19 Jack Media
James Kitchener, 33, Andrew Crawley, 33
- Head office
Byron Bay, New South Wales
- Year founded
Marketing and communications
Starting his career as a sales rep for an outdoor retail company, Jack Media co-founder Andrew Crawley was inspired by his friends travelling the world and running their own businesses. One of these friends was co-founder James Kitchener, who led Crawley to get a job in online marketing.
“I got a job in online marketing to learn as much as I could to start that progression of doing my own thing at some point,” Crawley told SmartCompany last year.
The two then teamed up to found Jack Media in 2012, despite Kitchener living in Canada at the time and Crawley living in Sydney. Thanks to email and Skype, the two were able to get their venture off the ground.
These days the two 33-year-olds run Jack Media, an online marketing platform that connects lead buyers to lead sellers in order to streamline the digital marketing process.
Last year, the business came in at number 43 in SmartCompany’s Smart50, and a jump of 24 positions is thanks to a three-year growth revenue growth rate of 178.6%.
“Lead generation is typically the core of most financial services businesses, so we became experts in this field and built technology to outperform not only the in-house marketers but also our competition,” the duo say.
Jack Media currently employs 10 people, with an extra three coming on board in the last 12 months. The founders told SmartCompany recruiting top-performing employees is the most difficult part of running their company.
“Hiring staff is by far the most challenging part of our business. We learnt that sometimes it’s better to stay lean to avoid the growing pains, which are highly distracting,” the two say.
Staying lean is part of the founders’ advice to other business owners, who stand by the mantra of “hire slow and fire fast”. The two also think business owners should “love your staff and let them love your clients”, while letting “your core values create your culture”.
When it comes to generating new ideas for the business, Kitchener and Crawley look internationally for inspiration, taking their cue from the US, which they say is around a year ahead of Australia in terms of digital marketing.
It’s all part of the two entrepreneurs’ plan to stay ahead of their competitors and position their business as having an essential skill set in the Australian online marketing industry.