058: Multilingual Maestro: Andrea Cruz’s Guide to Mentorship and B2B Marketing Excellence

C: Podcast

Discover Andrea Cruz’s journey from Venezuela to Boston, mastering business administration and international marketing. Learn about the power of mentorship and the intricacies of B2B marketing in this insightful episode.

Key Points + Topics

  • [01:45] Andrea Cruz grew up in Venezuela. She got a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. When she went to sign up for the college course, she didn’t know what she wanted to study, so chose business administration because it touched on all the elements of business. She later got her Master’s in International Business at Hult International Business School in Boston, MA. Both her bachelor’s and master’s programs offered a fair amount of content on digital marketing, which was quite ahead of their time. Some of her professors mentor her to this day. 
  • [04:38] The transition to the United States from Venezuela was a major one, but made easier by the diversity of cultures present in Massachusetts. She was part of the Latin students group at her university and they were a very tight-knit group. Through the variety of people, and backgrounds, Andrea found herself introduced to many new cultures and countries. It was an incredible learning experience. 
  • [05:56] A mentor is someone who will open your mind like a book. They are someone that can find the hidden gems of your personality, that even you might not be able to see. They can hear your struggles and, based on their experiences, guide you on what might work for you in your situation. You’ll have many different mentors throughout your life. You’ll have some that are great counselors for your professional life and others who will wonder about your life outside of work. 
  • [07:13] Jeremy Krantz has been one of Andrea’s most influential mentors. She remembers how passionate he was, and still is, about his craft and the importance of staying up to date on your industry. He helped show her how effective it is to be positive, optimistic, and transparent about your work. AJ Wilcox and JD Prater gave her an opportunity when no one else would. They saw her incredible intelligence and insight into digital marketing strategy and wanted her to get into public speaking to share that with others. She was nervous people wouldn’t be able to understand her accent, or perhaps might think of her as inferior because of it. They helped train her in public speaking, improved her confidence, and introduced to many other digital marketing professionals. 
  • [11:40] When Andrea is mentoring others, she makes sure to show them all of her sides (emotions). She lets them see her angry, happy, sad, all of it. But before it gets to that point, her first step is always to have a plan. She’ll always ask the mentee what they want to get out of this relationship. It’s so easy to just get stuck talking about things you enjoy if you don’t have an outline or goal to work towards that encourages you to talk about the uncomfortable things. Lastly, she always goes through a period of discovery and uncovering options the mentee might even know are available to them. In the same way she’s careful of how many mentors she has for herself, she moderates how many people she mentors at once. She doesn’t want to overwhelm herself or the mentee with too many voices vying for attention.
  • [16:07] At the end of her Master’s program, Andrea interned in the sales department of a local, Boston business. She worked with an amazing team who had given her the position because of her experience in sales in Venezuela. However, when her internship was over, they didn’t have a position on the sales team available. So they instead offered her a position in digital marketing, knowing she’d be starting from zero, because they knew how passionate and intelligent she was regarding her work. She knows she couldn’t have picked a more enjoyable field for herself than the work she does now. 
  • [19:49] Fluent in Spanish, English, and French, and passable in Mandarin, Andrea is every bit the Polyglot it appears. Growing up her parents told her she had to learn English. When she finished her English course, many of her friends started on French; however, her parents couldn’t afford the course at that time. Then, when she started her Master’s program, her father suggested she ought to join their Mandarin program. Shortly after beginning, she was offered a full scholarship for their French program. So it went on like that for a few years – learning French during the week and Mandarin on the weekends. She believes going through the process of learning these many languages has helped expose her to different cultures and make her adept at putting herself in others’ shoes. 
  • [23:27] The other day on X (Formerly: Twitter), Andrea saw a tweet from Melissa Mackey asking “Why is Google talking about Pepsi?! Why can’t they talk about a smaller brand or B2B?” Andrea couldn’t help but commiserate. One of her favorite things about B2B marketing is that it moves slower than consumer marketing. When she mentions the “wonders of B2B” people often laugh, but she knows there are many, like herself, passionate about it. It’s complicated. When you’re working with a sales cycle that’s eighteen months or four years, there is a lot of “standard” advice that won’t apply to your work. B2B marketing must focus not only on inspiring and reaching out to their buying community, but also the people who will influence their buying community. 
  • [25:39] Though the public opinion has shifted some in recent years, there’s still the prevailing thought that Google Ads doesn’t work for B2B marketing. Andrea knows that the majority of the marketing budget for B2B does tend towards traditional marketing channels. However, one of the reasons people might not be seeing the results they want from paid ads for B2B is because they’re simply sending all traffic to a whitepaper, blog, or demo request landing page. B2B businesses need to show the brand’s personality. It has to go beyond just writing some blog posts with the right keywords. It is certainly a challenge when you can’t control all the touchpoints and track every click because of the length and breadth of the customer journey. If you require that level of detailed control, then B2B marketing might not be the place for you. 
  • [29:43] As she is now in a managerial role, Andrea has learned her team members appreciate when she’s SO in the trenches on a project she can talk to everyone about everything. They give respect when they know she understands all of their pains. With experience in Google Ads, SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, and more, she has been in nearly everyone’s position before. 
  • [31:35] Andrea thoroughly enjoys B2B marketing. She loves that others love Google Shopping campaigns and consumer marketing; that’s just not her cup of tea. She loves the element of figuring out how to prove to a lead that she’s good enough to share their contact information with. She enjoys the incredibly niche verticals which require a lot of creativity to present and differentiate a brand. She knows the B2B marketers can get jealous that so few marketing tools are made for them and that can lead to “shiny object syndrome” and wanting to try new things all the time. But that can hurt a strategy at times; sometimes you need to simplify and consolidate. The first step of any B2B marketing strategy has to be defining what the customer needs. From there you can choose the best platforms, media types, messaging, and so on. 

