Brus Media is a cool company, they even have a Monkey as a logo and that alone was enough to get me excited enough to get in touch with co-founder Nic Blair and ask for an interview.

I was running late, and as inevitably happens in the circumstances, finding a park for my motorbike was almost impossible and so I arrived at the Brus Media offices in Fortitude Valley, flustered and apologetic. In stark contrast, Nic was relaxed and chatted easily as we wandered downstairs for a coffee.

Once we placed our order and were sitting in the strange interim period between ordering your coffee and receiving it, I asked Nic about Brus’s business model. I had to be honest, I’d done my research, including going on the website and Googling words I didn’t understand –  and I understaff the outcomes, but still wasn’t clear on how the offering actually worked.

Nic laughed. “That’s not surprising, when I explain to people what we do, I usually get a few confused looks. The funny thing is, we’re working in quite a mature industry when you look at it from a global perspective.”

I wasn’t trying to make Nic’s point when I shot a confused look.

“We offer a way for app developers to attract users and then, if it’s viable, to monetise their app. We’ve got a bunch of tools and strategies from which to work and  we offer developers and businesses the chance to, for example, offer incentives to users to download their app or target users in their local area. The reason people often don’t understand what we do straight away, is that uptake in Australia has been low.”

As with any other bad journalist, I asked the easy question, combined with a statement to make me sound clever. “Why? I thought mobile phone penetration in Australia was high.”

Nic nodded. “It is, in fact, both mobile phone penetration and app usage is very healthy. That’s why Australia is such an appealing market for offshore advertisers and developers. But locally, there just isn’t the focus on the creation and monetisation of apps as part of a marketing strategy. I’m not talking about just Brisbane here, this is Australia as a whole.”

The coffees arrived, I shifted uncomfortably in my seat, “So, doesn’t that make it a bit tricky for you?”

“Well, ideally our clients would be just down the street, and no doubt in the near future they will be. But as a business it’s far more effective to focus on countries where the marketing budgets for this kind of stuff already exist, rather than trying to educate the market locally. Don’t get me wrong, we are doing both and aim to be a major player in the local market also, but when there is a ready-made, online market already in existence, it doesn’t make much sense to aggressively go after a market still in its infancy.”

I astounded Nic with my next insight, “So most of your clients are offshore?”

“A vast majority, yes. We have clients in Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and heaps of other places. Time zones are a bit of a challenge so we’ve had to change our working hours – we started seven and finish in the early afternoon. The early mornings were a bit of a challenge for everyone to start off with, but now I think everyone enjoys having some daylight hours to themselves. And like I said, as the market changes and we get more local clients on board this will change also,  it’s the nature of the industry that the requirements, technology and methodology are in a constant state of flux. If you don’t embrace this, you’ll miss something and get left behind.”

Nic listed a few of the businesses they were working with, brand-name businesses that I recognised, games that I’d played. It seems crazy to me that the local uptake wasn’t higher. “Do you think businesses haven’t embraced app marketing due to a lack of sophistication?”

“No, not at all. If you look at various economies around the world, from a digital standpoint I mean, they have all evolved differently. Australia’s digital marketing focus has been on other areas, not due to some form of naivety, but because a critical mass decides that this is the best area to focus on. Now, the businesses we are working with locally are profiting off the back of this. There aren’t as many local fish in the sea, while other organisations are choosing different avenues, these organisations have the forethought to see the opportunity.”

And where to next for Brus Media?

“We are about to do some really cool new stuff – that’s one of the advantages of working in the global arena, you have to stay ahead of the curve at a meaningful level. And like I said, this industry is always evolving and our focus is on making sure the technology we work with and the methodology we use is the best in the world.”

Nic is a seasoned veteran in the Brisbane tech community, his other business, Search Factory is doing great things also. I adore that he is ignoring geographic challenges and embracing being a ‘Brisbane business,’ at the same time, wearing it as a badge of pride. It started to rain just as I reach my motorbike, I’d forgotten to put money in the meter but hadn’t been stung with one of Brisbane’s ridiculous fines. Meeting with Nic had been a fascinating experience, it feels like a great opportunity for local marketers to have a cutting edge businesses with such a powerful offering just down the road.

Check them, and their awsome monkey out at www.brusmedia.com