Cut out the noise, pick a marketing channel and make it work

StartupSmart /

As business owners in 2015, we have so many channels and priority areas that it can be hard to work out where to focus our marketing. We know that search networks are a must, social media is increasingly targeted and effective, email is a no brainer and mobile has to be a factor. But if you’re doing all of that and it’s still not coming together, it’s easy to be overwhelmed.


Alex Holmes, the digital marketing manager at Melbourne-based startup Envato, has faced this challenge. With experience across a wide range of startups and organisations, he has implemented marketing campaigns, defined processes and built global teams from the ground up.


He believes success in marketing comes down to three key steps:


1. Cut out the noise

2. Define 1-2 channels to focus on and learn everything about them

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,” Holmes says.


“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 that 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 audience is interested or 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 consciously deciding what not to do.


Holmes 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.


Continue to evolve

Holmes and the team at Envato understand that both their marketing approach and product offering will continue to evolve. As such, 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,” Holmes says.


“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.”


Think global

After three years at Envato, Holmes now leads marketing work that supports a community of 5.5 million, customers across 200+ countries, and 1.5 million active buyers.


“When our community succeeds, we succeed,” he says.


“We take a global first approach to our marketing, incorporate innovation and test and refine, all of which have contributed to our success.”


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

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