Meet our team: Ira Kotikova, Marketing Manager
April 8, 2019Comments (0)
Our marketing manager, Ira Kotikova, can find magic anywhere, take over DJ’s place at a party even with a broken leg, and think up how to organize everything beautifully (and risky sometimes, though). Besides, her intellectual background includes a degree in journalism, which cannot be mistaken for anything else.
- In my childhood, I used to change my future plans quite often: First, I was interested in space exploration, then wanted to become a doctor like my grandma, and finally, I realized that I was 16 years old, and it was the time to choose my future profession. My parents work in the IT sphere, but I was a rebellious teenager and opted for a degree in journalism.
- I used to work as a journalist with one of St Petersburg TV channels, but I feel bad recalling that experience because of their disregard for employees, especially, for girls interns.
My role at Travelpayouts
- I “wrap’ things beautifully and tell about the advantages of our company services. I think up different activities which then are analyzed in terms of positive influence on the image of the firm. Several ideas on the “wrapping,” a few “predictions” – it looks like magic, and I could call myself a fairy, but I won’t.
- The most extreme thing happened when I went for a ride on a bike in Phuket, got knocked down by a Thai and broke my leg. Our team came to the aid and literally carried me in their arms around the office.
- Recently, we shot a video of one billion rubble (around 15 mil dollars) payment. By plot, we had to draw on the glass in markers, and we needed to find this glass somewhere. The idea would be easy to implement in St Petersburg; however, in Thailand, it was quite hard to buy both glass and markers. Finally, we managed to find them through mutual friends. As the glass wasn’t double-heat, we were scared that it could explode or break and cut our heads, because it was necessary to hold it. I was jumping on one leg, my crutches were falling down all the time, so the situation was absurd.
- I am an extrovert, and I enjoy communicating with people. Another thing I like is deadlines, I mean, this feeling when you have to focus and do everything fast and properly. Such mode of work gives me energy, so all the nervousness is paid off by positive feedback from our customers.
- I like organizing offline events, last year we had a few of them: Affiliates meetings in Moscow and Phuket and Travelpayouts Affiliate Summit. For me, it is always a real pleasure to meet our partners in person.
- The main task of our marketing department is to tell the whole world about Travelpayouts. Every day we try to engage new partners and create useful material to help monetizing their travel-traffic.
- What matters in our job is content distribution, in particular, what channels should be used to present our content. That’s why we always look for new ways of attracting target users. We have a few marketers in our team, and each one of them chooses tasks they like more. We think up responsibilities ourselves and engage others. In Travelpayouts, you create an idea and implement it, as nothing stops you from doing it. Even with big projects, we make a plan ourselves, distribute responsibilities and begin to implement it.
- We use project management systems called Worksection and Confluence and Google Docs software.
- We measure and time everything. We use Google Analytics and Yandex Metrica (Russian software) to check the performance of our websites and landing pages, and Mode Analytics and our own internal system of reporting to analyze users behavior.
- As a rule, we achieve all the goals established, but sometimes we face failures. We do our best to avoid them, and if they happen anyway, we try to prevent them in future.
- My first working day was quite specific, because when you enter our Thailand office, everything seems to be unusual if not unreal – the temperature is hot, people are relaxed and work off the grid. It is an inspirational environment.
- I need to be surrounded by colleagues, communicate and understand how the company works – who does what – and whether people are in a good mood.
- I hate bureaucracy, or the situations when you have to go out of your way to get the budget approved, or a signature with a stamp from the accounting department. In this regard, we are an awesome anti-corporate example.
- I never thought that such experience was possible at all, but my work here is even better than this notorious notion of a “dream job.”
- We have many different traditions – from common to absurd. For instance, we make newbies eat extremely spicy noodles and push them into the swimming pool when they expect it the least. We also have themed parties that our happiness-manager organizes. From the most recent events, I recall a Halloween and a Hawaiian party. Such activities are necessary when you work in a closed environment.
- It is easy to join our team, you just have to be an adequate person. It sounds like a common thing, but in practice, there are only a few people who fulfill this requirement. You should also share our common values and don’t get offended because of “on the edge” jokes.
- Our work is well-structured. Every quarter is followed by a review through which we evaluate our performance and set further goals. You just don’t have time to procrastinate and complain that you are not understood by this world, so we never encounter creativity crisis.
Things I’d like to improve
- I don’t mind anything in the company and cannot highlight what I would like to change. I believe we should appreciate what we already have.
- I like working with numbers and analytics, but with my degree in journalism, I would like to grow in the technical field. I am interested in metrics and how to interpret them, because numbers themselves mean nothing. As a researcher, I enjoy this process, but don’t always have enough patience. So, I would like to work on this aspect of my character as well.
Let’s get personal
- I graduated from St. Petersburg State University with a degree in journalism.
- I was influenced a lot by the movie director Ingmar Bergman, and among all his films I like to recall “Summer with Monica.” Bergman was married five times, and I think this guy knows a lot about relationships. I watch his films again and again, and every time I understand more on the nature of infidelity, early marriages and their influence on future relationships. I was also impressed by Nabokov. His characters are not only “white” or “black,” which I like particularly in his works.
- I don’t look like an adult, and I have encountered negativity because people mistook my “childish” appearance for incompetence and lack of life experience a few times. It made me angry every time, but now, if something similar happens, I just explain that my appearance has nothing to do with my professional qualities.
- If aliens come one day and ask where they can learn about the human race best, I will tell them to go to Phuket. This place will teach them everything about the human race.
- I dream of going to South Africa, but I suppose I am not unique in this way.
- Among my recently read books, I can highlight “The Threepenny Opera”
by Bertolt Brecht, which I read because of our course in Foreign Literature, and I swore I would finish it. As for non-fiction, I don’t read such books at all.
- My three favorite tracks that I would play at an office party – it depends on how drunk people are, but to tell you the truth, I take over DJ booths quite often. So, my tracks would be as follows:
- If everybody is still sober – Tyler The Creator.
- If people have already started drinking – the russian songs «Poshlaya Molli» or Haski.
- If everybody is already way too drunk – «Rozovoe vino».
- In 10 years, I see myself in Italy, living a life of luxury in a villa with 10 dogs.