Smart50 Awards 2016

12 Media33

Revenue

$9.7 million

Growth

284.7%

Founders

Michael Lambert, 35

Head office

Port Melbourne, VIC

Year founded

2013

Employees

9

Industry

Communications and Marketing

Website

www.media33.com.au

Winner

Community Hero Award

media33_LambertMedia buying and brand strategy are billion dollar industries, but not all clients have big dollars to drop on campaigns. Media33 aims to address that truth, with founder Michael Lambert using his 16 years of communications experience to create the Melbourne-based media-buying agency.

It’s a family affair; Lambert’s wife Jenna Lambert is director of strategy for the business and also acts as general manager. Together they have built a personalised brand management business for clients across a wide range of budgets, and grown significantly – this year the business has nine employees, last year it had five.

It’s been a challenging growth process for the company, which sits in the rapidly changing advertising and marketing space, but Lambert quickly discovered an appetite for startup culture.

“The key to creating a successful business especially at startup stage, is to employ the best people possible – invest in personnel that have passion for what they do (you can skill up staff, but you can’t teach passion),” he says.

With the business gaining traction, the task was not so much generating growth as managing It when it came.

“We found that growth comes with challenges around staffing, office space, IT systems etc,” Lambert says.

“The key lesson I would share with fellow new business owners would be to not only have your business plan, but in conjunction with that, write a business growth plan.”

The company avoids a ‘hierarchical’ structure, allowing all staff members to give input on big decisions.

This focus on action from all staff extends to Media33’s community engagement, which has been spurred on by the loss of a friend of the founders.

“In 2013, my wife … and I lost our close friend Sarah, to cancer,” says Lambert.

Their friend had just turned 32, had a one-year-old son and was about to get married. The Lamberts decided to turn to their business network to take action.

They called on business colleagues and connections in media to deliver a $700,000 campaign advertising the work of the Australian cancer charity Pink Hope.

Media33 now regularly discusses Pink Hope with its clients and partners and has completed a number of fundraising initiatives since. Lambert says the lesson is that a business is about more than simply expansion and success.

“We recognise that the great skills we have learnt within business, and the people we come in contact with, can achieve so much more than what is expected of us,” he says.

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