With the knowledge I gained from working with small businesses in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia. I got together with a new co-founder engineer and launched Clickful, an end-to-end solution that delivers professionally designed ad creatives, automatically sets up, manages and optimises all of your ads. Using Artificial Intelligence, Clickful was able to automatically predict the best ad banner designs that are proven to attract your target audience. The platform also monitors ad performance and automatically adjusts your budget to the most popular designs, saving you on unnecessary ad spending and ultimately increasing click through rates and sales revenue.
We raised a sizeable seed round of funding and grew the team to cover marketing, customer success and data science. While we knew there was an opportunity in the market for a product like ours, we failed to capture the correct market for the solution.
Unlike in the U.S. where online marketing and advertising was already a go to solution for many small businesses, many business owners in Asia was just coming online and going digital. This required a lot of education and hand-holding, all while results of online advertising are never guaranteed. While our tool was suppose to alleviate that aspect for them, and at the same time automate most of the process for them, many were still skeptical of its effectiveness for their business, which also meant much lower ad spend. This was the case in Hong Kong, Taiwan and other parts of Asia. The biggest lesson we learned from this was to not make assumptions on speed at which the market was going. While most businesses was going online finally and understood the need for having an online presence and social media, online marketing was still too risky for them, it just wasn’t the right time. After about a year and a half, we ceased operations in mid 2018.