What you’ll learn:
On today’s episode we talk about how CPG brands can find their way in Latin America. We give a breakdown of the best store and global growth opportunities for kitchen electric, bedding, home décor, and other housewares products. Listeners will also understand wholesale channels from a Latin American buyer’s perspective.
About our guest:
Catalina Moscoso is founder of Le Cook Home, a company that represents U.S. and Canadian housewares brands in Latin America. With over 15 years of International Sales and Marketing experience, she has been opening the doors to brands by understanding the culture and the way of living in local markets.
Key takeaways from this episode:
- Le Cook Home mission statement—3:20
- Top 3 Latin American retailer growth channels for housewares and hardware products—4:10
- Top discount channels in Latin America—8:00
- Strategies for selling wholesale in Latin America—13:12
- Understanding Latin American Buyers—16:20
- How to optimize your ecommerce site and products for international consumers—17:50
- Top Latin American countries to focus your growth and sales strategies on—21:21
- International growth channels for kitchen electrics products—25:13
- International growth channels for bedding and home décor products—27:08
- How to understand the Latin America market for your product—28:57
- How representatives can turn leads into customers with marketing automation—32:48
- Catalina’s biggest learning lesson in business—36:15
- Catalina’s personal habits that make her a better business owner—40:15
Speaker 1: Welcome to the Page One podcast, a weekly podcast featuring a variety of guests and thought leaders on topics ranging from channel strategies, to tariffs, influencer marketing, best in class product launches, and all the details about how to accelerate your eCommerce sales with the big box retailers, or what we call rCommerce. Now, here’s your host, Luke Peters.
Luke Peters: Thanks for joining us on the Page One podcast. I’m your host Luke Peters and this is the podcast where I bring you the best and brightest leaders to share consumer product sales and marketing strategies that will help you grow your business.
Luke Peters: I’m the CEO and Founder of New Ware Appliances, where I cut my teeth selling products online, and now have started Retail Band, where I hope to help other brands succeed in product launches, influencer marketing, and B2B online sales strategy.
Luke Peters: Right now, I’m offering a free evaluation of your online sales strategy. If you’re interested, find me on LinkedIn or email me at Luke@RetailBand.com. And with that, we can take a look and see if influencer marketing might make sense for you or check out your channel sales on Home Depot, Wayfair, Amazon and just ensure that you’re optimizing for sales and if you need help, we can complete the audit and get your sales moving up.
Luke Peters: In this episode, you’re going to learn from Catalina Moscoso, on CPG product sales opportunities in Latin America. Learn how to find your way in Latin America, which are the best store opportunities for your product and understand the Latin American buyer’s perspective. Catalina is the Founder of LeCook Home, a US and Canadian housewares brand representation firm for Latin America.
Luke Peters: With over 15 years of international sales and marketing experience, she’s been opening doors to brands by understanding the culture and the way of living in local markets.
Luke Peters: Catalina holds an MBA and also is HubSpot Inbound Certified which I found was pretty interesting, Catalina. So you’ve got a diverse range of knowledge. Again, just for the listener, we’re really going to focus in on the Latin American market. It’s something new here on the Page One podcast and hopefully get some actionable tips on how all of you brand owners can grow your business. So Catalina, thanks for joining us today on the Page One podcast.
Catalina Moscoso: Thank you, Luke. It’s a pleasure to be here and I hope to be help and knowledge for everybody that is listening to the podcast right now.
Luke Peters: Great. So why don’t we just kick it off? Tell us a little bit about what LeCook Home does?
Catalina Moscoso: Sure. Well, we started LeCook almost seven years ago and what we do is we represent, as you said, US brands and Canadian brands in the housewares industry, and we rep them in Latin America. So, we try to connect to brand development in South America, we present them to the big retailers and build their name and presence in this market.
Catalina Moscoso: At the same time, LeCook has been working with the International Housewares Association from Chicago for the last four years and we have been actually representing the show and the association in Columbia and Ecuador, in a way to bring retailers to the show, buyers and also brands from South America that are interested to show their products in the US.
Luke Peters: Okay, great. And just for the audience to know, so I met Catalina at, I think it’s called the ICB, it’s an international housewares show in beautiful San Diego. We met, it was about four or six months ago, last year in 2019 and since then, I just thought it would be great to get you on because this is just a unique skillset and we’re often talking about sales here in the US.
