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Daugirdas is the Chief Marketing Officer at Hostinger, one of the fastest-growing web hosting providers worldwide

When Daugirdas joined Hostinger 3 years ago, he was 86th employee worldwide and now the company's headcount is well beyond 600. Since 2017, Hostinger grew more than 5x, with no external investment.

The main focus of Daugirdas is driving growth for Hostinger by building and scaling new user acquisition efforts. He participated in creating SEO, Paid Advertising, Content Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Influencer Marketing, CRO strategies and has built a team of 70+ marketing professionals who work from all over the world and keep scaling Hostinger new user acquisition in 40+ countries. 

Daugirdas is really excited about marketing (and especially performance marketing), management, creating an environment where the best ideas win, building high-performance cross-functional and self-managed teams, singing and rock music 

In this AMA you can ask Daugirdas about a wide range of different subjects, here are some to start the conversation:

- Hiring and developing teams and people

- Driving growth

- User research

- Copywriting and website conversion optimization

- Content Marketing and SEO

- Affiliate and influencer marketing

  • LJ

    Luke Juke

    3 months ago #

    What is your tip for new business in the hosting industry? Where and how they should promote?

    3 Share
    • AC

      Alfred Coronado

      3 months ago #

      right question

    • DJ

      Daugirdas Jankus

      3 months ago #

      Hello Luke and thanks for your question! The web hosting industry is really tough and competitive. On the other hand, the global market is very big, so a lot of different players can emerge and thrive in it.

      I would recommend starting in as narrow niche as possible and getting to know your target customers really well to build initial traction. At Hostinger, we use golden questions from day 1, we read user feedback, learn from it, and adapt our product and service to it.

      We did the same with our new project, AI-powered website builder Zyro and I can guarantee - it really works :) I highly recommend turning to your customers as early as possible and putting the insights you get to the action. If you want to dig deeper into building traction, I can recommend a book by Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares - Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers.

      If you do it right, you will have a number of happy customers. At this stage, be brave enough to ask them to share their experience with you publicly. You will be surprised, how many of them will share their feedback and it will start generating even more traction for your business.

      Since paid advertising is quite expensive in our niche, keep investing your gains into the product and service quality, and gradually develop organic channels (referrals, content, and SEO). When you will see your brand starting to grow, it would be a good time to start experimenting with paid/performance channels. Start low and really narrow. Once you start building traction, expand your investment, add new channels while scaling the established ones.

      Hope that answers your question!

      1 Share
  • GN

    Gustavo Nunes

    3 months ago #

    Hey, Daugirdas. Thank you for being here with us fo this AMA.

    1- Was growth an established practice since you joined Hosting or something that grew lately? If you were part of such a movement, could you tell us more about it?
    2- What role do you think growth hacking will play in enterprises over the next five years? And why is it so important these days?
    3- Can you share with us some experiment that you didn't think that would be successful and surprised you?

    2 Share
    • DJ

      Daugirdas Jankus

      3 months ago #

      Hey, Gustavo! Thanks for having me and thanks for your questions! ;)

      1 - I think I can confidently say that the “growth mindset” was deeply embedded in Hostinger culture since the very inception of the company back in 2004. It helped the business to gradually grow since day 1.

      Hostinger is a bootstrapped organization. The guys were doing growth hacking and engineering as marketing even before these terms were synthesized.

      For example, our first project was a free web hosting platform 000webhost. When it was launched, proper web-search was still gaining popularity and simple website listings were rather popular. So the guys picked this particular domain name, because of two reasons:

      1. 000 means 0.00, which means free :D
      2. The majority of web listings sorted websites alphabetically, where numbers would come up on top. So by having 000 at the beginning, meant being on top of every website list and getting lots of free exposure! Isn’t this a growth hack? :D

      To continue with, we have always put the main focus on having the best product and the best customer support. Since the very beginning of the company, users valued that and shared their experiences within their circles, which is constantly driving growth up until now. We started doing this back in 2004 and after 10 years, in 2014 Justin Mares & Gabriel Weinberg in their book “Traction” (which I already referenced in my other answer) defined this process as “Engineering-as-Marketing”. The definition is the following: “using engineering time to create useful tools like calculators, widgets, and educational microsites to get your company in front of potential customers. These tools then generate leads and expand your customer base”.

      When I joined the Hostinger back in 2017, my main goal was (and still is ;) ) to use the traction we have to create scalable new user acquisition loops and keep our pace of growth increasing. I am super happy to say, that we are successful in doing it. We have no plans to stop. We still put most of our effort into improving our services and customer support, which makes life easier for all marketing people at Hostinger :)

      2 Share
    • DJ

      Daugirdas Jankus

      3 months ago #

      2 - I see growth hacking as a general mindset, which unites experimentation, testing, and cross-functional thinking with a goal of learning how to provide the most value to your customers in the most efficient way. Only the fastest and most effective businesses survive and are able to thrive, competition is growing constantly. So I believe the role of growth hacking and experimentation will keep on growing over the next five years. Moreover, growth hacking is super relevant now - unprecedented times require unprecedented measures: fast reaction, experimentation, optimization, efficiency, etc. and growth hacking is all about these things, isn’t it?

