C7EVEN Communications director Adam Arndell on championing its regional and rural clients


By Mediaweek

The agency’s director Adam Arndell spoke to Mediaweek about its recent exceptional growth and being a leader in the niche space

C7EVEN Communications was launched by Adam Arndell and his business partner Sarah Crowe in July 2015.

The duo saw an opportunity in the marketplace for a specialist marketing and communications agency that focused wholeheartedly on regional and rural clients.

Since then, the independent media agency has grown in leaps and bounds – particularly over 2022 during the post-pandemic.

Arndell spoke to Mediaweek about its recent exceptional growth, being a leader in the niche space, recent client wins, and how the agency has benefitted from its membership with the IMAA.

The seven Cs of C7EVEN

Arndell shared that in the early days of the agency, he and Crowe identified how they wanted to work as a team and how they wanted to attract and retain clients and work with them.

Arndell explained that in that process, they developed themes around the seven Cs that became the values of the organisation and the base for its name.

“Our values are to connect, to collaborate, to create, and to challenge, but also to be curious, to be courageous and to captivate,” he shared.

As director of the agency, he oversees its business development activities, accelerating growth and agency marketing, and working with some of its clients.

Arndell said his career in marketing communications saw him work for agencies in Sydney and Melbourne with FMCG brands such as Coca-Cola and Unilever before moving back to regional Australia 12 years ago.

C7EVEN has three offices – in Tamworth, Sydney and Cairns – with staff working across these bases and remotely from home on the NSW mid-north coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast.

While the pandemic has made remote working a typical situation, Arndell noted that they have “always operated with a decentralised team model”.

Representing rural and regional clients

The agency specialises in rural and regional marketing communications. Arndell said he and Crowe were inspired by their shared experience growing up in farming communities and regional Australia.

“That’s where we got the idea to start this specialist agency that had that intimate understanding of regional rural Australia but had the high-level skills, marketing and expertise,” he said.

Arndell noted a disconnect between city-based agencies’ understanding of regional and rural Australians.

“That comes down to seeing their imagery, language, and tone. I noticed that what works in the city doesn’t necessarily work in the bush.

“Most of our client’s businesses are based in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, but they’re trying to market and communicate to regional rural areas. There was that disconnect, and that authenticity wasn’t there,” he said.

Arndell proudly said they live and breathe their work, particularly with bases in Cairns and Tamworth.

“I think what comes with that intimate understanding of what it’s like to live, work and play in regional rural Australia is the understanding of the mindsets. Those universal truths, what communication channels people are using, the language that gets used, and what they like to be engaged and communicated with,” he said.

“All these things help us when we’re developing campaigns for our clients to make sure that they hit the mark. In that regard, they achieve better results than almost trying to guess their way through it,” Arndell added.

Growing with their growing client base

C7even started with two clients – a large animal health company and a global farm insurance company – more than seven years ago. They have continued to stay with the agency and grow alongside them.

Arndell said: “Our clients fit within a few key areas – agribusinesses such as large agri-corporates, farm machinery, animal health, crop protection, finance and insurance companies.

The agency’s other group is tourism, lifestyle, and events clients. He said: “We work with large regional events and festivals like the Tamworth Country Music Festival, as well as regional destination marketing campaigns that attract people to these regional areas.”

Arndell noted that they work with local, state, and federal governments and large regional corporates, aged care, banking, finance, manufacturing, and infrastructure.

Recent client wins and award recognitions

In terms of recent clients, the agency won Australian Eggs and the New South Wales government’s young business farmer’s programme.

Arndell noted that the agency had several wins throughout the year, notably the New South Wales Business Awards for the employer of choice.

“As a regional rural business, that’s amazing because we’ve gone through the local level, then a regional level, and finally the New South Wales Business Awards in Sydney. So up against Sydney businesses, we managed to win for the employer of choice.

“We focus a lot on our culture, team support and performance. We also won gold with the Public Relations Institute of Australia for the best community relations and engagement campaign we did for the Cootamundra and Gundagai councils.

Arndell noted the wins, particularly as employer of choice, highlighted how the agency provides rewarding careers and employment opportunities for people who have reconsidered living in city areas off the back to the pandemic.

C7EVEN’s post-pandemic performance in 2022

The pandemic impacted C7EVEN; however, Arndell noted their experience was “not as excessive as others.”

“We had the most significant impact in that tourism, lifestyle, and event space. A lot of events and festivals were cancelled, and tourism stopped.

“But we were lucky that a large proportion of our clients are in the agribusiness space, and agriculture just continued. Farmers were essential services, and they needed to be able to continue to farm. A lot of the clients that sell products and services to farmers we’re still active in their marketing and advertising.

“Whilst it wasn’t desperate times, we certainly had a downturn, but the fact that our business was quite diversified allowed us to continue,” he said.

Arndell noted that the agency’s bounce back in 2022 saw considerable growth during those 12 months. He shared that their revenue went up by 60% from what it was in the year before.

“Our goals around the agency are to continue to grow for the next two to three years and to continue that trajectory,” he added.

C7EVEN’s outlook for 2023

The year ahead is expected to be exciting for C7EVEN following the launch of the agency’s regional/rural influencer programme, Talent Stable, back in October.

Arndell shared that the program has been going very well since its launch and has worked on many campaigns in tourism, lifestyle events and agribusiness.

“It shows our support and our passion for regional rural Australia by having something that’s dedicated and not looked at by the city agencies,” he said.

Arndell also noted the agency is working on having an office space in Japan, specifically in Tokyo’s central business areas, in early 2023 with regional/rural food and fibre producers that want to market and brand their value-added products into the Japanese market.

“We’ll be working with them to support that from a market access perspective, but also branding and marketing within the Japanese market,” he said.

The benefits of being part of the IMAA

C7EVEN Communications joined the IMAA in 2022; Arndell revealed the agency joined the industry body on the recommendation of someone at a networking event.

For Arndell, he said the agency has been able to reap several benefits for their agency, such as networking opportunities and learning and development offerings such as its webinars.

“Being regionally based, we haven’t been able to get to many face-to-face things at different times. But we’re keen to do that,” he said, looking to 2023.

Arndell also highlighted the IMAA’s advocacy for independent media agencies as a significant aspect.

“We are a full-service integrated agency, but media is a big part of what we do. That opportunity to have some representation for independence, I think, is a really good thing,” Arndell added.


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Don’t miss any of the action.

The Boomtown News is the only industry roundup dedicated to Boomtown and the opportunities for brands to harness 9.8 million extra Aussies.

Compelling insights, handy tools and resources along with the latest news – straight to your inbox.

Don’t miss any of the action.

The Boomtown News is the only industry roundup dedicated to Boomtown and the opportunities for brands to harness 9.8 million extra Aussies.

Compelling insights, handy tools and resources along with the latest news – straight to your inbox.