The Polish Software House that Wants to Forge the Future [Marketing Study]

July 5, 2019 By Alina Belașcu

With an employee growth of 67% in the last 2 years and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 212%, this Polish software house is on a roll.

Tooploox, the Polish software house witnesses of a spectacular growth

Tooploox employees
Tooploox revenue growth

Tooploox is the place where innovation happens.

Hiring scientists from universities across Europe and even Stanford, Tooploox has chosen its weapon: Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence @ Tooploox

They are moving beyond the outsourcing stereotype and they are embracing the future.

Next, we’ll dig into its marketing secrets and see how the company manages to position itself in a very noisy market.

TABLE OF CONTENT

In almost six years and Tooploox has grown from three people to 110 (by april 2018).

Its business development team was created beginning with 2016. Quite impressive so far, but what followed, see below.

Tooploox Polish Software House - Short Overview

From Deloitte, to Financial Times, to Clutch, everyone has heard of Tooploox.

Big players in tourism, healthcare, consumer goods or education have shaken hands with Tooploox: Lufthansa, ING Bank, Royal Carribean, homebook.pl.

The projects varied from app design to experimenting with beacons.

What do their clients say about them? See next:

  • High-level project management skills
  • Flexibility
  • Open to feedback
  • Customer-focus
  • Results-oriented
Reviews for Polish Software House: Tooploox

Next in our blog post, we’ll find out how:

  • Content marketing should go hand in hand with outbound sales
  • Employer branding is a must in a crowded market
  • Community involvement is a always a go-to

Tooploox Marketing Strategies Reverse Engineered

Less than 7 years on the market, 4 offices (one in Berlin) and a revenue of EUR 3M+ in 2016: Tooploox is growing steadily with the help of sales, marketing, and a good product-market fit.

Since we’re a digital marketing agency, we’ll focus on the strategies that Tooploox employs to market themselves.

Brand Awareness at Tooploox

One of the youngest companies we’ve analyzed so far (founded in 2012), Tooploox has amazed CEE with its phenomenal revenue growth during 2013-2016. Thus, it ranked 4th in Deloitte’s Tech Fast 50 CEE 2017.

Tooploox ranks 4th in Deloitte's Tech Fast 50 CEE 2017

And let’s not forget the Financial Times award aforementioned.

Tooploox is among the selected SMEs to participate in the Future Unicorn Award, an award with the purpose to highlight innovative SMEs that have the potential to become Europe’s next unicorns. The award is compiled by asking all the national trade associations affiliated with Digital Europe to nominate a single SME from their country.

Another recognition worth mentioning: Tooploox became a member of the Fast Growth Icons Network 2019. This community works as invitation-only, the selected companies have to show considerable traction in terms of revenue, users & funding. The typical member is growing by 50% per annum.

Now, Tooploox wants to position itself as a fast growing tech company as well as an innovative one. Just take a look at its advisory board: scientists, professors, PhDs.

Advisory board at Tooploox

The Tooploox Website

The Tooploox website is clean and breathable, and it's brand new, they've redesigned it recently.

Does it answer the questions of a potential client? Let’s check it out.

What do you do?

It’s not quite clear from the above the fold copy, which says “We build digital products for your success".

When scrolling down, you get this:

Tooploox services

Why should I trust you?

Here are some of our clients:

Tooploox clients

And they’ve built a team of scientists that have graduated from big universities such as Stanford, this should enforce some trust.

Social proof

How can I contact you?

Via phone or website form.

In terms of conversion rate optimization, Tooploox is using Hotjar, so they intend to map out the user behavior on their website, and probably optimize around it.

Using Hotjar

Tooploox Traffic Acquisition

Direct and search traffic account for more than 90% of the website traffic.

Website traffic sources

In terms of direct traffic, it's above 15%.

Like in the case of Poznan's software houses, we can assume that this high percentage could be the effect of:

  • branding efforts within offline events
  • referral traffic not tagged
  • sales reps activities (they have 2 team members involved in business development), and are looking to hire 2 new ones.
Biz devs at Tooploox
Hiring Biz devs

Content Marketing

The main blog categories are Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Culture, Design, Mobile, Technology, Web. The Culture topic is aiming to build employer branding.

All the blog posts get shared to Medium too.

Articles posted on Medium

The most popular pages on the website are blog pages:

Top 10 organic pages

Further on, if we look at their most important keywords, we see that there isn’t yet a clear cluster of keywords trying to rank high.

top organic keywords

We see that tech content is written by tech-skilled people, just like Jeremy here, who is an AI engineer.

Engineers write content

But not everything revolves around blogging in content marketing.

Tooploox also features short case studies that show off their expertise.

case studies

Now, let’s take a look at some long-form content examples from Tooploox.

research papers

What we’ve got here is...research papers. Computer vision, neural networks...heavy stuff. This content is not gated, no leads are being collected, you just download it freely.

Backlinks to Support Content Marketing

Next, in order to rank organically, having good original content ain't good enough. Backlinks are a must.

For Tooploox, the backlinks are looking good. We’ve got website and blogs with a domain-rating above 70 that link back to the Tooploox hompepage, mainly, or blog.

Backlinks

So, we’ve got meetup.com linking back, techstars.com, designrush.com, they all have tech-related content, which is good for Tooploox.

Another good link comes from jobs.lever.co.

So, intended or not, listing meetups on meetups.com or jobs on lever.co, means high-quality do-follow-links.

Tooploox Paid Traffic Acquisition

While content strategy pushes forward AI, machine learning related content, the paid marketing strategies have a different approach.

With its Google search ads, Tooploox is promoting the web and custom software development services.

Google search ads for Tooploox

Tooploox also uses Facebook in its promotional efforts: they’ve boosted posts for job hiring promotion.

