News 4/7/2022,
8 minutes

The Digital Marketing Journey of GEM


Testing. Testing. Is this thing on? 

Hello, and welcome to the brand new blog for Gala Education & Marketing Ltd, otherwise (and what will more commonly be) known as GEM. My name is Ryan Bracha, Managing Director and chief content writer.  

We are a box fresh design, digital marketing and business assistance agency that has been set up to try to do things a little differently to most digital marketing agencies. Our objective is to improve your digital presence and find ways of improving the strategies you use to find your prospects and customers. 

But why is that any different to most marketing agencies? 

Okay, when you put it like that, it doesn’t sound like we have much different to offer, but hear us out. We intend to help you to improve your strategies, improve your online presence and find customers, and we intend to reduce your marketing spend whilst maintaining and growing your revenues, by showing you how to do it.  

6 people in a row, with a rainbow coloured gradient filter

If you’ve worked with any digital agency in the past, the chances are you have done so because you didn’t have the skills or the time to do the work yourself. It was easier to simply pay somebody else to do that for you. Maybe there were too many different aspects that needed understanding to truly get it and build the kinds of strategies that your business needed? We know how that goes. I’d like to give you a bit of backstory to who GEM is and why GEM is.  

I joined Gala Tent, the UK’s leading supplier of pop-up gazebos, party tents and marquees, back in 2016. I joined on the sales team in an entry level role, after office politics drove me out of a middle-management role at a previous employer. I was quickly placed into the Business Development team and was tasked with liaising with the third-party digital agency that we worked with for approving any changes they made, and checking the content they wrote to help our online presence. I saw that they were often claiming five figure monthly performance-based rewards for their apparent successes, but upon closer inspection, it was clear that they were spending huge sums of our company money to generate very little direct return. The content they were writing bore little relevance to what our business actually did. I raised this with our company directors in 2017, and immediately our CEO Jason Mace brought the work back in-house, and he created a new marketing team, made up of myself and my colleague Nathan, but we had no marketing education or experience.

Four headshots from a meet the team web page on a teal background

We began to take short digital marketing courses, reading up on everything we needed. We had a Google account manager at the time, because our previous digital agency had spent so much of our money that we received beneficial status. I took every opportunity to meet with her at Google’s offices in London to pick her brains, I accepted all of Google’s invitations to attend courses and update meetings, and I learned everything I could to actively reduce our marketing spend. I don’t like spending other people’s money, it sets me on edge. I’d rather figure out ways of doing it for free. So, I gradually saw our return on ad spend go from the minus figures that the third-party agency had delivered, and I began to turn a profit for our company.  

At the same time, Nathan had begun to manage our social media ads and email campaigns, researching everything he needed to achieve greater Impressions, Engagements, Open Rates, Click-Through Rates. He worked through understanding the Facebook Pixel and strategies that could be used with it that would ensure maximum impact for minimum spend.  

By sheer good fortune, we shared an office with our graphic designer Samantha, who would create the artwork for our campaigns. Her attention to detail and pristine brand-management skills enabled us to deliver consistent and immediately recognisable content, no matter where it was to be used. In 2019, the three of us were joined by new artworker Bethany, who would go on to complete our tight-knit team of marketers. She is a very tenacious, driven individual who thrives on personal development. We needed to add video to our output, so she taught herself how, and we began to add engaging video and imagery to our organic social media strategies. We began to tell stories and use branded content instead of trying to directly sell products. We built a studio and every Wednesday we would get away from our desks to go and have fun in front of the camera. 


Then in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic hit and with the lockdowns that came into play, we lost all of our momentum. Bethany was furloughed, all of our target industries went into hibernation, and we were left scratching our heads. We didn’t know how long it would go on, but we had to do something. Working from home, Nathan switched all of our social strategies to target new and different industries that might still need our products. Myself and Samantha were working alongside Jason and our IT specialist Callum to make wholesale changes to the website, rejuvenating and updating our SEO to the most recent Google updates. We added almost half a million words to the website.  

At home with little to do, Bethany taught herself new video editing techniques and interactive PDF design so that she could return to us in a stronger position than before. Our work began to pay dividends within three months. Organic traffic rose to all-time highs, social media revenue too, and the SEO work we had done started to affect our PPC performance. Google wrote a case study on our work, the demand for our products in the new industries we had been targeting gained nationwide press, and every one of our colleagues were back in full time employment by June 2020. We had been given an objective, and we smashed it. I remember at one point, Jason said to me, after we achieved top ranking for almost all of our target keywords - “I think you’ve just hacked Google!”

A Grow with Google article including a man in front of a pop-up gazebo


I’ll repeat the part that matters here. We had no previous marketing education or experience. We self-taught it all, and our results across the board speak for themselves.  

Social Media:  

A viral organic campaign in 2021, a Christmas Video Ad that gained over 100,000 views on zero budget, the highest Return on Ad Spend on record, and a bespoke lead generation strategy that costs pence instead of pounds per lead.  



Highest daily, weekly, monthly and annual organic web traffic on record 

Highest organic revenue on record 

Highest ranking for important keywords on record 


Search PPC: 

Highest Return on Ad Spend on record 

Highest Google Shopping Return on Ad Spend on record 

Lowest Cost per Acquisition on Record 

Feature on Grow With Google case study 

Lowest Marketing Spend % on record 



£10m net revenue, achieved with a 3% marketing spend 


These are just some of the successes we achieved with Gala Tent, and we did this with no previous experience and a team of four people. To put it into perspective, the third-party digital agency we worked with spent the same in one year as we did in two years, and Gala Tent generated three times as much revenue. So, what’s to stop your business from doing the same? 

GEM has been launched to help you to do just that. To help you to stop kicking money into the grass on agencies who know next to nothing about your industry. There’s nobody that understands your industry and your customers better than you, so does it not make better sense to learn how to do it yourself, or upskill one of your team to do the work? GEM can help you to do that.  

We offer several services, and can be as hands-on or hands-off as you need us to be, and these services include: 

* Online Presence health-check, where we will audit your digital platforms, including your website, online discoverability and social media profiles. We will find the key areas for improvement, and highlight what can be done to fix them.  

* We will compare your online presence with your competitors to see what they do well that you could be replicating, or what they do badly so you can fill the gaps they’re leaving. 

* We offer full design and brand-building services, so that your business and brands display a professional, consistent image to all who encounter you. 

* We can design, write and build a whole new website for your business, totally bespoke and perfectly manageable either by yourself or by us.  

* We have launched a self-paced educational portal, with premium quality content to not just highlight the key areas you could and should be focusing on with your online presence, but to actively show you how to complete that work. We have video examples of a hypothetical brand being built from scratch, and you get an opportunity to do the work as you do, effectively building your own digital marketing strategy in real time. These premium modules are priced as low as just £29. 

* And, if you really would rather we complete the work for you, we will tell you how and why we do what we do, so that eventually your business can become fully self-sufficient and you can save cash in the long term.  

So, there you have it. The very first blog from GEM - I promise that the next one will be much shorter, and much more helpful. We will offer free help and advice on SEO, PPC, Social Media Marketing, Branding, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Video production and much more, so please sign up for our mailing list or register for the GEM learner portal, and we’ll ensure you’re kept in the loop. We’re here to keep businesses and individuals who know next to nothing about marketing from falling into the trap of paying through the nose to organisations that are incentivised by big tech firms to spend more of your money.


Digital Brochure