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Managing Marketing: The Changing State of the Media Market

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Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Founder and Global CEO, Darren Woolley. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Barry O’Brien AOM, is the Founder and Chairman of media agency Atomic 212. But he has had a long career in media on both the agency and the media owner side starting way back last century. He talks about the changes that have occurred in his media career from his days at Total Advertising right through to today. But just as important, he talks about what has not changed and reveals, in a typically modest way, what he has found is most important in building agency media teams that build client trust and build agency business.

You can listen to the podcast here:

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Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing, a weekly podcast where we discuss the issues and opportunities facing media, marketing, and advertising with industry thought leaders and practitioners.

Today, I’m sitting down with Barry O’Brien, Founder and Chairman of the media agency, Atomic 212. Welcome, Barry.

Barry:

Thank you. Thank you very much, Darren.

Darren:

This has been a conversation that’s been a few… well, probably a couple of years in the waiting. Because you’re certainly what I see as one of the leading people in the media industry in Australia. And so, I really appreciate you taking the time.

Barry:

Thank you. That’s very kind. I’m not sure about the leading, but yeah, it’s nice to be here and nice to be about to be interrogated over the next 30 minutes.

Darren:

Well, I mean, leading as in, I’ve always seen you as a person with a point of view and an opinion about what’s happening in the industry. And I think that can often be quite difficult in an industry that doesn’t like any sort of criticism or correction to what’s happening.

Barry:

I think it’s the reason that I’ve stayed in the business for as long as I have. It’s changing, it evolves. It’s tough, it’s good, it’s bad, it’s indifferent. So, every day is a different look and feel and that gets you up and out and part of it.

So, I’ve been very lucky to be part of all of that and seeing enormous change and still, this industry and this business which I’ve been lucky enough to have such a great time in, is still changing and still developing as we go.

Darren:

Well, I first became aware of you Barry, back in the Total Media or Total Advertising, it was called. Which is when I was a copywriter. I think I’d just moved to Grey Advertising. We’ll just say last century. I don’t want to put any decades on it because that’ll make us both feel older than we really feel.

But back in those days, because we’re talking pre-digital, I think they were just starting to talk about interactive media. Do you look back on those days in some ways and they seem simpler or easier?

Barry:

To a certain extent, it probably was simpler, or it looked simple. But there was a time there where all of the major agencies had media departments and then there was a thing called unbundling, where lots of various agencies started up buying shops or planning and buying shops.

There had been a great success with Dennis Merchant, with Merchant & Partners, and also Harold Mitchell with Mitchell & Partners. And then AIS flowed out of all of that. And there were a few others. The Total Media guys as you mentioned, and we were a breakaway from Total Media, which became Total Advertising.

Pretty much very similar in terms of advising clients as to where their money had to go, what they had to do, a real focus in terms of results. So, every dollar and nowhere near the analytics that you’ve now got and the data that’s available. But a pretty good feel in terms of what could work, what was working, and a real focus on that.

So, probably a really good platform going back those days to where we now are and a real development in terms of, I love all the geekiness. I think it’s just amazing that if you can sit there with a client and say that I can improve your business by 1% or 5% or whatever, with the money that they’re investing, then that’s a great buzz. That really is. That’s a great feeling.

And that’s been pretty much since day one in terms of Total Advertising, right through to now in terms of where can I help? Where can I improve? What can we bring to the table to improve your life? Anyone can sell easy products, it’s the warehouses full of stuff that you can’t get rid of that is keeping the finance director, the CEO, and the marketing director awake at night.

How do you help with that? How do you help with the challenge?

Darren:

Yeah, the point about, I think it was my first week at J. Walter Thompson, where they had just announced that the media department was going off to become Mindshare. So, that was quite a big step.

And do you think in hindsight, the unbundling and the whole change with the accreditation was a good thing, or do you think it could have been rethought through if you had the time all over again?

Barry:

At the time, the creative agency thought it was sensational because they got rid of all of this cost. They got rid of all of the insurance, they got rid of all of the research-

Darren:

The licensing fees.

Barry:

The licensing fees, all of those costs. And then all of a sudden, people who were part of a creative environment were out there pretty much working for the client base of a J. Walter Thompson or whoever, but they also had to start to catch and kill their own.

And that was a pretty tough environment. And one of which when you start a media agency as opposed to unbundling, you had a different skillset, you had a different mindset of being out there and being able to fish.

