Smart50 Awards 2018

44 Online Marketing Gurus

Revenue

$10.77 million

Growth

71.66%

Founders

Andrew Raso (29), Mez Homayunfard (28)

Head Office

Surry Hills, NSW

Employees

38

Industry

Marketing and communications

Website

onlinemarketinggurus.com.au

Founders of Online Marketing Gurus (OMG) Andrew Raso and Mez Homayunfard founded their business to fill a gap in the market, providing digital marketing to mid-sized brands.

With a revenue of $10.7 million last year, and 78% growth, the business is featuring on the Smart50 list for the third time, snagging the 44th spot this year.

Raso partly attributes OMG’s rapid growth to its focus on culture, particularly when it comes to hiring.

“Hire slow, fire fast. Culture first, skills second,” Raso says.

“We learnt quickly that cultural fit is the most important aspect of hiring,” he adds.

“This was what really helped us find our groove and DNA and scale our growth.”

The founders have also focused on specialising in one area of marketing, rather than trying to do everything under one roof, which has helped the business to thrive, Raso says.

“Being a generalist would’ve eventually damaged our brand, and is now an Achilles heel for traditional agencies,” Raso says.

However, growth also brings challenges. Raso is constantly trying to manage growing the agency without affecting client experience and that small-company culture.

As businesses start to grow and transition, “it’s fairly difficult to hold onto the same startup mentality and vision that you initially start with”, he adds.

OMG now has 40 staff members, and has recently brought an executive team on board, including a chief executive officer, chief operating officer, marketing officer and financial officer.

Applying new levels of governance has been “difficult, but essential”, Raso says.

“By hiring an executive team to help implement a culture of governance, OMG has been able to grow with minimal growing pains.”

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