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Townsville

Mellissah Smith grew up in Townsville and cut her teeth in marketing and promotion with Channel 7, Mak Advertising and Loloma Jewellers.

Now she travels the world operating her own specialist professional service firm, Marketing Eye, which is expanding to her old home town .

"I came up to have a look around for office space," she said yesterday. "Townsville is looking great ... but I couldn't believe the Sydney prices in North Ward."

She would love to return permanently but not just yet.

The big smoke was where operators need to be in the marketing and advertising industry, she said.

Ms Smith grew up in Townsville and Charters Towers. She went to school at Charters Towers' Millchester primary school and at St Joseph's in Townsville.

She left Townsville for the Gold Coast about 10 years ago and set up her own company, Insomnia Marketing, at age 25.

It is an advertising company which does web development, film production, branding, advertising and public relations all in-house and has offices on the Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne.

Two years ago she decided to develop a concept which allowed senior marketing professionals who had left the workforce to return part-time or full-time to be hired out to businesses needing marketing help for expansions.

The concept has worked and Marketing Eye was born with the help of major shareholder Clive Smith, the chairman of the Deutsche Bank in Australia.

It now has offices in the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne with agents appointed in Dubai, London and New York.

Soon it will have an office in Townsville where the company will focus on small enterprises looking to expand to overseas markets.

"We deal with a lot of SME's (small and medium-sized enterprises) but we also have some large clients, Tuscan Corp, Thakral Holdings and InfoActiv," she said.

She said the international links had proved to be particularly successful. It had enabled companies in Australia to get help to expand into the United States, and those in the US wanting to expand to Australia, were also assisted.

The company was already working with companies in Townsville, including interests developing The Dalgety property development in the city and Bevsan Agencies.

"Townsville is instrumental to economic growth in the North and Marketing Eye looks forward to helping local businesses expand significantly in both domestic and international markets," she said.

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