A Man on a Marketing Mission

By Sharon Ward

Gerald Michaluk is a man on a mission. His task is to do for Scottish companies the marketing magic he does for global giants.

In an office in Glasgow's Wellington Street, the quietly spoken maestro lays out his stall. When he speaks, people listen. More importantly, they pay to hear how to save their companies from the "current economic instability and market dynamics that are creating a graveyard for businesses that can't adapt and plan strategically within this environment".

At the helm of Glasgow-based strategic firm Marketing Management Services International (MMSI), with satellite offices in Houston and Silicon Valley, the former Strathclyde University lecturer counts Compaq Computers, Lucent Technologies, IBM and Hewlett Packard among his faithful clients.

His company, ranked as the eighth largest strategic marketing consultancy in the UK was valued at 309, 000 in 1996 and 2001 is worth 2.5million.

Expanding his consultancy from its eighth-placed position moved a step further with new premises in Aberdeen's Market Street. The energy consultancy operations alone could create up to 150 jobs. The current economic downturn will not stop his plans for MMSI, although his planned flotation from last year is still on hold.

He said: "We do not expect to see growth in 2002 and we want to position ourselves for when it comes."

The successful launch of the firm's strategic marketing model, the Global Marketing Advantage System (GMAS), means the money is not required.

"We are now at the stage where we can do things on our own, we know our product works and offers new life blood for companies," said Gerald.

GMAS has been well received by the critics and Michaluk's book detailing his strategy, Riding the Storm: strategic planning in turbulent markets, is due to be published in December this year by McGraw Hill.

The GMAS system, he says, works. He added: "We've undertaken significant original research into over 100 companies over a ten year period.

"It enables companies to manage real time information flows in dynamic markets; ensures strategic planning keeps pace with operational plans in turbulent environments; and exploit and/or defend themselves from paradigm shifts in the market."

Michaluk has agreed to do a master class on the new methodology at a one-off event in Edinburgh on November 21 in association with the Chartered Institute of Marketing in Scotland.

He developed the GMAS concept in the late 1980s, but with no Internet or technology to support it, it could not be implemented. Fate intervened as he was appointed as an assessor of consultants on behalf of the DTI.

"I quickly realised how much money consultants made and know how poorly paid lecturers were, so I left the University to form Marketing Management Services Ltd in 1989. I haven't looked back and the technology made it all possible," he said.

"We've now grown into Marketing Management Services International plc which in 2001 was listed by Consultancy Magazine as the UK's 8th largest strategic marketing consultancy."

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