Rory Heffernan first joined Atomic 212° at its Sydney office in 2010 before moving to Melbourne in 2013
Heffernan was appointed general manager of the Melbourne office in 2019. Earlier this month, he was promoted to the role of national managing director of the independent media agency.
Heffernan spoke to Mediaweek about the key to the agency’s recent success with billings and clients, the significance of launch a presence in Brisbane and the continuing the agency’s growth and expansion in the year ahead
Mediaweek: Atomic 212° added $100 million in new billings and welcomed a slew of new clients over the last year – what has been the key to this success?
Rory Heffernan: I think we’ve really found our feet in terms of our offering and how we can partner with clients above and beyond the day-to-day.
Strong partnerships and people have always been the main success drivers for us, but over the past 12 months we’ve been able to tell our story and demonstrate results to both new and existing clients in a multitude of ways.
We’ve always looked at media as a growth driver for clients and that purpose, along with our track record, is resonating well.
MW: Atomic 212° launched an office in Brisbane last year – why has it been important for the agency to have a presence in Queensland?
RF: After our success in both the Darwin and Melbourne markets, where after five to six years we’ve now reached a nice maturity point in those cities, we wanted to shore up our presence in Queensland as a next horizon.
We’ve had a few team members based in Queensland for a while, so it’s been really rewarding to be able to open up shop properly. We’ve recruited some incredible talent up there – I can’t speak highly enough of the team – and have been lucky enough to partner with great, unique brands in Queensland in a really short space of time. As a Melburnian heading towards winter, I have absolutely no complaints about visiting Brisbane a lot more.
MW: What areas do you think marketers need to focus their attention on in the next 12 months?
RF: Where do you start? We’ve talked a lot about the increasing focus on demonstrating ROI with the current economic outlook, and I know this came out on top of an AANA survey of marketing execs about their key priorities for the year ahead, so I won’t labour that point too much.
I think differentiation is going to be as important as ever. As people reduce their spending, brands are going to have to have that mental availability and recall to win share of wallet. So, I think we’ll see advertisers getting brave with both their creative and their media strategy and execution to try to get an edge, especially if there are pressures to do more with less.
MW: What is your outlook for Atomic 212° in the year ahead?
RF: We’re really excited about the year ahead. We’ve got so many great client partners and team members, and my focus is to push the work to the next level.
We’ve built a whole new suite of products, lately so I’m really confident that innovation is going to lead to new insights and work that our partners and people are really proud of.
We’ve had a lot of growth and we’re hiring in all markets, so get in touch if you’re interested to know more about us!
Top image: Rory Heffernan