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Welcome Marco Costa

Marketing & Sales Director
Curso Ênfase & Prospera Marketing

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Marco Costa
“Not only should you be business wise, but you also must fully understand the culture codes in order to succeed. Also, it’s an illusion to think the whole world speaks English.”

Marco Costa shares a fascinating career journey from Brazil to the US to Paris to Barcelona and back to South America. Along the way, he has experienced global sales and marketing for both EdTech start-ups and for Berlitz – the world’s largest B2B language learning provider.

A speaker of five languages, Marco shares his unique perspective of global B2B marketing and the importance of understanding cultural differences to deliver success.

Now based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Marco also shares his passion for Samba and how he’s helping raise the profile of one of Brazil’s most iconic and recognisable cultural exports.

Transcript:

Nathan:

This is ClientSide, from Fox Agency.

Nathan:

Marco Costa has been Global Marketing Director for Berlitz, one of the largest language education groups in the world, present in 70 countries. He has over 15 years in marketing, communications, and sales in major international groups in the education segment. He has run global campaigns across South America, Asia, and Europe. He’s currently living and working back in Brazil, working as a Sales and Marketing Director for Curso Enfase, have I pronounced that correctly?

Marco Costa:

Yeah, that’s okay.

Nathan:

Marco Costa, welcome to ClientSide.

Marco Costa:

Thank you very much Nathan, and thank you for inviting me. It’s a pleasure.

Nathan:

Absolute pleasure speaking with you. So you were born in Brazil. Your professional career took you to France where you worked in marketing for about 10 years selling in to various European markets. You speak five languages, I understand?

Marco Costa:

Yes.

Nathan:

Tell us about what perspective having that international marketing career has given you.

Marco Costa:

Nathan, I guess it’s all about gaining cultural competence. This is one of the most important features in my career or skills in my career. And moving to a different country as I did when I first went to France and then I was in Spain, I had live in United States before. So I guess that when you do that moves, when you go to different country, it makes you so culturally sensitive because you’re not only business wise, but you not only have to look at that environment business wise, but also have to fully understand the culture codes of that country you are in, if you want to succeed, of course. Especially when you’re doing marketing in [crosstalk 00:02:13] I guess.

Nathan:

Sure.

Marco Costa:

Let me give you one good example. When I first came to France it was very funny. Me and my friends, we did not understand their advertisement campaign. So we were taking the subway and looking at those campaigns and we could not understand them. It’s not that we didn’t understand what was written, we didn’t understand the meaning of it, what they wanted by that-

Nathan:

Okay, the context.

Marco Costa:

The context. We didn’t get the humor, we didn’t get the metaphors, we didn’t have enough references. It was hard. But then one day I was in the subway looking at the same advertisement campaigns and I start laughing. So that’s when I realized, well, I’m [inaudible 00:02:59] in the country-

Nathan:

Right. You’re starting to get the culture.

Marco Costa:

I’m understand.

Nathan:

Right.

Marco Costa:

So this is so important because to summarize, I guess, the culture competence is key to succeed when you want to work, when you want to have an international career, especially marketing, I guess.

Nathan:

Can you speed that up? How do you develop that competence?

Marco Costa:

Well, definitely living and working in the country is a good way to do so.

Nathan:

Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Marco Costa:

There are some, even where I worked before in Berlitz, there are some trainings to get you that perspective. And I strongly advise people who work with certain cultures and nationalities, do this kind of training. But the best way is go to the country and experience by yourself.

Nathan:

Makes a lot of sense. You mentioned Berlitz. You became European Marketing Director for TeleLangue before it was acquired by Berlitz. They were doing e-learning before it was even a thing. Describe what it was like building a language e-learning business when the market was so underdeveloped.

Marco Costa:

Yeah, probably one of the most adventurous professional experiences in my career. In Brazil, I had actually majored in business from college back in 2002. But I wasn’t studying in books, that’s a paradox. So I was studying business in physical books. So you can imagine that when I came to TeleLangue in 2003 it was I guess, I didn’t know much about e-learning. And also because there was back then, today not anymore, back then a great difference between Northern Europe and South America as you may have mentioned. In terms of development of a business, e-learning, internet.

