Scott McCorkell doesn’t just think about the bottom line in his creative marketing business.
What’s your story?
My path isn’t quite like your typical CEO. Back when I was in school, I was told by everyone to be a commercial artist. I was number one in art, in architecture and won awards for my work. I ignored everything and became an entrepreneur, building a multitude of organisations in the computing industry before realising there was a gap in the market for agency services that could speak the language technology companies wanted. So I created one. This is why M&A is different: We’re not just another agency; we’re marketing, we’re creative, we understand sales and the technology dialect. This is what the client needs and is why we’ve grown to become one of Asia-Pacific’s most trusted marketing organisations in the IT&T space.
What excites you most about your industry?
I get excited when I see really great ideas being delivered exceptionally well. I love the creative side of marketing and I get excited when I see really good stuff; the sort of concepts that are lightning bolt moments that make you wonder “how did they think of that?” You don’t see that from many places anymore, so when that happens, when people think about who is going to see their message, I get excited, because finally, someone other than myself is thinking about more than just the bottom line.
What’s your connection to Asia?
The first city McCorkell & Associates invested in, outside Australia is Singapore, which was prescient given how much of a regional hub it has become for multinational technology brands. Much of our business for those brands connects to the activities of the Asian market and it is a real growth hotspot for many of our clients.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I really enjoy Singapore, not only because it is a hub of activity for technology brands but also because of the focus it’s had on becoming a great place for businesses to start up and grow throughout Asia.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My dad used to say, “You only live once, you’re a long time dead,” and it’s a phrase that has stuck with me over time. Twenty eight years ago, I had cancer, and I learned first hand that this statement is very true. I fought hard, beat the cancer and have lived life as fully as I can every day since. Dad’s advice and that experience have played a large part in the way I do business and the outlook I have as a CEO.
Who inspires you?
From an aspirational point of view, I don’t want to be anyone else; I want to be me and this has served me well to date. I get out of bed and go to work eight days and nights out of the seven. I work 23 hours a day and am in the boardroom on a Sunday morning at eight. So if you ask who inspires me, I don’t actually have a role model as an individual, I have people I just want to surpass.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
There’s a statistic I read the other day – the top eight wealthiest people in the world own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the population in the world. That scale is quite amazing when you think about it.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
There isn’t much I’d do differently. I’ve achieved much of what I always set out to do. I found a way to use my creative talent to build a business that affords me the ability to pursue many other passions.
How do you unwind?
If I have water under my feet, I’m happy. If there’s an engine, a boat, a car, a motorbike, doubly so. I unwind by hitting the horizon, by charging into the unknown and exploring the world. I’m a keen traveller, so any chance I can get where I’m venturing off into the unknown with the speed and thrill as the wind brushes through my hair, I’m happy and relaxed.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Not everyone will see it as relaxation, but I absolutely love Hong Kong. There’s just something so alive about the city. You feel like it has a speed, a pulse, a pace. It gets you going and tantalises the senses in a way few places do. It’s the sort of city you want to let under your skin and never let go.
Everyone in business should read this book:
It sounds a little arrogant and I don’t mean it to, but I haven’t written it yet. There aren’t books that have taught me how to run a company or how to lead. That’s just me and that’s just life experience. When I write my book, I’ll be sure to let you know.
Shameless plug for your business
McCorkell & Associates delivers over 26 services across the Asia-Pacific region in over seven languages and cultures, working throughout all major areas of marketing delivery, including creative, advertising, events, content, branding and contact centre. We are headquartered in Australia and have offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, India, as well as being part of the BBN alliance which extends our reach into the USA and another 89 countries besides. We’re a one-stop shop for improving the bottom line and delivering ROI amidst a more personal and thoroughly individual way of doing things.
How can people connect with you?
The best way to get in contact with me is to give us a call at McCorkell & Associates or to message me through LinkedIn. I’m always there, as any and every entrepreneur should be, too.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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