JACK BYRNE - MANAGING DIRECTOR - HATCHED MEDIA
Jack Byrne; Managing Director, Hatched Media
Jack started as a Logistics Analyst at Toll before he realised trucks and warehouses weren’t his passion, and after stints of varied jobs such as a ski instructor in California, a Surf/Sail/Windsurf/Kayak instructor in Hawaii, working on super yachts in the south of France and even selling Pet Insurance door to door in a very cold London, Jack finally settled back into Melbourne and into the world of Marketing and Advertising. As a client of Nova, he was approached by them to join the sales team, which he did and worked there for 6 years. From Nova Jack jumped into the Media agency space where he has been since, and is now the Managing Director of Hatched Media.
Tell us a bit about your journey from the sales floor at Nova to founding and running one of Australia’s leading independent media agencies?
Nova gave me a great opportunity to see the inside of large multi-national agencies, of which were often filled with great people and personalities, however they were often stressed to the eye-balls and very time poor as head counts were often restricted to ensure maximum profit gets filtered up to the holding companies overseas. I soon learnt that it is the people who make or break any agency offering, so when I launched the business I set out to use my sales skills to concentrate on getting a few contacts to trust in me to care more than anyone else in the game about their business, and then surround myself with some of the great people who I got to know during my time working in media sales.
What is the focus of your current role?
While I am best known for my dad jokes, my role spans across business development, finance, culture, partnerships and continually questioning and testing our agency offering through technology and the ever changing media landscape, particularly when it comes to digital and data
What did you see as the gap in the market at the time and/or the opportunity to base the business on?
I wouldn’t say there was a gap in the market as the market is flooded with agencies of all sorts. Where I saw the opportunity was to have a commitment to the business to continually invest back into the business rather than pulling the profits out of it.
Through ensuring we are resourcing ahead of the curve rather than behind, means we can take the time to get the best people available, and focus less on the bottom line. By doing so, happier staff with more time generally produce better results, and subsequently the bottom line looks after itself.
What were some of the challenges you faced, and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was the fact that I had never worked in a media agency until I owned one, which has turned out to be a positive thing, as I don’t have any preconceived ideas on how things ‘have always been done’, but instead I focus on ‘how things should be done’.
Tell us about Hatched Media’s values and culture and how you have built the team to reflect this?
The cornerstones of our business is about being ‘real, innovative, positive, collaborative and reliable’, and it is through our recruitment process we instil this and are quick to rectify when we operate outside of these values.
We’re not perfect, but I am proud of each and every one of our 22 staff currently walking the halls of Hatched and I ensure they are valued as much as our clients.
What do you look for when hiring talent? Is there a defining trait?
I have always hired on attitude first, and talent second. Being a small start-up, it has always been important that from employee no. 1 onwards, everyone was willing to roll up their sleeves to get the job done, while also having respect for others and care for their own output, which is an attitude I hope to continue no matter what our size.
The industry is changing at a rapid rate, how is Hatched setting up for continued growth and success in 2017 and beyond?
We are re-investing heavily back into the business, which saw us double our size in 2016, and a lot of these resources sit in the form of digital, social, marketing and strategy as well as the likes of marketing automation and analytic tools.
As an independent, we have no shareholder pressure so we can move quickly and evolve as quickly as the requirements from our clients do. The speed of which we evolve is key to our continued success, and it also keeps everyone on their toes!
What do you see as some of the exciting trends in the Media landscape in 2017?
I think the influencer space is interesting as to where it might go. The likes of ‘Tribe’ show that there is always new means to connect brands to an audience, and it is the audience our clients are wanting to get in front of and I see great potential in that.
I also see the evolution of AdTech and MarTech as fascinating. While there are many providers out there (and some no good at all) the good ones rise to the top eventually and provide benefit to our clients through better ROI, and better visibility from advertising all the way through to sale, or more efficient means of operating as an agency. I’m a bit of a tech boffin, even if I don’t often understand it!
What is the best Media campaign you have seen in the last 12 months?
Any one of the many campaigns from our beloved Hatched clients, of course! 😉
Who is someone you admire and why?
I admire my wife the most. Not only is she a great support and an even better mum to my children, she puts up with me at work (she works in our finance team), as well as at home, and no one should have to go through that!
What is your favourite travel destination?
Anywhere warm that has a beach and a crisp, dry white wine or frothy.
What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?
I have 2 small daughters. What is this downtime you talk of?
If you weren’t working in media what would you be doing?
I like building things, so I’d imagine it would be another start-up of sorts or in the property/community development space.