Marco Costa:

So working in TeleLangue, in the beginning I was dealing with Brazil and Portugal. Portugal, more like Brazil, very close to Brazil rather than Northern Europe. And going to companies, trying to sell e-learning trainings at that time was very difficult. I used to get a lot of resistance from people for that kind of training because the preference back then was the face-to-face training-

Nathan:

What year are we talking here? Roughly what time are we talking?

Marco Costa:

Sorry?

Nathan:

Roughly what year are we talking-

Marco Costa:

We’re talking about 2003 and ‘4.

Nathan:

Yeah, that’s super early.

Marco Costa:

‘3, ‘4, ‘5.

Nathan:

Yeah.

Marco Costa:

So it seemed, I had the impression working with those countries that we would never get the there. The resistance, the barriers, were so high for that entrance. But again, I will bring again the word culture and you will hear that word from me a lot.

Nathan:

Right.

Marco Costa:

Because again, it all links to what I said before about new cultures. Here it’s not about adapting to a new culture, it’s creating a new culture, a new way that people and companies would think they’re training. Might it be language training, might it be professional training, whatever kind of training, universities. So in 10 years working with e-learning, then I started working with other European countries and in Berlitz with the whole world. I could see the transformation. I feel like I was part of a global transformation.

Nathan:

So how did you do that? Did you have to let the market develop by itself or were you responsible for educating the market and sort of bringing them along? Or was it a convergence of the two?

Marco Costa:

It is kind of a convergence of the two, but it is a lot of educating the market. A lot of bringing the benefits of any learning platform, showing them how it works, giving them a chance to try, to experiment. So, it’s a lot of market education.

Marco Costa:

Today it’s easy. I’m working as a consultant for Curso Enfase as you mentioned before. It’s also an e-learning company in a completely different area, but we also sell e-learning courses. And only e-learning, we do not have face-to-face.

Nathan:

I see.

Marco Costa:

And today-

Nathan:

How do you pronounce the name, sorry?

Marco Costa:

Enfase.

Nathan:

Okay.

Marco Costa:

It’s like emphasis.

Nathan:

I see. I totally messed up the pronunciation, sorry about that.

Marco Costa:

No problem at all, no problem at all. That’s a difficult one.

Marco Costa:

But it’s funny when talking to my clients today, and I even had that experience last week, if you mentioned any kind of face-to-face interaction, they will feel it’s weird. So it’s like the tendencies reversed today, especially certain areas.

Nathan:

Really interesting.

Marco Costa:

People will think it is very weird if a training company do not provide a kind of e-learning or distance learning in their portfolio.

Nathan:

Really interesting. You became Global Marketing Director for Berlitz after they were acquired by TeleLangue, as said. Berlitz was actually a much bigger company at the time.

Marco Costa:

Much bigger.

Nathan:

Talk about some of the challenges that you had when you were integrating those two companies.

Marco Costa:

Well you will say, “Well, Marco it’s really repetitive.”

Nathan:

Culture.

Marco Costa:

Again, yeah. I have to say, the challenge was a cultural one. And Berlitz took it to a whole new level because now we are talking about 70, seven O countries.

Nathan:

Wow.

Marco Costa:

So from South America to Asia. Of course, working in a company [inaudible 00:09:44] cultural awareness was one of the most important skills I needed to have there. And you know what, not only for creating marketing sales strategies that would perform in the different countries, because for that I had my team. I had local teams. I had local agencies. I guess the biggest challenge here was internal corporate culture and communication of course. Our stakeholders, they were Japanese, they were German, they were American. And the way you present and the way you try to sell your projects, I was the Global Marketing Director, if I want to develop a certain project, I would need to get internal validation of that project. And the way you get validation might differ a lot if you presenting to a German, to a Brazilian, to a Japanese, to a French person, right?

Nathan:

Sure.

Marco Costa:

I normally say that it’s not only, and this I say to everyone, I say to my team today, “It’s not only about being good or having a good idea. It’s also about knowing how to sell your idea.” I have a very interesting example that in the very beginning when Berlitz had just acquired TeleLangue, I almost blew one of the most important integration projects we had between the two companies. I spent day and night preparing what would be one of the most important presentations of my life, because we as TeleLangue, we really wanted Berlitz to buy that project and to invest in that project, and they were counting on me as the leader of the project to present and to sell it to the CEO, who was Japanese. And my presentation was a nightmare for a Japanese person. And I learned this afterwards.

