Welcome to the Marketing Lego Thought Leader Interview. Today, we will speak with Andrés Pérez Españon, CEO of Drew, about his journey and how he came up with his digital marketing agency. We will also discuss valuable insights on inbound methodology, marketing, CRM, SEO, and more.
Hi, everyone, and welcome to today’s Marketing Lego’s Thought Leader interview. My name is Harshit, and I’m the Director of Business Alliances of two amazing marketing SaaS tools, RankWatch and WebSignals. Our special guest today is the founder of two amazing companies. One is a global business consultancy, We Are Drew. And the second is a digital invitation company called Invently. Andrés, welcome aboard. I’m so happy to host you today.
I’m doing well, brother. I hope things are good with you. I saw in the news that Argentina is again having a lot of COVID cases. I hope you and your family are keeping safe.
That’s good. Tell us a bit more about your journey. What were you like as a child, and how did you get to where you are today?
We started with that. Some months later, I realized that social media is like entertainment work in that people only want to know what their friends do and what the humour or jokes are. And I understand that this digital marketing that was offered may die. So, I rethought and realized about the inbound methodology. I know HubSpot and its methodology; I didn’t have one dollar in my pocket. I took a loan from a bank to purchase the HubSpot licence. When I did that, I was so enthusiastic because I thought many companies have to or need to implement inbound in their companies because the inbound methodology is looking for not to sell products, not services. It’s more about helping people to solve their problems. So, with this approach, I fell in love with this methodology. When I paid for the licence of HubSpot, they were around $10,000. It’s huge money for me at this moment. So when I paid, I said, okay, this will be a bomb in Argentina because I was the only one that made that. Wow. The reality is that I only sold one licence in a year.
I can’t sell it because the companies don’t believe or don’t trust the methodology. They needed to understand how to help people increase their sales. So it’s to me. I fell into a depression similar to that. I have, sorry, bad feelings when one email enters my inbox. So topics like that, maybe you understand me, this situation. Six months after that, I’m talking about 2018, approximately Monday. Com, search for us because when you implement inbound, your main actions are in SEO. So I was writing these articles. I was creating all the content. Also, SEO takes more time than SEM or other actions. But in this depression that I was, the SEO was working, but I didn’t know. One random day, I received an email from monday.com; it’s an Israeli company similar to maybe.
They look a partnership in me, in Drew, and they say, Hey, I love how you communicate your things and your position. Can we partner? I said, Okay. I didn’t know monday.com. When I saw this, I started to think, Oh, I’m focused on inbound methodology, but there are many problems that the companies have because companies are a group of people or a team of people, depending on the culture. In many companies, technology may be a problem, not a facilitator. So when I started to think about it, I said that maybe inbound is like the tip of the iceberg, but there are many problems, such as processes, profit, etc. So, I’m talking about the team. We changed our value, our core value. I realized we are converting like a monday.com subsidiary, and I don’t want it. So, I changed the core values of the business. And I say, okay, we are Zul, and they are Monday, and they are a half squad. The company is entirely different. We are like doctors of commerce. I always make this example because it’s more visual to explain. When you go to a doctor, the doctor says to you, okay, what is the pain that you have?
There are many questions to understand your problem and pain, which is a role. And we see software like medicine for doctors. Doctors give you some medicine to solve any problems in your body. This is the software for us. In many cases, we provide software to our customers, and in other cases, we don’t. So we don’t sell software. We solve problems. This is our value.
I got you. From basically being like a full-service agency back in the day, you transformed your agency business and moved towards a broader category of business consultation altogether. That’s amazing. Your company has gone through many integrations with so much software there. That’s a pretty impressive portfolio. Also, please tell us more about how your team size grew and what precisely the hierarchy is right now, the organizational structure that you have. I’m sure that, again, you have a really good story, right?
Definitely, Andrés, you’re doing something so good; your website is your biggest case study. You did SEO so well. You did inbound methodologies implemented onto your site so well that big players from the industry are approaching you to partner with you. And it’s very impressive. And kudos to you and your team for all the hard work that they have done for so many years to help you scale.
For example, you have a profit problem, and I’m talking to you about why you wake up every day, and you see in a… I don’t know. In Argentina or the Latin market, many entrepreneurs or company owners have this dilemma about whether they want this life with problems, with pressure, with these situations, or have to sell their company and be in Miami enjoying their life. Because in the tongue market, the security could be better. The problems of politics or economic factors are complex. We try to understand that we make uncomfortable questions to understand the problem. When we understand the problem, we make a project. A project, we say to you that the doctors give to you to solve your problem, this is the same.
Okay, the first step is if you have a commercial problem, mostly companies worldwide, mostly in LATAM, because we have a… How can I say this? In LATAM, they don’t want to go to a doctor. They don’t want to go. So they self-medicate. So, in companies, it happens the same. If I have a commercial problem, so if I’m an entrepreneur and I see an owner of the company, and I see that we have a commercial process or commercial problem in my company, I may try to buy a CRM.