Guest + Episode Links

Full Episode Transcript

Danny Gavin Host  00:05

Hey everyone, I’m Danny Gavin, founder of Optige, marketing professor and the host of the Digital Marketing Mentor. Today we have a very special guest , Andrea Cruz, who is the Senior Director of Client Strategy at Tinuiti, the largest independent performance marketing firm across streaming TV, google, meta and Amazon. Andrea is a polyglot, which means she speaks multiple languages, with a master’s in international business and plenty of experience in the world of digital marketing. She’s worked in B2B, which is going to be our main topic today, project management, consulting, analytics, seo, ppc and more. She’s written for numerous marketing publications, including Search Engine Land, and presented and spoken in various capacities. I’ve seen her most recently at Brighton SEO and she did an amazing job. And, like I said, today we’re going to be talking about B2B from a digital marketing perspective. How are you?

Andrea Cruz Guest 01:13

I feel funny after all of that, but yes, that’s a little bit of all myself. I’m very excited to talk with you guys today about mentorship, what I’ve learned throughout my career, what work they’ve worked and how. Hopefully that will help some of you out there.

Danny Gavin Host  01:29

That’s awesome, and I know that these introductions are very grandiose and it’s like whoa, I didn’t know so much about me, but yeah, you definitely. You’ve got one heck of a resume and we’re so glad that you can be here to share it with all of our listeners.

Andrea Cruz Guest 01:41

It’s an honor. It’s always an honor.

Danny Gavin Host  01:43

Let’s talk about where you went to school and what you’ve studied.

Andrea Cruz Guest 01:46

So I am originally from Maracaibo, Venezuela, so I am Latin American. I was born and raised there. I got a bachelor in business administration. A little fun fact is, the day I went to sign up I wasn’t sure of what I was to study. I just wanted something that would allow me to touch multiple things, and I thought business administration at the time was the perfect blend of marketing and psychology and song numbers and a little bit of everything, and that’s what I ended up going with.

Danny Gavin Host  02:18

What would you say when you look back at your time doing your undergraduate degree? Are there any things that you can remember, whether it happened inside or outside the classroom, that was most impactful in directing your path?

Andrea Cruz Guest 02:30

I will. It’s the little things. I also did a master’s in international business here in the United States and that’s how I moved from Venezuela to the United States back in 2014. I remember talking with my peers and little things that helped me through all the way. We had a micro-excel class in my bachelor’s degree. I knew how to build macros and people didn’t even know what that meant. People today that sometimes work with me and they might not come from this background. They have no clue and I thought that was so useful. My bachelor’s degree actually had a lot of things about digital marketing and that was something so novel. That was on heros and now the universities are catching up, but I thought it was very groundbreaking to hear those words backing. I don’t want to delay my age, but it was in the very early 2000s. They really made an impact and I had some wonderful professors that, throughout the way, became mentors. I still contact them once in a while.

Danny Gavin Host  03:33

That’s amazing. And those digital marketing classes was that also at your undergrad in Venezuela, or was it just about your masters?