Nathan:

Oh, really?

Marco Costa:

Yes, because I was being Brazilian and a bit French. And I was focusing on visual, a visual presentation, because agencies will also give you visual presentations focusing on creativity. Japanese don’t like that.

Nathan:

Oh, really?

Marco Costa:

The Japanese want something objective. They want figure.

Nathan:

I see. Numbers, figures.

Marco Costa:

They want numbers. They want you to be factual.

Nathan:

Interesting.

Marco Costa:

They don’t care if your presentation is beautiful. So, yes, you have to learn that. You have to know your audience when you’re presenting your project.

Nathan:

Quite-

Marco Costa:

And finally, yeah.

Nathan:

No go ahead, sorry.

Marco Costa:

And you also ask about one of the challenges I had in Berlitz?

Nathan:

Sure.

Marco Costa:

And I think this goes for everyone that works in certain big firms. Another important key word would be diplomacy, or a skill. You really need to learn how to be diplomatic. Especially I had a diverse team because they were dispersed in different countries with different cultures again. But if you’re not diplomatic, if you don’t lead them with a lot of diplomacy, and that sometimes is a hassle because it takes time to be diplomatic, you can compromise implementation of a project. So you have to get people on board.

Nathan:

Quite fascinating. Being able to sell your ideas, cultural sensitivity, and diplomacy. You sound like a politician.

Marco Costa:

It’s kind of.

Nathan:

Let’s talk a little bit about choosing and appointing agencies. You say that when choosing an agency it’s important that they have the ability to think globally and understand cultural differences and communicate in different languages. Talk about that a little bit.

Marco Costa:

Yeah. For all the reasons I mentioned previously, right. You see, it’s very hard to manage the balance when you’re working with global branches, of course. It’s very hard to manage the balance between the global and local. What level of local adaptation should you allow to do the countries? And what should be managed centrally in order to preserve your brand from being misused, from losing message power? It’s hard, right? So I think that when you choose a partner agency, they need to understand that balance. And if the agency’s a global, I personally think, if you have a global brand, you better work with global agencies. Because if they face internally the same issues that you have, they might probably perform better.

Marco Costa:

In terms of support structure, if they are in the countries you are, they will probably serve you better. And finally, of course, you talk about languages. If they speak the languages the company speaks, they will understand you better. Simple like that. And the paradox here, even for me coming from the language industry, it is an illusion to think that the world speaks English.

Nathan:

Sure.

Marco Costa:

Nathan, this is not true.

Nathan:

It’s not true.

Marco Costa:

It is not true.

Nathan:

yeah, not at all.

Marco Costa:

The world doesn’t, it’s not true. So if you pretend to be global but you only speak English, you might be missing something out.

Nathan:

Really good point, really interesting. So again, cultural sensitivity and diplomacy. The agency also has to have those skills, you would argue.

Nathan:

So, just coming back to what you said earlier all right sort of the differences selling to Asians, Japanese, versus Brazilians, when you’re presenting an argument to either culture, you have to present a slightly different structure, whether it’s more design focused or whether it’s more sort of rational left brained focus. When agencies are presenting and pitching to you, what is the best mix from the agencies that you’ve seen that have presented the best arguments? What have been the best ways to present an argument to you when they’re selling themselves into you? Is it more design based, creative agencies that do a great job? Or is it more the rational left brain logical agencies?

Marco Costa:

You mean to me, Marco, right?

Nathan:

To you, Marco, who is a marketing director, potentially appointing an agency, choosing an agency.

Marco Costa:

I’m very design sensitive, very. So for me, the look and feel of whatever presentation is as important as the content of the presentation. So yeah, for me, design is very important. For certain people, design doesn’t matter. But for me, yes. And of course it needs to have content.

Nathan:

Sure.

Marco Costa:

The content needs to be relevant. So it’s a mix of what you say and how you say it.

Nathan:

Sure, makes sense. In your experience, what makes a good client-agency relationship?

