Transcription: #13 - Carlos Guzman: Planning, Teamwork and Emailing the Wrong People
#13 - Carlos Guzman: Planning, Teamwork and Emailing the Wrong People


Aderson Oliveira: I've spoken with Carlos Guzman about the importance of planning and teamwork to make any outsourcing initiative a success. On top of that he also provides a lot of insights on what you should outsource and what you should keep inside your company. Just a hint, it's all about your core. He was also very open with two horror stories that he went through and the lessons that he has learned from them.

Hello, hello. Aderson Oliveira here. This is another interview for the OuchSourcing Podcast where I talk to experts, specialists, business owners that do a lot of outsourcing and we pick their brains and to help us avoid some of the pains, some of the pitfalls that come with outsourcing. Today I have with me Carlos Guzman. He is the CEO at Grupo Arion y Prospect Factory. Carlos, welcome.

Carlos Guzman: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Aderson: Carlos, let me start with the basics here. Where are you located and what is your business about? Give me the spiel here.

Carlos: Okay. We're located in Mexico City and we also have an office in San Jose, California in the heart of Silicon Valley. We basically have to two companies. One of them provides licensing and development and service on ITSM solutions, meaning everything that an IT department needs to buy for their own use. Usually an IT department buys technology for other users and they manage it and provide infrastructure. But there's a few components in the software plane that the IT department buys for themselves to control processes, and we provide that. One of the companies is a BMC remedy solution primer and we provide those solutions. They are enterprise solutions and for that reason we have a handful of around 10 or 12 customers that we work with but they are really big, big customers. Then the other company is Prospect Factory which is a digital marketing agency. Within Prospect Factory we have two areas. One area takes care of the end customer and the other area takes care of small agencies and the WS consultants that produce through us. We are a wide label agency that works for other agencies and we provide basically all digital marketing services for them.

Aderson: Got it. Okay. Let's tie this bag here to our main topic which is outsourcing. First, I would like to ask you because different people will have different, I guess slightly different understanding about what outsourcing is. My concept is a bit too open but I'm curious to hear from you. What do you call outsourcing?

Carlos: Outsource is a way of working your company where you go to a third party and get expertise or get additional capacity or get very special technology that you don't have in-house. So basically outsourcing allows you to expand your business by using third party resource that you don't have in-house and that you can hire either per case or in a continuous way but you don't want to vanish. Probably the most typical understanding of outsourcing is for people but I think you can outsource a number or resources. There's people that specialize in outsourcing software or probably some other resources. People and talent and skills would be the most common way of understanding outsourcing.

Aderson: Got it. Okay. Perfect. I love that perspective. Now, if I ask you what do you outsource? Because it sounds like you also provide some outsourcing service. But before we touch that side of your business, let's look at the other side. You as a client of outsourcing providers, what do you outsource?

Carlos: Well, basically my business -- For the digital agency, I’ve been on the market a little bit more than 13 years. I started myself, and everything was outsourced. So I was outsourcing web development. I was outsourcing AdWords campaign. I was outsourcing SEO services, design, and management for continuous ongoing campaigns. That's the way I grew. That's the way I was able to leverage my company without getting into payroll nightmares from the beginning and I was just contracting and hiring resources for project as I needed and as I was seeing fit. Basically, I started like that.

Now, there was a point in which I needed to start having some resources in-house. I didn't want that. I mean, that was not my original plan, but in some cases, you have very picky companies. There are picky clients or maybe some enterprise clients that expect to see some head count on your side and they want you to bring your team to a meeting and they want you to have your team like very on-demand and they want to call and they want to have these people on the phone on the Skype. There was a time in which I needed to decide to bring some resources in-house but up to today I keep outsourcing things.

Today I outsource for example writers. Most of our writing department is outsourced. We outsource some designs. Some we do in in-house. Some we do out. We outsource web development. We have a web development team here that has certain set of skills and certain capacity. So when we need more capacity we go like outsource or when we need some specific skills that we don't have in-house we outsource. Obviously, for big projects in which you have to assemble a team very fast and be up and running for that project for a limited period of time, outsourcing is a perfect fit.