Facebook sponsored post

Tooploox Social Presence

With more than three billion people around the world using social media every month, this is not a passing trend.

Be it for employer branding, for getting new leads and customers, or for connecting with stakeholders, all of the software houses we’ve analyzed so far are active on most popular of the social media channels out there.

For Tooploox, the social media strategies are mostly about employer branding and building brand awareness.

Tooploox Facebook Page

Facebook’s posts are headed mostly around building employer branding. Job opportunities, blog content - it’s all on Facebook.

Facebook profile
Facebook - hiring announcements

Events and celebrations are not forgotten either, like the announcement for their AI residency program or other speaking gigs they attend to.

Promoting AI fellowship
Promoting speaking gigs
Celebrating on Facebook

The average engagement/post is 14, which comes close to the data we found for the rest of the software houses.

Facebook engagement

Instagram

It’s no news that the Instagram account is employer branding focused. It’s very usual in the market.

Instagram followers

In the Tooploox case, the employer branding purpose is obvious from the profile bio that links to a blog article. This article is a bit special, it talks about a new management system implemented at Tooploox: the holacracy.

This system doesn’t develop specific hierarchical levels in a company but empowers each and every team member. Everyone is aligned with the company’s mission and goals and can get involved in the decision making process.

Pretty neat I’d say, I’m curious if this hook is really working when dealing with hiring.

Next in the line, what else do we see on the Instagram page?

There is also some client-oriented content like illustrations and designs did by Tooploox

Promoting designs on Instagram

or awards they’ve won:

Promoting awards on Instagram

Aaaand, check this one: proving their AI skills on a trending topic - Game of Thrones.

GoT  & Artificial Intelligence

LinkedIn

LinkedIn followers

On its LinkedIn profile Tooploox shares blog posts they’ve created, info on products they've built, news from the industry and a lot of hiring opportunities.

LinkedIn jobs

Also, events are not neglected.

The focus is split between employee oriented and client oriented.

Twitter

On Twitter, the Tooploox messaging goes two ways:

  • building employer-branding: through promoting employee-related events, job opportunities, meetups they organize.
Promoting meetups
  • is mostly speaking of hiring opportunities and events they go to or host.
  • customer acquisition: through building awareness around the brand, proving they are experts in the field and that they deserve their partners' trust.

See this tweet, for example. It establishes Tooploox as a true machine learning connoisseur:

Building brand awareness on Twitter

And there’s another tweet that shows that Tooploox is really involved in the community and where the idea of expertise in machine learning is reinforced:

Tooploox gets involved in the community

Dribbble

The Dribbble profile could make a lot of software houses feel envy, because of the high engagement.

Dribbble profile

They are showing off their product design skills through showcasing animations, illustrations, apps they’ve designed.

They are also promoting their blog posts, whenever they have the chance so that they show their blog content to a whole new audience.

Promoting blog articles on Dribbble

Also, whenever possible, Tooploox is also promoting job offers. And where should you go when you want to hire someone in the product team? On Dribbble, of course. Good product designers should be showcasing their designs here and might even be a fan of yours.

Job opportunities on Dribbble

Tooploox Community Involvement

The community involvement for Tooploox goes two ways:

  • Organizing events: meetups, workshops, open office
  • Attending conferences and speaking gigs

In an ever-crowded market, with fierce competition both for clients and employees, you just can’t sit still in a corner and wait for a miracle.

You have to go out there and make a name for yourself.

And Tooploox definitely understands this: they speak at gigs, sponsor events, hold hackathons and workshops.

Sponsoring Meetups
Events around machine learning

Employer branding and hiring

Former employees speak very favorably about Tooploox on Glassdoor, praising:

  • The startup atmosphere
  • Opportunities to learn and develop
  • Good benefits
Glassdoor reviews

Some argue that because of the rapid growth some, the atmosphere has been ruined, and there is not a lot of room for promotion. This is the answer he got on Glassdoor from the management team.

Glassdoor reply

Tooploox wants is looking to expand its team of engineers.

Hiring

but has also developed a fellowship called the “AI Residency Program”.

Artificial Intelligence Residency Program

Most of the software houses we’ve analyzed so far use images or text in their social media posting with employer branding purposes. Tooploox wanted to twist things a little bit. Hiring a bunch of professionals, they’ve designed a really appealing hiring video.

Tooploox Employer branding video, starring Leon the Cat

Another interesting fact, during a hackathon back in 2017 an idea came to light, Thanksy. Lately they brought it to light: an app that integrates with Slack that works as an engaging and unique way to say thank you. The purpose: strengthening the company's values. It's story, here.

Wrap Up

Employer branding and AI expansion, this is the Tooploox focus.

While other software houses are entirely advocating for mobile, other for web development, others for e-commerce software, Tooploox bets on machine learning and AI.

From the marketing point of view, Tooploox teaches us that:

  • Find your niche, from web development, design, blockchain, AI, there's room for everyone, as long as you do a good job
  • Employer branding is essential when you want to build the scientist team you dream of
  • Outbound sales are no longer enough, a content strategy should go hand in hand with it
  • Community involvement, if done well, can open the doors for you to clients and employees

Hope you enjoyed our case study. There are more to come. So, don't go anywhere.

See how this Polish software house compares to other software houses in Poznan, Wroclaw, Warsaw and Krakow in our ebook: The Growth Marketing Secrets of Top European Software Houses - Poland Edition 2019. Enjoy!

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TOPICS: digital marketing, Software House, software development

Alina Belașcu

Alina Belașcu

A passionate marketer, always learning new stuff, from front-end development to statistics, to CRO and psychology, because, in the end, in the land of marketing, everything connects.

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