Marco Costa:

Yeah, we’re talking about relationship so that makes me right away think of personal contact. Personal contact might be the most important thing here. Of course that leads to the follow-ups, the constant feedback, because the worst that can happen in my opinion, is when you feel that the partner makes a super effort to win your account but they don’t make the same effort after the contract is signed.

Nathan:

Right.

Marco Costa:

It’s funny but sometimes you even get that weird feeling that you have been used.

Nathan:

Really? You felt that before?

Marco Costa:

Yeah. It’s like mirroring your personal relationship, it is. I like to tell you something. Just like for me in personal relationships, when the trust is broken it’s hard, not to say impossible, to win it back. To illustrate, two weeks ago I just had an awful experience like that with a Brazilian agency. I will not say their name, but they are this big content agency. They were not giving the right attention, the right level of attention to a project because I know from a fact that they us as this small client. And they’re so big, they have such important clients. So you know what, I prefer working with smaller agencies that will focus on us, people like that.

Nathan:

Makes a lot of sense. Sorry, go ahead.

Marco Costa:

No, no. Go ahead.

Nathan:

So I really like your idea around treating it like it’s a personal relationship. You need to build up trust. I guess there’s that dating analogy where people sort of present their best selves when they’re dating but then when they get married, sometimes they change, and they relax and take you for granted.

Marco Costa:

Like on Tinder they are something but in real person they’re [inaudible 00:20:20].

Nathan:

Catfished is the name.

Marco Costa:

I guess my message to all providers, not only agencies, is all providers, especially B2B providers, they need to think of your clients. We always do that, especially TeleLangue is very good at doing that. You give them a call, you ask how they are, invite them to lunch, you learn about their paints, about their needs. And sometimes I have had partners that when they learn that I have a certain difficulty, even if they don’t provide a certain service, but they might indicate a company that does. And that builds trust, that kind of personal relationship builds trust.

Nathan:

Quite fascinating. Agencies definitely like clarity and they hate ambiguity. What’s your approach to managing and working with clients? How do you hold them to account?

Marco Costa:

I know it’s in every book, in every training, in all minds, everyone that works with marketing know that, and agencies too. But the briefing process is often neglected. And this is definitely the first step into the ambiguity you’re talking about. And also this very long validation processes. The problem, Nathan, is that in real life stopping for certain number of hours to write a proper briefing to an agency is a hassle. And you might ask, what is a proper briefing? I would say that a briefing should be, a briefing to an agency, to avoid all kinds of misunderstanding, ambiguity, and long processes, is the one where you integrate, where you involve several people from your company. And not only the marketing department, for example. You get other people’s inputs about a certain campaign. Talking about IT, sales, product might be important. And you also, this is a way to bring them into the process and make them feel that they are part of it. Again, diplomacy right?

Nathan:

Sure.

Marco Costa:

Because when people feel that they are part of it, they are accountable for a certain campaign, let’s say you’re launching. They are more likely to collaborate in the end.

Nathan:

Really interesting. So get the internal stakeholders to contribute to creating the brief. Do you ever get the agency to also contribute to potentially creating the brief as well? Or is that outside-

Marco Costa:

Yes, of course. No, I think that the agency should be a part of it as well because that’s a way to hold them accountable, right?

Nathan:

Sure.

Marco Costa:

For whatever they will deliver. Easier said than done, I must confess. Do I always do it? The answer is no.

Nathan:

Right.

Marco Costa:

But yes, that’s something that I try to, because as I said, in real life when you have 100 projects going on and you have to send the agency the briefing for a certain campaign, you have deadlines. So sometimes you just don’t take the time to stop, think, involve people in the process, write appropriate briefing, answer all the doubts. Because you don’t realize that doing this now will save you a lot of headache afterwards. This might be very Brazilian what I’m describing. We might come to this later, because I know that you asked me about Brazil. But this might but very Brazilian because Brazilian’s do have a planning problem.

Nathan:

I see. Really interesting. Let’s talk about how you hold agencies to account. So if you’re not happy with something, with a piece of work or the way that you’ve been treated, what is your process for letting the agency know? Are you quite explicit in that feedback or do you let the agency sort of figure that out by themselves?

Marco Costa:

This is so true, right, that feedback is a big topic.

Nathan:

Sure.