For example, we work in the digital part. One of the areas of specialty that we have is social listening. Social listening is a service that you sometimes provide for political people that's going to elections. Their campaigns are limited and you need to assemble teams for two, three or four months and that's it. So you cannot hire the people and train the people and wait for the people to be ready. You have to go out, search for the correct skills, outsource a team, have it on-board for three to four months and then that's it. You close the project. The outsource team is gone, and then ready for another project. That depends on the type of project but today I am basically outsourcing. Most of the services that we provide in-house we also outsource either for skills or for extended capacity.

Aderson: Got it. Okay. You brought a good point which is you had to make a decision of growing a local team because your high-end clients they needed to see head counts. But again you still outsource a lot. When is the time and the reason why -- okay, this I will not outsource. I'll keep it in-house. How do you decide what you keep in-house and what you give away? How do you decide that?

Carlos: Aside from the capacity and skills consideration that I talked about. There's another one that's very important which is the strategic position of your company. For example, in digital services there's a whole bunch of services that you need to have in-house or either provide to your customer even if it's outsource. But there's going to be a couple of services that are core where you're going to be basing your strategy. I would say that those core services are the ones that I do not outsource.

For example today, SEO we outsource very small part of the SEO because SEO is strategic for us. We provide a lot of knowledge and training to our people and we develop our people. We cannot do that as freely with an outsource resource. When you define a core service, for example in the part of social listening, and now there is mathematical analysis, interpretation of reports, providing suggestions to the client -- those parts are very keen to our core and we do that in-house. For example web development. Web development is not core to our company and it used to be but it's not today, so it's something that we are tending to outsource more and more and more because it's become a commodity. You can find web developers of good quality in many places locally and internationally. It doesn't make a lot of sense to have people on payroll for things that are not core while I can find those skills fast and easy on street.

So I would say that core services, whatever is core to your strategy. Whatever you are building differentiation on that that's where I would not do outsourcing. That's where I would keep in-house and that makes the decision very easy because now if you want to decide to outsource something or not then you just have to ask yourself, is this core? Is this strategic for my company? Is this part of my differentiation? If the answer is yes, then my suggestion is to do that in-house and then outsource the rest.

Aderson: Got it. I love that point Carlos. I love the point, is it core? Yes or no. If it's yes, yes we keep it in-house. If it's no, let's find a partner that we can outsource that to. I mean I really love that criteria. It's a very clear cut. And as you're saying, it makes it easy to make that decision of should I outsource this or should I keep it in-house? Now let's circulate it back into once again in the outsourcing arena here. How do you pick? How do you choose? How do you select an outsourcing partner, an outsourcing provider? What's your process there?

Carlos: Most of our outsourcing partners we've been working with them for quite some time. If I go back to like the initial contact on the first time we decided to work with them, we evaluated first how committed they were to the project and you feel that very fast. If you have a project and you submit a request for information or a request for proposal to an outsourcing provider, you will see how committed they are to the project. They will answer you very fast. They will come back with questions. If part of your information is incomplete, they will ask you the correct questions. They would guide you to complete the scope. That gives you the first impression of how committed they are to the project.

Then a little bit of research in terms of their infrastructure. You don't want to outsource to a one-man company and then if the guy get sick you are on a problem. So you need to really understand their infrastructure and how they will react to an emergency in case which one employee gets sick or has vacation or something because one of the reason you outsource is because that problem, you want that problem to be his problem and not your problem. You are hiring a service and if the developer is sick then they need to be able to put a new developer in place and keep with the project. Evaluate the way they are infrastructure and their resources that's a second point.

Third point I would do a little bit of reputation research. Look for what people are saying on social. Google them. Try to go and find a little bit of them. If you ask them to give you a reference up, it's not going to be very valid because they will give you the best clients but sometimes that works. At least some of the clients will be very sincere and they will tell you. “Well, they are very good in this but be careful with this because sometimes in this different stages of project they might be a little bit slow or probably they will need you to push them a little bit.” Do a little bit of cross-reference checking and see how they are performing with other clients.

Another thing is that I always give them an initial small project. I want to test the grounds. I want to test the waters. I want to see how we will fit, how we communicate. Do they understand me? Do I understand them? Are they committed to the delivery dates? Do they really deliver on time? How's the quality of their delivery, the recommendation, everything? A small pile of project , it's always a good idea and with some providers we have even done pilot projects for our own in-house needs, not for another customer in which we know that if something goes wrong we're not be hurting another client.

