News Fearlessly Authentic - Kelly Gaunt shares her story

Kelly grew up in Penrith, NSW in a very loving, lower to middle class family. Watching her parents work hard to make ends meet sparked a fierce awareness in Kelly that you might not always get what you want, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Her upbringing has instilled a strong belief in Kelly that love and family should always be number 1.

An intuitive and independent soul, Kelly decided not to pursue university straight after year 12 as she wasn’t clear on her career direction. She started an office traineeship at 18 sponsored through TAFE and was awarded NSW Admin Trainee of the year – Sydney West in 1998. After completing her traineeship Kelly decided to pursue customer service and sales.

Kelly soon became a Sales Representative for Zodiac and was told by management she had a natural flare for sales and marketing. She was promoted to Internal Sales Supervisor, and then National Key Account Manager- all by the time she was 21 years old!

It was at Zodiac, that Kelly met her now husband and moved to Cronulla for love. Never one to do things by halves, Kelly rented her first ever property right on the beach on the Cronulla Esplanade.

Part of her role as National Key Account Manager at Zodiac included marketing and product management for national franchise groups. During this time Kelly completed a Certificate III in Marketing to get some theory under her belt. At age 24, Kelly became the Sales & Marketing Manager for Zodiac Marine and found herself in very male dominated environment. As many of you reading this can attest, Kelly found she had to work twice as hard to gain the trust and recognition from her male colleagues, and she decided to complete a degree in Business / Commerce – majoring in Marketing in her own time to assist in getting that recognition and gaining the confidence to back herself. The degree took Kelly 6 years to complete as she worked full time, adding the purchase of her first home in Cronulla, her wedding and the birth of two children into the mix - all while studying.

Kelly enjoyed her academic journey and feels it was time well spent, applying theory to many of the actions she had learned through experience. Soon after completion, Kelly became a member of the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) and was given the status of a Certified Practicing Marketer. She completes 100 hours of education every 3 years, ensuring that she is up to date with the latest skills and trends in the marketing world. Kelly has since been given the status of Fellow, which is the highest status in the AMI.

When Kelly was pregnant with her first child, the company she worked for was bought out by an international private equity firm, and she was made redundant along with all middle and senior management. She saw a job advertised for Just Cuts as National Marketing Manager looking after 60 salons, which she was successful in securing. Kelly loved the role but found she was spending way too much time away from her family and decided to set up her own Marketing company called Dizee, hesitantly leaving her full-time role with Just Cuts.

Just Cuts became Kelly’s first client under Dizee and in addition to this, Kelly and her husband purchased an e-commerce company. The company was a shopping club (think brands exclusive, moonpig or catch of the day) with over 12,000 members in their database, which they grew to 30,000 in two years. Kelly’s husband left his job and ran the company full time, and had a network of designers who released their clothing on Kelly’s website before shop release. Because this online store was one of the first of its kind, they invested over $20,000 in a new website – just before the GFC hit. While the GFC didn’t really affect people’s spending, it did affect the designers of the clothing, and one by one they started to go out of business. They had an offer from someone to buy their company but they decided to wait it out for another 2 years, which sadly was 2 years too long. They decided upon advice of their accountant to shut down the company while it was still cash flow positive. Meanwhile Kelly was still working with Just Cuts through Dizee, and her husband was offered a job running the Aussie arm of an American company which he took.

Kelly now had to decide whether to take Dizee more seriously and grow a successful marketing company, or get a job. She knew deep down marketing was where she thrived and renamed Dizee to The Marketing Bungalow in 2015. Just Cuts are still a client of hers to this day - a testament to Kelly’s ability to build strong relationships with her clients based on strong foundations and genuine care for the brands she care takes.

Kelly recently bought an office space on Wurrook Circuit in Caringbah and has hired three new team members to support the growth The Marketing Bungalow has experienced in the past year. Since then, she’s taken on a number of new clients and has relaunched her branding.

Marketing is one of those things (like HR) that people tend to think they can do themselves, and marketing companies tend to get a bad rap. For those that do it well, it can be frustrating as those who do it badly give the good a bad name. With this in mind, I asked Kelly about some of her pet peeves when it comes to running a marketing company. Kelly’s answers were interesting, but not surprising!

Wanting Quick Results

Kelly said her top challenge was dealing with clients who want instant results. Marketing is about building trust and awareness and this takes time. Marketing campaigns need to be tested, refined and researched, and none of these things are achieved in a matter of weeks or even months. If it was easy and instant, businesses wouldn’t be struggling and failing.

Not putting in the effort

This was an interesting one – Kelly said she finds it deflating when a potential client comes to her and is not engaged or excited about their own brand and show a lack of interest in the marketing process. Owning a company means being invested in it, and it also means putting effort into working with suppliers to make it happen. It’s something that clients need to be involved in – especially in the early stages, while the marketing team learn about the client’s businesses.

Kelly and her team need to know the “why” for their marketing to be effective. They need to understand the reason their clients went into business, what their passions are and what value they provide to their clients and provide a marketing strategy based on that.

Kelly loves working with established companies who have got to the stage of business where they need a brand refresh, marketing overhaul or can no longer cope with marketing their business with internal resources. She loves to take on every aspect of their marketing, from branding, newsletters, videos, social media and influencer marketing. Kelly’s team also handle campaign and ad hoc projects such as flyers, style guides, websites and more. Aligning strategy with creative and implementation always achieves better results for less cost.

If you’re looking for a Marketing and Design Company with a proven track record of success, then The Marketing Bungalow are for you.

Get in touch with Kelly for a chat at and checkout their page here or checkout their website