Luke Peters: Then maybe next will be sales in Canada, but I’m sure there’s a ton of untapped potential in Latin America. It’s just that it sounds like it’s a little more difficult to navigate. It’s not as obvious, say and so, it’s awesome to have you here as a resource to share your knowledge.
Luke Peters: Just jumping right into it, what are the best Latin American retailers or maybe the retail growth channel? Is it, say, a direct to consumer, wholesale, or how should brand be looking at that?
Catalina Moscoso: Well, in Latin America, pretty much you also have your big players and they are more found in the region, in the whole region. So I want to mention kind of three main players that you need to look at and need to kind of get to know about them because they are the ones that are located in many of the countries in South America.
Catalina Moscoso: So you have for example, your Falabella Group which they own different retail formats. So they have, for example, Falabella which is a department store and they also have stores like Home Center which is a home improvement retailer like Home Depot in the US. These stores are found in Chile, in Peru, in Argentina, in Colombia, Uruguay, Mexico, you name it. They have more than 500 stores combined between the department stores and the home improvement one.
Catalina Moscoso: You also have another group that is very important and it’s called Cencosud. They’re also from Chile and it’s kind of the competition to Falabella. They have different presence. They are in Colombia, they are in Peru, in Chile, in Argentina. They have one group of stores that is called Jumbo and let’s say Jumbo is like your Target in the US.
Catalina Moscoso: Then you have Easy which is the competition of Home Center and is the home improvement store but it’s a lower cost. There is another very important player in South America which is Exito. They started in Colombia but they’re now part of a global casino which is from France and they own a lot of different stores throughout the whole region. More of less, 2000 stores in the whole South America.
Catalina Moscoso: That’s kind of the three groups that you should look at in this region and it’s understanding the type of retailers that they own under their umbrella.
Luke Peters: Awesome. Then just to make sure that everybody caught those, are you able to repeat the names? I think the first one was called Home Center, right? That’s the Home Depot.
Catalina Moscoso: Yeah. The first one will be Falabella Group.
Luke Peters: How do you pronounce that? Or how do you spell that, I mean?
Catalina Moscoso: Yes, it is F-A-L-A-B-E-L-L-A. Falabella.
Luke Peters: Favavella.
Catalina Moscoso: Exactly and there is a group that’s called Falabella group. Under Falabella, you have Falabella department stores, right?
Luke Peters: Yep.
Catalina Moscoso: You have Home Center, your home improvement and you have Supermarket which is the chain Tottus and that changes only in Peru and Chile, if I’m not mistaken.
Luke Peters: Got it, and that’s 500 stores total between the whole group?
Catalina Moscoso: Probably more. Probably more. You have, yeah, 500 Falabella department stores, probably around 200 for the home improvement category, and then for the supermarket, I will say 120.
Luke Peters: Okay, great.
Catalina Moscoso: Combined between the two countries. Then you have the other group which is kind of the competition of Falabella, that is Cencosud. Under Cencosud, you have Jumbo which is like your Target in South America and you have Easy which is the home improvement store for them and you have another store that is a department store that is called Paris.
Luke Peters: How do you spell the group again that these stores are under? Just because I want to get it into the show notes.
Catalina Moscoso: Yeah, no, sure. Cencosud is C-E-N-C-O-S-U-D. Cencosud.
Luke Peters: Oh, got it. Cencosud. Okay. With a D. Okay, great. Then the last one, it was Exito.
Catalina Moscoso: Exito, yes. Grupo Exito.
Luke Peters: With 2000 stores, right?
Catalina Moscoso: Yes, but in different retail formats. They will have some stores in Colombia with different names. Some others in Brazil, some others in Chile. For you to really understand the group, you have to do a little bit of research online to find out more about who they are, where they are located, and how they are located in those countries. What are the names?
Luke Peters: Great. Then for the audience, we will get all this in the show notes. I mean, this is really awesome, detailed information about exactly who you guys can be targeting with your brands. I guess Catalina, let’s dive more into this. Let me just summarize this.
Luke Peters: Falabella Group is the Home Center stores and a few other stores and then competing with them is going to be…
Catalina Moscoso: Cencosud.
