RD recently completed 10 years of existence. Today, in 2021, we can say that Digital Marketing is already consolidated in the market. It is easy to find companies of all sizes executing Inbound Marketing strategies , structuring the areas of Inside Sales and Customer Success, hiring (and developing) SaaS products.It is so natural that many find it difficult to imagine what it was like ten years ago. Do you remember what it was likeRD was born out of a pain that we, the founders, experienced in previous initiatives. We knew that Digital worldwide phone number list was a powerful tool to boost the results of a company, be it B2C or B2B. However, for most people the concepts were very complex. Few professionals understood this environment, especially in the context of SMEs. Big brands “outsourced” this complexity to the few digital agencies at the time, often at exorbitant costs.In turn, the entire method was still largely based on old advertising precepts. Success was most often measured by vanity metrics (likes, views, media mentions, awards at Cannes) and the model was still based on user / customer disruption driven by large media budgets.
The name “Digitais Results” was something of a manifesto in this context. We understood that Digital Marketing could be much simpler, more accessible and results-oriented. We had the vision that an intuitive and integrated software, driven by a suitable methodology, could be a very important tool for SMEs to grow and prosper in an increasingly digital world.
However, there was no market for what we set out to create. The logic that we used at that time was simple: if we did not try to educate SMEs and spread the gulf email list concepts and practices of Digital Marketing that we knew, there would be no demand to capture customers. At that time, no one was looking for Marketing Automation solutions. The search volume for that term in Brazil was zero.
However, we knew of the potential this had to help companies grow in a predictable and scalable way and we worked hard to try to promote these concepts to as many people as possible.
Education as the first pillarEducation has always been the starting point of everything we do. On the company’s zero day we put this blog on the air and began to produce posts, eBooks, webinars, newsletters, etc. When we publicly announced RD Station Marketing, 18 months later, we already had the first tens of thousands of people consuming our content on a monthly basis and acting as the basis for the release of the software.Subsequently, we ventured to create our first RD Summit in 2013, when we managed to bring together some 300 of the pioneers in the discussion and implementation of Digital Marketing in Brazil. Then we created RD University, we launched a blog and specific initiatives for our partners , we gave life to a new traveling event (RD on the Road), we explored different channels and formats of Digital Marketing, all with the same spirit: trying to generate value through to share knowledge and experiences.We can say that all these initiatives have evolved a lot and that today, RD Station has its own and very relevant audience: we have more than 1.5 million visitors to our websites and blogs every month, hundreds of thousands of leads generated for our own business and more than 20,000 people attend our events annually.I want to reinforce that, although we started this movement, today it is much bigger than the DR. We have a large number of people in the market who help us daily in this work of education, evangelization and improvement, which we are happy to call friends after all these years.
This educational work helped create a demand that needed to be met. We started months ago, our concern was to find the famous product market falling into place. We knew that there would be something that would help SMEs to be successful in digital marketing, but we did not know exactly what to offer, how to serve customers, how to sell, how much to charge, etc.Being an initial group of people in the Product / Engineering area, we are obliged to assume these responses beyond technology. We take many things “by hand” in the first 1-2 years to learn in depth or in profile, given the challenges of two of our clients. In parallel, we are developing software to solve the problems that we would discover. More than that: we create software to cover our own needs, we bet little on Digital Marketing for the growth of our own DR. I looked at RD and two more demanding clients at RD Station.Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, said a phrase that became famous: “If you were embarrassed about the first version of your product, you launched it too late.” The first version of RD Station Marketing was very limited, unpolished, and aesthetically questionable. Over the years, we have worked hard to evolve the software, guided primarily by great vision and increasingly by specific feedback from all our customers and partners, who continually challenge us.In 2018 we took the first step towards our vision of the platform, acquiring PlugCRM, and transforming it into what is now RD Station CRM , a product that has also evolved a lot and has grown more than 15 times in the last two and a half years. We have also replicated the App Store concept to enable and organize third-party software integrations with RD Station . There are over 100 partners offering integrations with us.
Today, the two products have a prominent position and leadership in Brazil, demonstrated by the awards we recently received in various categories of the B2B Stack Awards . There are tens of thousands of users per month who entrust their operations to RD Station, generating 30 billion interactions with their customers peryearDespite the advances in these 10 years, we continue to invest significantly in research and development. In 2021 alone, more than USD 17 million were invested in our products, in an effort to make them increasingly accessible to newcomers, increasingly broad to cover use cases from the most different industries, and increasingly powerful to satisfy the needs of our most advanced clients, including ourselves.Partner ecosystemAs we brought our first clients to RD Station, we came across a special type of client: agencies and marketing consultants. At the beginning, they asked us for things like discounts for more than one subscription, flexibility of contract exchange, managing multiple accounts with the same login, among othersLittle by little, we understood that they played a fundamental role in the value chain, helping clients who needed (or preferred) closer guidance and support, as well as providing specific services, such as content creation, campaign management, analysis. and optimizations.
With this achievement, in 2014 we created the first version of our partner program, which has evolved significantly since then. It is a symbiotic relationship between RD – which provides support with software, development of agencies such as companies, training of professionals and some benefits – and allies, who help us with market education, customer acquisition and service offers (increasingly) added value in the upper part of the platform. Today, approximately half of our clients are directly supported by more than 2,000 partners.
However, the most rewarding point of this process was seeing the development of this community. RD helps with various initiatives, but increasingly it is the allies themselves who support and motivate each other to grow. They understood and internalized that the great challenge we have is the formation of the market. They know that the “enemy” is not the agency that is next door, but the old, expensive and inefficient way of doing Marketing and Sales.RD would not be what it is without these partners and we are very happy to know that we have made a positive contribution to the growth of many people and companies in this ecosystem.
The closeness with clients from the beginning helped us a lot to understand their main barriers and difficulties and how necessary it was to have different points of contact along the journey to unlock it and help the client expand the results. Although there are cases that we admired in the world of software, whose products were 100% self-service, we embraced the idea of proximity and proactive contact with our customers, so much so that it became a formal value of our cultural code.
This is now recognized as one of RD’s differentials relative to competitors and, as mentioned above, our allies also play a key role in this successful delivery. RD was one of the first companies to adopt and promote the Customer Success movement in Brazil.
Little by little, we also realized that our business model depended on it. Using terms from the SaaS area, we are moving toward a model that favors Lifetime Value (LTV) much more value than First Contract (ACV). More than just acquiring logos, we want customers for life. This was a long process that required several adjustments, some of which were very difficult for the organization.
The sustainability of the business model was one of the main factors that allowed us to attract four rounds of investment in venture capital . These resources allowed investments in the product, structure and internal processes, but especially in the DR’s main asset, which are the RDoers.