Assembled Media was established in Melbourne during the pandemic as part of the Assembled Group of Agencies, led by Craig Hart.
Zac Chapman, managing director, spoke to Mediaweek about providing clients with accountability and transparency at its core, its post-pandemic growth, pathways in the industry and his outlook for the agency.
Chapman joined the independent agency in May 2021, first as client service director before moving up to general manager and finally managing director – a role he stepped up to in July.
“We’ve shifted to be more of a data-led agency with a digital skew. We did that because the market demands these services and core capabilities,” he said.
Before joining Assembled Media, Chapman had previous tenures at Initiative, Vizeum, SBS and Nine. Supporting him is Luke Fitzpatrick as head of digital and client manager Samantha Murphy.
Chapman noted that one of the core benefits of being part of Assembled Media is the support from the Assembled Group.
“We only focus on media. We’re not trying to pretend to be anything else. When we do need more, maybe strategic thought, creative thought, brand or research and insights,” he explained.
“We can lean on our Assembled Group partners to supply that to the clients if and when they want it,” Chapman added.
Offering clients its core values
Chapman noted that Assembled Media is a media agency focused on digital because of the experience and capabilities of the agency, as well as holistic media planning and buying.
“We have three core values. We’re a data-led media agency, we want to offer our clients better accountability through more engaged client service, and we also want to offer better transparency,” he said.
“One thing we noticed when we, Luke and myself, were working in previous agencies was transparency was lacking. We’re trying to make sure that the services we provide to our clients, they pay for those specific services and can see where their money is spent,” Chapman explained.
Expanding its growing client roster
Assembled Media has an impressive list of foundation clients, including PFG Australia, Bowel Cancer Australia and Plumbing Plus.
Chapman noted that they are also working with Qatar Airways, a client he brought to the agency. Assembled is also working on projects with developer Projects by Buxton and Omega through Shririo Holdings.
Chapman also shared that Assembled Media is working with a start-up called Sports Where I Am, which he noted is looking to compete with StubHub.
Additional recent new wins for the agency include canned cocktail brand Curatif and Red Tractor Oats.
Assembled Media also recently picked up work with food storage brand Smash. He said: “Smash is an exciting prospect. We’re working with them on building out their e-commerce proposition.”
“We have a diverse range of clients that we’re working with, some new businesses or start-ups,” Chapman said. “We’re also working to grow with some that are more established. There are a few other things that are going on at the moment,” he hinted.
Adapting and pivoting during the pandemic
The pandemic has had an impact on the industry, which forced many to adapt and pivot. Assembled Media was launched in 2020, which saw Melbourne as the most lockdown city in the world.
Chapman noted that there were challenges starting the business during that period and under those circumstances for the team who established the agency.
“There’s an inability to meet people in person. At that stage, people did not know what was going on with their jobs. So finding talent and meeting for new business was a real challenge.”
But Chapman credited the agency’s strong relationships with being able to launch the agency in that environment. He also noted that it forced the agency to be as agile as it could be to try and continue to find growth.
“(The pandemic has) forced us to be agile as you as you’d expect to try and continue to find growth,” he said, noting that clients were likely unable to pull through with work due to trepidation from Covid.
“Through that, we noticed that some of the clients we’re working with had to shift and pivot towards more of a digital focus or media that had more accountability attached to it,” he said.
“That’s why we started building our digital and data capabilities. So, clients know where their money has been spent and the return on investment that they’re receiving. We’re focusing on ensuring we’re delivering the best results for the funds for any specific campaign,” he added.
Growth, providing opportunities and outlook for Assembled Media
Chapman’s outlook for Assembled Media is positive, with growth in its sights. “We’re going to continue to build out our data capabilities. So that will include opportunities to hire more digital and data talent.”
Chapman also noted that the Assembled Group and Assembled Media are investing in developing talent with the roll-out of a new area in the business, the Assembled Academy.
“The Assemble Academy will provide a pathway for new graduates and talented individuals looking at any of the advertising services offered. Whether it be creative, media, PR, brand or insights, there is an opportunity to work across the different agencies within the Assembled Group to start your career,” he added.
Benefits of being part of the IMAA
Assembled Media joined the IMAA in April 2021. Chapman said that being a member of the industry body gives them credibility, particularly as a new business. He added: “That’s helped us when speaking to new potential clients.”
Chapman noted that being part of the IMAA has been beneficial in giving them access to training and access to publishers. He also said that he believes it will help his agency attract talent.
““One of the biggest challenges in the market – which is not unique to us – is finding good talent. Especially given we are growing quite quickly. Building an environment that encourages people to want to work with us will help. This is a focus of the business” Chapman added.
Top image: Zac Chapman