Luke Peters: Cencosud, right? Which is like the Target, but then they have a few other groups involved and then Exito Group. When you think of these, let’s think of the housewares. I guess just break housewares into a couple of categories. You may know how to do it better than me, but I’m thinking you’re going to have kitchen, plates, dishes, and different accessories in the kitchen and then you might have different textiles or top of bed type of products, then you might have electrics like the stuff that we sell at New Ware.
Catalina Moscoso: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Luke Peters: When you’re looking at those different categories, are some of those categories better for one of these three groups versus another? Or how would you break down where brands should be looking to sell and grow?
Catalina Moscoso: I guess it depends a lot in the product, in the category. If we go with electrics, they are small electronics that are used in the kitchen probably your best best will be Home Center and Easy. If you sell larger items, that would be too. Falabella would be more for your kitchen items, for your accessories. It’s the same thing with Paris which is the other department store.
Catalina Moscoso: You will present everything that’s in the kitchen or for organization or for office décor, things like that. If you want the larger items, probably your hardware items, then you would go to Home Center and the home improvement retailers.
Luke Peters: Perfect. Okay, great. Then would any of these be considered… What if there’s say a liquidation that somebody wants to do in South America? Or if you’re breaking these down into mass, discount, and department stores, again, this just gives the brands another way to think about how they could partner with these retailers. Do you kind of label any of these as a good location for liquidation or a good location for say discount stores or would they really not be categorized that way?
Catalina Moscoso: No, I will say these groups are more regular ticket items, particularly Falabella and Paris. Compare them to your Macy’s in the US, right? A consumer go and try to find something that is valuable, that is good quality and the price is still competitive. There are some other players that are more into discount type of product and they are, for example, you have in Colombia, 3 big groups that are now opening their doors to South America and they’re going to start investing in the region.
Catalina Moscoso: But right now in Colombia, they are pretty big. One is called D1 or D Uno. They have around 800 stores in Colombia. Their format is discount, so everything is promo items, everything has to be sold in palettes, you have to offer them something really, really good and they have seasonal products, right? They don’t have the housewares category per se, but they do have different events through the year where they offer houseware products to their consumers.
Catalina Moscoso: Then you have another group which is very interesting. It’s called Justo Y Bueno, you spell it J-U-S-T-O, Justo y Bueno. Y B-U-E-N-O. Bueno. I can give you all those names for the audience, but that is a very interesting group because it’s been growing in giant steps in Colombia. They also have about 600 stores.
Catalina Moscoso: And the last one is called Ara, which is A-R-A and they are running business from Portugal actually. They’re also growing very fast and the last I knew is that they are invested in other countries in South America. They’re going to be competing with the Dollar Cities or there’s another group of dollar stores in South America. That will be their competition for those type of stores.
Luke Peters: Great. Okay, so Justo y Bueno, Ara, and are these brands… When people are looking to sell, I know there’s a lot more nuance, you have to decide which country you’re going into and again, that can be the challenge in South America. There’s many countries but for simplicity, do a lot of these stores… Will they take DI orders in full container loads? Obviously they’re going to need the volume first. Or if somebody’s first starting out in South America, are they going to need to find somebody to help wholesale the product or a distributor within South America? Is that usually an easier route?
Catalina Moscoso: Yeah, that’s a really good question Luke and I don’t think there is a model that is wrong. It’s just to understand how your brand is doing right now, what type of a presence does the brand have at the moment in South America. If it’s none or a little bit and then decide how you want to work with the brand in the country.
Catalina Moscoso: I would say it has to be by country. In some cases, I would recommend a distributor but you have to find a player that is a large company that is able to really market the product, really be a partner for you, that is able to do promotions, that is able to have a sales especially on the sales floor, which are kind of the requirement for those stores like Falabella or Paris or Exito.
Catalina Moscoso: They want you to invest in your brand and it’s easier if you do it with a distributor that is local and they do have already those specialist people they can just send to a store to promote an item, to sell the item, to kind of educate people, the consumer, right?