Marco Costa:

And you know what, culture plays again a huge role here. I compare the process of validating an agency’s work to whatever negotiation you’re having with a client [inaudible 00:25:37], they have to in a way validate your proposal. But a lot of things come in the way of that feedback and of that validation, beside personal characteristics, of course. Some people are more open, some people are more timid, et cetera. But the person who is giving feedback brings to the table this invisible baggage that you don’t see but it’s there and you better get it. That baggage are their cultural preferences and their cultural behaviours.

Nathan:

Sure.

Marco Costa:

An example I love to give, and again, here we’re talking about global businesses, right? In the case of an agency validating a campaign with global businesses, for global businesses. An example I love to give is my difficulty of doing business in my own country, Brazil. And I say Brazil, but I guess a lot of South American countries are very similar, because we have a problem here that honesty is not in our DNA. So people in this area of the world, they feel very uncomfortable to give bad feedback. If it’s good feedback, it’s okay, everyone is very happy to give. But when it’s to say, “Well, it doesn’t work,” or something like that, or “We are not interested,” or simply, “No,” it’s like people block. They do not know how to do it. They are not comfortable at doing that, and they will not do it.

Marco Costa:

So if you do not understand the hidden signs behind the person’s speech or the way they treat you, it will be very frustrating because your Latin partner might give you a lot of nice comments about your work or your proposal. He or she might keep confirming their interest even though they’re not interested at all. So, coming back to your question was about feedback right?

Nathan:

Feedback and performance, yeah. How do you?

Marco Costa:

Did I answer?

Nathan:

Yes, but just going back to sort of how you would… If an agency does do something that doesn’t make you happy or displeases you in whatever way, are you explicit in the way that you communicate that to them? Do you tell them? Are you proactive in doing that? Or do you let them figure that out? And I appreciate there’s a cultural element to this as well.

Marco Costa:

Yeah. The Brazilian in me is not 100% anymore because I had to-

Nathan:

You’ve had to adapt.

Marco Costa:

Find other ways of, I had to adapt to being in other countries. And today I prefer being honest. And sometimes when I think that honesty might be a problem, because people don’t like to say it, but they also don’t like to hear it. So beforehand, I put my cards on the table and I tell people and agencies and partners, here is how I give feedback. I always do that. So if I don’t like, I will not look for words to say that I don’t like it. And please don’t take it personally because I will be very open about it.

Nathan:

Right.

Marco Costa:

So the days where I would look for words to try to say something they are over it.

Nathan:

Sugarcoat. You don’t sugarcoat your words anymore.

Marco Costa:

Not anymore because-

Nathan:

I think most agencies prefer that.

Marco Costa:

Yeah, I do too.

Nathan:

Yeah, they’d rather have that open honest conversation and sort of know where they stand rather than operating in ambiguity. Really, really interesting.

Marco Costa:

You were thinking with your cultural background.

Nathan:

Which is centric mind, right.

Marco Costa:

Yes.

Nathan:

Good point.

Marco Costa:

Because again, I keep bringing this to the table because another day I was giving feedback to an agency, by the way, and the guy who got really annoyed, he was clearly annoyed-

Nathan:

The agency got annoyed?

Marco Costa:

Yes. He took it so personally to the point that I had to stop and tell him, “Hey listen. I’m not putting here in question your competence or your background.”

Nathan:

Sure.

Marco Costa:

Because it was like, “I work in this for 10 years. I know how to do my job.”

Nathan:

Right.

Marco Costa:

I’m just giving you as a client, feedback.

Nathan:

Wow.

Marco Costa:

You see?

Nathan:

Really interesting.

Marco Costa:

So it’s not that simple. People don’t like to hear here in Brazil, but they also don’t, they don’t like to say it but they also don’t like to hear it.

Nathan:

So what do you do in that circumstance? How do you sort of give someone feedback if they do need honest feedback if they haven’t done something correctly, but you want to be sure that you don’t offend them? What’s the best day of doing that in Brazil?

Marco Costa:

I state my rules beforehand. So if I tell them before I even see the work that I will be open and honest about whatever they show me and ask them to not take it personally, when you set the rules, it’s easier to do something. When you set the rules beforehand.

