The Story Behind GMS With Founder – Blake Micola

The Story Behind GMS With Founder – Blake Micola

So at Growth Marketing Systems, the core of our business is social media advertising. We primarily focus on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger advertising, so pretty much Facebook’s ad placements. In 2019, we’re gonna start introducing Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat to the mix, and we also have some other core components, including managing people’s CRM, primarily ActiveCampaign through a certified partnership, as well as ClickFunnels if people need assistance in building funnels outside of the ad. So, we’ve become a 360-degree marketing agency when it comes to social media, but we still specialise in social media advertising to generate leads for service-based businesses or generate traffic for e-commerce businesses looking to get more traffic to their website to increase their sales.


How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?

So personally, I got the background and skills necessary to start Growth Marketing Systems from being a marketing manager back at an event firm in about 2012. From there, things were sort of just evolving. Facebook advertising platform was just really kicking into gear. And, at the time, I was doing a lot of email marketing, a lot of banner advertising, a lot of joint venture marketing, and started to dabble in social media marketing, particularly on Facebook. Back then, Instagram advertising, Messenger, and WhatsApp wasn’t really around, so it was primarily just the Facebook news feed. And over time, it evolved to become quite a skill. It’s something that people say “cracking the code”.

From there, I started to consult and was doing a little bit of marketing and digital marketing to help small businesses. And really asked myself if I’m going to go into a business, what’s the biggest need and how do I scale a business? And number one, that was people need more leads to generate sales. Or more traffic. That was the fundamental outcome that I had a lot of experience with dealing, not only at that company that I was working as a marketing manager, but also through doing consultancy. So out came Growth Marketing Systems to become the niche and a specialty service when it comes to lead generation and boosting sales for inbound marketing across service businesses and e-commerce retailers.


What is your recruitment policy with GMS?

So our recruitment policy at GMS is quite simple and it’s only spread over three main components. Number one is culture, number two is attitude, and number three is intelligence to do the job. So the reason why we’re structured like that, and you might think it’s a bit strange having intelligence as the third point, is that you can’t teach culture, and you certainly can’t force someone to have the right attitude in the business, but the intelligence is something that you can actually foster through the role itself. As a small business owner, I’ve seen a lot of companies struggle with finding the right combination of those three elements. And if you have the right culture and the right attitude to do the job, you can let your employees almost work autonomously, so it takes the micromanagement out of the job.


Can you describe your customers and why they choose you over your competitors?


When it comes to our customers, we’ve been really lucky to have a great pool of clients. And the reason why our customers choose us over competitors is based on two main things. Number one is relationships, and number two is results. We know exactly who we can work with and who we can’t work with, so we can easily filter that process through. As a small business and when you’re just starting out, it’s very important to pick your battles. If you’re taking on clients and doing a spaghetti at the wall approach, you’re never gonna have a good foundation for growing your business. So at GMS, we specialise in a few different industries, and we make sure we only stick to those industries. Those industries specialise in coaching, service businesses, hospitality and e-commerce retailers. So within our industries, we make sure our messaging is tailored to each of those businesses, and obviously we’ve got stats and results to back up our claims. So, we’re not just going in dark trying to bring on every single business without the proof and analysis for each of those companies.


What’s your marketing strategy for GMS?

So our marketing strategy for Growth Marketing Systems is very similar to what we do for our clients. So I’m a big believer in practising what you preach, and when it comes to marketing our brand, we do so on social media mainly, particularly on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. And the actual specific strategies we use are quite diverse. We have a few videos going that explain who we are to create top-of-funnel awareness. We have a few middle-of-funnel campaigns running to get people to consider our business through our website, blogs, and articles and lots of content. And we also have lots of conversion based campaigns to drive people through funnels, give them bits of information, and ultimately trying to get them on the call so we can vet that client, providing a free account analysis, and choosing whether they’re going to be a fit to work with us or not.


Is GMS a local or global business?

So even though we’re a local business based out of Sydney, we actually have a global footprint. We have clients across six different countries, and we also have employees in other countries. So at the moment, our clients are spread over Australia, in New Zealand, America, Canada, South Africa, and also the UK. And we’re also expanding and actually having offices in New Zealand, and potentially in the UK over the next couple of years. With Facebook advertising, and particularly social media, it makes it really easy for us to acquire clients overseas, but clients locally might also want to market globally. So being a small business with a global footprint is the strategy that we’re gonna deploy and continue to manage moving forward.


How do you see the social media marketplace evolving over the next 5-10 years?

So the social media marketplace and how it’s gonna evolve over the next five to ten years, is quite interesting. At the moment, we’ve already seen Facebook evolve from a text based platform to images, to videos, to 360-degree images, and also AI. So over the next five to ten years, I think the biggest evolution is gonna be more conversational based marketing, cutting through the clutter through professional content, and when these big companies start understanding the value of social media, those cost-per-clicks and CPMs, and also cost per leads and registrations, they’re gonna naturally increase. So we have a bit of window of opportunity right now for small businesses, particularly in the B2C space, to really harness the power of social media before these big players are stepping in and taking a big chunk of market, and driving prices up, just like we’ve seen with traditional advertising across radio, TV, print and outdoor. So if you are a small business or a medium business and you haven’t utilised the power of social media, I highly recommend doing so now before these prices start surging.


What is the future for a social media agency like GMS?


So the future of a social media agency like GMS depends on where the audience and data is going to be. At the moment, we know that Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and other apps like YouTube and LinkedIn are dominating the marketplace right now. Within those apps, different ad placements will evolve, and it’s important as a business owner like myself in Growth Marketing Systems to leverage those new placements before other advertisers do. So it’s really staying ahead of the trend and making sure you’re looking ahead of time to stay ahead of your competition as well. So when we take on new clients and we advertise across our specialty suite of industries, we make sure that we pivot and leverage strategies that work across our clients, and that we’re always testing. The biggest thing to know, there isn’t just one golden bullet ad campaign that you can create across every single placement and app out there, but instead be fluid, diverse and continue to split test as much as possible. So the future for social media and agency like ours is really exciting, and I’m looking forward to the next few years.