Catalina Moscoso: In some other cases, sometimes the brand is already known in the region so maybe you leverage a little bit on that and you say, “Okay, I’m going to go direct.” If you want to go direct to the stores that are like Falabella and Cencosud, Jumbo, then you say, “Okay, I might go directly to Chile where it’s kind of the headquarters, buying of it for the region” because you know you’re going to be able to say, “Okay, maybe my product is not going to be only sold in Chile.”
Catalina Moscoso: It might be sold in Peru, in Colombia, because I’m going to directly to the main office of the buying group and they will take the decisions to say, “Okay, I’m going to buy your product because all the countries are going to be on board with this decision.” Then you can work with the retailer and do DI in full containers and work that way.
Catalina Moscoso: If you’re going to do by country, for example you say, “No, I’m going to be starting in Colombia, and I’m going to be working with Jumbo”, the volume that you’re going to be getting is not going to be big to start with, so probably you won’t need to start doing it from the US and not full containers. Don’t expect that at the beginning.
Luke Peters: Yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense. I mean, it sounds like it takes someone like you to help navigate because there’s a lot going on down there and I know the buyers are different as well. Catalina, how are buyers different in Latin America? Do they have a different perspective? What’s important to them when they’re deciding to work with a new brand?
Catalina Moscoso: As I said, it is very important for you as a brand to really partner with either their retailer, if you decide to work direct, or with a distributor. The buyer, what they are expecting is for you to give them the best price and the best product, the best value. It’s like everything has to be the best because unfortunately, our purchasing power in South America is not nearly compared to what it is in North America.
Catalina Moscoso: You don’t have that. You want to provide the best to your consumers, but you know they are not able to buy really something expensive. You really need to work with the buyer and try to probably build up in your pricing strategy a space for promos, a space for marketing, a space for PR. Then you have your buyer happy.
Catalina Moscoso: You say, “Okay, we have this product and I want to support you. If you have… I don’t know, you’re going to bring twice a year a catalog, we can pay this much for the catalog and then we can be there.” Those type of things, they really like ti because they see that you’re doing an effort to also sell the product.
Luke Peters: That makes sense and when you’re going down there, do brands typically have a Spanish version of the website? Then even to complicate it more, if they’re going to sell to different countries, do they need to have, say, a Colombian domain in version, a Peruvian domain in version? I mean, they both speak Spanish in those two cases. What makes a difference and what’s important or mission critical for brands to think about on that end?
Catalina Moscoso: Something that I have seen with the brands that I work with and what I consider important, you don’t need to have a website for a country. But you do need to think on having a website for the whole region in Spanish or for your Hispanic audience, right? Because in a way, you need to tropicalize the brands. You have to make it appealing for the end consumer in that and the only way. Let them know that you can use the product this way and the other way based on what they know and how they are… What they have seen in their culture. That is very important.
Catalina Moscoso: If you’re considering doing business in South America, you should consider to have a website in Spanish. That is going to be tailored not only for South America but it’s going to help you as well for your Hispanic consumers in the US or if you have consumers in Spain, for example.
Catalina Moscoso: In terms of social media, I also think it’s very important to have a channel in Spanish. Your YouTube, your Instagram, and then you hear it’s mentioned, for example, “Oh, we are doing this in Colombia.” Then you can mention the retailers that are partnering up with you, the different brands. But definitely you need to do that in Spanish.
Catalina Moscoso: In terms of packaging, at the beginning you can do a label and you can do for example imported by and all the information about the retailer. The name of the product, the description, all that information is important. But eventually, if the product has been acquired in the market and you’re selling very well, you’re going to have to do a bilingual package.
Luke Peters: Super helpful. So, I’ll summarize there. Think of a website for the whole region. Just like you said, for the audience, think of that. One thing I picked up there is we can pick up some extra benefits here for obviously large Hispanic population here in the States, so there’s going to potentially pick up some benefit there. Like you said, even in Spain, whether we’re selling in Europe or not but I know getting into Europe is easier now, working with a partner like Amazon.
Luke Peters: So, there could be some extra benefits to having a Spanish website or version for the whole region like you said. Then YouTube and Instagram in Spanish. My Spanish won’t cut it, Catalina, but we have people here that speak better than I do. May have to figure that out.
Catalina Moscoso: We can help you with that.
Luke Peters: Then I like what you said about packaging. You can start with a label, because that always is a challenge too, you know. But at the same time, a challenge but I think there’s four sides to the box so I think you just have to get one or two sides. But then of course, brands that are selling into Canada, you have to potentially have French as well.
