45 SponsoredLinX


$15.3 million




Ben Bradshaw, 35


Brisbane, QLD






Communications and marketing



For many seasoned entrepreneurs the best business ideas come during a day of brainstorming with their team, or while analysing high-level strategy to see where they should go next.

For Ben Bradshaw of digital marketing agency SponsoredLinX, however, the best ideas come during the most mundane times – times he has carved out specifically to walk away from work.

“I also ensure I have enough ‘me’ and ‘family’ time,” he says.

“I find that often during these moments in time that an idea will hit me entirely out of nowhere.

“These moments of inspiration have often led to several products and services which we successfully sell to our clients as part of our suite of management services.”

The digital marketing business has pioneered further innovations in the past year, including a new app which allows customers to track their AdWords campaigns.

Daily, weekly and monthly insights give customers a deeper view over what’s actually going on with their money – and it plays right into Bradshaw’s view that more businesses need to deeply analyse their data if they hope to remain competitive, no matter what industry.

“Everything is now driven by data. If it can’t be tracked and measured then we can’t know the exact impact it has on businesses,” he says.

“For any business to truly implement a strategic marketing plan, digital must play the major role.”

SponsoredLinX has followed up an appearance on last year’s Smart50 list to take out the 46th position this year. The company recorded revenue of more than $15 million in the last financial year and has a three-year revenue growth rate of 57%.

Bradshaw plans to push the company further this year, with more revenue and market share. But he says any business hoping to make an impact like his, with ideas generated from within, needs to understand that staff must be able to see the value of the work that they do.

Otherwise – there’s simply no point, he says.

“If a staff member can’t see the value in their work, then you can’t expect them to be motivated to perform well. When they do their job well, celebrate their wins with the rest of your staff,” he says.

“Recognition for their great achievements is very rewarding and satisfying, and it lets them know that you notice it.”