Professional Darwinism

Innovation & marketing for businesses

In a constantly evolving market, startups are quickly becoming the frontiers in innovation and successful marketing. On the other hand, corporate businesses are sometimes finding themselves stuck in the early 2000’s. Psychology and marketing are inextricably linked and in order keep up with consumers, we must understand how they think.

One man who understands this better than any is co-founder of M5859 Apps, James Nyguen. M5859 Apps is Australia’s most established App development studio and are huge in the global market. Having built apps for huge global brands such as BBC Worldwide and 20th Century Fox, the guys really know their stuff.

Related: An interview with futurist Chris Riddell

SMSGlobal’s digital marketing team, attended a presentation by James alongside the COO Paul McKenna on How Australian Corporates Can Capitalise on Startup Marketing Strategies at The Cluster Penthouse, and took a lot away from the session. Here’s some of what we learnt.

Where Startups Get a Head Start

Risk and reward go together like peas and corn. So when low resourced start-ups are forced to use what they have, be innovative and take risks, they are often rewarded with success. While trial will inevitably lead to error, frequent trial and error lead to success. A quick risk-feedback cycle, James suggests, is the key to succeeding in marketing in a fast moving world. Think outside the box and try everything, not just what has been proven to work in the past. Because the world moves at the speed of light. What works today won’t work tomorrow, and what works tomorrow will be well and truly outdated by next week. Take risks, and don’t be afraid to fail – it’s not just a cliché, it’s a technique.

Where Corporates Can Get Caught

You’d think multi-billion dollar organisations would have their stuff sorted by now. But how is it that grass root projects have been jetting past the sure and strong players in their fields? Maybe, as James suggested, it is because the companies with everything, in fact, have too much. If “when you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose”, then when you have everything, you have everything to lose, so it’s not surprising that these Corporates are fundamentally adverse to risk. Instead, they stick to what works, and in marketing terms, that means gravitating towards heavily saturated mediums, like traditional and digital marketing. Spending millions in saturated marketing mediums may keep these brands afloat, but it will not rocket them to the top in huffs of virality and innovation like the small guys.

James’ Top Keys to Success

  1. Use untapped platforms; explore platforms that are currently untouched by your market. It’s essential to find out where your current market is and how they are getting there. Think further than your first ten ideas; go beyond your competitors.
  2. Trial and adapt quickly; aggressively tinker, take risks and get feedback straight away. Divorce yourself from the emotion. If it works, peruse it. If it doesn’t, move on.
  3. Integrate viral incentives; your product can’t go viral without being shared, so create an incentive for you customers to spread the word. Don’t underestimate the power of people.

We’d like to say thank you to James and the team for offering some insightful advice, tips and strategies. We’re looking forward to implementing these going forward.