Catalina Moscoso: French.
Luke Peters: Yeah. But anyway, brands are getting that done. The same thing with the manual, they’re getting it transcribed and those are the things that brands can be thinking about. I guess why don’t we start with this one, because still there’s a lot of countries to still decide, hey where am I going to go? What should be a brand’s first choice? Would it be Brazil because they have I’m guessing maybe the largest economy? Or is there another option that you might suggest?
Catalina Moscoso: Well, that’s kind of a tricky question because South America right now is not going through the best economic period in different countries. But I will say I would start with Chile just because they have the main buying groups of these groups that I just mentioned. So, it’s important maybe just to go there and have a meeting with your Falabella Group and your Cencosud Group and you know you are already covering a big part of the territory, right?
Catalina Moscoso: Then I would do, not in South America but Mexico because the purchasing power is higher because of the proximity with the US. A lot of things that are happening here are acquired in Mexico in a faster pace than they are in South America. That seems to me a very organic move for any brand. Just as they do with Canada. Canada is the same concept.
Catalina Moscoso: In South America, we’ll continue after Chile probably will try Colombia. Brazil is a giant economy that even you said it’s the largest in South America, they are very protective of their industries. There are a lot of requirements for any type of product and their requests are very demanding in terms of all the certifications you need to have, in terms of the pricing you need to offer.
Catalina Moscoso: I will say it’s a market that you need to study and you need to be prepared. If you want to start doing some sales, I would do the other countries first and then move towards Brazil.
Luke Peters: That’s super helpful and again to summarize there, Chile because the main buying groups, of course Mexico, they’re our neighbor and closest partner obviously, them and Canada. Then Colombia. It was really interesting what you said about Brazil, about them being very protective.
Luke Peters: I actually have a friend in the surf industry that wants to sell… Well, he sells all over the world with his brand but just mentioned how difficult it was in Brazil because of the high tariffs. Something like 80% tariffs.
Catalina Moscoso: Exactly.
Luke Peters: Yeah, bringing his product in and that really kind of… The thing with Brazil, especially for surfing, it’s a huge surfing country. The world champion this year came out of Brazil, so they’re an up and coming one. For the surf industry, it was just really interesting to hear that and kind of his take on it and that he wasn’t really able to successfully enter Brazil because then the brands there could kind of copy his product and obviously weren’t paying 80%.
Catalina Moscoso: Exactly. The other thing Luke is they also have their own language, right?
Luke Peters: Yep.
Catalina Moscoso: So, you’re going to start your strategy in South America and you’re having everything in Spanish, still Brazil is not going to be part of that. That’s why for that, I would wait a little bit just to have a larger ground in South America and it’s going to be my strategy to start knocking at the door of Brazil.
Luke Peters: Okay, great. Let me put you on the spot. I know we talked briefly before about my brand New Wear. We sell electrics basically, so we’re selling beverage and wine coolers and portable air conditioners and some fans and cooling fans and heating products and some other kitchen appliances. The thing is with my brand, we’re not even really selling that much into Canada, meaning there’s a lot of opportunity there.
Luke Peters: We’re not selling at all into Mexico, so there’s a ton of opportunity there. We have a lot of places that are just still untapped but I guess getting back to that conversation, just because it might be good for the listeners to have a real world situation here, if we wanted to re-look at it, where should we start for our brand? Would it be right to Chile with those main buying groups or just kind of lay out how you might tackle that problem?
Catalina Moscoso: What I would do definitely is start with Mexico. That would be kind of my starting point and again, Chile. But at the same time, I would do some research in terms of distributors. Why? Because electronics, in my experience, they have a very high return percentage.
Luke Peters: Yep.
Catalina Moscoso: So, you want to have a local partner that can help you with that, that can also help you with customer service. It’s not a typical, I don’t know, frying pan or baking item. It’s something that people will need to understand more about the product in order to make a purchase because the ticket price is higher, right?
Catalina Moscoso: I would definitely think on partnering up with a distributor that I know has a good feel for it, that I know they have a good cash flow and they are known in the region and they have brands that are already positioned somehow or are known. That way, they can help me to put the word out there for my product and what we do best and kind of start selling to the big players too.
