First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Artjom Jekimtsev: Well, thank you. Growing my company is keeping me busy.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Adverttu.
Artjom Jekimtsev: It’s fair to say that Adverttu had a natural beginning rather than a eureka moment.
Back at university, my co-founder and I were working on a peer-to-peer car lending platform. We wanted to democratize car ownership, but we weren’t alone in this thinking – the sector was competitive, and that meant digital marketing was ineffective and surprisingly expensive.
We turned to out of home advertising next; however, no-one could provide us with accurate measurement data. Return on investment was difficult to quantify, and the fact our adverts would be stuck on a single route or fixed location made me uneasy.
Being a practical pair, we rented a car, printed some hand-outs and wrapped the car ourselves. This initiative created a lot of interest, and we collected substantial data as we drove around.
It was also clear that there wasn’t a company offering this service to brands and businesses at scale, so we started to build what would eventually become Adverttu.
How does Adverttu innovate?
Artjom Jekimtsev: Through relentless development. The moment we complete one project, we’re already working on another. We have an exciting 18-month pipeline of product enhancements and new services.
In terms of what we do, Adverttu enables businesses to advertise on the cars of everyday people and commercial drivers. This is made possible through our on-car advertising platform, advanced AdTech, and European-first digital and shadowfencing capabilities.
Brands and businesses can launch memorable outdoor advertising campaigns anywhere in the UK with just a few clicks thanks to our campaign simulations, accurate impressions measurement, dramatically low £CPM and offline to online attribution.
From the driver’s perspective, Adverttu’s mobile app lets people earn passive income each month, access exciting rewards and turn their car into a money-making asset.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Artjom Jekimtsev: Our flexibility really shines in times of uncertainty.
When told to stay at home, we bring digital campaigns into homes on the devices people love. When we’re all once again allowed to socialize outdoors, that’s where we are, brightening up streets and delighting audiences.
The moment restrictions ease, we adapt. Advertisers can too through our intuitive planning and management tools.
Our ability to flex rapidly is why our clients love us. Our USP of only charging for impressions, never for the time in the market, is always a huge advantage.
I feel the coming months will be tricky for everyone, though the recent vaccine news is definitely cause for some positivity.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Artjom Jekimtsev: Yes, plenty, although this has built character, developed me as a leader and emphasized the importance of having a passionate, supportive team around me who will also trudge through the very worst moments.
Every business leader has experienced difficulty this year, but tomorrow is always a new day, and things can change for the better just as quickly as the reverse!
Plenty of rest, time to recharge and having passions outside of work are all important too.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Artjom Jekimtsev: Delegation, from a work perspective. No one person can do everything, so you need to learn what’s causing stress and find ways to share the load. I love to read and am always learning new skills, so I find those outlets have helped too.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Artjom Jekimtsev: There are other car advertising companies out there, although none have the same digital capabilities as us. Developing our digital solutions further will keep us far ahead. Some would say we compete with other outdoor media providers; however, we see Adverttu more as an amplification channel rather than a replacement for these. For the moment, at least…
Your final thoughts?
Artjom Jekimtsev: The pandemic has rewritten the rules for all businesses, but with disruption, change, and adversity comes fantastic opportunities and new ways of doing things. It’s made us all assess what’s important to us professionally and personally, which can only be a good thing long-term.