Having said that, the multinationals, when they started up, had all of the blue-chip clients, or a lot of the blue-chip clients. So, they had a pretty good platform to work with.

I feel very sorry for those that have never, ever been part of a creative agency environment to be able to sit there and see the work developed and where it comes from. So, I think there is a gap there.

Darren:

Or also, the other thing was as the media guys, you got the last five minutes of the pitch because the creatives and the strategists would take 55 minutes and then you get a chance to go “Well, the way, we’d invest your media is excellent and out the door.”

Barry:

We were just prior to lunch normally in a pitch, and it was like, “Oh yes, and here’s your million-dollar plan or you’re two-million-dollar plan.”

Bob Miller from Toyota, he had a different focus in terms of, “No, let’s put the media guys on first because I’m spending hundreds of millions of dollars in terms of media. And I want to see what they’re going to bring.” And then there was lots of other Bob Millers that thought, “You know what, I’m spending all my money with you. I need to know a little bit more than five minutes prior to lunch.”

And as such, we all grew in terms of businesses and development and the way in which we all developed in terms of the business that we’re now in.

Darren:

Now, I want to go back to when I asked you about it, it was a simpler time or an easier time. And that’s because the other part that most people forget — I know a lot of people focus on agency and client. But the media agency also has another group, which is the media owners. And back then, most media was nationally based. It was Australian-based.

Now, we’ve got the Googles and the Facebooks that are owned out of Ireland, usually for legal purposes, but based in the US. And so, I have this perception that they were more relationships that are always important, but a handshake or an agreement stood because everyone knew each other. And perhaps, with all of the new players, and the diversity of players, that’s harder to maintain. Is that a reasonable perception, do you think? Or is it still possible?

Barry:

I think it’s a reasonable perception for me. I’m still of the handshake. And that doesn’t mean that there’s no handshake with Google or whatever. It’s a handshake with Google. There’s a handshake with Facebook right through to the television networks, the radio networks, news limited, etc.

Whatever your word is, and you said that you’re going to deliver, you need to deliver that. Vice versa, they know that we’ve got an arrangement here and we need to deliver that for the client. So, it becomes, if you deliver for them, they deliver for you.

One of the things that I think is a lost art here is when you’ve got someone on the sales side who is sweating on a deal coming through, it might be half a million dollars worth of television or radio or whatever or outdoor.

And then all of a sudden, it doesn’t come through, but the media agency hasn’t given them the feedback to that — it’s rather disappointing for the salesperson who’s put a lot of time and a lot of effort in terms of the pitch and the process.

They’re also sitting within an environment where someone has compression on them to say, “Where’s that half a million-dollar booking from Atomic?” “Yeah, yeah, we didn’t get it.” “Well, how come we didn’t get it? What’s the feedback?”

So, it’s really important in terms of the two-way stream in terms of feedback and where could we have improved and why didn’t we win, and how can we win the next time around? So, I think there’s been a bit of a lost art there in terms of the connection and the communication.

Because the pressures are still the same for the sales houses, and also, the pressures are still the same in terms of, am I getting the right deal for my client, and am I getting the right deal for the business, and are we going to get the proper results out of this?

So, it’s continuing communication. And if you’ve got that relationship and you’ve got that upfrontness, then your results and your relationship and your conversation are going to be a lot better off.

Darren:

Yeah, it’s certainly something that that I believe, and especially running pitches, is that you have to, no matter how awkward it may be or uncomfortable — you have to provide agencies that have gone through a pitch process with honest feedback because otherwise, they’re just left in the dark.

One of the reasons I became a pitch consultant was the number of times as a creative person, you would get, “Oh, they said the creative wasn’t as good as the other agency,” which is a convenient cop-out. It could be true, but in what way, how?

When you give a very bland response, almost fobbing someone off, it just leaves them in this place of, “Well, what do I do with that?”

Barry:

I’ve been in a scenario where I’ve seen clients pitch creative and pitch media and whatever else. And you’ll say to them, “Have you given the feedback to the agency? Are they in or are they out?”

And they go, “No, I haven’t done it yet. Why?” And I go, “Because there’s a bunch of people that have worked a lot of hours to put the creative together, to put the media plans together and they want to know.”

Because there could actually be jobs involved here, jobs losses, jobs going. There could be a scenario where people’s mortgages and lifestyles are on the line here because you haven’t given the feedback and they look at you and they go, “Okay, got it.”

Darren:

Good point.

