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Markopolo.ai: A digital marketer for SMEs

  • Published at 01:00 pm August 26th, 2021

Using Markopolo’s software, its clients can focus on their business as the software takes care of campaign planning, creative and copy generation, A/B testing, ad spending optimization and scheduling on behalf of the users.

A year ago, the founders of Markopolo.ai noticed that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country often lacked marketing literacy and ended up wasting money on gut-feeling-based ad campaigns.

Other SMEs ended up seeking help from digital marketers or agencies, whose fees can be very expensive.

And so, with an aim to offer a unified solution to all marketing problems for SMEs, these entrepreneurs launched their own start-up.

Markopolo.ai is a b2b service provider and offers a one-stop software-based solution by gathering business information regarding the entire industry of clients and by also working on their campaign objectives. 

Using these statistics, the clients can then have a better understanding of their market and reach their target customers more efficiently.

“The quality of services is inconsistent and varies across agencies,” said Tasfia Tasbin, CEO of Markopolo.ai. 

“The user experience of the interaction is too slow and too open-ended which ends up in a mismatch of expectations between customers and agencies. Most importantly, customers do not feel in control of their digital advertising because of a lack of transparency from agencies,” she added.

Using Markopolo’s software, its clients can focus on their business as the software takes care of campaign planning, creative and copy generation, A/B testing, ad spending optimization and scheduling on behalf of the users. 

But users ultimately have the final say before publishing the ad on the chosen platforms. 

They can also modify the creatives, copy or content timeline on their own before approving for publication.

This business model is a unique one and there are currently no other companies in the country providing similar services. 

However, there are global competitors such as Madgicx and Adespresso. 

Only having started operations recently, the start-up has been selected in the Global VC firm 500 Startups growth stage-focused accelerator program Global Launch Singapore, Batch 4.

“We are hoping to use the opportunity to learn about how to enter the Singapore market and expand across Southeast Asia. It will also provide us access to 500 Startups’ network of mentors and networking opportunities with its community of startups, corporate partners, and key industry stakeholders,” said Tasbin.

Markopolo.ai has also recently reached the top 60 of the K-Startup Grant Challenge. 

The K-Startup Grant Challenge is a start-up program held every year and is supported by the government of South Korea. The program is exclusively funded by the country’s Ministry of SMEs and Startups.

This year alone, teams from 127 countries applied for the event.

Markopolo.ai has also reached the top 10 at the She Loves Tech 2021 Global Startup Competition Bangladesh Round. She Loves Tech hosts the world’s largest start-up competition for women in tech where participants from over 40 countries take part each year.

So far, with a nine-member team, Markopolo.ai has raised $200,000 and is looking for more to grow their business. 

Founders Tasfia Tasbin and COO Rubaiyat Farhan both have experience in the IT sector. 

Tasbin has a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology.

She formerly headed operations in visual AI start-up Gaze Technology and consulted several government projects of its ICT division, a2i and also the United Nations. 

She also worked as an IoT Engineer for Datasoft Systems Bangladesh, which is one of the largest software companies in Bangladesh.

Rubaiyat Farhan, on the other hand, recently completed his MBA from IBA, University of Dhaka. He also has experience in start-ups, as he previously built TiGrow — a global SaaS product from scratch. 

Farhan also had first-hand experience of handling the responsibilities of digital marketing and also worked for raising funds for the country’s largest e-waste recycling plant. 

“Although I am an engineer and an MBA in finance by training, I learnt UI and UX designing on my own,” he said. 

During his college days, he joined travel agency Somotot Tours and Events, and through digital inclusion, he grew its business by 350% within one and a half years.

Being a start-up that operates in a b2b model, Markopolo.ai has also gone through the pandemic largely unscathed. 

In fact, Markopolo.ai helped its SME clients steer through the pandemic by strategizing their digital marketing. 

“Rubaiyat and I together started probing the advertising industry deeper. To understand the customer experience and pain points in the industry better, we started offering data analytics services to ad agencies and marketing consultation to different types of businesses — e-commerce, startups, SMB, etc. — since October last year,” Tasbin said.

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