We attend many companies that say, Hey, I want a CRM. I want a CRM. And we say, Why do you need a CRM? You don’t have a commercial process. It’s not established. So, this is the problem, not the CRM. The CRM needs to solve the problem for you today. And we analyze that, and we say, Okay, we write the commercial process and understand your industry. We make ideas that are typical problems that you can put in front of you and then analyze better. And you don’t need a CRM. We have many examples of that. If I sell complex products, for example, huge machines, I’m talking about the price of $2 million for each machine. In Excel, you can set your CRM because you sell one or two of these machines per year. You may buy a CRM because you have the money, but you don’t need it. So we gain with this sale, but we prefer to gain a customer who will not make a sale. We start to grow because… Sorry, Harshit, I will finish with the operations.
Sure. You have to be very honest with your customers. You try to make a proper diagnosis of the problem that they’re facing. And then you see whether the tool solves the problem or whether, with the help of your consultation, they can improve their processes by just structuring it well or changing it a bit. That’s brilliant. In an industry like ours, it’s everything. Actually, for every business, if you’re being honest if your business is trustworthy, you will reach good heights. You’ll always succeed. That’s brilliant.
Not a good method.
Anytime in the consultancy process, I feel, and I believe, that you, like a customer, and we, like a consultant, are on the same side of the table. And we are a team. If I change you by the hour, you say I am like a provider, a supplier. Yeah. You will analyze me, and you will try to find the problem that I have in the process, but it’s your company, and we need to be on the same side of the table, not in front.
Since you mentioned that businesses in your target location could be more open to discussing their problem, how do you make the fire management people and CEOs open up with you? How do you do that? What’s the trick?
And then another area I will take in the first question is this operation. An operation is like a surgery. They take the project, they know the customer, and they are hands-on on the project. They implement the software they need; they implement the process; they draw the following. It’s like the production area.
For us after that, in 50% of the consultancy, we send a survey to our customers with one question. How is everything? It’s good, one to ten. And depending on their answer, we correct some situations or not. I will give you an example. If you’re going to a hotel, for example, in the USA, you make the check-in, you leave your bags, you sleep, and the next day, you have breakfast, and you go. Two hours after you go into your inbox, you receive a survey, right? This survey is late because if your experience wasn’t good, sorry, the hotel can’t take action. I try with this 50 % of the consultancy, send this survey to try to revert some situations that you are not comfortable with. After that, if your project is closed and you are okay, we send a finished survey. It depends on the results. We take different actions to understand if you are not comfortable. We try to understand more about it, and we ask you other questions, what we can do better, and the others. And suppose your average is more than seven. In that case, these projects come to marketing again to make a success story and show to other people, another business owner, what was the problem that you had and what do we do to improve your comments.
That’s brilliant. That’s brilliant. Andrés, since for your own business, you have done so well with the inbound strategies. I would like to know a bit more about that, please. You mainly leverage you as a channel, or did you use any other channel to generate those inbound traffic and the whole funnel? And also, how do you go about planning a good inbound campaign? Your case study is the best thing.
Wow, that’s brilliant.
Outbound activities to reach out to new people, and so on.
And you say, Yes, I have this problem, and it has been five years. I can’t resolve that. Do you make that? Yes. Can we schedule a meeting next week? Yes. Okay. Make this meeting. In this meeting, we explain our main value and our main process. And after that, they realize that we can help them. Then, after this consultancy process, they understand if these people’s sales are different. They catch my attention. So this helps us to improve the process.
Regarding the channels, SEO is the first, and the second is the prospect. We want to work with Coca-Cola, for example, or another company and we search for the best person that I want to talk to. I found the email; I sent an email, I called you, and I tried to make a meeting without disturbing you. We should be more consultative. Is the word right? Yeah, definitely. This is the channel.
Andrés, one of the biggest parts now when it comes to SEO is generating. And even before generating and planning the content altogether. What exactly should I write about? How do you build that momentum with your clients and with your own agency and consultation business as well? How do you decide what topic you should write about, what keywords you should target, and where planning goes? Then, understanding you and based on your planning, you generate content. But are there any tools that you use to help facilitate this process?
And you are trying to put your business in that specific domain.
That’s true. Also, I would love to click here on one of the most successful case studies that you had so far, either by delivering a digital marketing solution or with your consultation. Anything that you did that brilliantly helped your client grow dramatically and something that you would share.
Because you provide more value than I expected, I will transfer you $3,000 more. I know the price was 9,000, but I feel bad about this number, and I need to transfer you. I said, Okay, Carlos, transfer me. If you transfer 3,000, I will transfer you 3,000. What? Because Carlos, the price was close. I won’t receive the extra money you must pay us because it’s not in the contract. And the customer, I remember-.
They were very delighted because of the experience with your solution.
That’s wonderful, Andrés. Because the agency has been in business for around nine years now, any bad experience that you had with any of your clients and some lessons that you learned from that day, we’d love to know that.
More or less like a risk management factor view, all the other external factors that influence or alleviate your client’s problem solve those scenarios. That’s pretty clever and fascinating. Because when you look into so many different angles and go about it. That’s brilliant. I think, Andrés, you’re coming to an end here. Please, any final thoughts that you would like to share with us?
Being adaptive to change is closely related to your growth. If you’re very strict with your certain ideologies and could be like anything in life, you tend to limit yourself and not be flexible, and that is something that sabotages your growth. I admire the customer-centric company that you’ve been running for years now. I wish good luck to you and your team. May you reach all new heights, keep doing what you do best, and keep up with the good work.
Thank you so much. Thank you so much.
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