2 min read

Local Business Interview: Alex Hagan, CEO DriveSavers

Alex Hagan runs DriveSavers, a company based in Northern California with 70+ employees. Founded in 1985, it's one of the more digitally sophisticated local businesses we've encountered so far.
Local Business Interview: Alex Hagan, CEO DriveSavers

Alex Hagan is the CEO of DriveSavers, a company that recovers data from crashed or broken hard drives and other storage media. The company is based in Northern California and has roughly 70+ employees. It has been in business since 1985 and was founded by his father.

Hagan is one of the most sophisticated SMB operators we've talked to and his digital marketing knowledge is generally beyond other business owners we've interviewed to date. He is very bullish on AI and is already using it extensively.


  • DriveSavers has three full-time marketers but an extensive group of outside contractors and freelancers. The company doesn't use an outside marketing agency.
  • They're already using several AI tools for "ideation," content creation, note-taking, call analysis and employee training.
  • For tracking and attribution, they ask customers how they found them ("how did you hear about DriveSavers?") and use call transcript analysis for product/channel mentions – in addition to third party analytics.
  • CRM: They use a legacy tool (FileMaker) that the company has been running since the 1990s. They looked at switching to Salesforce but decided against it, impliedly because they were "in too deep" with the legacy system.
  • Enabling online payments for customers has resulted in more prompt collections and considerable time savings for employees.
  • Customer communications: they use phone, email and text messages to engage customers. All contacts start with the phone, then transition to email and/or text. Customers prefer email and text, Hagan says.
  • Advice for sales reps: know our business, make pitches personalized, make the value proposition concrete.


The edited interview is just over 16 minutes, divided into the following chapters:

  • Evolution of Their Digital Marketing (:16)
  • Managing Content on Social and Beyond (1:36)
  • Composition of the Marketing Team (2:41)
  • Use of AI Tools (4:01)
  • Marketing Measurement and Attribution (5:57)
  • Use of SaaS (9:07)
  • Communicating with Customers (11:26)
  • What He Wants from Sales Reps (12:19)
  • AI: The Next 18 Months (14:26)

Tools and Brands Mentioned

  • Better Business Bureau
  • Balto.ai – AI-powered phone customer service tool
  • ChatGPT
  • FileMaker - Customizable database software
  • Google Ads
  • HubSpot
  • LinkedIn
  • Meta/Facebook/Instagram
  • Otter.ai - AI-powered transcription service
  • Salesforce
  • Ship Science - Shipping cost analysis and negotiation
  • Stripe
  • Yelp

This is part of our ongoing series of interviews with local business owners and operators.