Applications for the best emerging marketing start-up are open until September 12 on www.martechchallenge.com
Dejan Ranđić, ICT Hub Founder & DNA Communications General Manager
To what extent can a robust start-up community bring potential for its country and society?
In this context, I would interpret the start-up community as the potential of individuals and smaller, flexible teams to properly respond to the challenges of life, society, and above all traditional business in different fields. The already validated start-up methodology provides start-ups with the opportunity to try out their product or innovation in the real world before the final market launch, which gets them feedback and creates room for improvements. More importantly, the start-up mechanism ensures the earliest possible opportunity to detect whether you’re on the wrong track, helping you to experience failure as soon as possible — if it’s inevitable — and learn a lesson from that failure that will serve you well in your subsequent projects. The start-up culture promotes innovation and a model that sets teamwork as grounds for success through a series of potential failures, which makes it extremely important. This way, we are influencing people to embrace a different MO — to live and work at the same time — and I think that we as a society would be much more successful overall if as many people as possible had a chance to spend some time developing the magic of a start-up project.
How important is it for the Serbian marketing communications market to recognize the potential of collaborating with start-ups? In your opinion, what are the key benefits of this form of collaboration?
If we repeat the start-up culture essence mentioned in the previous answer — innovation at the core of projects and willingness to learn from failure — then it becomes clear that the local marketing communications arena very much lacks start-up approaches and collaborations with innovative companies. Although viewed as a prestigious industry, marketing communications in the local market haven’t made any significant strides or advancements over the last ten years, with the exception of the imminent emergence of digital/online communications, which haven’t even come close to demonstrating their potential. In the meantime, the world has moved forward quite significantly, but considering the multitude of constraints and the market’s size, the reality of being able to apply all the innovations and tools resulting from the growth of successful start-ups from other markets remains highly contentious.
The local experience, as well as knowing the needs and limitations of the local and regional markets could be an excellent prompt for local growth and collaboration between start-up teams and companies centered around the marketing communications market. As with any corporate innovation, the key challenges I see are companies’ willingness to embrace innovation and change their established practices, as well as the need for innovation to come from individuals with extensive experience in marketing communications. The reason being that innovation can come only from someone with experience who knows the industry and recognizes room for improvement. In this area, we need new entrepreneurs from the ranks of marketing communications professionals, and that means going outside the comfort zone and into something new… which is not easy.
Finally, clients will also need to be open to innovation, which is an issue and a challenge in its own right.
Why did ICT Hub support the MarTech Challenge and why should start-ups apply?
ICT Hub has been working together with some of the biggest companies in corporate innovation for many years now, which also includes collaboration between start-up teams and large systems in disrupting the workflow, as well as finding new business models. We’ve had the opportunity to see a slew of achievements of local start-up teams through collaboration with large systems, joint sales, and even partnerships through investing in start-ups. I believe that MarTech holds great potential for innovation, and more importantly, I believe that DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions can identify real opportunities for innovation in the local and regional markets, as well as secure the ideal environment for testing and implementing good solutions.
In short, this means that select start-up teams will have a real opportunity to grow, collaborate, and implement their solutions, which is a chance of a lifetime.