Barry:

And so, I think that’s really important. Really important in terms of … and particularly when you’re sole traders, but also being in a multi-national, how important is this? Because there’s a whole bunch of people up along the line going, “How did you go with this? How did you go with that? Where do we need to improve? How much more pressure do we need to put on this? How can we get a result here for you?”

So, yeah, the communication and the line of communication is extremely important, both ways.

Darren:

You mentioned multinationals because Total Advertising then became PHD and you launched that brand in Australia, which is part of Omnicom Media Group. It’s got quite a strong global reputation. What was it like taking a new brand and launching it into this market?

Barry:

It’s funny because Mark Holden, we ended up being amazing friends — was married to an Australian girl, he’d been sent down here to start up PHD. And I used to go around and see him every day. So, here’s the guy who’s the head of global strategy now for PHD.

They had him in the naughty boys’ corner in the back of OMD there. And I just went, “Mate, how is it going? What are you doing? Who are you buying?” And I talked to him every day and he’d go, “I’m looking at this agency, I’m looking at startups, I’m looking at the potential of some OMD clients coming in.” And I went, “Right.”

And eventually, we got talking. Then he turned to me one day and he said, “What about you become a PHD?” And I went, “Nah, that’ll never happen. That’ll never, ever fly.” And he went to Singapore and he sold it in that he thought it was a good idea because I was keen to become part of a network, even though I was in this amazing organisation of Clemengers.

But I just thought that there would be larger fish to fry, a bigger pool to play in and probably better tools and whatever available with PHD. And for the most part, I was probably right. They’ve had remarkable success. I’d like to think that I had a touch of fingerprints on that in terms of the success that they’ve had, but they’ve gone from strength to strength.

Marco played a significant role in that in terms of when Mark Holden and I left, he took it to a different level and Mark Jarrett and Lucy from Formosa have continued to do that. So, it’s actually nice to sit back and see that the success that they’ve had and the wins that they’ve had just as long as they don’t beat us. Otherwise, it’s … no, it’s okay. And they’re a successful brand and a successful agency.

Darren:

It’s interesting because you went from establishing PHD as the brand here, taking your existing clients and then building from that. That must’ve been a terrific base, but you and Mark Holden did an amazing job really establishing that foundation, that the others that you mentioned have managed to build even further on.

But what then made you jump to the media owner side. Didn’t you go from PHD to Network 10 as Sales Director?

Barry:

I did indeed. And that was … to be honest, that was not really on anyone’s agenda. I had done the job at PHD and I wanted a break from that. I wanted a break from the multinational environment. I’d had great success in terms of … I think we’d grown by a hundred million every year, but it was just like, it was someone else’s time and energy to go into that.

And I was sitting at home and it was probably around this time of year, a bit cold, a bit wet, a bit windy. And I got a text from James Walden to say, “What are you doing?” And I text back and I said, “I’m watching Canterbury races right now. Why?” And he said, “Let’s catch up.”

And he puts something in front of me. He said, “Do you want to try this?” And I’d never really thought about it. I said I want a few days to think it through. When I said yes and I started, as tough as it was, and it was tough, Darren, okay.

Darren:

I’m sure it was because it’s a tough market and at the time, 10 was the third network.

Barry:

A long way third. And yeah, no ratings. We were struggling in terms of product and whatever else. I sat within the first couple of days and he said, “What do you think?” I said, “I think you undersold this to me.”

But having said that, in for a penny, in for a pound, it’s probably one of the better things that I did because it reignited my thoughts. And in terms of the industry, I got to have a look at a whole bunch of competitive agencies that I never ever had a look at. And there was a lot of really good young guys there that would want my insight, whatever.

The first thing that I did six weeks in, I hired Lou Barrett, and James said to me, “Why do you want to do that?” I said, “Because I won’t be doing this forever.” And I said, “She’s got the energy and she’s got the drive.”

Rod Prosser who’s now got the job was probably a year or two off me pushing for him to get the habit. But he’s an exceptional young talent. And so, within six weeks, the base had already been set up in terms of the next chapter.

And I got to see a lot of clients, I got to see a lot of media product and I thought maybe there’s one more crack left in this. And that’s how the whole D212 Atomic came to fruition after I left Channel 10.

Darren:

Well, it’s interesting because it was also a time before the industry blew up over media agency transparencies and kickbacks, which happened in the US. But it had global ramifications.

It must have been doubly challenging first of all, to take on that sales director’s role for a brand, a network media brand that was to your point, a long way third. But also, when there was so much pressure and tension in the industry, and I’d say more so than ever before.

