Daisy Expósito-Ulla shares how she started and grew her advertising business.
Editor's note: This is part two of a two part profile of Daisy Expósito-Ulla entitled: Latina Business Leader Spotlight on Ad Exec Daisy Expósito-Ulla Daisy shared her backstory, family history and how she became hooked on media and advertising.
LBT: How did you start your business?
After having worked with a dedicated team of professionals who helped me build what was, by all metrics, the largest U.S. Hispanic agency to this day, I was as a crossroad of sorts.
I had done it. I had helped build a multi-cultural powerhouse. Yet I was still young and energetic. It was 2005.
Some of my former colleagues―among them, Gloria Constanza and Fernando Fernández, founded their own agency, CMS Partners, and they wanted me to join them.
We’ve always been like a family―close, supportive, collectively committed. My husband was in the film business but quite close to advertising and we looked at this new challenge together, and it took us almost no time to decide: we acquired a major stake and collectively chose to humbly leverage whatever reputation may have existed by calling the agency d expósito & Partners, LLC.
Briefly after that, we began to expound a new vision for today’s multicultural and Hispanic-based advertising, a forward-thinking vision of America’s plurality that should be proprietary, of course, and that goes way beyond being a moniker to describe d expósito & Partners as The New American Agency™.
Started business in the middle of an economic recession
We started our business in the middle of a scary and paralyzing economic recession and here we are, twelve years later, helping clients navigate the waters of today’s New America. It was quite a challenge to evolve from being a successful, stand-alone unit within the Y&R/WPP global conglomerate to becoming an independent, woman-owned specialized shop!
We service clients directly as well as via joint structures with other ad agencies.
We have the good fortune of including services to AARP, McDonald’s, the U.S. Army, the Port Authority of NY & NJ, among others and has been lucky to service the U.S. Census on two different occasions which has brought us intimately alone to the new demographics that have re-shaped America .
What makes us unique, in my view, is a superior knowledge of the culture: what makes Hispanics tick, how can a brand reach and penetrate their hearts and minds, how do you deal with them beyond the numbers on the page.
Knowing which commonalities align our consumers with the rest of America is of utmost importance. Knowing what makes them a bit different is what closes the deal!
LBT: Daisy please, share your experience and thoughts on business financing.
I’ve had some very influential and referential figures to learn from, both in a macro and a micro level.
Prudence was inherent in my dad’s lot, for example, and daringness was a constant in the hyperactive, post MadMen ad industry world that I happened to be in, prior to the mega acquisitions that gave life to the global conglomerates such as the Y&R purchase by WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell.
You learn by observing. In our case, we’re a small independent agency and we’ve always placed a lot of importance on honesty and reputation. We have basically self-financed our growth―with prudence as a constant―and, contrary to most expectations, in a nearly debt-free way. A good reputation is currency, though.
Next page- Factors and the people who most influenced Daisy's business growth, Work-Life Balance and A Bit of Advice