Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.
This week we speak to Five by Five founder Jon Hollenberg.
Time at the company:
I started the business in my boardshorts, working in my spare room at my Burleigh Heads apartment almost 16 years ago.
How would you describe what the company does?
Five by Five is a Gold Coast-based Web Design company and our team of 30 globally delivers web solutions that drive results for clients. This is achieved through stunning design, robust technology and content that not only drives targeted traffic but converts.
Our integrated end-end offering, including web strategy, web development, SEO, mobile design and website management, has seen Five by Five deliver more than 3000 projects to date.
What do you do day-to-day?
Having started life in UI design, programming, sales and project management, I don’t do any of these anymore. Instead, I surround myself with people that are much smarter than I am in each of these fields.
I now play the role of head coach, working closely with each of our team to problem solve, drive strategy and generally get the best out of each team member.
Define your job in one word:
I got into marketing because:
I get a massive buzz from planning, constructing and executing a campaign. Search is a massive part of what we do. To see a good plan come together and drive real growth for our clients puts a big smile on my face.
What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
Being a leader and an owner of the business, ultimately the buck stops with me. This is about having extreme ownership over problems or challenges that may crop up along the way. If a client is unhappy or a team member makes a mistake, that is on me. These types of problems are a gift from the universe that help us build a better, stronger business. The challenging part of this for me is having the resilience to keep showing up every day, taking it on the chin and being proactive about fixing issues so they never happen again.
What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
There is such a disparity in web designers out there. The barriers to entry are very low and to call yourself a web designer is very easy. So many times, clients will approach us on their second or third attempt on a project after other agencies have dropped the ball or fallen off the face of the planet. Clients are completely disenchanted, cynical and fed up. Some type or certification or accreditation by a body would be great to see.
Notable campaigns you have worked on:
We recently delivered a project for Coral Homes, one of Australia’s largest home builders, that has introduced ‘real time’ pricing to fast-track homes from concept to completion. While ‘real time’ market pricing is commonplace in industries like ecommerce, no one else is doing this in the Australian building industry.
In June 2021, Coral Homes’ organic website traffic increased by 44% in under three months, and its sales leads increased by over 58% and enquiries increased by 55% year-on-year.
Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
Very early on in my career was a man called Nick Marvin (served as chairman, managing director or CEO for some of Australia’s leading sporting icons). He gave me my first job in the industry and got me interested in direct response marketing, self-development and leadership. On the first day of my job, he sent me out on my first sales call where I crashed and burned horribly. Nick continued to throw me in the deep end over and over again. I learnt so much in those first few years and laid the foundation for the years to come.
Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Being in this type of role is all about how you show up every day. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. There are no off days for a leader as the team are looking to you for guidance and inspiration. Owning a business is the ultimate self-development course you can do! The universe will continue to shine a light on all your weaknesses & deficiencies until they are addressed. Put the work into yourself and success won’t be far behind.
If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
In the military. I like a regimented life. Having a mission and a battle rhythm to adhere to. Being surrounded by a team of brothers and sisters that you would do anything for in a heartbeat. Come to think of it, this is much like how we run our business!
My mantra is:
Consistency is key. There are no shortcuts in life. Show up every day and do the work.
My favourite advert is:
Ironically, the Not Happy Jan Yellow Pages ad. We took many clients off the Yellow Pages over the years but I loved what they did with that campaign and still quote it to this day when meeting a “Jan”.
Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
Long-form podcasts. Deep dives into lots of different topics. I love how through the power of podcasting, people like Joe Rogan & Tim Ferriss have built massively successful podcasts & followings.
Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I can solve a Rubik's Cube in under a minute.
In five years' time I'll be:
Doing exactly what I am doing but leading a much larger team surrounded by more amazing individuals.
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