I mean, we started talking about and writing about what we were seeing in 2011. So, that’s before you took on that role, where agencies were really struggling. They were really struggling financially because there was nothing but procurement pressure on not just doing the job cheaper but getting media cheaper.

It was almost coming out of the recession of … well, it wasn’t called a recession here. But the global recession of 2007 and ‘8. There was this belief that somehow media costs could just always be driven down forever. Did that add to the frustration firstly, and secondly, was that also part of your belief that there was a better way of doing it leading to Atomic 212?

Barry:

So, in terms of the pressure on price, the pressure on price has always been around. There’s always someone who thinks that they can get it cheaper or should get it cheaper. Where you needed to be able to sit with a client, or a media agency or a salesperson and work out what the metrics are, what the value is, what are we going to get out of this, what results?

If you actually sit there with a media owner and say to them, “We need to get X, Y, Z sales out of this, can you help me get there?” I think you probably got half a chance in terms of success. If you just come in and say, “Oh, I’ve just promised to cut the rates by 20%, you’ve got to do it,” It’s probably not the platform where a major media owner wants to sit there and have the conversation.

But if you sit there and say, you’ve got X, Y, Z money that’s being spent on your network at the moment or in your channels, and we need to get X, Y, Z result, and they go, “Alright, okay, fine.” Now, we’ve got the metric. Now, let us sit and work with you, their hands might go up and say, “No, we can’t get that. There’s no possible way that we can get there.”

So, I think the pressure in terms of price, the pressure in terms of profitability for media agencies has always been there. But our businesses, the standalone businesses and they need to stand on their own two feet.

Darren:

Yeah, but Barry, under accreditation, the agency, whether they were bundled or not, was guaranteed 10% commission, which is 11.1% markup on the media. Guaranteed.

When they unbundled and dropped accreditation, we were seeing deals in the marketplace of 3 and 4%. That’s a 7% loss on the base. And even hearing rumours around 1%, and even effectively, commission disappeared.

But the effective fee dropped so dramatically, even to the point of, I personally saw agencies going to pitches and saying, “We’ll do it for free.”

Barry:

That’s a word that I can never ever say or do or use. And I would be extremely concerned if someone said to me that I’m going to work for free.

Darren:

Oh, and we would tell the clients, you get what you pay for. And if someone’s doing it for free, they’re getting paid in some way. And this is why during that whole period, I was so angry with the industry and I’m sure you would be and anyone that loves the industry and especially loves media, to see people diminish the perception of value that way.

Barry:

I think there’s probably a huge pressure in terms of how I maintain this client? How do I maintain my role within this organisation? What have I got to do to win? So, there are those added pressures.

So, where do I go? What do I need to do to be able to deliver this? And this is a big piece of business. By the way, there are still conversations like that in terms of how cheap can you do it? You’re on a global platform, etc you’re pitching for something.

There’s an analysis in terms of you feed in all of the costs, off they go. As you feed them in, if the light comes up green, then you’ve done well. If the light comes up red, then you’re in trouble. And you just think as you press send and you couldn’t deliver the price and it’s come up with red, then you think to yourself, how the hell are we going to do this?

The media owner at the end of the day is standing there going, “So, there’s a pitch process going on. I’ll still carry the business as a media owner, but I’ve now got to deliver a price that you’ve effectively said globally that you’re going to agree to.”

Darren:

I’ve had sales directors call me and go, “Why are you ruining my business by demanding agencies deliver a lower price?”

Barry:

Don’t feel as though you’re special. They do that to everyone.

Darren:

Right. And I put my hands up and I go, “Well, we’ve never actually done it.” We will ask the agency what they think their trading position would be based on the size of a client because that gives the client an indication of where they sit.

We also tell the client; no media owner is going to give any agency an unfair advantage because they would be destroying their own business.

Barry:

Very true.

Darren:

If they went around giving someone big discounts that weren’t available to others, they would just get locked out. I used to love when an agency would come in and go, “We’re going for a two-network strategy,” I knew exactly why, because that third network had pissed them off and wouldn’t play ball.

Barry:

I was that third network when I took over at 10. So, there was a lot of doors that were shut or half-shut or a jar. And it was my role to put the foot back in and start to get the conversation happening of which we had a fair bit of success.

So, it’s not a great position to be in when you’ve got big multinational groups or big clients going, “No, we’re not using you.” And that’s why all doors should be open, and all discussions heard.

