BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb. 26
By Sadraddin Aghjayev - Trend:
More attention to the modern technologies in the development strategy of various state bodies and carrying out reforms in the Azerbaijani ICT sector are priority tasks in the development of the country's non-oil sector, founder of Smartbee company Farid Karimov told Trend on Feb. 26.
“The increased importance of the ICT sector during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that the future must be based on digital economy,” Karimov added.
"There are few projects with great potential in Azerbaijan,” he said. “We do not have many good IT projects that meet international standards that could show good results."
“Smartbee is a Martech (marketing technology) company,” Karimov said. “The Smartbee team currently consists of 14 people. We provide innovative solutions to advertisers and publishers for advertising, from a single window. Moreover, 130 websites have been already connected to the system and over 80 advertisers have been registered."
“The system processes thousands of requests per second, providing information on the progress of the advertising campaign in real time,” the founder of Smartbee said.
"I wrote the main core of the system myself without using any library or source,” Karimov said. “Today our team consists of back-end (software and hardware part of the service) programmers, front-end (user interface) developers and product-manager. Our product is the biggest local traffic platform in Azerbaijan."
“As the Google Ads system does not officially support the Azerbaijani language, local site owners and webmasters cannot monetize their sites,” he said. "In this regard, the Smartbee team decided to create a system through which many sites on the AzNet network can earn money while advertisers can easily place ads from a single panel," Karimov said.
The co-founder of the Smartbee project and expert in digital marketing, Tural Karimov, said that the current customers of the system can be divided into two groups:
1. International advertisers and well-known agencies - Mars, RedBull, Nivea, Mondelez International, etc.
2. Local advertisers - Azerfon, construction companies, electronics chain stores and others.
"Both international and local advertisers are showing great interest in this platform,” the expert said. “Convenient tracking and management of an advertising campaign from a single panel, changing ad creatives and a number of other features simplify the work of marketing employees."
“A new generation of local marketers start to work in accordance with international standards and are already well versed in digital marketing,” Karimov said.
"We are interested in local marketing specialists to be more professional and demanding,” the expert said. “If they do their job efficiently, sooner or later they will be interested in working with our digital tool."
“Some 90 percent of the turnover falls on big advertisers and agencies,” the expert said. “Small business owners and individuals have also begun to connect to our advertising network. Beauty salons, doctors and even candidates for MPs are registered in the system and receive targeted traffic. We have connected an online payment system for the convenience of making payments and paying for the services of our company. Previously, payments were mainly made by bank transfer. "
Karimov added that the main work of their team is aimed at eliminating errors (bugs) and solving current problems.
“Advertisers do not stand still and constantly demand more and more new functions,” the expert said. “Therefore, we add something new every week.”
“Moreover, we plan to introduce about 95 percent of the capabilities based on advertiser requirements into the system by October 2021,” Karimov said. “The realization of this demand greatly depends on the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the majority of advertisers became inactive, they conduct small advertising campaigns, which negatively affects our system.”
“The Smartbee team plans to go beyond the Azerbaijani market by the end of this year and become a regional player,” the expert said.
Follow the author on Twitter: agdzhaev