So do a pilot project. It's like when they say that when you want to get to know somebody you must travel with that person because that's where you really know the people. Engage in a small trip of a small project with the supplier. Leave it. Experiment it. See how they react. See how you react. See how you communicate and then you have a pretty good feeling of how this provider might resolve with bigger, more complex projects.

Another thing that is important is to evaluate how good they manage the non-technical part. Do they invoice correctly? Do they invoice with time? Do they have a contract? Does the contract really reflect the payment schedule that you agreed? You don't want to have surprises in terms of the administrative part. I have a supplier that we were already engage in the beginning of the project when he told me that he could not accept payments through PayPal. I said, "How come?" I just gave it as a fact. I worked with all my suppliers with PayPal but we were already engage and he told he did not accept payments on PayPal. We said okay, we will wire you the funds. We will do a transfer to you every time we need to make a payment but wiring funds has a cost, has a cost on both sides and he wanted me to pay for the cost on both sides. So at the end we finally found a common middle train for us in which we were able to work but that was a surprise. Make all the questions. Actually you should have like your own questionnaire of how, of all the questions you need your supplier to ask, to answer before you really engage in a project because you don't want to have any surprise at the end.

Aderson: Got it. Very good point about an initial trial. I really like the initial try. You start small. I mean I do the comparison with dating and marrying. You start to date and again you don't go marrying someone right after the first date. You have to go out for a while before you marry. Carlos, another point here is here is something that I have a hard time. I have a hard time because myself is it seems -- I work with contractors. I work with outsourcing providers but I have a hard time, a very hard time a long those providers to have direct contact with my clients not because they might steal them or not like that but it’s just about how will they reflect whatever they do it will reflect on my company, it will reflect on me. So my question to you is, do you allow or do you have a process to say, "Hey. This provider here they can have direct contact with the client and this cannot." Do you have anything like that?

Carlos: We do not allow direct contact with my client with supplier alone. Whenever we need to have that contact, my project manager will be present and he will be the one coordinating and managing the conversation and he will be the one that needs to answer yes or no to a customer request. Then, after the conversation, he will touch base again with the technical people on the background. We accept a meeting in which the outsourcing supplier can be present. Usually they would be virtual meetings but not alone and all communications need to go through my project manager and the project manager is an in-house resource. It's a second level manager that reports directly to me and that has the correct criteria to make a decision on this part and apply and answer to whatever requests or concerns the customer has.

Aderson: Got it.

Carlos: Now you have to add an additional component because we are living in a global world. Many times the outsourcing partner is in another part of the world in another language. Imagine us outsourcing to India where we have 13 and a half hours’ time difference and their English -- you do not get the English from our people from India in the first conversation. It's not easy even though you might speak well English, good English. Having that person connect directly with your customer with the time difference and the language barrier, it's a challenge so you really need in the middle somebody that translates and that knows the scope of the project that can go into both languages. If something needs to be clarified, he switched into Spanish and he chats with the customer in Spanish and then they come back to the English conversation. We have had outsourcing partners in Afghanistan, in India, in US. Actually we have had outsourcing partners in Latin America. Even though we both speak in Spanish, it's not the same Spanish so you really need to have like your own resource translating the conversation.

Aderson: But on that point beyond translation, actually outside of translation, do you introduce them as a separate entity or that becomes transparent and you don't mention anything? I mean it's just part of the team. Do you make it clear that it's an outside entity or do you just blend that in as part of the team?

Carlos: We have both cases. There are projects in which we do not transparent to the customer that we have an outsourcing partner. We only tell them that this is our developer. This is our designer. The designer and developer know that they should not mention their own company, that they are part of our team. That usually happens in small to medium projects.

Aderson: Okay.

Carlos: Now when it is a very big project that requires a lot of skills, specific very specialized skills, I am usually the sales guy. So what I do, I am very transparent with the customer and I tell them that his project is going to require skills that we do not necessarily have in-house. But that we do have the resources through partners that usually work with us and that I'm going to assemble a team and the team is going to be comprised by people from my company as well as people from my partners and that team is assembled for him, for the customer. It's going to be transparent because I'm going to be the sole bond of contract and contact for him. But in any case that's needed, we will have the resources and the team in a meeting. So I make it transparent because you cannot tell the customer that you are good in everything. I mean that’s not even great. That doesn't add to your credibility. If you’re transparent with the customer and you tell them that certain part of a project is out of your own skills but you do have the resources through a partner, they usually understand it. In the world we live today it's very often and very common that complex projects are done by multiple skills from all over the world. If they are managed on a single direction and there's one fronting company, usually the customer understand this. It depends on the size of the project. Sometimes I will make it transparent. Some other times I will not.

