João MotaMarketing Manager
João Mota, Marketing Manager, recently founded the website www.bragasmartcity.pt., an independent project, which began with his master's thesis and whose main objective is to contribute to the evolution of the city of Braga as a Smart City.
Previously, he was Marketing Manager at HyperCode, in Braga, Marketing Assistant at DST Group and Sales Assistant at Merrell.
With a degree in Tourism and a master in Marketing Management, João Mota is one of the special guests at Connecting Stories of PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS.
1. Can you tell us a bit about your journey and professional experience?
My career in Marketing began at IPAM Porto, which I believe is one of the best Marketing schools in the country. Not only because of the qualified teaching staff and the close relationship with the companies, but above all because of its understanding of what Marketing is and the role it plays in society.
It was as a student of the master in Marketing Management that I developed the ability to think organizations holistically and strategically. To continue this training and to understand how theory applies in practice, I decided to do my internship in the DST group. This is a group linked to the area of construction engineering, which managed to transform a company that operates in a grey sector into an organization that breathes art, culture and innovation.
After this experience, I started functions as a Marketing Manager, in a Marketing agency. It was here that I had contact with the main tools of Digital Marketing, project management and customer relationship. The combination of my academic background, where I developed my strategic vision and professional experience and where I worked an operational side of Marketing, summarizes my value proposal that combines the ability to think with the ability to act.
2. How did the interest in the Marketing area come along?
The economic area has always caught my interest, as well as the ability that some brands had to relate to us. Later, I realized that Marketing emerged precisely from this relationship between Economics and Psychology. It was then that I understood that I was a Marketing enthusiast and decided to study this area in depth at IPAM Porto.
Carlos Coelho, president of Ivity Brand Corp, says that "a brand is the dream of a man perpetuated in the economy" and I agree absolutely. Today, maybe because of this, what moves me more than building brands, is the possibility of realizing dreams.
3. In your opinion, how important is Marketing for a company?
Creating a brand is perhaps one of the most complex exercises in modern management. Market pressure, maintaining coherence, organizational involvement and global vision are certainly not easy to manage, essentially in a society where the consumer appears as an active market player.
I believe that the critical success factors for the creation of a brand are the ability to structure with clarity, reason and ambition what one seeks to build.
Marketing thus assumes an indispensable role in the life of companies. No other element is capable of impacting so much the whole life cycle of a product or service. Regarding sales, for instance, a strong brand is able to establish a long relationship with the consumer, to influence the price and the volume. In other words, Marketing has the power to sell more and more expensive, and if well managed, it can do both simultaneously.
I understand that, who assumes the Marketing of a company should be able to construct strong brands, with purpose and focus on the consumer, to study its aspirations and to innovate on the product strategy and should be obstinate for the quality, security and truthfulness of the value propose that it presents to the market.
4. You recently founded the website www.bragasmartcity.pt. What is this project? What are the main objectives?
The website of Braga Smart City has a very strong purpose: to contribute to the evolution of the city of Braga as a Smart City.
It is an independent project, with an informative nature and totally transparent in its values. It does not assume any political position and does not have any kind of publicity, so it does not generate any financial return.
While studying the subject of Smart Cities in my master's thesis, I realized that the most frequent problem governments had to face when they wanted to implement some smart measure in the city was the communities' lack of understanding of what was being done and how citizens' money was being spent.
Communication and transparency then assume a fundamental role in the transformation of a city. Therefore, I decided to create the website www.bragasmartcity.pt. Here, people can not only find the smart initiatives already implemented in the city, but they can also read about what a Smart City is, what are the differences between a Smart City and a conventional city, what is the importance of Smart Cities in the world or what are the main characteristics of a Smart City.
Another aspect that I consider very important is that all this content is referenced to recognized authors, so readers can have access to the sources that gave origin to a certain statement. In an age of information and disinformation, this is fundamental.
5. How has been the feedback from people to your project?
The feedback has been extremely positive. I have received numerous messages congratulating the project. And from my analysis, the traffic reports indicate that readers spend considerable time navigating, which attests to its quality and interest for those who visit it.
It is also curious to see the site gaining recognition and reaching people without me referencing it, being a clear message of its quality. This makes me very proud of the work I've developed.
6. What led you to explore the Smart Cities theme?
The discovery of this theme appeared during my master's internship at the DST group. At the time, the company was developing a new brand, Mosaic, dedicated to Smart Cities. It was then that I decided to study this theme and understand how the city of Braga could also become one.
