Code Word is a product marketing agency that specialised in performance marketing up until 2020, helping businesses tackle performance metrics, branding, and other various marketing-related tasks. The same year, Code Word discovered Directual and began to explore the possibilities of the platform in order to automate internal processes.
The agency is led by Dmitry Novozhilov, who shares the story below how Code Word discovered, adopted, and streamlined the use of Directual to grow the business, services provided, and the team.
The very first challenge we faced at Code-word was the automation of the accounting process, which is considerable in volume. Dealing with it required me to spend 3-4 hours a month in order to properly close all outstanding tasks - considering that our team had an accountant to help with that already. We tried to use Google App Script to organise the process and it was successful at first, but only temporarily. We had to find a better way.
Gathering a dev team for both internal use and marketing projects also proved troublesome. Good talent was worth its weight in gold even before the pandemic, during which the price for maintaining a decent team of developers became even higher. Not to mention that even expert devs sometimes move on to better-paying companies mid-project, which isn’t a fun situation to be in at all. Besides, due to the nature of our work, the speed of development matters a lot.
Having gone through all that, I decided to invest some time into learning what kinds of automation software and no-code/low-code solutions are out there. Stumbled by Directual pretty much by accident, I saw an article about a project that was made on this platform.
I had little faith that it would actually work out well but decided to give it a go anyway. It seemed a good enough fit. It didn’t take more than a few months for me to learn the platform’s capabilities and create a number of small-scale projects to see what it’s capable of.
A number of projects. First off, our own accounting system, the details of which were covered before. Since we don’t always have a clear, laid-out project plan from our clients, we deliver an MVP at lightning-speed and discuss what they would like to add from there.
To mention a couple of successful cases, one was an SEO link builder marketplace, built completely from scratch. Data includes a database, a CRM system for internal use, a user interface, item matching and filtering, a client support framework, and a link distribution system that helps the client to find the best links for their website automatically.
Another project is an intranet for a large car dealership. Newsfeed, HR framework, login framework, user interface, task tracker, KPI tracker, and some other smaller features.
I don’t deem Directual as a purely no-code solution, since no-code usually implies certain limits in terms of what you can achieve with the platform - you’ll need a number of SaaS services to properly achieve the end goal, which is both expensive and bug-prone.
Directual, in the meantime, is fantastic when it comes to scaling and continuous project development of complex products. The entire flow is based on action and database logic, where user interfaces are added on top of it after. Not to mention that product delivery is magnitudes faster, the first iteration and the following updates.
Another great thing about Directual is that it’s very easy to teach other team members to start developing products on it. If the person has no knowledge of programming whatsoever, it’s still quite easy to start, and if some programming skills are present, it’s a breeze.
Lastly, the Directual team is highly focused on customer feedback. They rollout requested changes and suggestions very quickly, and there’s a number of much-anticipated features coming soon, which we really wait for with big expectations. And a nice bonus: a really good partnership system is also on the way. Looking forward to that.
Two things, both of which I know will be available soon.
First, is the private cloud. Some of our clients are currently on standby just because of this, and we will bring them the good news soon enough.
Second, project templates are difficult to share. In my mind’s eye, I can see Directual grow into an entire marketplace of project templates (mind you, there are some available already) that could be offered for a certain price and tailored to any particular requirements.
We no longer handle marketing projects, the entire focus is on development now. My focus is to help build mini-development teams that push out new projects in record time, something that would be impossible with a dev team otherwise.
We get a small team, where a team lead acts as a direct contact person with the client, and a couple of developers with knowledge in sales, marketing, etc, aid in meeting the client’s product target. This way, the usual gap between the salespeople who know little about development and the devs who would rather be left alone, doing their thing, is closed.
It’s safe to say that Directual helped our agency pivot into another, even more lucrative direction. Big thanks to the Directual team and the community for making this happen. You guys rock!
A final quote, from me to you: “You can even build a spaceship on Directual!”
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