Moments with marketers: Mark Armstrong
Marketingmag.com.au had a chat with Mark Armstrong, general manager at FirstClick Consulting, Melbourne. If
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What do you do?
I’m general manager for FirstClick Consulting in Melbourne. We’re a specialised search marketing consultancy and we work closely with a small number of clients to help them maximise the return on their digital and search marketing budgets. FirstClick was founded in Sydney by Grace Chu four years ago, and I’m currently building a Melbourne team. Previously I ran Google’s Melbourne office.
What was your first job?
After uni I joined Hewlett Packard as part of their graduate recruitment program, and worked a few different roles in the sales and marketing teams before heading off to travel in Asia and Europe.
What did you study?
I studied Commerce at Melbourne University, majoring in commercial law, business admin and marketing. I also went back to uni in my mid-twenties to study literature and creative writing.
Describe a typical day?
I’m usually up pretty early, before 6am, and either go for a bike ride or jump online to check emails, news, and cross a few things off the list before the boys (Will, 10, and Lucas, 8) wake up. After helping them get ready for school I head into the office via a detour across the road to Amici for a coffee. On Mondays we kick off the week with our team WIP and most days are a flurry of emails, external meetings, interviewing (I’m currently recruiting) and staying in touch with the Sydney team via Skype and phone. I also spend a couple of days in Sydney every few weeks. Lately I’ve been swimming at the Prahran Pool at lunchtime, which is a great break. I try to get home by 6.30pm for dinner with the family, sometimes preceded by a martini with my wife Andi and followed by some basketball or table tennis or reading with the boys. I don’t watch much TV and usually wind down by reading online or offline before heading to bed early.
What is on the agenda for the next year?
FirstClick had a really great year in 2009, successfully retaining a healthy and happy client base despite financially tough times. So the focus for 2010 is going to be on delivering more fantastic results for our existing clients, while also building the Melbourne team, office and client base. I’m currently interviewing and recruiting and really looking forward to our next two Melbourne team members starting with us in a couple of weeks.
What brand do you love the most? Dislike the most? Why?
In terms of global brands I’m a fan/consumer of Apple, Canon, Cadbury, Corona… Locally I’ve got a lot of respect for what JB Hi-Fi has achieved by being unconventional and anti-establishment. And a couple of years ago I was standing in Times Square in New York and the dominant billboards and brands were Rip Curl, Quiksilver and Billabong – it’s amazing what these local surf labels have achieved globally. Dislikes – any brand that tries to establish itself with an annoying attention-seeking campaign instead of a great consumer/customer experience.
What do you believe has been the most significant moment in the history of marketing?
In our time, definitely the mainstream adoption of the internet and the way it has driven a shift away from mass marketing towards personalised marketing – although we’ve still got a long way to go before achieving the holy grail. One day we’ll only see messages which are relevant, useful, entertaining and timely – in the meantime we’ve still got a lot of de-cluttering to do.
Where can people find you?
Our Melbourne office is in Chapel Street in Prahran – if I’m not there I’ll be at Globe Café or Amici across the road. Our website is www.firstclickconsulting.com and you can also find me on LinkedIn.