Nathan:

The ground rules, yeah. Makes sense. Really interesting. So going back to a point that you made earlier around being a smaller client in maybe a larger agency’s portfolio, and maybe not reeving the attention that you feel that you deserve. How can we motivate clients to put their best people on your account?

Marco Costa:

I don’t know. I think there are two things into play. One is money and the other one is personal relationship. So either you have money power and they will put the best people on your project, or you have a good relationship with the account manager or with the owner and they will put the best people on your account. I know it’s not very positive but I think it’s what happens.

Nathan:

There’s some truth in that. You talk about money as well. How do we know that we’re not overpaying for agency services?

Marco Costa:

I guess you never know.

Nathan:

Hmm.

Marco Costa:

I guess you never know because it’s hard. First thing it’s very hard giving value to this kind of work. It’s subjective. Second, everyone knows that when you hire an agency, you’re also paying the agency’s structure. So you might have a freelancer that will do a good job or 10 times less, but you’re not playing the structure. You’re not paying the secretary, you’re not paying real estate, you’re not paying people that are not directly involved in your job.

Nathan:

Mm-hmm (affirmative)- Quite fascinating. Let’s talk a little bit about your current role. I don’t want to say the name incorrectly again. Please tell me the name.

Marco Costa:

Curso Enfase. Yeah, they’re a client. Actually I do also have an agency called Prospera. Curso Enfase is today my major client, we can put it this way. They specialize in, as I said, e-learning. I come from that-

Nathan:

From that background, yeah. Well let’s talk a little bit about Brazil and your current role because Brazil is obviously one of the bricks, one of the five major emerging economies. Talk about some of the challenges you see in Brazil and how optimistic are you about the future of the country?

Marco Costa:

Okay. I will restrain myself from talking about our political situation, if that’s okay.

Nathan:

Sure.

Marco Costa:

And I’ll focus only-

Nathan:

I meant from a business perspective.

Marco Costa:

Otherwise we’ll just get a [inaudible 00:35:11], we’ll spend the whole day talking about it. But business, I think… Well we keep putting Brazil in that position of one of the major emerging economies. I tend to disagree. Not that I disagree, it is, it is a fact. But if you think of Brazil as a global player business wise, I think that we still have a lot to learn and a lot to grow. Which is a great opportunity for both our companies and our professionals here. Because I think that when Brazil realizes that it can be much more than just, I don’t know, petrol or audio or whatever, that we can go much farther than that.

Marco Costa:

We have a great opportunity because Brazilians they have this innate talent for creativity. This is true. We also have a great capacity of work. And what in my opinion is one of the most important assets for any business, happiness. This is my first actual Brazilian professional experience I’m having right now, at 40 years old. But it is very pleasant for me coming to the company every day because of the human interactions. And I think that makes for, and what makes a company are its people. And that contributes a lot for the company’s results because people here, the level of commitment of employees here is something I had never seen in my life. I had never seen such high level of commitment of employees.

Nathan:

Absolutely fascinating.

Marco Costa:

On the other hand, as I said before, planning, the act of planning the actions is a disaster. In Brazil there is an expression that they love to say a lot in the business world, which is, [foreign language 00:37:42] which mean literally, “Go and do it.” I want to say, “No, Brazil. No. Stop going and stop going so passionate.” Untimely for everything. Sometimes you have to take a step back. You have to stop, you have to think. It’s not go and do it.

Nathan:

Sure.

Marco Costa:

Write down your plan. Study before going in and doing it. But I think that this competence that Brazilians and Brazil business lack, it will come as the world becomes more and more global-

Nathan:

Sure.

Marco Costa:

And more and more professional. So I plead, go work in international firms. Go live in different countries. Then bring back to the country these different business behavior.

Nathan:

Yes.

Marco Costa:

I think that might be one solutions. So am I optimistic with Brazil, definitely. Once we solve our political issues, I think we have a lot to show to the world.

Nathan:

Quite fascinating. Couple more questions, Marco, before we get into the speed round, the questions that we ask everybody on the show.

Nathan:

You’ve held several senior marketing leader roles throughout your career. What do you think are the qualities of a successful leader?

