How a Russian Startup Became One Of the Leading Tech-Based Marketing Companies Worldwide
Nikita Rvachev's Aitarget helps advertisers create, test, and run dynamic advertisements across a multitude of digital platforms
Aitarget is an international marketing company that revolutionized the e-commerce field by creating software that uses artificial intelligence to generate and automatically publish digital advertising content.
Aitarget was founded in Russia eight years ago. Throughout its development, it has grown from an advertising agency into a software developing company that partners with major brands such as Adidas and Philips. Aitarget helps advertisers create, test, and run dynamic advertisements across a multitude of digital platforms.
He heavily influenced Aitarget's transition into the international market only a year after the launch of the startup. Rvachev was interested in approaching global brands with new ideas of marketing and advertising. He even took time to study in the UK to learn more about international business partnerships. After gaining success in Russia, Aitarget started translating the software to English so that these developments could be used around the world.
Aitarget participated in hackathons, where programmers would get together for a short period of time to rapidly collaborate on a project. These events were hosted by leading media platforms, and this is where Aitarget became an official partner of Facebook (Meta). They later established partnerships with Google, TikTok, and Snapchat, as well.
"We began to understand that we needed to make our service international after we took part in the Facebook conference in San Francisco. We discussed new trends with the event's organizers, as well as informed clientele who happened to be there. I became inspired when speaking to one of our clients—he had our software installed on his computer. I thought, this person, who lives in another country than us, uses our software daily. Technology allows our work to be done in one place, and exported all over the world," Rvachev said.
Aitarget was a finalist in Facebook's official innovation competition. The team presented a software that launched personalized advertisements to consumers with specific location points, anywhere on Earth. For example, a user in New York received a video ad with their precise location on a map, and an Uber ride just three minutes away.
Rvachev's role as Product Director has changed as the company has grown. At the start, he focused on generating and testing hypotheses, and controlling how these ideas were implemented. As he has extensive experience in digital programming, he was able to easily interact with developers and help them create the functioning software. As the company gained success, the employees were split into teams, working on various projects for different groups of clientele, each with its own product manager. Now, Rvachev focuses on management, and determines the company's projected development at a strategic level.
"The market is changing. Even three years ago, businesses revolved around the process of setting up advertising campaigns. Targeting, building, budgeting, and managing were essential steps. Aitarget is the first Russian company, and among the first in the world, to implement an algorithm that shows consumers exactly which products they need. By partnering with media platforms, we're able to show the ads to their target audiences," Rvachev said.
"Another new direction is E-commerce. We provide technology that allows brands to automate the process of content creation, and pair those photos and videos with impactful copywriting. Content should include information that will influence the consumer to purchase. For example, discounts or free shipping," Rvachev said.
Rvachev led a team of developers throughout Aitarget's "no-code" project. A no-code platform uses a visual development interface to enable users without any previous coding experience to build applications. This type of technology allows small sellers to compete with bigger brands in quality and content aspects. It also helps larger companies to optimize the execution of such tasks.
According to Rvachev, a serious challenge for marketers in recent years has been the steps taken by media platforms to protect personal data of their uses. Before, advertisers had the opportunity to structure their work so that buyers would see relevant ads in their feeds. Now, we are facing a "marketing blindness," where experts cannot determine whether the buyer belongs to the target audience, or what influenced their decision to purchase. Aitarget is working to neutralize these issues."I believe that two content trends will develop in the upcoming years. First, the use of AR/VR technologies. Traditionally, advertisers follow the attention of the users. When television was becoming popular, advertisers moved away from radio and print, into the field of TV. Next was the revolution of mobile devices. Now, AR/VR is on the rise. As of this moment, it is only available to select customers. However, when it becomes mainstream, I believe it will overtake mobile devices in popularity. Advertisers are already looking in that direction. They are already selling virtual merchandise for real-world money. The second big trend will be cryptocurrencies and NFTs. As soon as advertisers are able to implement in these spaces, there will be a huge breakthrough. I predict that these changes will happen in the market within the next five to ten years," Rvachev said.