Assembled Media MD Zac Chapman Discusses Industry Lanes

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 with Media Week about providing clients with grassroots accountability and transparency, its post-pandemic growth, pathways in the industry, and its prospects for the agency.

Chapman joined the independent agency in May 2021, first as Director of Customer Service before becoming Managing Director and finally Managing Director – a role he took on in July.

“We have become more of a data-driven agency with a digital bias. We did this because the market demands these core services and capabilities,” he said.

Assembled team

Prior to joining Assembled Media, Chapman previously held positions at Initiative, Vizeum, SBS and Nine. Supporting him is Luke Fitzpatrick as head of digital and account manager Samantha Murphy.

Chapman noted that one of the main benefits of being part of Assembled Media is the support of the Assembled Group.

“We only focus on the media. We’re not trying to pretend to be anything else. When we need more, maybe strategic thinking, creative thinking, branding or research and ideas,” he explained.

“We can rely on our assembled group partners to provide that to customers if they want it and when they want it,” Chapman added.

Offer customers its core values

Chapman noted that Assembled Media is a digital-focused media agency due to the agency’s experience and capabilities, as well as holistic media planning and buying.

“We have three core values. We are a data-driven media agency, we want to offer our clients better accountability through more engaged customer service, and we also want to offer better transparency,” he said.

“One thing we noticed when we, Luke and I, worked at previous agencies was that there was a lack of transparency. We try to make sure that the services we provide to our customers, they pay for those specific services and can see where their money is being spent,” Chapman explained.

Expand your growing client list

Assembled Media has an impressive list of founding clients, including PFG Australia, Bowel Cancer Australia and Plumbing Plus.

Chapman noted that they also work 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 startup called Sports Where I Am, which he says is looking to compete with StubHub.

Other recent new wins for the agency include canned cocktail brand Curatif and Red Tractor Oats.

Assembled Media also recently resumed work with food storage brand Smash. He said: “Smash is an exciting prospect. We work with them to develop their e-commerce proposition.

“We have a diverse range of clients that we work with, some new businesses or start-ups,” Chapman said. “We are also working to grow with some who are more established. There are a few other things going on right now,” he hinted.

Adapt and pivot during the pandemic

The pandemic has had an impact on the industry, which has forced many to adapt and pivot. Assembled Media launched in 2020 which made Melbourne the most gated city in the world.

Chapman noted that there were difficulties starting the business during this time and under these circumstances for the team that created the agency.

“There is an inability to meet people in person. At this point, people didn’t know what was going on with their work. So finding talent and meeting for new business was a real challenge.

But Chapman credited the agency’s strong relationships with the ability to launch the agency into this environment. He also noted that it requires the agency to be as nimble as possible to try and continue to find growth.

“(The pandemic has) forced us to be nimble like you’d expect to try to keep finding growth,” he said, noting that customers were likely unable to get by with work due to of Covid apprehension.

“Through this, we’ve noticed that some of the clients we work with have had to change and pivot to a more digital focus or more responsible media,” he said.

“That’s why we started building our digital and data capabilities. This way, customers know where their money has been spent and the return on investment they are receiving. We strive to ensure that we get the best results for any specific campaign funds,” he added.

Growth, source of opportunities and perspectives for assembled media

Chapman’s outlook for Assembled Media is positive, with growth in sight. “We will continue to develop our data capabilities. This will therefore include opportunities to hire more digital and data talent.

Chapman also noted that the Assembled Group and Assembled Media are investing in talent development with the rollout of a new area in the company, the Assembled Academy.

“Assemble Academy will provide a pathway for new graduates and talented individuals considering any of the advertising services on offer. Whether it’s creative, media, PR, brand or insights, there is an opportunity to work in the various agencies of 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 being a member of the industry body gives them credibility, especially as a new company. He added, “It helped us talk to potential new clients.”

Chapman noted that being part of the AAMI has been beneficial in giving them access to training and editors. He also said he thinks 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 since we are growing quite quickly. Building an environment that encourages people to want to work with us will help. That’s one of the company’s goals,” Chapman added.

Top Image: Zac Chapman