Andrea Cruz Guest 03:40

Both. So in my undergrad we saw marketing as a class. It was very brief, but it was the first glance of digital marketing. And then, in one of my professions or works, I worked at Backing in Venezuela. There was a digital marketing team. That was a function that was built in. I didn’t work directly with them, but I was able to oversee some of what they were responsible for. So that was my first glance into the digital marketing world, even though I didn’t work with them. One thing I remember is that the marketing team was amazing. They were so collaborative. They were always in high spirits. They are even just the bife of the team, not the work that they were doing, because, yeah, they didn’t work with them, just the bife. It was something that you wanted to be a part of. So I was always intrigued and I think that’s something that stick with me throughout later on in my career, when I started actually working in digital marketing.

Danny Gavin Host  04:37

And how is it coming to America from Venezuela? Obviously, the countries are very different, but how is that transition for you?

Andrea Cruz Guest 04:43

That’s a transition on its own. I think I had the honor of being in Boston and in the state of Massachusetts, where there’s people from so many cultures and countries. The Latin American group was always very tied together because we all spoke Spanish. We all kind of had the same feelings, we all kind of liked to do the same stuff, but it was such an eye-opening experience to work with people from countries I didn’t even hear of in my life at the time. I didn’t know Mauritius was a country. I had to Google it to know where it was. So having the opportunity to be immersed in an environment where you have people from so many different backgrounds and experiences, I would say it literally changed my life.

Danny Gavin Host  05:26

So amazing and just random. But I have a friend who’s a rabbi in Mauritius. I know that’s kind of random, but there you go, there you go.

Andrea Cruz Guest 05:33

I didn’t know. I was like where are you from and where is that? And places don’t matter for me. Again, we sometimes lift our little bubble and unless we’re open to look beyond that, we won’t know that there are other cultures and other ways of working and experiences that we are really limiting ourselves.

Danny Gavin Host  05:55

How would you define a mentor?

Andrea Cruz Guest 05:57

For me, a mentor is someone that will open you like a book. That’s someone that can actually find some of the real hearing gems we dream of, that can get personal with you so you can really open up and show you the path of, not what worked for them but, based on their experience, what can actually work for you as a human. It’s incredibly difficult. I think in my own experience you go through different mentors in life because you will find a mentor that is very good for your professional career. Well, there’s another one that is very good for your own personal development and growth. But if I had to put it in my own words, I would say that it’s someone that can open you like a book and can tell you look, this is the path you got to follow based on these traits I’ve seen you that I’ve not seen. You are displaying very well and can show you that path forward.

Danny Gavin Host  06:52

I love that definition and I’m just thinking about the open book analogy. I think it’s a cool perspective on how to define it. Let’s talk about some of your most influential mentors. I know we’ve spoken in the past about a couple of people like Jeremy Kranz. Aj JD Casey would love to speak more about your relationship and how they were influential to you.

Andrea Cruz Guest 07:13

I am just thankful to all of them because they’ve all helped me in so many different ways. Jeremy Kranz I will never forget how passionate he was, and still is, about his craft and what he does, how he gets information, the importance of staying up to date with news. I’m really loving and being honest and transparent about the work you are putting forward, where it should always be positive and groundbreaking. Then people like AJ Wilcox and JD Prater, who I actually had the opportunity to see in person at Brighton SEO in November last year. They gave me an opportunity that, when no one else did, they told me and there we think you are very smart and you have an opportunity to go out there and share some of the insights that you are gathering from your working marketing. I was like there’s no way. I was like, yeah, just you can do it. I was like, no, I can. What if people don’t understand me? That was a real concern because I have an accent and I’m from a different country. Will people underestimate me because they can’t understand me? Because they will think I have an accent and that makes me inferior? It really opened the doors for me to introduce me to new people, to be more confident in myself. I messaged AJ last week because I had a question and we became good friends from that. But even having that support system to push me through KC Gillette also allowed me to really find true my ability to present ideas and content.


Now at Inuit I have so many people I can’t even count them with my own manager, emil Cano, christy Faye, christy Valasi, tabo Castro, who were recently people that just can take a step back and actually analyze a variety of components. They do it so magically, in a way that really transforms into something that is strategic and it’s valuable, and how to go through that storytelling process. Along the way. They have all helped me in different ways and they are doing it out of the goodness of their heart in a way, because it goes beyond what they should be doing as a manager. They are really putting themselves out there and we will do this together and I’ll show you how. Have you thought about this? I will be honest I have always been the person that hates when you ask me 10 questions, so I will get to the answer myself. They have taught me in a way that actually works for me and I will always be grateful with them for that.