      2 Share
    • DJ

      Daugirdas Jankus

      3 months ago #

      3 - to be honest, we only experiment with things that we believe will be successful. :D

      We invest a lot of effort into each of our experiments and they still do not bring expected results occasionally. We do not get depressed by that, we just dive deeper into the matter, learn what happened, adapt, and improve.

      I can share one of the most successful experiments we did that came to my mind right now - it was a pricing table update we did recently. We’ve spent a lot of time diving deep into our customer’s feedback on what matters the most when they pick their web hosting plans, shortlisted the most important features, and did a full design facelift based on that. We were a bit afraid because usually, these big design changes do not go well, but in our case, the results went through the roof right away. We were able to do this, by listening closely to our customers and delivering for them.

      I highly recommend this approach to all of you guys!

      2 Share
  • DJ

    Daugirdas Jankus

    3 months ago #

    Hello all!

    Just letting you know, that I am currently setting everything up and I will be diving into your questions in 10 minutes. Thank you for submitting your questions. Also, thanks to my team at Hostinger and Growth Hackers community for making this happen! I am super excited to spend the next 1,5 hours with you guys ;)

    2 Share
  • AD

    Arturo Díaz Almagro

    3 months ago #

    What is the best approach for a B2B startup at the begining when almost no budget for marketing is available? What do you recommend to bring a minimum viable traffic to your site? Thank you! :D

    1 Share
    • DJ

      Daugirdas Jankus

      3 months ago #

      Hello Arturo and thank you for your question!

      Maybe someone will call me old-fashioned, but in my humble opinion, one of the best ways to kick-start B2B startups early stage with no budgets for marketing is by establishing a powerful outbound - sales flow. It can contribute to your success in so many ways:

      • This channel is rather easy to start since it basically does not require any capital investment;
      • Even if you will not get any sales at the beginning, you will definitely get a lot of valuable feedback, which you can later use to improve your product/service;
      • If the product-market fit is present, you will definitely start getting traction;
      • Once your client-base and revenues increase, you will be able to invest in marketing and building traffic to your site.

      So to summarise, if you find your startup at the beginning of its existence and your budgets for marketing are limited, I would recommend setting up an outbound sales channel. Before actually going out and building your sales machine, I highly recommend you to read Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross - I think this book is a perfect guide on launching and scaling B2B businesses.

      Another thing you can do is to grow your business by doing “Engineering-as-Marketing”. I have already described it in my other answers. It is explained in detail by Justin Mares & Gabriel Weinberg in their book “Traction”, which I already referenced in my other answer as well ;)

      I wish you great success in building your startup! If you have any further questions, just let me know ;)

      2 Share
  • ML

    Marius Liaugminas

    3 months ago #

    Hi Daugirdas, what's the best way to grow awareness for online marketplace(for classic cars, supercars)?

    1 Share
    • DJ

      Daugirdas Jankus

      3 months ago #

      Labas Mariau! I am super happy to see people from my home-country joining this AMA ;) thanks for your question.

      The short answer would be - it depends. :)

      It depends on what the end goal of building awareness is.
      Do you want to get more sellers on board?
      Or maybe build a wider audience of potential buyers?

      So first of all, I would recommend identifying the ultimate goal you want to reach by building awareness. Once you have that, dive deep and research your target audience: where they spend their time online, what they are doing, what are their preferences, what they like and dislike, how they make decisions, etc. Then, you will be able to start experimenting with different strategies and channels to build targeted exposure, which would allow you to build awareness that really performs.

      Hope that helps, let me know if you have any further questions ;)

      1 Share
  • AB

    Andreea Berea

    3 months ago #

    I am curious what is your perspective on omnichannel and if you are using this approach, what are the key areas you are addressing.

    1 Share
    • DJ

      Daugirdas Jankus

      3 months ago #

      Andreea, thanks for your question!

      At Hostinger, we do not apply the omnichannel approach to what we do. We invest a lot in collecting and analyzing data and build our own attribution models to measure total impact (both direct and indirect) of each marketing channel.

      Also, we use ZMOT framework, which, in essence, can resemble the omnichannel logic to some extent.

      2 Share
  • EM

    Errol Mathew

    3 months ago #

    What do I charge when providing website services?

    1 Share
    • DJ

      Daugirdas Jankus

      3 months ago #

      Hey, Errol!

