Inbound marketing – Luis Gabriel Gutiérrez

Luis Gabriel Gutiérrez is an expert in inbound marketing. He began his professional career, however, as an industrial designer. After a while, he observed that the labor market of this sector in Colombia was not very good and he found his great opportunity in marketing. His first contact was the development of an e-commerce that currently, more than 10 years later, continues working. Luis continued linked to this sector, working for companies in Colombia, Argentina and Canada. Throughout his extensive professional experience he has been in contact with offline and online marketing and  he tells us how little by little the balance is leaning more and more towards the second. Currently Luis Gabriel is totally focused on inbound marketing. It explains what characterizes these strategies and in which sectors we can apply them more easily. In the same way, it also explains what influence SEO has in this marketing specialization and what tools we can use to help us. Finally, we also ask you about the specific case of the Colombian market and we ask for advice to enter this country.

How did you end up dedicating yourself to inbound marketing? How is it different from traditional marketing?

I am an industrial designer by profession, specialized in design and product development. I worked for several years creating plastic products, ephemeral architecture and vitrinism, but in Colombia this market is not easy. Most of the design of the most important companies are made abroad, in the parent companies, and in Colombia the payement for designers are very low. Life gave me opportunities to get out of this market and enter marketing and punctually into digital marketing. Recently graduated from university, I created the e-commerce of a medical bookshop with a colleague that has lasted until today, being the second most important sales channel of the bookshop and, with more than 10 years of life, it is still functional. After working on design my first contact was with SEO, I left a plastics company and a couple of engineer friends living in Canada needed someone very responsible to manage their small SEO company. I took on the challenge and learned a lot about SEO and digital marketing in general, we expanded the portfolio and managed to do everything from web developments for newspapers, mobile applications, to guidelines and payment media strategies for companies in Argentina and complete websites for Canada. In Colombia, our SEO clients always had the need to have content, which is why it was an important research focus. I left there and entered Blacksip where I currently work as a leader in Inbound Marketing and Marketing Automation. I entered as an SEO specialist to improve strategies and campaigns. It was always important to create valuable content, which led me to develop Inbound Marketing strategies. Having worked in the offline world, industry and product development I had the vision of traditional marketing, a lot of ATL, magazines, television, flyers and with the experience I understood the importance of digital marketing. In general, it is where we can measure many indicators and the specific data that gives us very relevant insights to be able to make strategic decisions. Many times there is a disconnect between traditional marketing and digital marketing, however it is very important to understand that we must go towards an omnichannel where a TV or radio ad impacts an ecommerce or the download of an app. There must be constant communication between all areas of marketing.  

What are the stages that inbound marketing strategies follow?

First, you have to understand the needs of the client and thus be able to lay the foundations of all the strategies and tactics to be developed. The next thing is to build the buyer persona and the buyer journey to establish the customer’s natural contact points and the purchase process, and thus establish how we can insert ourselves in their path without being invasive and giving value at each stage of the process. And the third thing is to measure and check all the hypotheses proposed to optimize day by day.    

“[Inbound marketing] is not a strategy that works fast, that’s why customers have been a bit reluctant to implement it, but little by little, with the success stories at a global, regional and national level, companies are understanding the importance of having Inbound Marketing strategies “.
Luis Gabriel Guitiérrez

What are the advantages of applying inbound marketing in our company?

Inbound marketing is a pull marketing strategy, so the conversion of a visitor to a customer is much higher than some push or non-personalized strategy. It is more economical in the long term and helps brand building with confidence as experts in a sector.  

In which sectors does this type of marketing work best? Can you tell us a success story?

It is much better to apply it in B2B businesses, where there is an important product education component. However, any type of business can include Inbound Marketing strategies. In Colombia Blacksip and Sodexo have worked hand in hand to improve the achievement of interested leads in the different products of the company. We improved the sessions by more than 1800% and the conversion rates by almost 300%. The company is increasingly convinced that the road is digital transformation and is moving from its offline marketing budget to online, changing the balance.  

What kind of actions are most effective in inbound marketing? Does it work the same in all countries?

Each country has different cultures, even within each country in each region there are different behaviors; so it is never the same from one place to another. That is why it is so important to measure behavior and actions and have a strategic vision guided by data. The most important thing is to understand the buyer persona or consumer person and their buyer journey to achieve creating relevant actions in each stage and lead to conversion in an organic manner.  

Is SEO used to develop inbound strategies? How?

SEO is a fundamental pillar for an inbound strategy. Understanding how our users are looking for topics related to our business is important to build value offers and position ourselves on those issues to generate Awareness or recognition This also helps us to position ourselves as a brand and helps us attract new users and then, with lead nurturing strategies, take them to the end of the funnel and convert our objectives. We always start with a keyword research to understand which are the most wanted topics that need answer, and how different sites are responding. Then, with the operation and optimization, we will measure which topics move more and how we can build more value and position ourselves there.  

Do you use any tool in your work day by day? Which one?

We always use tools that allow us to understand two things, the user and digital assets. We use SEO tools such as Screaming Frog, Semrush, competition insights and general behavior such as Similar web or Google Trends, analytics tools such as Google Analytcs and Google Search Console, content creation tools such as Hubspot and all those that give us data. We have used user rating tools like Usabilla among many others.  

How does inbound marketing work in Colombia? Do you practice a lot?

In general, Inbound Marketing is relatively new and in Colombia and Latin America in general is taking off until now. It’s not a strategy that works so fast, that’s why customers have been a bit reluctant to implement them. But, little by little, with success cases at a global, regional and national level, companies are understanding the importance of having Inbound Marketing strategies. In Colombia, many companies believe that digital marketing focuses on guidelines, and that this is turning on and off to have or not have sales. We have even seen in consultancies multinational companies with huge budgets, which until now are awakening and understanding that there are many factors to analyze.  

What differences do you see when applying inbound between customers in Colombia and those in other countries?

Cultural differences are very important but also economic and market ones. Mexico, for example, is a country that has a fairly high population and manages a lot of money so they are more likely to experiment with new strategies. Unlike, for example, in Panama, its total population is less than that of Mexico City. It is vital to understand geopolitics. the economy and culture to raise and adapt strategies and the scope of them.  

What advice would you give to a company that wants to start applying inbound marketing strategies in Colombia?

First, that you make a critical analysis of your current situation without patting yourself on the back compassionately, and thus really understand that the world has changed and you have to change with it. Second, to focus your strategy on the user who is really the one who gives life to any company. This generates organizational changes to give a more horizontal and less pyramidal service approach. And third, to start a strategic vision guided by data. What is not measured is not controlled.