate the work. We conducted an open vote on hackathon projects.



    The Cohort Analysis project team won, and it seems that even the rivals agreed that this is true - forecasting and timely analysis of indicators underlie the effective work of any marketer.

    The rest of the projects also did not go unnoticed: PPC Spend Analyzer has already become part of our platform (called CPC Map), others are being brought to release versions. Something remains in the format of concepts, and perhaps you still hear about them.

    As organizers, we received different feedback from participants, including critics, thanks to which we know what to improve next time. But everyone agreed on one thing: to unite into unusual teams and work on a new task turned out to be very useful for all participants.

    Want to join us on the next hackathon? Join our team: we are pleased to be ambitious, skillful and creative!

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