How Suffolk’s marketing agency weathered the pandemic storm

Published:
08h00 February 9, 2022



When established in 2019, the Ipswich-based digital marketing agency GLO – Generate Leads Online could not have anticipated spending the majority of his first three years in the midst of a global pandemic. However, the company’s resilience and start-up spirit allowed it to weather the storm and continue to grow despite the challenges posed by Covid-19.

Like many businesses, one of the first steps GLO took when the UK entered lockdown was to transition its team to remote working. “Using online communication and project management tools, such as Slack, Zoom and Asana, we quickly developed a very efficient way to work from home,” says John Parnell, Founder and CEO of GLO. “It helped us reduce costs and ensure the team was safe and able to serve customers throughout the pandemic when they needed digital marketing the most.”

Demand for GLO’s services increased as many high street businesses had no choice but to offer their services online – and this also necessitated a recruitment drive for the agency. After recruiting two long-term employees through government-funded degree apprenticeship schemes, the company took advantage of the government’s Kickstart scheme, which provides funding for employers to create jobs for young people through Universal Credit .

“We now have six employees who have completed the program, which adds significant value to the business and our services,” says John. “In return, we are proud to help give local young people the knowledge and experience they need to launch their digital careers, and to take important steps to close the digital skills gap in Suffolk.”

GLO works with its customers to improve their performance across all online channels, placing customer data and needs at the heart of its digital marketing strategies. Its services include SEO, social media marketing, website design, email marketing automation, and Google Ads management.


From left to right: Tony Southgate, John Parnell, Kat Haladus, Beth Craig and Ian White (sponsor – Beckett Investment Management Group)
– Credit: Matthew Potter Photographer and videographer

More recently, the company launched its SEO web design service. “This was developed in response to an influx of new customers whose existing, under-optimized sites were a key aspect of their disappointing online performance,” says John. “After hearing their stories of countless page additions and endless SEO optimizations, we decided to develop a one-of-a-kind complete solution – combining web design and front-end SEO.”

Going forward, the company plans to launch an app development service and is also testing an innovative ‘pay per lead’ offering. “Like any other new business, pandemic-era start-ups have a strong need for inbound sales and leads, but are often unable to afford the risks and costs of building their own site. web,” says John. He says the “pay per lead” service will work as an efficient and financially viable solution to this problem.

It’s this kind of innovative thinking that helped GLO win Start-Up Business of the Year, sponsored by Beckett Investment Management Group, at the 2021 Suffolk Business Awards – which John describes as a “dream come true”.

The award was celebrated by the whole team during a cocktail party at Three Wise Monkeys in Ipswich. “As a relatively new employee, it’s really motivating to see GLO win this award,” said Emma Baker, Content Specialist at GLO. “It’s a reflection of the hard work, dedication and passion of everyone at GLO for what we do, and a hint of what else we can accomplish in the future.”

Rebecca Martin, Conversion Rate Optimization Specialist, adds, “This is an incredible achievement, and I’m very proud to work for such a rapidly growing company.”

Speaking of rapid growth, GLO has ambitions to quadruple its revenue in 2022, unlocking a host of new career opportunities in digital marketing. “We will continue to take on apprentices and train them into some of the best digital marketing talent Suffolk has to offer,” says John.

The business has also secured a place in Archant’s Future 50 program for 2022, which recognizes the most exciting businesses in the East of England. “I think I speak for the entire team when I say it’s an honor to have had the opportunity to join the Future 50 program,” says John. “The vast knowledge and support offered through this initiative should provide us with an unparalleled development opportunity – and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”

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