Nestled in the mountains in the heart of Colombia, Medellín has one of the most exciting and inspiring transformation stories in the world today. Once infamous for its dangerous reputation, Medellin has evolved radically over the past two decades, developing both its infrastructure and technical prowess to become known today as the “Silicon Valley” of Latin America.
While Medellín was busy evolving, I was busy running a leading demand generation agency based in Austin, Texas. As happens naturally in the business world, my team and I branched off to discover our own paths. During this period apart, I decided to take that time to study our experiences, reflecting on what worked for us in the business and exploring what all I wanted to do differently next time. One key pillar I knew I wanted to have at my next agency was a global, diverse team, so I set out to build a new demand gen agency, Demand Frontier, with a Latin American operations center.
Over that same time period, a talented colleague of mine, Alex Nisimblat, had seen the potential in Medellín and decided to move her family there. The government of Medellín, ready to create a new future for itself, was offering American companies incredible grants, partnerships and incentives to root themselves in the city’s new tech hub. It was the perfect place and the perfect time, and so we began to build an entirely new type of demand generation agency.
Why The Nearshore Approach Worked Successfully In Colombia
Most people have the same thought when they hear the phrase “nearshore operation” — or cheap labor costs. While that’s generally true, it’s not why our nearshore operation has become so successful. Colombia has greatly boosted its investments in its education system over the past several years: In 2014, the education budget increased to $800 million, and an extra $1.4 billion was allocated for education in 2019. This means that we are seeing fresh Colombian talent coming out of top universities with digital marketing degrees, certifications and opportunities for incredible educational partnerships.
With this depth of talent also comes a depth in creativity from a city breeding top global musicians like J Balvin and Maluma, and enshrined in graffiti art that has completely transformed neighborhoods. At Demand Frontier, we’ve been so inspired by this creative culture that we’ve engrained it into our own brand aesthetic and infused it into the creative programs we bring to life for our clients.
The nearshore market in Colombia is changing, and fast. In just a few years, we’ve already seen an increased demand for Colombian talent while wages and competitiveness rapidly rise. The market is maturing, which has helped us to also mature Demand Frontier and pivot ourselves to becoming a world-class agency of engagement. With enterprise clients, we combine a creative digital agency with a technology and data solutions practice. This combination and cohesion enables enterprise marketing leaders to quickly launch demand generation programs and efforts.
Thanks to our nearshore, agile approach, we’ve been afforded the ability to create deep skill sets and teams that reflect this deep bench of talent and skill. Coupled with a strong leadership team and framework, we power our clients to execute demand generation programs with quality, expertise and speed they simply can’t achieve on their own. And in today’s shaken up market, that’s exactly what enterprises need.
Todd Davison is the Co-Founder and CEO of Demand Frontier. He has dedicated his 20-year career to fueling agile growth strategies for enterprise marketing organizations.