GE 191: How RD Station Continues to Double Its Growth Rate Each Year (After Raising $19M)

André Siqueira cofounder RD Station in Brazil

Hey everyone, in today’s episode, I share the mic with André Siqueira, co-founder of RD Station, a digital marketing software company based in Brazil.

Listen as André discusses how they were able to secure significant investments (the largest amount in Latin America) despite the political state of Brazil, their struggle with customer retention and their bold decision to do event marketing—something that is not very common in Brazil—and the fact that their biggest competitors in Brazil are businesses who don’t understand inbound marketing.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How RD Station Continues to Double Its Growth Rate Each Year (After Raising $19M) TRANSCRIPT

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:55 – Eric introduces André to the podcast
  • 01:01 – Eric went to the RD Summit last year
  • 01:27 – André is the head of marketing at RD Station
  • 01:31 – RD is now the leading marketing automation platform, in Latin America, with almost 7,000 customers and 400 employees
  • 01:58 – They have just raised $19M last year in funding from TPG
  • 02:22 – The $19M funds RD Station raised is one of the largest amounts raised in Latin America, last year
  • 02:43 – Despite the political issues happening in Brazil, RD Station was still able to secure investor funds
  • 03:13 – All RD Station’s metrics performed well which helped them secure the funds
  • 03:41 – The company has 7,000 customers
    • 03:48 – Customers pay an average of $150 per month
  • 04:20 – RD Station’s counterpart in the US is HubSpot or Infusionsoft with much lower pricing
  • 05:22 – RD Station had less than 300 employees last year and now, they have roughly about 400
  • 05:52 – It’s harder to find employees in Brazil than in the US
  • 06:33 – The company’s growth rate has been doubling for the past couple of years
  • 07:02 – Unlike HubSpot and Infusionsoft, RD Station has no CRM and CMS
  • 07:40 – RD Station’s templates are less than their competitors’
  • 08:19 – André talks about acquiring their first 1000 customers
    • 08:31 – They offered consulting services
    • 09:03 – They started a blog and put up resources to create an audience
    • 09:14 – When their software was ready to launch, they already compiled about 20,000 emails
    • 09:43 – They did more of the inbound marketing which helped them acquire more customers
    • 10:23 – They did events as well
  • 10:38 – RD Station’s main blog now publishes 40 posts per month
  • 10:56 – They tested the frequency of posts last year and they found out 1 post per day is their saturation point
  • 11:29 – RD Station also started other kinds of blogs about agencies
  • 12:16 – Event marketing with RD Station
    • 12:26 – With 400 customers, RD Station decided to create an event to get to know their market better
    • 12:49 – The summits/events are not really popular in Brazil
    • 13:24 – It was RD Station’s advantage to host the event
    • 13:57 – The summit became the beginning of a huge community they now have in their country
    • 14:08 – RD on the Road is their program where they get to know their clients around Brazil
    • 15:00 – Their relationship with customers plays a big part in customer retention
    • 15:22 – Their biggest competitors in Brazil are businesses who don’t understand inbound marketing
    • 16:01 – The first RD Summit had 300 attendees
    • 16:16 – “Starting small is important”
    • 17:08 – Their attendees are their followers
    • 17:46 – The summit also became famous in Brazil
    • 18:01 – Apart from emailing leads, RD Station used Facebook to promote their summit
    • 18:37 – RD Station’s event sponsors also promote the event
    • 18:56 – They also hire a PR Firm to get media coverage
    • 19:36 – The first and second summits cost around $20,000
    • 20:00 – They usually break even from the ticket sales and profits from actual sales
  • 20:25 – What’s one big struggle you faced while growing RD Station? – “It would be customer retention”
  • 22:13 – Investing in customer retention was really hard with RD Station at the start
  • 22:30 – Understand your customer portfolio
  • 23:38 – What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your 20-year old self? – “Focus on what you’re good at”
  • 24:49 – What’s one big change you’ve made in the past year that has impacted you or your business in a big way? – “Understanding my role and the things I’m good at”
  • 26:00 – What’s one must-read book do you recommend? Traction
  • 26:59 – Connect with André on LinkedIn, Twitter, or on his email

3 Key Points:

  1. Providing value to your audience can be the gateway to acquiring customers.
  2. You don’t have to do BIG the first time you try – start small.
  3. Do not go after every person – know the kind of customers that you’d like to target.

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