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Junction-Creative CEO Julie Gareleck: How We Made $100 million For Clients

Junction-Creative CEO Julie Gareleck: How We Made $100 million For Clients

Roberto Popolizio
Digital marketing agencies are struggling to stand out in an oversaturated market, because they are missing the key points that make clients tick and stick with an agency in the first place.

Website Planet invited Julie Gareleck, CEO & Managing Partner of Junction-Creative, to explain some of the most basic but often overlooked traits that make the best online marketing agencies like them stand out.

We discovered the most important factors that enabled Junction-Creative to generate over $100 million in revenue (with several awards to validate their success) for 450+ clients of all sizes, from small to midsize to enterprise level.

It’s a must-read for agencies looking to finally escape the rat race of competing on prices, and anyone frustrated after trying out a bunch of marketing agencies without getting results.

What problems are you solving for your customers and audience?

Junction works with mid-size, growth stage, or enterprise level clients across industry, aligning closely with the C-suite or leaders in the marketing organization. As a full-service agency, we are able to assist our clients in developing data driven strategies to improve overall performance of marketing solutions or becoming an extension of the client marketing team on execution of key tactics and solutions.As an agency, we remain transparent, agile, yet process driven.

We provide our clients with consistency, which was often lacking in previous agency relationships. Many agencies make a pitch based on the “big idea”, and our clients not only expect it but appreciate our diligence.

Although the “wow” factor is important, seamless execution is critical to the success or failure of any client relationship. Junction’s internal processes are designed to provide the “wow” factor stretches throughout all facets of the relationship to mitigate potential challenges through the life-cycle. We often tell our clients that we play the long game – we aren’t looking for just one big-budget opportunity.

We are happy to assist with as little or as much as a client wants and can adapt as their needs evolve, as Junction believes that the success of any client relationship hinges on the consistency and constancy in communications. Therefore Junction, which is deeply rooted in process excellence, will effectively manage internal and external communications. We’ve developed a workflow process that has proven success to our clients such that our project management fees are factored into the billable rate.

What helped you grow your audience since you started?

At Junction, we believe in executing against a comprehensive marketing strategy that is designed to drive not just traffic but also lead generation which results in revenue for our business. Some of our strategies include SEO, digital marketing, social media marketing, public relations, partnerships, and industry collaborations. We use multiple dashboards to monitor and measure critical key performance indicators to ensure that we are optimizing our efforts.

Of these tactics, our experience has shown that developing referral partners is critical to our growth plan. We have invested a lot of time in building relationships that are mutually beneficial. As an agency, we are constantly asked to promote specific platforms or software tools. Where possible, we develop partnerships with those companies who can provide complimentary support in other areas that we don’t specialize in. Keep in mind, these partnerships can take time to build and develop. Be a responsible partner. A referral relationship is only successful if both partners are engaged in the process.

As digital marketing continues to evolve, staying ahead of digital marketing trends is critically important to maintaining marketing share as well as increasing opportunities to secure new clients. Here are a few of the items that we prioritize and review quarterly:
  • On Page SEO – As we add content to the site, we optimize the On Page SEO to ensure that the content is optimized for organic traffic.
  • Backlinks – We focus on developing quality backlinks. We aim to secure 2 quality backlinks per quarter, carefully evaluating the effectiveness of each in improving the domain authority of our website.
  • SEO Optimized Blogs – We write and publish 8-10 blogs per month related to industry trends, popular marketing trends, campaigns we love, company news, etc. Blogs are also a great way to link to relevant publications.
  • Digital Content – We publish across digital platform content which includes video, reels, podcast snippets, carousel posts, and other forms to facilitate engagement. Our social platforms are not traditionally where we source leads, although LinkedIn has been effective in engaging in conversation with potential leads.
  • Podcast – As a CEO, entrepreneur, and published author, we have developed a podcast which highlights industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and experts in various business segments. We use these podcasts to share insights, lessons, and tips for being successful, whether a business owner or employee.
  • Speaking Engagements – We secure speaking opportunities for our team to speak as an expert or present a keynote presentation. These engagements have proven successful in securing new clients and also expanding our market share in specific industry segments.
It can be challenging to prioritize these tactics when juggling client projects. We have implemented processes and timelines to ensure that we are executing consistently every month. This consistency allows us to track our results and adapt the strategy as we move forward.

What makes people eventually choose you over your competitors?

The marketing industry is oversaturated with branding agencies, marketing agencies, digital marketing agencies, influencer agencies, among many other specialties. Just in the state of Georgia, there are more than 4,000 registered agencies, albeit at varying levels of operation and degrees of expertise. Since starting the agency in 2009, Junction had placed focus on developing the right blend of process and people, as opposed to focusing on the competition.

We have found two of the most common areas where clients become frustrated when working with agencies:

  1. Responsiveness: Believe it or not, nine out of every 10 clients find our firm after having had at least two, less than desirable experiences with agencies. In many cases, the client shares that the biggest area of frustration is the lack of communication between the agency and their team. If emails are sent, it can take up to two weeks to get a response. At Junction Creative, we take great pride in our ability to not just communicate but to consistently communicate throughout the lifecycle of the project or client relationship. While our team isn’t waiting on demand to receive emails from clients, there is a well-established process to ensure that our clients receive updates in timely manner.
  2. Depth of Knowledge: Fundamentally, clients want to work with a firm that doesn’t just understand marketing but also understand their business, customers, and goals. Technology tools short-circuit the process of developing knowledge. As an agency who works across industry, it is critical for our team to do the proper research on a client’s company. We leverage tools and analytics to validate our research, and we don’t let those tools become a crutch. Each client brings a unique business, set of solutions or products, and selling proposition. We listen and learn before implementing any marketing tactics.
The team at Junction continually monitors our performance and process to ensure that we aren’t contributing to the frustration our clients face. We look for areas of improvement whether around communication, data analysis, project management, etc. We have been successful at building long-standing relationships with our clients and have built a consistent track record.

How are you doing today and what’s in the roadmap for the future?

The success at Junction stems from a culture in which we operate as a team. While we are all responsible for our own areas of the business, we are not afraid to jump in and work together to get a project across the finish line. I am most proud of the team and the hard work that they dedicate to our clients and furthering the growth at Junction Creative.We remain thankful for our clients who trust us with growing their businesses.


In 2009, the marketing landscape looked different than it does today. With the evolution of digital and now AI, we are constantly educating ourselves on the new best practice or evaluating a new technology to assist in improving client results.

What we are doing today will most definitely evolve over time… We are prepared for the challenge!


What’s your perspective on the current state of your industry?

Digital trends and improvements in AI monopolize the marketing conversation. And while these new technologies are cool – they are all still being tested for efficacy and impact. As a business owner or marketing leader, I fully understand the appeal of this new technology. However, I am also acutely aware of the millions of businesses who are still building the first website or setting up social profiles for the first time despite the advancements in technology.

Our challenge for businesses is to develop the right go-to-market strategy by investing in a partner or resources that have successfully implemented comprehensive marketing strategies. Knowledge – whether related to your business or the marketing ecosystem – is power.

Digital transformation is here to stay. My best advice is to not get lost in the digital divide.

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