2024 Honorees

Jess Vassallo

Founder and CEO

“I see myself as someone who dreams big and is deeply committed to making a positive impact.”


Tell us about your company and role.

Evocative Media is an eCommerce growth marketing agency specialising in paid social, paid search and owned media marketing for eCommerce brands. I have the incredible privilege of leading a talented team of experts who are dedicated to helping some of the most innovative and fastest growing eCommerce brands in the industry succeed. 

In my role as founder and CEO, I am responsible for setting the vision and direction of the company. It’s my job to dream big and to lead our team towards making that vision a reality. I believe in thinking ahead and aiming high, guiding the business to new heights, challenging the agency status quo and truly investing in understanding what our clients need to grow their businesses. In a nutshell, we exist to drive revenue and retention online for eCommerce and retails brands.

A key part of my role is ensuring that our team works well together and that everyone feels supported and valued.

How would you describe yourself?

I see myself as someone who dreams big and is deeply committed to making a positive impact. Doing good, helping others grow, and prioritising kindness in business (and in life) are core to who I am. When I started out in business, I was told that to be successful, you must be ruthless. However, I know the opposite to be true – leading with kindness and empathy, driven by passion for what you do, will take you far.

I’m passionate about my work; it drives me every day to pursue excellence and support those around me to achieve their best. 

As a business owner, I am deeply committed to fostering a culture that prioritises employee well-being, encourages open communication, and emphasises teamwork. This is because I understand that a positive and supportive work environment is crucial for the success and sustainability of any organisation.

What qualities do you think a successful founder needs to have?

Compassion to understand and support their team and clients/customers effectively. Foresight is also crucial for anticipating future trends and preparing the company to meet them. Beyond these, resilience to overcome challenges, adaptability to change directions when necessary, leadership to guide and motivate the team, vision to set and pursue long-term goals, and integrity to build trust and maintain ethical standards are essential.

What has been your biggest professional success so far?

In addition to building an incredible powerhouse team, one of my biggest professional successes has been the creation of the eCommerce Growth Summit, a value-driven event designed to harness the collective knowledge of leading brands and industry experts. Over the past year, my team and I have successfully hosted this event across Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, attracting over 600 of APAC’s top eCommerce and retail brands.

As an agency specialising in driving growth for brands, I know that our team holds a wealth of valuable knowledge, and rather than limiting that to our clients, I created this event to share it with the wider eCommerce and retail community. We also bring together leading industry experts to deliver actionable insights into effective marketing strategies and tech solutions, offering valuable knowledge from those who are actually in the trenches.

The Summit is a reflection of my broader vision to give back to the eCommerce community and promote a culture of continuous learning and growth. I’m incredibly passionate about helping others advance through learning and development. The events have also allowed me to offer a platform for voices to be heard and expertise to be shared, which has been one of my greatest joys.

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What causes are you most passionate about?

I’m passionate about education, upskilling, and knowledge sharing. These values are at the core of why I founded the eCommerce Growth Summit. I firmly believe in empowering others through learning and providing opportunities for experts to share their insights, driving not just personal growth but advancing the industry as a whole.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing eCommerce brands?

Adapting to the rapidly changing market economy, especially with the ongoing shifts in consumer spending patterns. This environment, combined with the intense competition in the online space, makes it particularly tough for eCommerce brands to differentiate themselves. With consumers having access to numerous options, standing out requires not only innovative products but also exceptional customer experiences. Moreover, rising customer expectations for fast shipping, seamless returns, and personalised shopping experiences add another layer of complexity. Balancing these demands while maintaining profitability is challenging for a lot of brands but is so crucial for their success.


What's your favorite loyalty program or subscription offering from an eCommerce brand?

Mecca’s Beauty Loop: its framework and mechanics are clever yet simple, fantastic execution, great communication and the end-to-end experience both in store and online is excellent.

What do you geek out over?

I absolutely geek out over the intersection of technology and creative content. Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed really big shifts in consumer attention and behaviours, especially with the emergence of TikTok. I love seeing brands lean into pushing the boundaries with their creative and moving away from overly polished, high-production content to something more authentic and engaging. Additionally, creating platforms for learning and sharing knowledge within my agency and the eCommerce community truly excites me. Few things bring me greater joy than witnessing and contributing to the growth and development of others.