Meet The Expert: Wouter Deroost – Cofounder of STRAREX
Meet Wouter Deroost, cofounder of STRAREX, the full-service strategic marketing agency in Antwerp.
How would you describe what you do in two sentences?
“I’m the cofounder of STRAREX and the head of strategy. In a very brief nutshell: I’m supporting the strategic decisions of our clients on a daily basis while focusing on developing the next steps for STRAREX.”
What is your relationship/partnership with STRAREX?
“Let’s say it is pretty close,” Wouter laughs. “I was there when we came up with the idea at the kitchen table until where we are now and hopefully very far in the future. On a serious note, I’m heavily involved in STRAREX 24/7. We still have a lot more ambitions, but I’m crazy proud of what we have accomplished so far and can’t wait to see what’s to come.”
How do you describe yourself in 3 words?
“Difficult one… Structured, Calm, Fair.”
What’s your greatest strength as a strategy specialist?
“I like to believe that I’m good at breaking down difficult projects and to form an easy step-by-step approach to get things done. I’m good at connecting with people and build relationships that help each other reach a common goal.
I’m genuinely very interested in new things and what I can learn from people. Love seeing different viewpoints and experiences.”
What is a piece of advice that you’ll never forget?
“If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.
This drives me every day. Everyone we hire has a skill or knowledge that exceeds a topic that I’m skilled in.”
What is a #1 skill someone in this field must have?
“People skills… Marketing is a people business. The single most important thing you need to be able to do as a marketer is to create trust between our partner brands and their clients.”
How can this help thrive the results of businesses?
“You can be the best at what you do, but if you can’t connect with people, or you can’t make people connect, your whole value will be irrelevant. At the end of the day, people are still people and they do business with other people/brands they trust and like.”
What is something you’re very proud of?
“STRAREX… We managed to build a team, a client portfolio, and a culture that simply works. A group of very talented people with a common goal. At the end of the day, you spend a lot of time together. From day one, we have always said that no matter where we grow into, we want to always be proud of the business and be surrounded by people that we trust and believe in.”
What is your favorite book or podcast?
“I’m a massive fan of the podcast “How I built this”. It tells a realistic story of how successful business owners got through the beginning stages of their entrepreneurship and how they failed, looked for the right match with the market, and eventually got traction. It shows the reality of many successful businesses.
This is how marketing works too: there’s no magical formula that’s guaranteed to work, it’s a matter of trial and error. You need to test stuff out, that’s the key to understanding what works for you.”
Want to know more about the strategic parts of marketing and how our expertise can help your business?