Aderson: I get it. One thing that I have seen before is that some clients once we let them know that we are also working with partners they raise the flag of “Okay. So, how secure are they?” Of course, it depends on the project. It depends on many different factors but sometimes I hear, "Are you sending this over to India, to the Philippines?" They start to feel a little bit insecure about what they are doing. I mean have you seen that? Have you seen that type of reaction before?

Carlos: Oh yes.

Aderson: How do you go about addressing that?

Carlos: Well, we usually try to understand all the different components of the project. What are those components that are really vulnerable to security things? One of them for example, if you're talking web development, it's going to be the database and it's going to be the hosting environment and probably the code of a very specific module in the website that performs certain functionality that's going to be bring differentiation to that project. For those components, what we usually do is obviously we sign NDA's with our customer and we have the partners send and sign an NDA. Sometimes the partner will sign an NDA with us and they will also sign the NDA with a partner. If I am being transparent of a team of other partners in the project, I also tell the customer that they are going to be signing the same with them and with me. So it's going to be a back-to-back NDA and then everything that's very sensible for example database system and data. What we do is we usually for example for our database that you need to put in a website, we take just a small sample of the database for testing and that's what  we use for an outsourcing partner. Then once the functionality and the module is complete and it has proven that it works with a small set-up of the database then we bring that back in-house to my team and then when we're going to deploy the volume data or input the rest of the data then we will certainly do it in-house and make the customer the assurance that part is going to be done by us.

When you go to other type of projects for example, let's say a social listening in which you are going to be capturing lots of big data regarding your customer's product and his competitors, and that's very sensitive data. Their competition can get that data as well if they hire a similar service but it's expensive so at the end that data is something that's very sensitive. What we do is we encourage the customer to set-up information, a data repository that’s central to everybody of us -- a paid Dropbox or something that he controls. We help him set the repository to him with his own passwords then he provides access to us while we're going to be developing the project. That's where we place everything so he has the assurance that whenever we are gone and whenever he needs us out, he will just cut out the access for us and he will keep the information for himself. It depends a lot on what the nature of the project is and where the potential vulnerabilities are and security issues. Then sometimes you have to go an extra mile. We have had customers in which for certain parts of the project they have requested us to go their premises and work in their premises so they will give us access to the database or access to the SEO software where they have all their keywords and all their history, rankings of the pages and we do the job there and we have accepted that. But that become a challenge for us to outsourcing because an outsource resource will not be that open to go and work on the premises of your client. Once we detect all those issues, we might have the outsourcing partner do part of the job, and then we will do the other part ourselves. Sometimes that implies going to the customer premises. That is why I think the dual model of having your own resources and having resources outside works because sometimes because of confidentiality, security, strategic position, the customer is going to be feeling more comfortable. If you provide a certain parts of the project of the service with your own resources than if you outsource that so that depends on the customer and the service.

Aderson: I get is. So one of the ways that we learn a lot as business owners is when things go wrong. I can only imagine with many, many years in the business, over 10 years in the business that you have come across what I usually refer to as horror stories. Stories that you live through with outsourcing partners. I would like you to maybe refer back to an early experience or maybe something that's going on now. I don't know. I'll leave it open to you. Is there any story that you have gone through in terms of outsourcing that went bad and you have some lessons learned from that experience that you can share with us?

Carlos: Yes. I have a couple. For example, this is one case in which we were open with the customers in terms of the outsourcing partner. So the outsourcing resource was part of the email group where we were exchanging all the information. He was part of the email conversation with the customer. The customer he was going to some legal thing in which he was getting back his brand from a third party and we were developing the digital presence of that brand for him. But we were doing this at the same time as he was negotiating with the third party. They have not finished the negotiations yet and the brand was not his yet. He was on that part of making negotiations. But at the same time we were developing everything for him. There was an email in which the customer receives a request from the third party he was negotiating with and he took that email and he sent it to us, to the rest of the team as information, as for your eyes only information.

