Marketing Maverick: How Digital First AI is Redefining the Industry

Marketing Maverick: How Digital First AI is Redefining the Industry 

Rafał Tromczyński, CEO of Digital First AI, explains how he went from Poland to the UAE, from creative direction to entrepreneurship, and from traditional marketing to a creativity LLM. 

What drove you to become an entrepreneur? 

For 15 years, I served as a creative director in Poland. I was managing big creative teams with strategists, copywriters, graphic designers, motion designers, etc., and we spent hundreds of millions of dollars in media budgets.

With my co-founders Michal Tokarski and Grzegorz Gracz, who had actually hired me 10 years ago at this agency, we knew that there was a formula, a recipe for creativity. Humans are unpredictable but we knew that some things can be recreated. So, we wanted to build a product that would explore that. 

However, that was way before ChatGPT was announced, and whenever we were pitching this creativity formula exploration, people were saying that it was impossible, that marketing and creativity are too complicated. So, bringing this vision to life was difficult. Yet, I started my entrepreneurship journey with this particular goal, two years ago.

How did you approach this exploration?

We started to break down the most popular and best-performing marketing strategies of some of the most exciting brands of the world. We deconstructed these strategies into smaller pieces, which we entered into a marketing tactics library – it was basically the first feature of our product. Now, these strategies could be used by everyone, with complete step-by-step instructions.

With this idea, we closed a $500,000 pre-Seed round in 2021 with two investors, one of which was Flat6Labs in Abu Dhabi. We build our first real product and started to implement AI technology, training the recommendation engine on our library and all the benchmarks and data that we had accumulated over our many years in this game.

We quickly started to generate revenue, growing by 30% every month last year. Today, more than 10,000 marketers from more than 60 countries use our tool. We joined Hub71 in 2023 and I moved to Abu Dhabi last October.

What problem are you solving for exactly?

OpenAI’s Sam Altman said that 95% of marketing creative processes will be automated by AI. However, the current reality is that, according to HubSpot, it takes three months for a company to build a marketing campaign and, according to Gartner, 85% of all marketing campaigns do not break positive return on investment. 

Our goal is to bridge the gap between what Altman said and the current reality. Instead of launching one campaign in three months with only a 15% chance of success, we want you to be able to build 3,000 campaigns with Digital First AI in the same timeframe with a much bigger chance of success.

How would you do that?

The product is structured around five levels: strategy, insights, ideation, design, and go-to-market. 

First, you brief the tool about your business either by entering your website URL, uploading a presentation, etc. In three minutes, a data room is built about your company and we structure this data to build a company profile using business canvases.

Then, you pick your marketing goal, like bringing 1,000 users to a webinar for example. Because we deconstructed all the strategies you can imagine, we are able to recommend all the steps to reach this goal. You can iterate in the process, and adjust however you want, including based on real-time data that we have access to as well.

Next, you have a full marketing department in the tool, with different agents for different marketing tasks: research, copywriting, graphic design, strategy, etc. You assign tasks to them like you would to people. The product combines image generation (and soon video generation) and copywriting to create content ready to publish. 

You can even build your own agents in the tool to integrate within your own framework, although it’s a bit more complicated. 

What is your business model? 

We’re a SaaS, with a $100 basic monthly subscription that can scale up based on the number of users if you’re a bigger company. 

But we’ll be introducing a new enterprise offer with one of our key partners, the biggest marketing network in the world. This is why we’re currently prioritising ensuring company data safety.

What are the next steps for Digital First AI?

In 2025, we’ll raise a Series A between $10 and $15 million to explore the possibility of building our own creativity LLM, trained for marketing purposes. We’ll also see how to apply for grants to help us open R&D processes for this LLM.

We introduced the concept of ‘autonomous marketing,’ defined in five levels. The first level is human input only and the fifth level has AI agents actually able to do everything on their own, with you just telling them what’s good or what isn’t. Today, the AI market is between the second and third levels. Our Seed round, which we’ll announce soon and which is going to be close to $4 million, has been raised to go up this ladder, with the end goal being to reach the fifth level. 

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