Globital CEO Discusses BPO Growth Strategy and Agency Marketing’s Future in the Age of AI

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Damian Papworth didn’t set out to be the CEO of a global digital marketing force.

Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Papworth started his career with a background in finance and economics, which led to roles administering superannuation processes for financial institutions at the turn of the millennium.

I did a lot of travel through Africa, Asia, and Europe where our clients were. I did very well in processizing what we needed to do—creating systems seemed to be my superpower. 

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital

However, Papworth didn’t feel challenged by the work and didn’t see a long-term path to professional growth.

To avoid tuning out, becoming lethargic, and “just going home to watch TV and go to bed,” he explored what was a whole new process back in the early ‘00s: He began tinkering with affiliate marketing programs online and making money by arbitraging Google Ads—buying life insurance and mortgage leads for three dollars and selling them for 10.

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital Headshot

He also played around with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies during the “Wild West era” of search engines, which counted emerging powerhouse Google and now mostly defunct sites like AltaVista, Ask Jeeves, Excite, Infoseek, Lycos, and Yahoo.

Friends who ran small businesses heard about Papworth’s new side gig and came asking for help boosting their businesses’ online visibility. “All of a sudden, I had an accidental agency,” he says.

Today, Papworth is the CEO of Globital, a white label marketing services company that outsources marketing processes like SEO and PPC (Pay Per Click) for digital agencies all over the globe. Globital has offices in Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, South Africa, Pakistan, and the Philippines.

Globital has carved out a significant niche in digital marketing, evolving from Papworth’s small, accidental digital agency to a key player in the white label services sector. However, the journey wasn't straightforward—it was filled with challenges and required smart, strategic decisions to overcome obstacles related to scaling, quality control, and embracing new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI).



Agency Stats



Damian Papworth



Agency Stats

200+ employees 800-1,000 clients

Est. 2015


Queensland, Australia

Accidental Beginnings Lead to Global Opportunities

The surprising success of Papworth’s early experiments using Google Ads and SEO laid the groundwork for his first affiliate marketing agency, Ocean Feather Digital, which assisted clients in developing their businesses by helping them attract new clients using tried and tested internet marketing strategies.

In 2014, Papworth sold Ocean Feather Digital and launched his new business, SEO Resellers Australia, providing white label SEO reseller services to digital agency owners across the land down under.

Teaming up with a similar venture he led in South Africa, Papworth then formed Globital, a conglomerate of SEO resellers and marketing processes outsourcing companies that now counts clients in 10 different countries.

We had legacy clients of my previous agency, so we started around $20,000 a month in revenue. We're about 20 times that size now.

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital

With a foundation in economics and finance and a career that took him through various roles where he honed his skills in process optimization and management, Papworth's background prepared him for the challenges ahead. 

His experience highlighted the niche Globital would soon fill, as many small to medium-sized marketing agencies needed help to scale their operations due to the high costs and complexities of offering a full suite of in-house digital marketing services. 

Papworth saw an opportunity to support these agencies by providing high-quality, outsourced digital marketing services that they could then rebrand and sell as their own. This model offered a win-win solution: Agencies could scale without the overhead of hiring more staff, and Globital could grow by filling a crucial need at a lower cost than an in-house resource.

He stresses that the marketing industry often complicates things with jargon when, in essence, they’re offering a familiar service in the outsourcing sector but tailored specifically for digital marketing agencies.

We call it a white label digital agency, but we're just a business process outsourcing (BPO) business. We’re not digital marketers. Our product is helping you scale.

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital 

This clarity helped Globital precisely target its audience and refine its wholesale services to meet the unique needs of digital marketing agencies looking to expand without escalating costs.

These wholesale services include:

  • SEO

  • PPC

  • Website Design & Development

  • Copywriting & Content Creation

  • Social Media Marketing

  • Virtual Assistance

  • Sales Support

For Papworth, identifying Globital’s BPO superpower was about recognizing the increasing pressures on agencies to offer a wide range of essential services and delivering services that complemented their pain points without being a direct competitor.

It's usually agencies with about 5 to 10 campaigns running already, and the business owners realize they can't do everything. They’re in a situation where it's too expensive or too risky to hire locally. 

They can't get enough business to pay for that one resource yet or that second or third resource. Or they've had problems with local resources before and realize that it's very hard to get rid of local resources that don't work out. So they're looking for less risk in human resources with the ability to scale.

