Beam City Inc is the world’s 1st unified advertising automation platform helping businesses plan and optimize their ads on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Bing and millions of sites, while delivering amazing results in days or weeks. Zeze Peters happens to be the brain behind this innovative platform. A serial entrepreneur and aerospace engineer with 20 years experience in software, robotics and applied Artificial Intelligence, Zeze Peters is bound on bringing African businesses into the world AI-driven preemptive advertising.
Identifying The Problems In the Ecosystem
My background is actually in Aerospace Engineering – what most people call rocket science. This includes robotics and complicated electro-mechanical systems. But I’ve spent a good part of the last 10 years building simple solutions to complex problems by applying AI and Big Data to consumer products.
In my experience, Google AdWords takes thousands of actions to create a really good search campaign, and this is one of the problems I faced every time I tried to deploy a new product. Also, to a layman running a small business who wants to advertise, these things can be quite complex. Such people would not know what options to choose.
According to the International Advertising Bureau (IAB), businesses waste $3 out of every $5 they spend on advertising. This is because they’ve not optimized their advertising to find their customers where they are.
I didn’t have to look outside my background to identify the problems. The way I think is ‘What are the problems in the world and what changes do I want to see in 10 years’. Adopting Artificial Intelligence into your business gives you a massive edge, yet many businesses within this ecosystem are still not quite aware of its potential.
To me, AI is a complicated form of a machine. Machines solve problems and make life easier – AI does the same thing. Some people are interested in AI because they want to use the technology to replace their staff and cut down their payroll, but for me I believe AI helps us do business better and have maximum impact.
People around the world make millions of searches on Google everyday. It’s now more obvious that the internet is where your customers are. For the first time ever, as reported in some western countries, more money was spent on online advertising than any other form of advertising in the year 2020. Lots of people spend half their day on social media literally.
In 2020, we also witnessed that while many businesses cut down on their online advertising budget due to the pandemic, they still experienced a boost in sales because more consumers were actively online and interacting with the brand.
A.I. & Advertising Optimization
When you take a look at a data feed, it has so much information – it goes on and on in matrices. Not many people want to spend hours analyzing this data manually. We built a platform that helps you advertise quickly while meeting best standards. The platform enables automatic monitoring in real time and shows you specific data on your audience such as the demographics – age, gender, type of residence etc. Our system gives you optimized targeting metrics and helps you set up your advertising campaigns in no time. It simplifies advertising, taking the 1000+ clicks needed to run great ads on each channel into 10s needed to reach more clients on more channels.
The truth about marketing is that there’s a lot of trial and error until you finally land on what actually works. But when you have humans trying and making errors constantly, you lose big money and waste resources. This happens because people don’t have enough stored information.
In advertising, there is also the problem of how to manage bigger data as your business scales. Computers are much better than humans at handling this sort of data. With optimized advertising, you can collate tonnes of unique data on each customer and interpret it effectively into specific marketing actions. Technology helps you learn what doesn’t work and saves you from running down a rabbit hole. When you are sure of what certainly doesn’t work then you can focus on what does.
In the past you had multimedia advertising which was more about billboards, postcards (although not so common in the African environment), television and radio ads. Some companies have marketers who do direct advertising in a more guerrilla fashion. These are all traditional methods which we’re familiar with but they’re far from enough to keep up with the ever-changing consumer behaviour.
Keeping Customers Happy
Even with a highly intelligent tool that processes all your consumer data, you still need to have the technical know-how to use such tools and get the best out of them. This is why we train our customers on how to use the tools we develop.
We’ve also created customer profiles on our platform so that small business owners can identify the finite set of profiles which their customers belong to and learn how to effectively target them using our tools.
We save you the trouble of all the trial and error because we define your potential customers for you. When you use an intelligent system such as ours, it’s been proven that your costs and advertising expenditure goes down significantly while your return on investment goes up. A case study of this is a restaurant that’s been using our platform for nine months. Because of how effectively the data on their customer profiles was used, they opened a new location during the lockdown at a time when most businesses were closing down and gripped with uncertainty.
Our system also uses features such as forms and phone call ads to help increase conversion rates on advertising. Top converters on ads in the global market convert at a rate of 10%. Most people do between 3% to 5%. With our unique features you can monitor, setup and optimize your campaigns in a few simple steps and we help you automatically convert viable clicks on your ads into sales.
What Lies Ahead?
We have agencies partnering with us who use our tools. We’re also working directly with some businesses in Nigeria. For now the challenge is still on pricing for the smaller businesses. Our minimum tier at the moment is about $190. We’re looking at making it more affordable and accessible for small businesses across Nigeria as our company grows.
Many big companies today are completely based on taking regular day-to-day activities of consumers and creating a simple digital interface for it. So it’s important to help in digitizing businesses across Africa. What’s most important however, is making smart decisions that are best for your own particular needs. Some small businesses which still operate within the manual terrain do not require all the complex technology that some bigger businesses require.
My advice to any entrepreneur who isn’t a developer or an engineer that understands machine learning, deep learning, big data and other complex technology surrounding applied AI, is to hire someone who does as a co-founder or as part of your team.
There are many problems that businesses face for which AI is not the best solution. But for aspects such as cyber security, logistics, inventory, hiring and others, there are many AI-based solutions which entrepreneurs must leverage in order to stay ahead of the curve.