Marco Costa:

That I had to learn. Some people might have that, but I had to learn that being a leader is understanding that people are people. It’s as simple like that. That they are not only motivated by business results. They are not only motivated by doing a good job. They have lives, they have problems. So trying to see your employees as single individuals is very important. To understand their world rather than trying to impose yours to them. And this is a common mistake because we, in leading positions, we often lead with very stressful situations. We have results to deliver. We have stakeholders on our necks. And we tend to think that everyone is on the same page as you are. And normally they are not.

Nathan:

Right. They’re on page 16.

Marco Costa:

Very often-

Nathan:

Or 116.

Marco Costa:

Yeah. Exactly. So you have to make sure that everyone is one the same page. But for that, to bring, because people start on different pages as well. So you have an [inaudible 00:40:47] work to do to understand a person’s world, and if they’re blocking somewhere, you might need to look further, why they’re blocking somewhere here in this project that everyone seems to be onboard and understand but there’s always one that you look at the person and see, he’s not with me. And you have to try to understand what’s happening with that person. So I think that makes for a good leader besides all the being a good listener and all that .

Nathan:

Great answer. Marco, let’s get in to our speed round. Now these are the quick fire questions that I’ll fire at you and if you could fire back a quick fire response, that would be fantastic.

Nathan:

What’s the single most important thing that you love about working with agencies and what’s the single thing that annoys you or frustrates you about working with agencies?

Marco Costa:

Well, gaining competence is something I love, when agencies bring new things. And I don’t like feeling used.

Nathan:

Good answer. What should agencies be thinking about to ensure that they can continue to best sure your needs over the short, medium, and long term?

Marco Costa:

Being there, being constantly there. Being proactive rather than reactive.

Nathan:

At all times we all hit a low from time to time. How do you motivate yourself in those tough times?

Marco Costa:

That’s not a quickie but [inaudible 00:42:36] just because I can.

Nathan:

Well, take your time.

Marco Costa:

I try to limit the stress in time. So I try to give an importance to the problem in the time. For example, will this bother me for one days, or one hour, for one week, for one month, or for 10 years? So once you give a limit in time to a problem, you can be comfortable with it and move on.

Nathan:

I see.

Marco Costa:

And so that’s how I kind of motivate myself in difficult times.

Nathan:

Really, really clever. Makes sense. What excites you most about your current role and position?

Marco Costa:

Doing different things every day.

Nathan:

Great answer. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Marco Costa:

Right here, Rio de Janeiro.

Nathan:

Oh, perfect.

Marco Costa:

I chose to be here.

Nathan:

Fantastic. Final couple of questions. What vision or goal are you working towards now for the rest of your career?

Marco Costa:

I want to integrate more and more businesses into my agency. And so in the future I really want to be working in different levels. And not only for so specialized, for example, the education business. So tomorrow I want to be working with culture, with [inaudible 00:44:09], with real estate, with the learning industry, why not?

Nathan:

Final couple of questions. What do you do to keep mentally and physically fit?

Marco Costa:

I live just a couple of blocks from Ipanema beach so I try to do it every day before going to work, I go for a run. And I have to, at least twice a week, have a nice swim. The sea is, for me, the best healer.

Nathan:

Beautiful. It really is, I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately the sea that’s closest to me is freezing. So I won’t be making any visits for that to heal me anytime soon, but I can totally understand.

Nathan:

Final question Marco. How do you reflect on your extensive marketing career today and what would you say is the highlight of your career?

Marco Costa:

I guess I have a good, and that helps me both professionally and personally, I’m very flexible. So I guess I gain that knowledge on how to adapt and try to be happy and take the best out of every situation. So seeing always the positive sides might it be my personal relationships or my professional relationships rather than negative.

Nathan:

Great answer. Marco, thank you so much for doing this.

Marco Costa:

Thank you, Nathan.

Nathan:

If you’d like to share any comments or subscribe to the podcast, you can find ClientSide on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher, or wherever fine podcasts are sold. If you’d like to appear as a guest on a show or would like to recommend a senior B2B marketing professional to appear on ClientSide, then please visit fox.agency. We would be unable to produce the show without our special team here at Fox. Milly Bell is our booker slash researcher. Paul Blandford is our creative director. Ben Fox is our executive producer. I’m Nathan Anibaba. You’ve been listening to ClientSide from Fox Agency.

Nathan:

Join us next time on ClientSide, brought to you by Fox Agency.