Danny Gavin Host  09:56

So tell me a little bit more about that. So obviously, yeah, a big part of mentorship is guiding, right? It’s not necessarily telling you what to do, but helping you figure out the answer yourself. So you say you don’t really like, like when someone asks you 10 questions, so I hate it. So how have they, let’s say, altered their strategy to make it work better for you?

Andrea Cruz Guest 10:15

Well, it comes with a. We will do it in steps and I have found that that works better for me. This is the idea of what we’re trying to achieve starting when you get stuck, we will reconvene. But they know that at the time we’re reconvening, I’m going to come with all of the questions, all of the possible scenarios, and I have found that that works better for me than you on the spot, because I am not a reactive person. I am a person that I need a second. If you ask me something so unexpected, I will go blank. I will look at my ceiling and it’s like yeah, hold on, I need to figure this out. So I think that’s part of the open book conversation. If I would get a mentor that is constantly just asking me questions out of nowhere, I’m going to feel so lost because it’s too much information that I don’t know how to process. That’s why I think the open book of reference makes sense. It’s someone that can actually understand how you are written and what will make you go forward.

Danny Gavin Host  11:20

And I love how you know yourself, because I feel like sometimes people don’t know and some people think like there’s an expectation and if someone asks you a question you need to answer it right away. But knowing that it’s okay to stop and think or say, hey, I need to come back, I need more time, like that’s totally acceptable. So I’m so glad that you brought up that idea.

Andrea Cruz Guest 11:39

I think the other thing, Danny, that a lot of people struggle with it’s emotional. I had this conversation with a colleague yesterday. I told her it’s okay to show that you were emotionally hurt by what happened. No, they’re not going to pay attention, they won’t care. When you open up and you show that you are vulnerable, that also allows you to create a deeper connection with people. I think in today’s world we just all assume, yes, I have to do A, B and C and I’m good for the day. But unless you create that magical connection with people, where you get to know them, you show them your vulnerability, what excites you, you can really move forward and be very successful when it comes to relationship building. Whenever, your own personal emotions are going to get very mixed up when you are trying to push projects, campaigns, you name it forward.

Danny Gavin Host  12:34

And I think, especially in the remote world, that a lot of us live today. If we don’t have that open communication and we don’t let people know how we’re feeling and how something touched me or didn’t, then we can’t really work well together. When you’re in an office and you’re sitting back and you can see people’s expressions or see how they’re behaving, it’s a lot easier where you don’t have to communicate as much. But in the remote world we have to do it even more so, and it’s hard for some people, but I think the ones who do realize it they’re a lot more successful. You have had so many amazing mentors in the past. Now how are you mentoring other people?

Andrea Cruz Guest 13:09

  1. I start with a plan of attack. What do you want to get out of a mentorship? That’s question number one. When somebody tells you, Andrea, I appreciate you, would you be able to mentor me? The first thing is like, okay, give me in writing. What do you want to get out of this? Because if we start a mentorship discussion and there’s no plan, it’s very difficult not to just talk about the things we like to talk about growth and things. That makes us uncomfortable. We really need to know what you are trying to solve and to put it in writing. And if you don’t know, that’s okay, we can work on it together. So that’s part one.


Part two is I show to all of my mentees all of my sides. I show them when I am angry, I show them when I am sad. I show them when I am happy and how I deal with emotions. I show them my most human side, because I’m really trying for them to be open and tell me what are the things that bothers them. So that’s two and then three. I will always come to them with. This has been possible so far with things that they didn’t consider before. I know you wanted to come for this. Here’s something that we’ve never discussed and curious why and we will go through that, what I like to call the uncovering period, and really try to understand why some of the things you are feeling are actually like that? What is holding you back? Have you done some of the work yourself? Or, I said, because it’s a lack of opportunity lack or do you need confidence? That’s how I in my personal life, that’s how I am handling my relationship with my different mentees.

Danny Gavin Host  14:51

So I’m so curious. You know you’re a successful digital marketer woman from Latin America, speak a lot of languages. I feel like different people out there would run to say, hey, Andrea, I want you to be my mentor. Do you have people reaching out to you saying, hey, can you mentor me?

Andrea Cruz Guest 15:08

I have had a few instances. I wouldn’t say this all of the time, but yes, I have had a few instances of people reaching out and I always tell them I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m just like you, but I try to also limit them. The same way, I also try to limit how many mentors I have, because when you have too many voices, I think you cannot go anywhere either. And again, I don’t think all mentorships should last forever. Should be for a very specific objective and goal, and then we can move into. Okay, have you achieved this? What’s next? And is that something recognizable? Is that something I can help you with? Yes or no?