Luke Peters: Okay, perfect. I’m sure there’s a lot of brands listening that are selling electrics and we’re all going to be in the Lakeside Hall in a month here at the housewares show. That was great advice. Specific advice and good point there on the returns. You’re absolutely correct. That’s a situation in our industry that… Well, everybody’s in the same boat. They’re more complicated products, so you’re going to have returns.
Catalina Moscoso: Exactly.
Luke Peters: How about a second situation? I have a couple friends, actually a couple friends who even were past guests on this podcast and they’re selling textiles like top of bed and some of them are really high end. Could be mattress, sheets, and pillow cases but even then, window decorations and another one with window blinds. Where would those brands potentially look to get started in South America?
Catalina Moscoso: For them, I would start with my key countries, the one that I mentioned earlier. Chile, Colombia, Mexico. I would do also, Argentina right now is tricky too. I mean, the situation in South America this year is not really promising in terms of the economic future but hopefully things turn out to be better.
Catalina Moscoso: However, what I would do is research in terms of their restrictions. Why? Because the local industry of textiles is big in some of these countries, so they are very protective. For example, Colombia. I know that they have a big industry for everything that is linen. The tariffs that you have to pay for your product is too high. Sometimes doesn’t make sense unless the product is very unique.
Catalina Moscoso: I would take my key countries and I would do research to understand what certifications I need or what are the tariffs that I would need to pay and try to understand how much would be my price of my item and my product in that particular country to see if that makes sense based on what I’ve found already in the market.
Luke Peters: Great. That’s good insight. Understand your specific tariffs. Again, another complication but when I hear all these complications, what I also think about is there’s got to be a little less competition because everything is so much easier here in the US and here, you have different countries and different rules. Since the volumes aren’t big enough, it could deter some people from getting in there.
Luke Peters: Is it fair to say that while you have these challenges, there also is less competition? Would that be a fair statement?
Catalina Moscoso: Less competition, no. Luke, I would have to say no to that. Why? Because unfortunately we have a lot of products that are coming from China and as I said earlier, the purchasing power in South America is smaller than in North America. Right? People even though they want a quality product, I mean they’re not able to pay for it so they’re looking into other options.
Catalina Moscoso: A lot of products from China were coming in with these solutions that were very cheap, affordable, and even though it doesn’t have a design or it doesn’t have a brand, still it was good enough for what they want to pay for that, right?
Catalina Moscoso: Now with what is happening with the coronavirus and all that situation, things might change. What the consumer really like about American products is the technology and the design. If you see it that way, then you have a good opportunity but you have to kind of find that price point that it will be very appealing to the buyer, right?
Catalina Moscoso: You have to kind of go into the market and see your category and see, okay, how many brands are competing with my product? What are their price points? And try to see where you are falling into and show it to the buyer and say, “This is where we’re falling with you and this is why we’re better than the other one and why you have to pick it.”
Catalina Moscoso: I mean, it has still a little bit of research and understanding of what is out there. There is a lot of competition but it doesn’t mean that there is not opportunity. There is a lot of opportunity is well. I’m just saying that you need to kind of have the time to understand where you are going to and the strategy that you’re going to be working on.
Luke Peters: Just when I’m trying to make it optimistic, then you just crush my dreams, Catalina. I’m just kidding. No, I’m just kidding. Look, it’s like any market, you know? If you’re going to succeed-
Catalina Moscoso: Exactly. I was about to say, yeah, it’s like any market and I think the key is to understanding the market very well and knowing how you can compete. Sometimes it could be many brands out there, but if you’re doing something really unique, then you can have it, right? If you understand it and you really tailor your product toward that mindset, you’re going to see a lot of success.
Luke Peters: Yeah, totally. Cool, so we’re going to transition now into Hubspot and marketing automation. Before I do that, I just want to quickly wrap up. In the show notes, we’ll have a lot of this information. We’ll have the whole transcript with a lot of this information written in detail. Just to let the audience know, they can go to retailband.com under the podcast section to see the show notes and we’ll talk about…
Luke Peters: Specifically, we’ll have those top three Latin American retail groups, so y’all can see that and then we’ll have details because with Catalina, we talked about how are buyers different, how your strategy should be when you enter the markets. We’ll have those notes in there and then we’re going to have the case studies of where you should start, depending if you’re a kitchen electric, a textile, or other housewares category.
