Fathom SEO, Scott Lowry, CEO
Q: Give us an example of a business challenge your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.
In March of 2010, our Founder and CEO Bill Fox passed away unexpectedly. Bill was a dear friend and outstanding business partner. Fortunately, Bill built a strong team that was able to respond effectively to this tragedy.
We immediately assessed the senior management team and decided it was time to bring on a top notch CFO, allowing me to shift day to day focus from my COO role at the time to CEO. We evaluated our top priorities and heightened our focus. We made it clear to the rest of the company that we had a deep leadership team and not only planned to stay on track, but fully expected to exceed Bill’s goals for the company.
In the nine months since Bill’s passing, we have adopted a new strategic planning structure, reset and extended the company’s initiatives and goals, grown revenue and margins and are on track to achieve results that we feel Bill would be proud of.
Q: In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?
A key contribution from me as CEO is to create the conditions that allow the people at Fathom to seek and capture innovation in all aspects of our business. To this end, two of our core values come to mind: “everyone a leader,” and “make order from chaos.” Our core values help us attract people that embrace the ideas behind our core values and give them guidance when making decisions day to day.
In the case of these two core values, we seek people that have high levels of initiative, are able to make decisions without all the information, are comfortable with change and are able to seek practical solutions to complex problems.
Online marketing is a dynamic and complex challenge for growing businesses looking to optimize their customer acquisition investments in traditional and online marketing efforts. Without constant innovation, we would not be able to deliver the consistent results that allow us to have long term client relationships as evidenced by exceptional client retention rates.
Q: What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned and how have you applied it?
There are many things in my control and many more things that are not and I need great people around me to make sure I can tell the difference between the two. I spent a lot of time early in my career trying to manage everything directly. I thought it was a sign of strength that I could find success leveraging my resourcefulness, work ethic and independence. Over time, I realized I was able to accomplish a lot more when I sought advice from highly competent people and sought the company and support of winners.
Today, I am very fortunate to be a part of the best team I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, including several outstanding mentors and advisors. As a result, I spend much less time on things I don’t have much influence over. This frees me up to do what is most important and impactful.
Q: How does your organization make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?
Fathom has grown from about 35 employees to more than 80 employees in a few years. We hire a lot of young professionals, sometimes right out of college. Our highest priority as an organization is to develop these people into leaders. In addition to teaching the people we hire how to be the best online marketing practitioners in the industry, we seek to help them develop leadership capabilities that have the potential to help them in all aspects of their professional lives. We hope that this will have a lasting impact on the region as we continue to create jobs and business leaders.