In this special edition of AdChatter, we introduce London-based brand strategist, Toby Donaldson to listeners, plus we feature a special guest, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Santi Bibiloni. Santi founded an eCommerce agency in Argentina when he was just 22 years old. The agency grew to be one of Argentina’s fastest-growing companies.
Today, Santi is the founder and CEO of COR, a next-generation solution for creative and professional teams that intelligently suggests how to manage projects, teams, and finances.
During this conversation, we explore how COR’s use of AI can help creative people stop filling out timesheets, remove the guesswork from estimates, and make greater profits.
“We are changing the mindset around time tracking. If we don’t renegotiate fees, we can not raise salaries,” says Santi.
On COR’s website, there’s a letter from Santi, which also helps to explain his point of view and why he started the company. Here’s a clip from this letter.
Santi’s Message to Agencies
…if we want to retain creative and senior talent, we need to remunerate their work better and ease their burden. And this is not solved by simply billing more. It is solved by increasing our profit margin: to charge what we are really worth. We can invoice a lot and earn nothing. Increasing profitability, or ultimately ‘earning more’ means that the client pays a price per hour or per deliverable that allows the agency to take care of its creative and senior talent, added to a profit margin that allows the agency owners to have an interest in improving their business, which is to increase the value of brands.
This is compelling because it’s not another complaint lodged. Santi’s vision of a better agency business is something he’s actively bringing into the world. Many of the world’s largest agencies are already on board.
Diego Romero, Director of Operations at VMLY&R/Colombia, speaks in the video below about how COR helped the agency optimize communication with its clients. Romero also says the agency now has a clearer picture of its installed capacity and operational load.
On the podcast, Santi says, “You see a lot of people changing jobs, just because of money. They are unfollowing their dreams because of money. At the end (of the day), who loses in this battle is the brand. These creative people are creating value for brands. So brands, by paying less, are also losing. It’s a complete cycle that starts with valuing yourself. And to value yourself you need to understand how much time it takes.”