Luke Peters: Really want to thank you for going into detail on all of those areas and why don’t we kind of wrap up this conversation talking about just something I saw on your LinkedIn. You’re Hubspot certified which is really cool, but different of a lot of rep agencies because usually rep agencies are old school, may not even have a website, don’t have a contract.
Luke Peters: But you have some knowledge here on marketing automation. I just want to understand why it’s important to you and where you’re converting prospects to buyers and just how you use that in your business.
Catalina Moscoso: Yeah, I think that is a great question, Luke. I think you have to buy always trying to keep up with technology and everything that is new out there. For me, marketing automation has been a great tool to be in front of buyers. In a way kind of building a relationship with them and it’s more of education type of relationship.
Catalina Moscoso: What I’m trying to do is I have segmented my database and I know I have leads that don’t know anything about me. I have potential customers that I know maybe a little and then I have my core customers, right? I’ve been creating content for those three different segments because the first segment, I have to tell them who I am and that I am here, right? That I exist.
Catalina Moscoso: The other one is kind of educate them more about the industry, the trends, maybe give them some merchandising and why not then I start telling them about the products that I represent. I have found that very useful and very successful. I mean, buyers like information because they don’t have the time to really look for that, so they kind of just appreciate every time I send that. They reply back and say, “I liked that article,” or, “I liked that information. Oh, tell me more about that.” Right? That is a way for me to start a conversation.
Luke Peters: Awesome, and then more on that. How often do you blog and how often do you email? Or for the blogging, is it more that you created sequences? It sounds like you have potentially three different sequences and then you have blogs specifically that live in those sequences or are you creating new content?
Catalina Moscoso: What I do is I create around three blogs a month related to the brands that I represent and also related to the industry. Right? Something new, for example now that the show is coming up, then I tell everybody about the show and why they have to come and see it, right?
Catalina Moscoso: But at the same time, with the marketing automation tool, what I do is, as you said, I create those sequences. I know for example that somebody saw the email but they didn’t do anything, then they would be getting another email with some other information until they do have an action, right?
Catalina Moscoso: If there is a point that it is no action, we just leave that alone for some time and then I revisit that potentially eventually. That’s the way I’m doing that right now and the blogs are being sent sometimes a difference in the topic to all the database when it’s something general or just about the industry.
Catalina Moscoso: When it’s related to any product in particularly, I send it to my current customers for example to keep them updated about the product.
Luke Peters: Great. I mean, that’s a great summary and I know for a lot of businesses out there, they can see… I’ve talked to different rep groups even on the Page One podcast so it’s great to see how they all get their leads and sometimes from connections in the past or they’re building out their website list. But it’s good to see that you’re kind of at the forefront. Hubspot’s a great product to use and understanding how to use those sequences is so powerful and now you’ve just basically turned it into a machine for yourself, right?
Luke Peters: Because all this content that you’ve written is an asset and you’re just going to keep building your email list to provide even more success in the future.
Catalina Moscoso: Exactly.
Luke Peters: Thanks for walking us through that. Why don’t we finish with a tough one here, Catalina? I always love to hear, what’s been your biggest failure, a really tough one? Something that you’ve learned from but maybe has improved you or your business.
Catalina Moscoso: Oh my goodness, that is a tough question.
Luke Peters: Yep.
Catalina Moscoso: Luke, you’re an entrepreneur as well and we are always in a race against time. You also need to wear several hats when you have your own business. A few years ago, my husband is also an entrepreneur and he started a marketing agency. A few years ago, before I started Bylecook, I was working with him and with some of the customers and we had a setback with a company and things didn’t do well the way we wanted it.
Catalina Moscoso: So, we had to kind of not chop everything down but just stop the process and understand what we were doing wrong and what we were doing right. That helped us a lot because we grew professionally and personally and we also understood that probably sometimes you have to reinvent yourself to move forward.
Catalina Moscoso: That’s actually what he did and he changed the whole model of the business. Now, it’s the company that helps me with the marketing automation tool and we are starting to partner up together to start offering that to brands, the marketing automation service because I do have all the expertise and knowledge in the industry in South America and he brings all the expertise in marketing.