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital

Damian Papworth Globital Pakistan

Globital CEO Damian Papworth addresses team members in Pakistan. (Credit: Globital)

How Artificial Intelligence Will Reshape Agency Marketing

Aware that rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) are reshaping many industries, Papworth offers some compelling insights on how the technology will alter the future of agency marketing and digital marketing. 

For Globital, staying ahead means looking beyond adopting AI technologies for quick wins and reflecting on how to integrate them strategically into its operations for long-term growth. 

Our entire industry is very tactical-minded and not very strategic-minded, and I'm seeing that with artificial intelligence. There are a lot of content-based tactics, but no one's really thinking about the bigger picture and how we're going to manage ourselves into the next 10 years. 

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital

Rather than jumping on every new AI tool or tactic, Papworth emphasizes the importance of understanding how AI fits into the broader picture of digital marketing services and the specific needs of Globital’s clients.

Recognizing AI's potential to enhance efficiency and offer new services, Papworth says Globital is looking at partnering with AI businesses while ensuring these partnerships are stable and beneficial in the long run. This reflects a strategic move to integrate AI into Globital's services in a way that adds value to its clients without compromising the quality or reliability of its offerings.

I think about who's going to lose most of the money in the next two or three years because of AI, and it's going to be the AI developers. Every time they develop something, the next person is going to come over and develop a little bit better. 

You see that with the competition between Elon Musk and Google and Microsoft—every single iteration is better and makes the previous development obsolete. So, we want to think about the stability of our partners. We want to partner with people who will still be here in five years and not just go for a flash in the pan.

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital

Ultimately, Papworth advises agencies to consider how AI will enhance their services and provide additional value to clients while maintaining the quality and creativity that sets them apart. 

Damian Papworth Globital South Africa

Globital CEO Damian Papworth gives South African digital agencies a roadmap to success during a digital sales and marketing masterclass. (Credit: Globital)

Systemizing Agency Services at Scale

Globital has carved a unique niche in the white label digital marketing space. However, scaling to own that space has come with a particular set of challenges. Each hurdle provided Papworth lessons on growth, efficiency, and maintaining quality—all crucial for agencies looking to expand today.

One of Papworth's first significant moves was to systemize Globital's offerings—especially SEO, its core service—as the company gathered more clients from various corners of the globe. 

Papworth explains that SEO encompasses various "functional points"—keyword research, content creation, technical optimization, and link building—and that these diverse areas demand specific skill sets for effective execution. By systemizing the process, these areas are more effectively managed when divided into specialized tasks, ensuring that each one receives focused attention from outsourced experts in that domain.

So we’ll wrap that up for an agency and say, ‘There you go, it’s processized and ready for you to sell as it is.’ It’s a full process package product that we offer you to sell to your clients, and we present it in your name so that your clients will never know that we’re your back office. 

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital

By breaking down services into processable components, Globital streamlined its operations and ensured consistency in quality—a critical factor for agencies relying on their services.

On the reporting side, implementing AgencyAnalytics allowed Globital to easily systemize its campaign reports—create custom dashboards for different agencies, and automate its monthly reporting. AgencyAnalytics’ white labeling feature enabled Globital to brand dashboards and reports with the correct logo and color scheme for each agency, which will then deliver them to their clients.

It streamlined the reporting process, significantly reducing the time and effort required to create and distribute reports.

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital

Globital also saw a crucial advantage in how AgencyAnalytics integrates with popular tools and platforms, such as Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, and more, facilitating a holistic and centralized view of their clients' marketing performance.

It’s been a really good purpose-fit solution for us since the first day we started Globital, and we never at any stage thought about leaving.

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital

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Focusing on Quality Assurance for Team Efficiency

Because Globital works with outsourced talent from different countries, quality control became a concern early on. Standards varied from one office to another, with various levels of expectations and delivery quality needing to be managed. 

Globital needed to implement a QA system that would provide clarity for agencies who needed reassurance that the work would be handled with the same level of care no matter where it was assigned.

Since 2019, Globital has been ISO 9001:2015 certified, another step further cementing its position as a trusted leader in the digital marketing industry. This accreditation—centered on customer confidence, complaint resolution, process improvement, and ongoing optimization—forms part of a larger plan to meet and surpass global standards and customer requirements in the ISO quality management system.

