[Startup Interview] Mark Schoones, Co-Founder, MIX, Netherlands
MIX is a Dutch-based agency that uses creative thinking to forge a connection between business, brand and marketing by analyzing businesses from all sides, determining where value is created and optimizing exactly those points.
It does this by using services such as creative direction, brand development and organization design to help brands and the teams running them. The startup’s Co-founder Mark Schoones explains.
Introduce your startup
We are MIX; a creative agency with a radical focus on added value. MIX is positioned at the cutting edge of proposition design, branding and customer experience. Using creativity to help brands on more levels than just marketing communication and the classic advertising framework.
Who are the founders of MIX and what are their professional backgrounds ?
MIX was founded by Mark Schoones and Ashwin Murli.
Together Murli and Schoones combine two decades of experience at numerous content and product agencies such as Wayne Parker Kent, Accenture Interactive and Label A.
Schoones has worked for four years as a creative director at the award winning content agency Wayne Parker Kent were he co-shaped the agency's international expansion. Murli co-designed numerous well known apps for brands such as GreenWheels, Swapfiets and the national Dutch railway company NS.
What are – in your opinion – are the dynamics shaping the marketing industry?
There's a clear disconnect between the broad creative challenges brands face and the specialized positioning most agencies' adopted. Brands need a creative partner that's able to help on more levels than just marcom. In our view sustainable value can only be added when agencies dare to look outside the classic campaign framework. That's what we're trying to do.
Why did you start MIX? What opportunities did you see?
We've worked in specialized silos for quite a bit and saw the hurtful boundaries these silos form for brands. The thing is; the entire creative agency ecosystem is built on specialization. When the one thing clients need is a creative partner that's able to look across different specializations.
What problem or problems does MIX solve?
We don't sell output. We sell a creative solution to problems brands face. This enables us to start the conversation were it matters; added value. We're able to start the conversation with a blank slate. This open and broad way of approaching the world of brands and businesses, differentiates us from other agencies.
What gives MIX the competitive edge
We have the wit of a consultancy firm and the creative power of an ad agency. We're also nice people to work with which counts in our book.
Who are your customers?
Our broad positioning automatically results in a broad portfolio when we look at the industries we service. Size-wise we tend to work well with scale-ups, medium sized brands and start-ups. We basically service everyone except corporates up to this point. Which isn't deliberate, by the way. But our swift, open an agile approach works best with organizations that mirror, or at least wants to mirror, that approach.
What does MIX need in order to grow?
Time and effective work.
What is your growth strategy?
We believe that scaling an agency too fast will hurt the relationships with our clients. That's why we plan on growing the core of MIX on our own to 30 people within 5 years. Sustainable growth with the help of experienced and self-sustaining strategists, creatives and creators. That's the vision.
In which markets are you looking to establish your presence?
After we've established our agency in the Dutch market, we plan on expanding to less mature neighboring digital markets such as Germany and Belgium. But then we're talking year 6 to 10. Let's first try to make it to 5.
What are your plans for the coming 12 months?
We plan on grow our workforce from 2 to 5 within 12 months, buy some plants for our office and have a lot of fun. That's the official roadmap.
This is an entry for the Dutch Startup Competition 2021
Read about the Dutch Startup Competition and how to participate here