Danny Gavin Host  15:46

I’m going to make a little joke, but you can really tell that you’ve worked in an agency because people know agency-client relationships. The scope of work is so important because otherwise they’re scope creep. I love how you approach it from a mentorship relationship as well. I think it’s genius.

Andrea Cruz Guest 16:01

I never thought about that, but it’s hilarious.

Danny Gavin Host  16:05

Let’s pivot into your area of expertise digital marketing in B2B. So after getting your masters in Boston, you got a job at a marketing firm in the sales department. After two months in BD, you made the shift to digital marketing strategist. What brought this on? Prior to this role, you’d primarily been in sales or operations and then you jumped. So tell me about that.

Andrea Cruz Guest 16:26

I joined a wonderful team. They hired me because of my experience that I brought from Venezuela in creating sales processes and getting things organized. And when my internship was over, they told me we like you, but we don’t have a position often to keep you in sales. We know you’ve never done digital marketing. Is this something that you want to try? And we understand that you’re going to start from zero. And I said sure, and that’s how I A felt in love with what I was doing. B I was given an opportunity just based on who I was and my productivity, rather than anything else. It was not based on the amount of knowledge and certifications I had in the time. It was just A I that was willing to learn and B I was going to get it done. All the things they told me that I needed to get done in three, six months I don’t even remember so long ago. I just went through them. I couldn’t have picked something that I believed in. I couldn’t have picked something that I enjoy more than what I do these days.

Danny Gavin Host  17:30

Amazing and what I love is like there’s so many people that I speak to trying to get into digital marketing and they’re scared, like I don’t have the experience or I maybe don’t understand things right now, but it just shows you like most, if not all, of us, we’ve started there and it’s just a matter of can you keep pushing through, can you grab those opportunities and if you do, you can end up to be an Andrea Cruz  one day.

Andrea Cruz Guest 17:51

Danny, and I’m going to tell you something even funnier. So the way I got to that first job in sales was because I was on the Dean’s List. I had a very good average GPA when I was doing my master’s, so we were invited to this event. I ran late to it because I was working on a project. It was almost the end of the event and I noticed that everybody was talking with a bunch of people in the middle of the room where the event was happening for other Dean List attendees. So I was like, oh well, I want to talk to someone, but I don’t want to go in the middle because I’m never going to talk to them. And I noticed there were two guys on the sign. Hi, my name is Andrea. I came late. I’m just curious who you are. What do you do?


We start talking and at the end of the conversation I did everything you are not supposed to do in an interview. I told them this is horrendous For me to find a job in this country or to find a job elsewhere. Everybody wants me to have 10 years of experience in an area I’ve never touched. I speak four languages, I have a good GPA and I’m willing to do anything and they were like, well, sure, whatever. They took my car and they left.


When I was taking the bus back to my place, one of them called me. They told me Andrea, your story really moved me. I want to introduce you to someone in a marketing agency because I believe they will use some of your talents with languages and your name and if you are willing to get to know them. That’s how I got my first interview. That’s why I always talk about putting your emotions outside. This is how I am with the people that work with me. This is how I am with my clients. I will always be open and talk with emotion about the things that are happening, because that’s how I have personally been open doors in the past and it has never failed me.

Danny Gavin Host  19:46

So mentioning four languages. You are fluent in Spanish, English and French, and you’re an intermediate level in Chinese. What led to this appetite for languages and how has that helped your career path?

Andrea Cruz Guest 19:57

I had very intense parents. When I was little, my parents told me you’re going to learn English. There were no ifs and buts. As a matter of fact, I tried to quit halfway through and they didn’t allow it. Today I am grateful to them for allowing me to fulfill the whole process and do the whole thing. When I graduated from my English class, all my friends were like we’re going to study French. That’s the only thing my parents told me. We are physically educational, wise, physically, we can’t afford to pay for these classes. They are way too expensive, so I let it go.


When I was in my bachelor’s degree, my dad came to me once with the newspaper because I am not all, he was the physical newspaper. He’s like oh, in your university they are giving classes in Mandarin. So 16, 17-year-old me went online. Oh, it’s the most spoken language in the world. And the third one was commercial. Yeah, I’m going to sign up for it. I signed up for it. I opened the book and it’s like what did I sign up for? After a month in, I got a scholarship to study French for free. So I would did my bachelor’s, my English, my French class at night and on the weekends I would do Chinese. It was very intense. That’s how I did it all together. English is obviously the language I use on a daily basis. I have, transparently, not led to a lot of opportunities to speak other languages in my career. French is probably the one I’ve used the most.