You mentioned procurement. Procurement just don’t deal with media; they deal with everything.

Darren:

Of course.

Barry:

They deal with widgets. That is their role. That is their want in terms of where they need to be to sit at the table. I don’t think that’s going to change. I really don’t.

Darren:

But here’s the fundamental thing that I think the industry’s missed out on, is when I take on a financial advisor, I say I’m putting this money in as an investment. I’m going to incentivise you based on performance.

I don’t go and choose my investment advisor based on who’s going to do it for the lowest price. Right? And I think this is why the move towards focusing on performance and business results is so important and getting away from this idea that media is a commodity cost.

And a lot of procurement people have said to me, oh, maybe it’s one of the oldest commodities in the world. Now, to me, that’s because the industry has not educated them in, not all maybe is the same.

Barry:

There’s probably an element of that, right? Where something has been undersold or not positioned the right way. But the long and the shorter and again, our role as media agencies is to sit there with the client and also involve the media and go, “This is where we think we can get them to, this is what we’re trying to achieve. How do you improve this client’s position? How do you improve this client’s delivery?”

And that’s a much better conversation to go and have rather than to sit there and go, “I’m going to screw the bejesus out of you right to the last possible decimal point because no one wants to be in that, “I’m winning, you’re not winning” situation.

But if it’s collaboration and its communication around the table in terms of this is what I think we can do, then it’s a lot better conversation for all players.

Darren:

Which goes back to your point about being able to have a level of trust and integrity. That you can do that — bring the client, bring your client, bring the media to the table and broker an outcome that works for everyone, because that’s going to be sustainable.

Barry:

Darren, there’s also … and you’re right, there’s that. But it’s also along the way, along the journey. And I was quite intrigued in my role at 10, where I would sit opposite a media buyer and just say, “So, how’s the campaign going?” And they couldn’t tell you. And I was horrified because I’d always been taught to understand that the dollar that was rolling out the door had to give you so many sales, had to give you so many results.

Darren:

Return on advertising spend.

Barry:

That’s it, that’s it. And if you’re not asking that question day in and day out of what’s working, what’s not working, because the media owners coming back going, “Well, we just launched all of this, “How’s it going?” You go, “I don’t know.” It’s the worst thing in the world. You need to know what your client’s up to, how successful they are and where the success is coming from.

Darren:

So, look, and I’m not going to expect you to make a comment on this, being the leader of a media agency.

But there is a new piece of research out of the ANA in the US where they asked marketers their media KPIs. And of the top five selected by these marketers, four of them are considered by the experts as vanity metrics. CPM (cost per click, cost per impression). Only one of their top five is the return on advertising spend.

So, that means that there is not just a problem with media agencies, there’s also a problem with a generation of marketers that are looking for in some ways, the easy metric, but also the most impressive metric, even if it’s not the most relevant metric.

Barry:

I would actually say that the metrics that you’ve just gone through in terms of cost per click, cost per thousand — they all lead back to cost per sale. They all lead back to what is my return on investment.

So, if you deep dive into that and got under the hood, I think you would probably start to get to we’re all on the same page here.

Darren:

Yeah, I’m not necessarily convinced of that because if I’m measuring you as my media agency, I’m reducing my cost per click or reducing my cost per thousand. Am I not encouraging you to go for low quality, potentially fraudulent or potentially non-deliverable media?

Because you’re saying that metric could lead to business, but if I’m not even looking at the business result, if I’m just reporting on those metrics — then all I’m doing is encouraging my media agency to not drive my business, but just to hit these in “vanity” metrics.

Barry:

Do you know we can all do that? We can all sit there. Again, it comes back to the conversation of it’s your money and we can spend your money, but let me just say here, and now, that if we spend it like that, you’re not going to get the results. And potentially, you may not be the marketing director or the CEO of this organisation. So, is there a different way that you would like us to approach that?

Darren:

Yeah, look. And I’m sure that we would like to believe that’s true because ultimately, I think the reason people get up every day and work is to try and make a difference, try and deliver a benefit.

A lot of this philosophy you’ve been sharing seems to be what you’ve taken into this agency. It’s called Atomic 212 now. But you originally started … was it D212?

Barry:

It was D212.

Darren:

And then you merged with Atomic Search?

Barry:

Atomic Search, yeah.

Darren:

To become Atomic 212.

Barry:

Correct.

Darren:

Everything I hear and see about Atomic 212 has the same philosophy and culture that is Barry O’Brien for me, which is customer first, look after your clients and the business will grow. Is that your fundamental philosophy?