Catalina Moscoso: It seems like a good marriage, I will say but at that moment it was not easy and as I said, you have to kind of stop for a moment and think and reinvent yourself.
Luke Peters: Wow, great story. What was the biggest change that you did have to make? You went from what sounds like it was not a successful business operation to now a successful change. What made that difference?
Catalina Moscoso: He wanted to create… Let’s say In a digital marketing agency, you work by project. You get your customers, you do the project, you deliver. Sometimes, they continue with the project if they need to and sometimes they don’t. That was a dull moment.
Catalina Moscoso: He decided that it was better if he provided a solution as a subscription based model, so the companies could pay what they could afford based on their size and the operation and they can also get some services on a monthly basis as if they had an internal digital marketing team at their company.
Catalina Moscoso: So, that’s what he did and he changed the whole model. Now companies pay based on the services that they need, a monthly fee and think of the Netflix for digital marketing service. That’s pretty much the model and it’s working very good.
Luke Peters: That’s awesome. I mean, that really, really is awesome because I think that’s what a lot of companies want to do. Everybody knows now that subscription based models have higher exit EBITDA ratios, so they’re more investible but not just for that point. They’re also more predictable because you’re getting revenue consistently and usually through a contract. So, that’s awesome. Good on you guys to be able to make that move.
Luke Peters: It’s not always easy in the marketing world because like you said, a lot of it is project driven.
Catalina Moscoso: Exactly, mm-hmm (affirmative). And if you think about it, any business, you need digital marketing. For your website, for your SEO. You’re doing it right now with Retail Band.
Luke Peters: Yep.
Catalina Moscoso: Companies need that service. But at the same time, they sometimes think it’s easier if they have an in house team. But when they realize how much it costs to have a person that does the website, the other one that does the SEO, the other one the marketing strategy. The costs are really expensive. I think the subscription based model works very well for a small business as well.
Luke Peters: That’s great. That’s good to have that, your husband to be in that industry because it obviously can help your business and you guys can kind of work synergistically together. That’s a cool story.
Catalina Moscoso: Thank you.
Luke Peters: Catalina, how can listeners… How can they find you and learn more about you? What’s the best place to contact you if they want to bring their brand into South America?
Catalina Moscoso: Oh, sure. They can either reach me via my email address. I don’t know if you’re going to have it there or should I just say it right now?
Luke Peters: Go ahead and say it and spell it out and then we’ll put it in the show notes.
Catalina Moscoso: Okay, it is CMoscoso, that’s my last name, at BYLECOOK.com, so it’s CMoscoso@bylecook.com. Or people can visit my website, bylecook.com. They can see the brand, they can visit the blog. The blog is in Spanish just because our target is the Hispanic audience. Those are people that want to see and to educate about the brands and the industry, that’s our main focus right now.
Luke Peters: Perfect. Just so everybody understood, the domain was bylecook.com, so B-Y-L-E-C-O-O-K.com and in front of that email is C-M-O-S-C-O-S-O. We’ll have all this in the show notes and of course you can look up Catalina on LinkedIn as well. Again, I want to thank you for coming on and being so open about your information and sharing your knowledge about Latin America. I think it’s a first for the Page One podcast, so I know it’ll be a very valuable podcast with all those actionable insights.
Luke Peters: I want to thank everybody else for listening as well to the Page One podcast, sponsored by Retail Band. Quick reminder that I’m offering a free evaluation of your online sales strategy. We can take a look at your digital strategy on Amazon, Home Depot, and Wayfair, specifically look into advertising programs that most folks are not taking advantage of on HD and Wayfair.
Luke Peters: We can review your products using our selling tools and I’ll present the findings directly to you. If you’re interested, find me on LinkedIn or email me at email@example.com. I appreciate everybody who listens, all of your comments and suggestions and especially your reviews on iTunes and we’ll see you on the next episode.
Speaker 1: Thanks for listening to the Page One podcast with Luke Peters. If you like our show and want to know more, check out our other segments. Also, please help us out by leaving us a rating on iTunes. Want to learn more about rcommerce? Check out www.retailband.com to get more great tips and tricks on how to accelerate your ecommerce sales with the big box retailers.
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