Marketingmag.com.au chats to Tom Skotidas – head of marketing and business development for First Rate. If you would like to see a certain
marketer profiled, please email your suggestion to Sean Greaney on sean.greaney@niche.com.au.


What do you do?

I am the head of marketing and business development for First Rate, one of Australia’s leading online marketing agencies, specialising in search marketing and performance online advertising.

What was your first job?

My first unpaid job was an assistant at my uncle’s pastry shop. I was awful at it. My first paid job was running my own business while at university, self-publishing a book on martial arts.

What did you study?

My majors were Marketing and Economics. By the third year I had completed all credits for my two majors, but decided to drop out of university to become an entrepreneur. That decision was both good and bad. Bad because it cost me my bachelor’s degree and some early credibility with the corporate world, good because it taught me more about business and marketing than I could have ever learned at university at the time.

Describe a typical day?

I always wake up around 6am and depending on my day’s schedule, spend the next 60-90 minutes multi-tasking: catching up on emails, planning, pouring bowls of cereal for my daughters and hugging them before I leave for the office.

Once at the office I usually catch up with my team for 20 minutes to discuss the day ahead of us.

The rest of my day involves a combination of managing marketing and PR initiatives, client account direction, new business meetings, and internal meetings.

Working at a busy agency like First Rate means it is rare that I leave the office before 6.30pm. If I don’t have a function on, I head straight home to my girls to have dinner, play around, and watch TV.

What is on the agenda for the next year?

Firstly, to ensure our clients continue to dominate the search engines and grow their online traffic, acquisitions, and market share in the most aggressive way possible.

Secondly, to grow the First Rate client base, and market share, among the ‘Fortune 500 of Australia’ – our core market.

What brand do you love the most? Dislike the most? Why?

I love the ‘Australia’ brand. It enjoys global brand awareness, and conjures images of great people, great beaches, great wildlife, and great quality of life. An amazing story in just one word.

I dislike ‘home’ brands. Very uninspiring – they might be lower priced but their owners should still strive to give them a more appealing brand name.

What do you believe has been the most significant moment in the history of marketing?

There are so many moments, but the one I keep coming back to is email. It was an absolute game changer. Unlike fax or postal mail, email ushered in an era of incredible immediacy and richness of communication. In doing so it dramatically reduced printing and postal costs, which in turn dramatically reduced our environmental impact.

Where can people find you?