Helping SMEs get best bang for their buck from digital marketing spend

Persuva aims to assist companies to close gap between spending on digital marketing and the payback in sales, sign-ups, site traffic and brand awareness

Content creation tool Persuva is the brainchild of Peter Horvath, whose experience as an account manager with TikTok and Meta identified a gap between what SMEs were spending on digital marketing and the payback in terms of sales, sign-ups, site traffic and brand awareness.

From what Horvath could see, many companies were falling at the first hurdle because their poorly conceived marketing messages were failing to reach potential customers. He believed the problem actually went deeper because successful digital marketing is not about one thing. It is made up of a number of different strands and if they’re not in sync, it will impede sales.

“The idea for the business came from my first-hand experience of working closely with SMEs that shared a common problem: the ineffective use of marketing budgets because their content didn’t connect at every stage of the customer journey, whether the goal was to boost brand awareness or generate sales,” says Horvath, who first began “tapping into AI technology’s transformative potential for marketing” in 2020.

Horvath founded the company in 2022 and says Persuva is different from other content creation tools because it is a one-stop-shop for a range of features that make it easier for SMEs to ensure their digital marketing message is seen and heard.

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“While most platforms stop at providing generic copywriting templates, Persuva delves deeper, offering a sophisticated suite of tools that allow businesses to develop content that is finely tuned to their audience’s psychological triggers and decision-making processes,” Horvath says.

What normally happens, he adds, is that a company buys a product to help with one aspect of their marketing message, such as copy creation. However, they still fail to get sales traction because some other aspect of the message is wrong – for example, not really understanding the target customer in terms of who they are and what’s going to drive them to convert from a click to a sale.

“This gap I saw between effort and impact inspired me to create a solution that was not just about optimising ad copy,” Horvath says. “Instead, I wanted to provide these businesses with a means to elevate their content and drive genuine engagement and conversions. So, apart from tailored sales copy, we offer add-ons such as a strategy hub and curated learning resource, content customisation and project organisation.”

Horvath has recently completed the New Frontiers programme for new businesses at TU Dublin Tallaght. He went for a bootstrapped approach to his start-up, building the product himself and getting the business up and running on about €30,000, which includes the New Frontiers stipend.

To kick-start the commercial process, Horvath put Persuva on the AppSumo marketplace for software tools which generated income and brought in early customers. The company’s ongoing revenue model is a subscription service priced according to the number of features required.

Persuva is not Horvath’s first foray into entrepreneurship. Over the last number of years he has honed his own online conversion and sales skills by setting up and running a number of “dropshipping” stores as a side line. (Dropshipping is an ecommerce business model where an individual sources products they think will sell well online without having to hold stock or look after order fulfilment.)

English-speaking markets are Persuva’s initial focus but Horvath says the plan is to expand into other languages once the copywriting tools have been successfully translated without any compromise on quality or effectiveness.

“While there has been a big surge in AI tools in recent times, our edge lies in our specialisation,” he says. “Others are offering broad, generalised solutions whereas where we excel is with our deep focus on sales-oriented content creation, moving beyond basic copywriting frameworks to provide a truly tailored and impactful user experience.”