      Theoretically, the amount you charge should be equal or slightly less than the perceived value of your client ;)

      1 Share
  • LP

    Lucas Prado

    3 months ago #

    Hi Daugirdas!
    Thanks for your time in contributing to our online community :)
    As a CMO at Hostinger, you are responsible for marketing as a whole: from brand awareness to growth initiatives.
    Regarding your Marketing Budget, what is the proportion your normally adopt for brand awareness and demand gen iniciatives?

    1 Share
    • DJ

      Daugirdas Jankus

      3 months ago #

      Hello Lucas! Thanks for your question!

      Let me be brutally honest with you - we do not do brand awareness and demand generation campaigns per se.

      I would like to also mention, that even though we do not invest in it directly, we still track it and we see brand awareness as a powerful side-effect of performance marketing and service development that we do.

      We are also super-focused on our customers, and we do everything we can to build an exceptional product and provide top-notch customer support. We are lucky to have a lot of happy customers and we get more and more of them every day. Because of that, our brand awareness is increasing organically and we do not see the need to invest into it additionally. At least for now ;)

      Let me know if that answers your question ;)

      1 Share
  • AG

    Ash Goh

    3 months ago #

    With much marketing plans and activities in place, how do you track and monitor the activities, deliverables and outcome?

    1 Share
    • DJ

      Daugirdas Jankus

      3 months ago #

      Hey, Ash! Good question - thank you!

      We try to keep it as simple as possible and use OKRs and Monday.com (shoutout to our friends @ Monday.com! ;) ):

      • OKRs - it is the main planning and reporting framework that we use. It allows us to be transparent, focused, and measure the output of our activities.
      • For project management, planning and monitoring activities we use Monday.com

      As you can see, we try not to complicate things and keep our operations lean, agile, and simple.

      Let me know if you have any further questions ;)

      1 Share
  • SA

    Simon Ardiss

    3 months ago #

    Does a start-up need any brand awareness investments in its first years (+/- 5?) of growth?

    1 Share
    • DJ

      Daugirdas Jankus

      3 months ago #

      Hello Simon and thank you for your question!

      I think I have partially answered this already in my previous answers :) I personally believe, that if you do things right, brand awareness will come as a powerful side-effect of your overall activities.

      In the first years of start-up growth, I would recommend focusing on bringing value to your customers and building traction as early as possible. The rest will come ;)

      Let me know if you have any further questions.

      1 Share
  • HR

    Hassan Raza

    3 months ago #

    What is the main ranking Factor in SEO?

    • DJ

      Daugirdas Jankus

      3 months ago #

      Hassan, woah, this question is tricky one ;D Thanks for asking!

      I think the most important thing is to bring value and a good user experience for your target audience. It is immensely difficult to single out one factor that is the most important. But in my personal and highly bias opinion - website speed is crucial for ranking high in SEO.

      Nowadays, nobody has time to wait for content to load. It can be the best piece ever written, but if it does not load in time, nobody will read it and if nobody will read it, you will never rank high.

      So, do your research and pick the fastest web host ;)

      1 Share
  • LJ

    Luke Juke

    3 months ago #

    How do you enter local markets and organize marketing?

    1 Share
    • DJ

      Daugirdas Jankus

      3 months ago #

      Luke, thanks for yet another brilliant question ;)

      We have already localized Hostinger in 40+ markets. We also plan to add more, however, we usually do it slow and we spend a lot of time doing research whether we would actually add value for potential customers if we enter some specific GEOs.

      Usually, we start by covering organic channels. Once we build some traction from those, we begin experimenting with performance channels. Usually, we are able to see top performers within weeks and double-down on those. We do a lot of experimentation in each of the markets and once we discover something that performs, we localize it in all of the GEOs.

      From an organizational perspective, we have all people working in small, lean, agile, cross-functional teams and usually, those teams are responsible for different marketing channels and have members from all over the globe, which put their focus on particular GEOs. For example, our SEO team has people working on USA, Indonesian, Brazillian, Indian, Spanish, etc. markets - in this way we keep the whole organization flat and lean. Due to this setup, we are able to be fast and react quickly to market changes.

      Finally, OKRs + good project management really helps to handle everything. I have briefly described how we do it in one of my previous answers ;)

      1 Share
  • AG

    ARPIT GOYAL

    3 months ago #

    Hey hi Daugirdas!

    I work at Ola (a cab business like uber). We have started selling health insurance to our users.

    1) how should we define PMF i.e. what metrics to look at

    2) should we invest in paid growth? Considering users are coming to the app to get cab not insurance. Do you think it is not a natural fit?

  • DJ

    Daugirdas Jankus

    3 months ago #

    Wow, guys!

    More than 2 hours flew by like a blink of an eye! Thank you for all of the questions. I hope I answered all of them.

    I will be signing off for now, but I will definitely be around. If you have any additional questions, feel free to post them here ;) Also, if you want to reach me personally feel free to add and message me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daugirdas-jankus/

    Wish you all the best and keep rockin'!
    -DJ

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