Ahava Digital Group (ADG)
Fueled by data
Business View Magazine interviews Dr. Janét Aizenstros, CEO of Ahava Digital Group, for our focus on Digital Technology in Professional Services
Ahava Digital Group (ADG) is proud to be a women-led digital consultancy helping to shift the perspective of leading corporations and media companies to grow devoted, long-term relationships with women consumers in an emotional and intuitive way – fueled by data and technology to deliver a successful ROI.
The Ahava Digital team is dedicated to leading the way in conceptualization and innovative growth options with uniquely branded experiences tailored for each client. Over 25 years of combined experience amongst the leadership has given them the opportunity to work with industry-leading companies offering a global perspective on what drives brand devotion.
Ahava Digital Group was born from humble beginnings in 2011, as a typical full-service creative agency that was innovatively-driven for small businesses and influencers. Until one day in late 2013, when that vision changed to “extraordinary”. Since then, Ahava Digital has grown into a unique and lean company with fifteen global locations. Over the last few years, more of their clients at home and abroad have been requesting pinpointed data for targeted marketing and advertising. The ADG team is now answering this call. The decision to become game-shifting digital leaders ideally positions the firm to cultivate a voice for diversity, inclusivity, equality and belonging.
Business View recently spoke with Dr. Janét Aizenstros, Chairwoman & CEO of Ahava Digital Group, for insights into her company. As you’ll learn, Ahava Digital is not your ordinary digital consultancy, and Aizenstros, herself, is anything but ordinary. In fact, the work her organization is doing is nothing short of exceptional.
She shares, “I started Ahava Digital under a different name in 2011 in my basement as a full-service creative agency helping small businesses and influencers with branding, etc. Ahava Digital wasn’t even my primary focus; I was writing children’s books at the time and basically tossing all my God-given talents out into the universe to see what would stick. But I kept working in the background at Ahava Digital and the big shift came in 2013, when we landed a large client that gave an abundant injection of funds into my company.”
Through that opportunity, she kept acquiring larger clients who were seeking to maximize their ad spend with targeted social media – they wanted pin-pointed data. So Ahava Digital’s leadership began researching how to fulfill their clients’ needs promptly. Within a matter of weeks, a partner of Aizenstros’ created the opportunity for Ahava Digital to acquire a data center. She acquired the data center and took on all of their clientele.
Knowing that data policy was shifting in the U.S., Aizenstros developed a proprietary methodology and technology for verifying the data, while expanding on more technological offerings to help corporations gather and house data on their existing clientele. She explains, “This technology allows larger companies and their in-house agencies to gather and extrapolate the data for themselves, based on the requirements they are seeking for their ad campaigns. We restructured these same data and technology services for the private equity investor, known as the Data Concierge, which is like having a virtual data center at your fingertips.”
When the company pivoted in 2016 into Ahava Digital Group, it was a seven-figure organization with global clients. But once they started utilizing the technology products through the data center, combined with the verified data, it easily grew to a nine-figure organization that was able to tap into many international markets. Aizenstros notes, “It allowed us to enter into different markets globally, utilizing our technology in other markets such as the U.K., Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. We even had the opportunity to help underdeveloped countries grow by licensing our technology in select countries around the globe to aid in stimulating economic growth.”
Working on such projects is a very rewarding experience for the Ahava Digital team. The micro-businesses in these underdeveloped countries need opportunity for growth and support. “Many women in certain areas in the world don’t have the same privileges we can access here in North America. Creating opportunities where women can have access to decent work while stimulating economic growth must be a social responsibility for every company,” says Aizenstros. “It’s an honor to provide these women with the opportunity to establish micro-businesses that partner with multinational corporations. By 2030, Ahava Digital’s technology will have established almost 50,000 jobs within those regions.
When multinational companies connect with Ahava Digital, ADG uses social responsibility as a key focus. According to Aizenstros, “Being a Black Canadian woman, I have a responsibility not just to provide technology to these companies, but these opportunities have placed me at the helm to craft messages that directly connect with women consumers, especially BIPOC women. We provide market insights to these corporations to help them emotionally and intuitively tune in to the needs of Black women universally.”
Over the years, Ahava Digital has had the wonderful opportunity to work on special projects with companies across the globe. One of those projects was with a multinational media company that positioned itself in Nigeria to bridge culture and position itself for the economic resurgence taking place in Africa. This multinational company wanted to establish a bigger footprint in Nigeria , so Ahava Digital Group’s leadership offered advisory on their upcoming media launch.
Ahava Digital Group is made up of some core people, combined with three other acquisitions that make up the employee base. Aizenstros says it wasn’t easy to restructure these companies, internally, but to support Ahava Digital’s mission and vision, Aizenstros rose to the challenge to circle back to her original concept for a company that places employees, remote work and wellness programs first.
She shares, “I am an employer that focuses on people first and we look at business from a holistic perspective. We build our people – personally and professionally. Therefore, they show up giving a higher rate of performance which directly impacts our bottom line. Currently, we have 557 employees globally – 65 percent are women. Our methodology for hiring is unconventional – we hire humans that are empathetic leaders. We’re seeking people who are of course intellectual but the real focus is on their high-level of emotional awareness. The type of work we do is very intentional. Our employees need a high EQ to connect with the emotional and intuitive nature of women to help our clients achieve their targets.”
Ahava Digital utilizes verified data to help companies maximize their ad spend. The comprehensive data file has 280 million records with over 1000 data points that include emotional sentiments for each individual data record. “What we’ve been able to do with verified data is maximize ad spend dollars for our clients. This means that 97 percent of their ad spend is in fact directly targeting their ideal clientele. This is why our data file has made us a desirable commodity to many companies globally and the key reason we’ve grown exponentially.” says Aizenstros.
No successful business goes it alone – building relationships is key. As Aizenstros attests, “Reveal Research is a small, women-led boutique start-up company that has recently become a channel partner with us – it’s a beautiful extension to our work. Their firm leverages Ahava Digital’s data to support SMEs in the African-American community. Another close relationship we have is with an organization called WE Global Studios (Women Entrepreneurs Global). It is a venture studio that helps women tech startups with a social focus build businesses by streamlining the offering of advisory, services and resources.”
As for the future of Ahava Digital, Aizenstros is proud at how her organization has excelled and laid the template for what organizations should be doing, regarding inclusion, diversity, belonging, equality, wellness and remote/hybrid work options. She notes, “The future of business is data-centric, employee-first with a social focus. Many companies are restructuring to embrace this reality which is the key to sustainable business practices in the future. We are proud of what we have accomplished thus far, continuing to be trendsetters in the area of conscious and sustainable business.”
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AT A GLANCE
Ahava Digital Group
What: A women-led digital consultancy using data and technology
Where: Based in Kitchener, Ontario