Barry:

There is the customer first, but also our people. It’s important. I’ve been lucky in terms of I’ve had good people all the way through. And so, it’s not the Barry O’Brien show, it’s very much a collective of very, very good operators back in the Total days, back in the PHD days, and now, at Atomic 212.

I’ve got a bunch of amazing up and coming executives. Claire Fenner is now the National Managing Director. She’s as good as anyone that I’ve worked with.

My business partner, James Dixon, we’ve got an amazing relationship. He is super honest. He is very smart, but we’ve got a whole bunch of good strategy people, good data technicians, above the line, people that have come into the business and been with us for six to seven years, and you’ve seen them grow, and grow dramatically.

So, we’ve been able to give people a great opportunity to be able to start, to flourish within the environment. It was tough there for a while, but it is nice to be able to sit back and watch the development of these young people coming through.

So, the core of what you just said in terms of title, in terms of relationships, in terms of clients, in terms of customer focus — but with all of that, you need really good people to be able to deliver that product day in and day out. And we’ve been able to do that.

Darren:

Well, they do say advertising is a people business. You want to attract the best talent. What do you do to go about attracting the best talent, apart from being the person you are?

Barry:

We’ve got a culture and people person; a lady by the name of Carolyn Maloney. Again, who’s-

Darren:

I know Carolyn, I used to work with her years ago.

Barry:

Yeah. So, Mrs. Maloney has been in my life for probably 20 years. So, ex-Omnicom.

Darren:

Mattingly, originally.

Barry:

Yes. And so, it goes on. So, she brings a lot of the people together, she finds the talent and it’s a very involved process, where it comes down to whoever is running the division or running the office. They’ve cross-referenced in terms of two or three times in terms of different interview styles, etc.

And then we’ll get the person to present back to us to make sure that that is a good fit and a cultural fit.

Darren:

Yeah, fantastic.

Barry:

So, it’s a process. It’s not just, “Hey, Darren, I like you,” and I’ve got a job for you which is probably what James Walden did with me at Channel 10. I’m joking.

But no, it’s a full-on process that where the person is… they’ve got to feel good about joining us, we’ve got to feel good about joining them because it’s, what is it? Highest-low, really important.

Darren:

It must be a challenge when you grow as fast as Atomic 212 has grown. You’ve had some phenomenal growth spurts.

Barry:

We’ve been lucky. But I’m a true believer in terms of you make your luck, because your product’s got to be good. And I think we’ve got an exceptional product. I know we’ve got an exceptional product. I know we’ve got an exceptional pitch process and as such, we’ve been able to win. And the feedback from clients who’ve signed on and also existing clients of, that is a really, really good pitch process, and also, you’ve got really, really good people.

So, you know you’re in the right room and you know you’ve got the right people around you to be able to deliver the product.

And the other thing is they challenge. They ask the question. They’re not sitting there or note-taking, they actually ask the client and they challenge to make sure that what we’re doing and what we’re saying is in tune with what’s required.

Darren:

What are you in now? Year seven?

Barry:

My seventh year there, yes. But James started 12 years ago. So, James, Tom Sheppard, Rory Heffernan-

Darren:

This is Atomic Search, yeah.

Barry:

Yeah. So, the business as such has been going for 12 years, but in terms of the Atomic 212, the core of where it now is, is probably seven years.

Darren:

No seven-year itch, Barry? And if so, what’s the next step?

Barry:

No, I’m enjoying this. I’m enjoying watching people start to hit their straps and start to develop their own skills and their own reputation. So, that’s a good feeling.

Darren:

Yeah, fantastic. Look, I’ve just realised we’ve run out of time. I really appreciate being able to sit down and have this conversation with you. Thank you.

Barry:

Thank you. Thanks, Darren.

Darren:

Oh, one last question; you’ve got a long career ahead of you, but if you had one piece of advice for anyone starting out in media today, what would it be?

Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media, and commercial communications professionals, Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by Darren Woolley and special guests. Find all the episodes here

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    Darren is considered a thought leader on all aspects of marketing management. A Problem Solver, Negotiator, Founder & Global CEO of TrinityP3 - Marketing Management Consultants, founding member of the Marketing FIRST Forum and Author. He is also a Past-Chair of the Australian Marketing Institute, Ex-Medical Scientist and Ex-Creative Director. And in his spare time he sleeps. Darren's Bio Here Email: darren@trinityp3.com

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