Have you ever wondered how a successful business is born? The backstories of those that are intelligent enough to run a company can be fascinating to uncover— even more so when a cofounder changed his path multiple times to find his passion.
GR0 cofounder Jon Zacharias never intended to go into digital marketing. In fact, he went to school to pursue law. At his part-time job, working for a friend of his father at a law firm, an interest in search engine optimization began to grow into a self-defined “obsession.” Eventually the gig led him to realize, “I was way more interested in getting the cases than litigating them.”
At the time, only law and medical professionals were fully utilizing the tool of SEO, a system that streamlines content to connect searches on platforms such as Google to specific data. The potential for businesses to profit off of SEO by using it to up their digital marketing game still seemed like a concept years away. However, Zacharias saw the importance of this process long before it became mainstream in the e-commerce industry.
In November of 2016, a struggle with addiction became too much to ignore, and Zacharias received treatment at CRI-Help, a residential drug rehabilitation center. Armed with a new sense of self and sobriety, he met his future GR0 partner, Kevin Miller, through the program. He states, “We immediately became best friends, talking every single second. I feel like my entire life shifted as soon as I met him.”
And he was right. Miller’s experience working at Google and position as head of growth at Opendoor allowed for the pair to bond over search analytics and marketing campaigns — something Zacharias had always seemingly done alone. He had been waiting to share his expansive findings with someone else.
“I spent the next seven, eight years, from 2011 to 2019 when we started the company perfecting the science behind SEO, and then once I had that perfected, I basically started applying tactics that had never been used in e-commerce,” he shares. “It was really like the second wave of SEO.”
By the time this new process had been shown to Miller, he was all in and suggested going a step further. Zacharias states, “He loved it so much that he was like, ‘let’s just start a business and do this for as many direct-to-consumer brands as we can, because it’s such a powerful channel.’” The duo laid their plans, and GR0 quickly came into being.
Two years after its inception, this startup has been propelled into success. “We are basically matching the hottest direct-to-consumer ecommerce brands, working with the biggest celebrities in the world, and creating real partnerships,” Zacharias states. GR0 has been able to work with Venus et fleur, Nugenix, and Funboy, among other reputable businesses.
Zacharias says, “We give these brands an opportunity to work with huge celebrities that they wouldn’t normally be able to work with because they couldn’t afford to put millions of dollars down up front.” With an inspired and inspiring CEO, GR0 is just beginning its climb upwards.