Danny Gavin Host  21:31

After I graduated as well, I started in the corporate world. Do you feel like you have a brain that’s very open to languages? Has it given you an advantage from a digital marketing perspective, from an analysis perspective?

Andrea Cruz Guest 21:43

I think it has given me, in a way that I cannot explain it, but myself in the shoes of different people. I believe learning a new language is a great opportunity to understand how other cultures think, how they see the world, how they function as a society. So that’s what I would give credit between the languages and how it helps me, from a marketing perspective, better understand how people might take ad copy, creative messaging, landing pages you name it.

Danny Gavin Host  22:15

So I would imagine, as you’re working with big brands, that most of the campaigns are fairly large in scope, budget and time. As senior director of strategy, how do you help facilitate cooperation across department lines and make sure that everything is running smoothly?

Andrea Cruz Guest 22:29

I think the biggest part is we at Tinuiti are all virtual. Nobody is required to be in person. So creating that connection and communication with team A, it’s critical. The relationship building internally has to happen. There’s no option. That’s part one. Part B we are just structuring a way that will allow us to always put the client first and anything that it’s a strategy, which is where everything should start comes from me and my team, as well as the other team members that are from the same department. When strategy is clear, everybody can move forward.

Danny Gavin Host  23:14

When it comes to digital marketing, b2c is very popular. Sometimes B2B gets pushed to the side. I know your talk at Brighton was really good because it looked at different aspects from a B2B perspective. How do you feel when someone asks you about B2B for digital? What do you feel are the pros and the cons and why are you happy that you really understand it?

Andrea Cruz Guest 23:35

Well, first of all, I want to say today on Twitter, slash X, whatever we’re gonna call it, but listen, Maki made a comment of why is Google talking about Pepsi? Can they talk about a small brand or B2B? I was like I agree with you because it’s true, it’s just easier and shinier to talk about, you know, the big retail brands and all the cool and different things they’re doing. What I love the most about B2B is that the one it moves slower. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. I think those are the two things that I like the most, and I think the idea that it’s not shiny and that not everybody wants to go through.


And I always like to mention the wonders of B2B. People always laugh at that. I find that hilarious. I always say the wonders of B2B. People are like, ah, but it’s true, we don’t have a lot of people that are so passionate about it, so I think that fuels me further to showcase people.


Yeah, it’s complicated, and when you have a sales cycle that it’s 18 months, four years, I’ve seen it. Yeah, it’s going to be difficult and different and you have to be creative and, yeah, 99% of the content that is out there won’t work for you. So how do you actually position yourself in an environment where you can keep moving forward without feeling that you have to show it off every single day? I think B2B is changing to you. I had a conversation with someone today about it. Oh, I only want to target the right accounts and the right job titles. I was like that’s all B2B. B2b today is opening up a little. That doesn’t mean you’re going to target the whole country, but it’s also about inspiring and reaching and touching and influencing not only your buying committee but the people that will influence your buying committee. So it’s been very fun to also see how B2B has changed throughout the decades and I’m excited for what’s to come.

Danny Gavin Host  25:33

I know we’ve come a long way to 2024, but I still feel sometimes people are like Google Ads is not really a channel for B2B. It’s like what? Like it’s the relationships, it’s the trade shows. You know, yeah, linkedin, I can understand. It makes sense. How do you address those people? They’re like eh, google Ads is not for B2B.

Andrea Cruz Guest 25:53

Well, I would say that the majority of the B2B budget today still goes to traditional media relationships, events and punsters. If somebody’s trying to prove that that’s not true, that’s not what the data suggests. So that’s part one. Then part B is are you using Google Ads to only send people to a whitepaper, to a blog or to demo request? Because if that’s all you are doing, that’s probably why it doesn’t work for you.


How is people getting to know you? How are people actually creating a relationship with the brand? Are you gating all your content? Because these are some of the things that we encounter in the B2B world and that’s why most B2B experiences are negative and people are like I don’t even want to deal with you. I’m just going to go with the guy who helped my friend that works in X company that does the same thing I do. So it’s about education. What is B2B actually? B2b marketing actually joined for you and how are you actually interacting with people? Are you just writing content, french chat, gvt and pasting it on your website Because it has the right keyword? It has to go beyond that.

Danny Gavin Host  27:03

And I think it’s hard sometimes as digital marketers because we want to track everything, like you said, to send Google ad traffic to just a blog post that’s not gated, or to have LinkedIn ads that aren’t necessarily to a lead form, but it’s like just getting awareness. It’s difficult, it’s like, ooh, we’re going to spend money on that but it’s not going to maybe lead. I think it’s hard, I think it’s a challenge. Do you find that with the marketers themselves?