Aderson: Got it.

Carlos: The developer answers that email copy to everybody including the third party. By the way did not know that we were already developing all these web properties for the client. The client was like already -- he wanted to be ready for that so the day he signed the brand agreement with other party like the next day he would be ready to go online. But he was already using the brand without permission. My developer copies everybody. The third party recognizes that there's already work being done with his brand because at that point it was still his brand. He had not handed the brand to my customer. A very big conflict comes to us. My customer was engage in, he had to like restart the whole negotiation with third party because the third party got mad and we lost the client. We basically lost the client because the client thought that there was a breach of information. We had not being confidential that we had used confidential information for the third party so we lost the client and we lost the project. It was because the developer of my partner which was probably middle level or low level management or person, more a developer or designer, he did not took care of seeing who he was copying the email too. So that's one reason. Today what we do is we do not engage partners in email groups or email communications. If there's an email communication we go to the customer, we get the information then we go to the partner. We provide information and we become the bridge that makes sure that information that flows from one side to another is a correct information for that person. That's one thing that we learned from it.

Aderson: I get it.

Carlos: I think we have another example of a customer where we’re doing email marketing for them. Obviously they had their most important asset was the database and he provide us with database of probably more than 250,000 names that they have been capturing through their website throughout a couple of years. It's an ecommerce website -- a very big one that even is doing TV commercials to engage people to go to their online ecommerce. We sent test -- one of my people that was doing an email campaign to another customer. When he assembled a test he selected the database incorrectly and he sent the test to the testing sample of my customer. So the owner of the company receives this test from another company. It was a test. It was only sent to five people. But he comes back and he asks me, "What is this?" And I said, "Sorry. It's a test that we're doing for another customer and we unfortunately sent you the test to our testing group." Which was two or three people from his company and two or three people from mine but that made a visible breach in security that we had because if we were open to do an error with that control testing environment -- sending the message of client A to the client B. That means we could have done that with the main message and the main database and he was correct. Basically, we did not do an error that had any implications but the error made our security visible to the customer and he became very afraid that we didn't have the security things in place and he cancelled the contract.

Aderson: I really appreciate you being that open Carlos. It's unusual that someone will be as open as you are with what you're saying. But let me tell you this whenever we're dealing with humans, I know we should have processes, we should have checks and balances in and key ways and processes to avoid those things. My take on business and on dealing with people is that if you were dealing with someone else you are prone to have problems there. It's not about if it's really when. You have to prepare yourself to whenever that happens this is how I'm going to behave here. As you did, you own it to your client and yes, the client went someplace else but hey, you did what you needed to do which was on it but again, very, very good points. Here's the thing, the first example that you give is all about communication and it's a problem that I also have here and there. Miscommunication of people replying to people that are not supposed to be replying to. They intended to reply internally to us and they reply to the client and this is so, so common. Very good. Thank you for that. I'd like to shift -- go ahead. Sorry.

Carlos: Can I add a little bit of this -- just a couple of comments?

Aderson: Sure.

Carlos: I'm going back to your original question on how we evaluate an outsourcing partner. When the outsourcing partner has enough years in the market, we can be sure that he has got all those mistakes because it's only when, okay. So if you've been in the market long enough, you have come to all those errors and mistakes and problems. When you choose a partner that's been in the market that long enough, you can be sure that he has lived through those errors already and very probably he will not engage on those errors with you because he has already put in place a control not to generate those errors again.

Switching back, if I am the supplier partner for somebody, when they are evaluating me that's something that I usually tell them that I have done all the errors for them that if they do this in-house today and they start to do this in-house today they will start doing a lot of errors through time that's going to cost them money. If they outsource with me many of those errors and those learnings are already in my DNA and we can make sure that we use that experience for my customer. So that's part of the evaluation. Sometimes people tend to go with very wrong outsourcing in companies because they have the skills, they have the creativity, they have the stamina, people with a lot of nerve and they want to do things great. But very probably they do not have the experience and they have not been in the bad moments because if you ask me of good campaigns and good experiences, I will tell you tens and hundreds of them. But I can also tell you tens of my errors and those errors have forced us to put in place controls and when you engage with the company that has been in outsourcing or a partner or a supplier for quite some time, you can be sure that they have done everything in their scope to avoid committing those errors again with you and that's part of the evaluation.

