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How to choose a focus and disrupt yourself


How to choose a focus and disrupt yourself


Louisa Dahl gets some key marketing advice from Alex Holmes of Envato.

As marketers in 2015 we have so many channels and focus areas, it can be hard to work out what to give priority to. We know search networks are a must do, social media is increasingly targeted and effective, email is a no brainer and mobile has to be a factor. But if it isn’t all yet coming together or getting the results you need, it can be overwhelming.

Alex Holmes, the digital marketing manager at Melbourne start-up Envato has faced this challenge. With experience across a wide range of start-ups and organisations he has implemented marketing campaigns, defined processes and built global teams from the ground up. However, despite his years of marketing experience, Alex believes that anyone can be successful in marketing if they follow three key steps:

  1. Cut out the noise,
  2. define one to two channels to focus on and learn everything about them, and
  3. dedicate time to optimising channels and then grow.

Choose A Focus

“Pick one channel to focus on and make it work. If you give one channel focused attention and spend dedicated time on optimising that channel, you will get much faster results than splitting that effort across multiple channels,” Alex advises.

And if you’re wondering where to start, Alex goes further to say, “If you can’t make it work on Google, you can’t make it work. Once you get one channel working, it’s so much easier to replicate that success across other channels.”

Such advice is well-placed in any organisation who might be quick to apply a scatter-gun approach. You have a new campaign and you put it straight up on Google, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, but how do you know you have your messaging right, that your target are interested or even that your images are resonating?  A more refined approach allows you to implement and test properly on one channel and then take those learnings and apply them across all the relevant channels. Part of being a smart marketer is also to consciously deciding what not to do.

Alex aims to split his marketing activity using a general rule of 75% safe, 20% risky and 5% crazy, and acknowledges that not every available channel will work for Envato.

Encouraging self-disruption

Following a theme of continual innovation, the team at Envato knows that not just their marketing approach but their actual product offering is going to continually evolve and therefore they are forcing themselves to self-disrupt. “We are constantly trying new categories, different content and other offerings to stay relevant. The way we engage with our affiliates and community won’t be the same in years to come and we want to make sure that our brand remains relevant.”

“We work in a constantly changing environment – what we know now won’t matter in five years. Marketers need to constantly keep pushing themselves, try new methods and continually prove new approaches,” explains Alex.


Alex Holmes will be speaking at the Interactive Minds Digital Summit events in Melbourne and Brisbane this August.



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