Andrea Cruz Guest 27:28

that it’s like it’s absolutely a challenge and if you are not comfortable with it, I don’t think V2V might be for you, I like that If you are that control freak that you need to know, they click here and two days after they went to this page and two days after they came back and open an email, v2v is not going to be for you Because, again, when you have a sales cycle that it’s going to take more than a year, there’s no tracking system in the world that is going to get you there.


I was reading this study the other day about how people are changing jobs more frequently than B2B organizations that are actually changing software and platforms. So if you’re already that person today, in two years, when they become in the market, they might not even be in the same company. And if you are only targeting a few accounts and not the other ones, or you are only showing them content for I’m going to make this up financial services and they decide to go to automotive, they will stop here for you. You’re going to go away from their minds. So these are some of the strategic questions we’re trying to have in the V2V world these days about going broader versus you’re targeted. Broader doesn’t have to be everybody. It can still be targeted without having to try to put a pin in a needle together.

Danny Gavin Host  28:48

So what about from the client side? Do you feel like people coming to you know that, like they know it’s a large cycle, but they also know digital marketing. I should be able to track everything. Do you feel like you’re having to explain it to the clients as well, or you think they kind of get it?

Andrea Cruz Guest 29:03

I’m going to go with both. There’s people in both places and I think when you are in some of these relationships as well, when you tell finance, no, I can’t track them for eight years, for eight years, for eight months, finance goes like, oh, this is terrible, I hate it. So then you have to start talking about things like intracurricular mentality. Whatever might be the right approach for them, depending on where that business was within. It’s a lot about education. There’s people that will just get it because they are more educated marketers and they understand, so their restrictions will lift in today’s world.

Danny Gavin Host  29:38

So for much of your career you were in the trenches, so to speak, in doing the actual marketing implementation. Now that you’re a senior director and looking at things a step or two removed, how do you utilize your experiences and expertise in performing the actual digital marketing from more of a high level 10,000 foot view?

Andrea Cruz Guest 29:54

I have learned that people appreciate when you were so in the trenches that you can have a conversation with everybody. It doesn’t matter if you are day one person. If you are the lead on any channel let’s call it paid search you can gain a better respect out of those people because when they know, you understand all of their pains and you keep up to date. That’s what I think it’s the other big takeaway. When you give them something they haven’t considered or you ask them questions for considerations, have you thought about A, b and C, because I’ve not seen any communication about that that could be impacting us? Or even I had the pleasure of not only doing Google Ads in my career.


I did SEO, I did email marketing, I did organic social, which I hated. I did paid social. So having an understanding of how a change in one place can affect the base has been very instrumental for me. I still read all of the publications on a daily basis. I am still stalking a bunch of people on Twitter, slash ads and LinkedIn, you name it. What I get from continuity, which is also daily updates that are coming daily, I believe today I stopped trying to catch up. It’s going to be very difficult for me to get back into the rhythm of things.

Danny Gavin Host  31:21

Do you ever miss being in the trenches?

Andrea Cruz Guest 31:23

I still am in the trenches, here and there.

Danny Gavin Host  31:25

Oh, sir, thank you Still.

Andrea Cruz Guest 31:26

I might not make all of the changes.

Danny Gavin Host  31:28

But you’re still in.

Andrea Cruz Guest 31:28

But I might still interfere here and there.

Danny Gavin Host  31:31

Yes, Food and drink, clothing, health and wellness, furniture, makeup, so many others. So you work with many different industries. Is there any one industry you tend to have the most fun with?

Andrea Cruz Guest 31:42

Oh, it’s B2B for sure. B2b and Lead Generation. I adore the people that do shopping and that they love a fit and a supplemental fit and the Google Merchant Center and you name it. That is just not my idea for a while. They have multiple accounts, but it’s not my cup of tea. I really like the other aspect of how do I prove to you that I’m good enough for you to give me your personal information, knowing that I’m going to reach out to you later, or knowing that I’m going to start blasting you with emails and you name it and remarketing to complete your application process. I always like the idea of that little. I’m going to call it game between the user and the business, so that’s where I would center myself.

Danny Gavin Host  32:30

And within B2B, is there any vertical that you like over other, like what could be healthcare manufacturing, anything particular?