It’s an engineering level of quality control. We recertify that every 12 months. We do it properly,  putting the team through the structure of those robust processes and understanding what the requirements are. They learn a lot about what it means to get quality done.

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital

Globital also leans into Net Promoter Score (NPS) to understand what client agencies are looking for and how their needs evolve and change along with the industry. NPS measures customer loyalty by asking one simple question: "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?" The responses help businesses identify promoters (score 9-10), passives (score 7-8), and detractors (score 0-6).

Finally, Globital set up an Online Customer Service Support team that runs independently from the Globital Operations team. The role of this team is to provide ongoing problem-solving support to agencies on their projects, outcomes, and expectations.

This three-pronged approach earned Globital second place in the Customer Experience category for Queensland at the 2020 Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) Awards.

A Profit First Mindset to Maximize Financial Health

Papworth explains how Globital has taken a page from Mike Michalowicz’s book, Profit First, to transform how it managed its finances, ensuring that growth was not just about revenue but profitability.

The book takes a different approach to handling finances, focusing on a “profit minus revenue equals expenses” strategy that maximizes efficiency rather than the commonly used “revenue minus expenses equals profit.” Papworth emphasizes how agencies should work on profitability first and allocate whatever balance is left in the bank for operational expenses.

A really good metaphor the book mentions is a tube of toothpaste. When you get a new tube of toothpaste, you just use as much as you want to brush your teeth. That's what most agencies do with their expenses. But then, when you're at the end of the tube, it's amazing how little toothpaste you need on the toothbrush to actually brush your teeth. So you use these tiny amounts, and that's the idea of pulling money out from profit first—it reduces what you’ve got to spend, and you work it out.

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital

The “profit first” method had a tremendous impact on Globital's ability to fund growth and make strategic decisions without compromising financial health.

We adopted ‘profit first’ quite early, and it meant that we could avoid those ‘make-or-break’ moments.

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital

Not Every Client Is The Right Client

After years of consistent growth, Papworth came to the startling realization that Globital had attracted some agencies that weren’t “good commercial citizens” and weren’t right for the company’s business. In perhaps one of the boldest moves Papworth had to make as a business owner, he decided to part ways with these problematic clients.

Though the move may have ruffled some feathers internally and externally, it’s not uncommon for agencies to fire some of their clients for the greater good of their business, with reasons ranging from poor communication to late payments.

For Globital, sacking these clients caused a half a million in revenue shortfall over six months, but the short-term impact made way for greater benefits in the long run. Keeping these clients would have potentially damaged Globital’s reputation, hindered the acquisition of new customers, and caused a further decrease in revenue down the line.

That was a very difficult decision because it was such a large slice of revenue. But it was the best decision we made. I recognize most agencies, if they did that, would go bankrupt or be out of business and they don't have that choice. But we recovered within six weeks because it made space for better agencies.

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital

This decision underscores the importance of aligning with clients who fit your business model and values. It emphasizes that not all revenue is good if it hinders your ability to provide quality services and grow sustainably.

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Strategy Above Tactics for Long-Term Growth

Damian Papworth’s journey with Globital is a solid reminder that running an agency and serving clients isn’t just about keeping up with the latest trends or tools. It’s about thinking ahead and making smart, strategic decisions.

Systemization, strategic scaling, quality assurance, financial management, and selective client engagement are more than solutions to growth challenges; they’re foundational elements of a sustainable business model.

In the age of AI, it’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day operations or the latest tech gimmick. But Papworth's point is clear: Success comes from playing the long game. You have to look at where you want your agency to go down the line and figure out how to get there.

Will digital agencies still exist in 10 years? This is the thing that we're looking at at the moment and working to try to understand and be strategic about it.

Damian Papworth, CEO, Globital

Globital’s story is a reminder to always keep the bigger picture in mind. Will your agency just react to the market, or will you actively plan where you want to be in a few years? If you focus on what truly matters—providing real value to your clients and planning for growth—you’ll easily handle the industry's ups and downs.

Headshot for Francois Marchand

Written by

Francois Marchand

Francois Marchand brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing, journalism, and content production. His goal is to equip agency leaders with innovative strategies and actionable advice to succeed in digital marketing, SaaS, and ecommerce.

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