Based on GEM (2015/2016), citizens of innovation-driven economies are more capable to identify good opportunities and capabilities which are necessary to start business. It is impossible to know all, but it is important to acknowledge challenges, weaknesses, and lacking expertise in order to grow your business in a sustainable and profitable way.
In September 2016 (from 15th to 22nd September 2016) GILE experts united entrepreneurs and top managers from Canada, Germany, Malta, the UK, and Lithuania in the learning program “Efficiency and Effectiveness of Digital Marketing and Innovation”, which took place in Marsaskala, Malta. Although this was the second learning program in the same series, it covered different industries (audio/visual arts, writing, spiritual development practices, social entrepreneurship, and etc.) which called for specific digital marketing techniques.
All participants were nascent entrepreneurs who: successfully overcame a fear of failure; identified great entrepreneurial opportunities in their environment; were creative and strong in concept development and focused on strategic planning, monitoring, digital marketing, and commercialization of innovative ideas. Participants were opportunity-driven and open to revision of their business strategies. They agreed to work on real cases of their entrepreneurial ventures in order to prepare draft digital marketing campaigns for their businesses.
A self-employed Digital Consultant Timu Fokinas at www.googleadwordshero.co.uk and Dr. Mindaugas Lauzikas emphasized a holistic approach to digital marketing and innovation, particularly among nascent entrepreneurs. After profound primary and secondary researches (including market and benchmark analysis) participants identified their niche markets, competitive advantages, and unique talent areas. Before making digital marketing-related decisions, they were asked to set main strategic targets, to underline core success criteria, expected outcomes, and necessary resources. Timu Fokinas (2016) argues that one of the most common mistakes among nascent entrepreneurs is application of digital marketing techniques without a clear understanding who they are, what are their expectations? What is their target market?
Preparing a cohesive sustainable strategy is not an easy task even for experienced entrepreneurs, while creative industries face the difficulty to measure economic and social impacts in a quantitative way. Experts agree that, it is critical to focus on cooperation, networking, partnership, open-source innovation, and social interaction among stakeholders. Monitoring models, business intelligence techniques enable companies to grow faster. Do not underestimate the competition: after innovation diffusion we have imitation (be ready for copy cats)! According to Timu Fokinas (2016), digital marketing campaigns should fit well core business strategies; while Lauzikas (2016) emphasizes the role of social Innovation, which becomes an efficient marketing tool.
The learning program has been enriched by a guest speaker Jon Aedyn King (aka Aedyn Jak, http://www.jonaedynking.com/), a published writer, artist, film director, and creator, whose debut anthology ‘Disquiet Milk’ received critical acclaim. The learning session helped GILE experts to prepare practical tips for entrepreneurs how to link digital marketing campaigns and business strategies as well as how to commercialize various creative ideas in creative industries. GILE experts believe that Aedyn Jak’s second upcoming book ‘Magic Rope’ (a mixture of short stories and poems with his colour ink illustrations) will establish his strong position among the leading innovative writers and artists, due to efficient combination of creativity and business intelligence.