Andrea Cruz Guest 32:37

I like the ones that are very rich, that are very, very, very specific and we have to be very creative about how we show ourselves as a brand. I think I like those the most Because one of the things I love to tell people most people like is when I tell them you are spreading yourself to thin, let’s consolidate a little. So I also like those conversations a lot. I think in B2B we get jealous that nothing is created for us. Very few things are, so we want to try to test all the different things or have a little presence everywhere, and sometimes you’re just hurting yourself instead of creating the mental availability for someone to remember you when they become a market. It’s all about that consistency. So how can you show them throughout their long period of time instead of doing little? Testing Reddit and Quora and TikTok and Unitman?

Danny Gavin Host  33:29

When you approach a B2B business, is it like, hey, we’re going to be doing these different channels for you, or is it more about the general strategy and then what you actually do? Obviously, they’ll know about it, but that’s more like the secondary.

Andrea Cruz Guest 33:41

This strategy has to come first: what are we trying to solve and how are we going to solve it, knowing who your audience is and the communication strategy that goes with it. And then we can talk about which platforms make sense, which budget you have. But you have to really let yourself quote, unquote I don’t want to say get loose, but a little it’s about don’t, don’t restrain me. It’s like what is your actual problem? What are you really trying to solve? What is your goal? And then everything else we can figure out later, because what I have found is, when people come with I have a million dollars, I want you to spend it in DB360, google Ads, and I’m going to make this up when you’re already given the parameters. Maybe that’s not what you need, and that’s why you are looking for an agency or an expert or someone outside to tell you, just like in the mentors. This is what you are telling me, but it’s not working for you, and here’s why.

Danny Gavin Host  34:38

Awesome. So it’s time for our lightning round. I want people to get to know you a little bit better. So, in the world of books and movies, what are some of your favorites?

Andrea Cruz Guest 34:47

So I am a big Harry Potter fan and all the books I read have to be about fiction. I can’t do, I can’t do self reflection, I can’t do anything like that. Because if I’m going to read in my world, it’s for having fun and disconnecting myself and really being able to immerse myself into my imagination transparently. I am reading right now to Throne of Glass series right now. That has been very fun, it’s different. And then the show that I am watching, now that I am going through all of the systems, is Stop Chef. I am a terrible cook, horrendous, but I have so much pleasure of just watching other people go on TV that that’s my current obsession.

Danny Gavin Host  35:36

From a book perspective, I totally relate with you, like especially like we’re both digital marketers and you think like, yeah, business books and this and that, honestly, I can’t. So I love fiction as well, mentioning Harry Potter. So for you, have you been to like Harry Potter World at Universal Studios?

Andrea Cruz Guest 35:54

I did it. It’s so magical. You become a child all over again. Yeah, I can’t wait. I also like video games. I can’t wait to see Mario World in Universal Studios. I think it’s coming next year in the new park that they’re designing.

Danny Gavin Host  36:10

So, Andrea, what are you currently working on? What’s your next big project?

Andrea Cruz Guest 36:14

It’s a wonderful question that I haven’t been able to answer myself. To be transparent with you, one of the things I want to be back at is being more I don’t even know I don’t want to call it trenches, but being back into the social media world where we are all sharing back and forth right now in a lurker, and that’s not what I used to do, because I have gotten so much information from debate with people. So that’s one of the things I want to do this year. My hope is you will continue to see me in the speaker circle and sharing what’s going on, sharing a different perspective, hopefully getting you guys to laugh and have a good time while we all are in something new.

Danny Gavin Host  36:56

Andrea, do you feel like there’s this pressure, when you are a speaker, to also be in social media and active? Do you feel that pressure or you’re like whatever?

Andrea Cruz Guest 37:05

No, I don’t think it’s a pressure. I think some people have carved out time in their days to do that. I have always done it out of the goodness and happiness of my heart. I mean, aren’t this cool? Check it out. So that’s why I use social media for war. I don’t get paid to post on social media Again. I just do it because I have found that to be a nurturing way for me to keep me up today, to know what’s happening and what other cool things people are doing. I learn out of other people as much as they can learn one or two things from me.

Danny Gavin Host  37:39

Where can listeners learn more about you and your company?

Andrea Cruz Guest 37:41

So you can visit us at tnuritycom and check me on LinkedIn. You will have to find my second last name, andrea Cruz  Lopez, on LinkedIn, and then you can also follow me on Twitter, andrea Cruz 92.

Danny Gavin Host  37:57

Well, this has really been wonderful. Thank you so much for being a Guest  on the Digital Marketing Mentor and thank you, listeners, for tuning into the Digital Marketing Mentor. We’ll speak with you next time.

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