Aderson: Got it. Actually that's great segue because now let's turn the table here which so far we have discussed about you hiring and contracting, outsourcing providers. But if I got your business, the other part of your business right, you also provide some outsourcing services to big corporation on their IT infrastructure, is that correct?

Carlos: That is correct. Yes.

Aderson: Let's talk about that because now you are providing outsourcing services as well. How do you take on that other side of your business of this time around you are a provider of outsourcing services? How do you manage that relationship with a client being yourself an outsourcing provider?

Carlos: Okay. I will tell you that any time that you spend as a supplier with this cost with your customer trying to provide a more detailing to this scope of the project. A more specific that define what the customer is expecting from you. Any time that you spend planning is the best time that you could spend. You need to be patient and understand that the customer not always knows what they want. The customer maybe has a high level idea of what he's expecting from your service but they have not had the time to engage on the bits and bytes of the details of the operational experience they want to have with you and that's mainly the reason they are hiring you. They don't have the time to think on those things. But once they hire you, you need to spend a lot of time with them on planning, mapping, scoping, talking to people and making a good plan of whatever you're going to be operating, managing or delivering for them. If you jump into operation right away and you are trying to start tomorrow and you do not spend enough time in planning and scoping then you're going to be reworking. The customer is not going to be happy. You're going to be spending more hours than what you thought you're going to be spending on this customer. Probably the account will go unprofitable for this reason. So I would say the first step is you have to be very patient with the customer. Understand that he does not know everything and that is why he's hiring you. Sit with him and his team and scope of the project to the most detail you can do and then engage on operating and managing and developing it right.

Planning is a very -- I cannot stress that enough. I can tell you that projects in which we go for more time. We are engaging more time than we planned for the projects in which we have a little bit of a disagreement with the customer. If you go back to the roots of those projects, it all starts in the bad scoping of the project. If you scope the project correctly and you invest the time to do this then the success factor is much higher and you have a better opportunity of delivering on time and delivering to what the customer's expectations are -- so scoping and planning, first stage, very important.

Aderson: Got it. One thing, if I may interrupt you Carlos. One thing that I missed asking is because I jumped right away into you as an outsourcing provider but prior to that I should have asked what is it that you provide, some of the services that you provide as an outsourcing provider to your clients. What are they?

Carlos: On the IT company we provide set-up configuration and mapping of the software tools that we sell them and then once the tool is ready to deploy, we provide maintenance of that software piece which includes any malfunctions that need to be solved, includes upgrading the version of the software whenever a new version comes out from the manufacturer, includes knowledge transfer to their people or to any new people that comes aboard, and includes any changes or modifications that they want to do to the set-up. So basically what we do is in some customers we even assign a full-time person or a full-time team to be with the customer and take care of all the deeds of the set-up and configuration and then the operation of the software tool.

In some other cases we sell maintenance contract for a certain number of hours in which they outsource all the services to ourselves but they are usually handled by a resource on my staff that takes care of probably two or three accounts. But on the IT company, that's what we provide. If I switch to the digital marketing agency, we provide there all the digital services. We provide web development, a lot of SEO campaigns, social listening campaigns, content, development. Obviously, AdWords and PPC a lot. I have a good staff of community managers. For example, we have in-house community managers and we have outsourced community managers that work from home and all the advertising in social medias. Actually my price list for the digital agency is around 20-23 different services that small agencies can outsource from us.

Aderson: Got it. Carlos, just a side note and if you can be briefly on that, what is social listening because that's not the term that I hear that often. I have a clue but I like you to expand a little bit on that. What is social listening?