7. What are the main characteristics of a Smart City?
There are different views on what the main characteristics of a Smart City are. However, in the elaboration of my master thesis, it was decided to assume that a city was made up of six dimensions, as it was the vision that gathered the greatest consensus among the scientific community, being this vision that also brought to the project www.bragasmartcity.pt. Thus, we have the economy, responsible for entrepreneurship and the labor market; mobility, which includes the public transportation system and accessibilities; the environment, responsible for clean energies and green buildings; people, ensuring access to education and an inclusive society; governance, which focuses on police awareness and management transparency; and the life dimension, where health conditions and cultural diversity are addressed.
8. What challenges can we face in the development of a Smart City?
I believe that the greatest challenge in developing a Smart City is political will. The rest are solutions to bigger problems that cities and the planet face. We have to distance ourselves from the idea that a Smart City only uses technology to solve its problems. Usually, after this statement, we also hear that this technology is expensive and therefore the city does not have the capacity to implement it.
Governments should seek to have a global vision about all dimensions of a modern city and realize that making cities smarter is not just a trend, but a need that governments will have to assume to ensure the quality of life of the population, and that this goes far beyond the use of technology.
Cities face unprecedented population pressure, traffic, noise, pollution, water shortages and many other problems. It is not possible to provoke a development when stakeholders continue to rely on outdated analysis infrastructures and work with stagnant data.
To say that Smart Cities can be fantastic in free countries, but may not be so interesting in authoritarian countries. The risk of seeing their privacy invaded forces the population to demand more of the government. Preserving human rights, privacy, freedom of the press and expression is fundamental in Smart Cities.
9. In which way can we say that Braga is a Smart City?
The city of Braga has taken shy steps in what should be its transformation. Of the six dimensions that make up a Smart City, mobility is the one Braga needs to review with greater urgency. This is assumed not only by who manages the city, but also by the population. And, in this sense, it can be assumed that Braga has done little to change this paradigm and, many times, the solutions that are being announced in the local media convey an idea of wanting to solve the problems of the future with solutions from the past. It is inconceivable that roads are not democratized. It is necessary to make room for alternative modes of transportation. And here I am referring to public transport, bicycle mobility, the use of motorcycles and shared means of transport.
Braga, by following this path, would not become a pioneer in its implementation, but would be following what the main European cities already do, which mitigates the risk factor of the equation. Following these guidelines is fundamental to drive a new mobility and to transform the environment in the city and boost the economy.
10. How can we relate Marketing and the Smart Cities theme?
The American Marketing Association defines Marketing, among other things, as an activity that creates, communicates and delivers value to society in general. Smart Cities have the same objective: to create new ways of living, to communicate in a transparent and efficient way and to deliver more value to its citizens. It is at this core point that Marketing and Smart Cities relate and combine. I believe that for Smart City initiatives to be successful, there must also be a strong marketing strategy to support this transformation.
11. Being PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS a company that has the possibility to produce digital billboards, multimedia kiosks and other technological solutions for Smart Cities, what relevance do you think digital has for the development of Smart Cities?
No industry is immune to digital transformation and the way cities communicate with their citizens and tourists is no exception. In fact, PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS offers a very interesting solution in that sense.
Digitization is today a matter of survival, essentially in cities in constant mutation. It is necessary to communicate and interact well with citizens through solutions that allow information exchange in real time and in an agile way. It is not possible in a modern city to communicate through stagnant means.
The experience must be customized and meet the different needs of those who use these technological solutions. With these capabilities, it is possible to have, in a small space, an endless amount of information with a pleasant experience of use. The future will certainly pass by here and it will be wonderful.
Connecting Stories is a new editorial space led by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS which consists of conducting exclusive interviews, directed at influential personalities who work in different sectors of activity.
The project, conceived by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, includes the publication of success stories, through small interviews with influencers who want to share details about their projects, opinions, plans for the future, among other subjects.
The idea is to connect stories, share knowledge, develop networking and generate content that can provide new visions, opportunities and ideas.
Founded in 2000, PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is a world renowned Portuguese IT company, manufacturer of indoor and outdoor multimedia kiosks, self-service equipment, digital billboards, interactive tables and other digital solutions, for all types of sectors and industries. To know more about our story, click here.