Carlos: Okay. Social listening is when you go out to the web and you capture all the conversations and all the mentions regarding a certain topic, product, brand, person, government agency and you get all that information into which is really big data and you get that into very big databases and then you use software to segment, correlate, and detect all those conversations and mentions that the people are throwing into the web through social networks, blogs, news, forums, comments. Then that social listening helps you understand an audience. Let's say that you are for example a brand of tennis shoes and you are going to be launching a new model that has very specific type of decorations on this tube. And you want to understand how the people feel about tennis shoes that are decorated, about the colors, about the brand, about the competitor's brand before you engage into a campaign. I always say that you have to listen before you speak. So people that engage on a social media campaign without previously listening to their audience, they are just going to be posting and putting messages in things that they think are going to be interesting for their audience but they have not checked on that. They have not listened to their audience before they go out and communicate. The same for a government program, the government usually goes and make service. But you make a service to what? 200? Or 400? Or 1000 people regarding that government program when you are serving millions of people? So you really need to go out. Then if you do controlled questions, the data that comes back is not always as believable because people are answering a question. With social media you go out and you capture all the conversations and all the mentions that people are voluntarily putting into the web and then from there you build the behavior, the likes and the dislikes of an audience and you understand the audience. You even learn about the terms and the words that they use when they refer to a brand, to a person, to a government and from that you can really define and design a better campaign. Campaigns that are more engaging because when you start communicating to your audience you do it with a previous learning on how the audience is already talking about that topic on the web. So that's social listening. It's a big data process in which you combine information and then you analyze. You look for sentiment analysis. You look for the most important influencers. You look for terms and volumes for a cloud of terms. You do a very big analysis and then you go back and with that you can design a better company, that's social listening.

Aderson: Love it. Thank you very much for that thorough explanation there Carlos. Carlos, we are coming towards an end here. If I ask you what is the one thing that you'd like people that watch the interview to leave with about outsourcing as a provider and as a client as well -- what is the one thing that you like people to leave with in this conversation?

Carlos: Well, outsourcing is a team work. If you are the customer and you decide to outsource, that doesn't mean that you are now free to do anything because the suppliers are going to do everything. It's not going to happen that way. If you're the supplier, you cannot think that by getting an outsourcing contract you can do everything by yourself without the customer being engaged. I think that outsourcing does not work if both parts are not involved. Understanding the level of involvement that each party has on the process is very important because that is what's going to assemble a team and that's going to be the reason that the rest of the components work. I mentioned a lot about planning and scoping but planning and scoping can only work if both parts understand that it needs to be done by the team. I as a supplier cannot scope a project if I do not get enough information from the customer and if he does not dedicate time to me to communicate to me what he wants from the project. If that doesn't happen, and for example I am supplier of any outsourcing services and the customer does not communicate with me, then very probably the service that I supply is not going to be exactly what the customer expected because he was not, he did not dedicate the time to scope the service to me and I did not make the correct questions and he didn't give me the answers. I would say everybody needs to understand that it is a teamwork. Once that is set then the second part and the most important and I mean I know you only said one but I need to reinforce this two: team work and then scoping, scoping and planning. If there's a good team work spirit and then both parts invest in planning and scoping accordingly and correctly then the project should be successful. But if there's no teamwork or if they do not spend the time on scoping and planning, the project is going to be a nightmare for both parts and that's the only thing that we do not want here. Everybody gets into outsourcing project with a lot of hope and a lot of enthusiasm but if they do not invest enough time in scoping and planning and they do not understand that it is a team work, the enthusiasm is going to go away very, very fast and the project is not going to be successful.

Aderson: I guess, to your point we have this illusion that: We outsource this. It's out of our hands. We have nothing to do with this anymore and it's done. But it's not like that. This is delusion. Perfect.

Carlos again, thanks you very much for your time, for your knowledge, for sharing so much, for being so open. I really appreciate the fact that you were very open. Let me ask you this. How can people reach out to you? How can people contact you if they have questions or may want to engage on your services?  How can people reach out to you?

Carlos: We have two websites with two blogs that usually provide a lot of information. The one for the digital marketing agency is at and the other one is in the IT company which is We try to write and publish some of these concepts through our couple of blogs and then from there you can go to our social channels and everything.

Aderson: Perfect. Just a quick note, all the links that were mentioned here by Carlos or myself will be on the show-notes available to anybody to link there. So Carlos again, thanks you very much. I really appreciate your help here and see you some time soon. Bye.

Carlos: Thank you. Bye.

I'm an Outsourcerer. I'm a DNN Geek. I help people with their sites @ DeskPal. I'm a #Pomodoro practitioner. I'm a husband and a father of 2 beautiful girls.

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Aderson Oliveira
Aderson Oliveira