Marco GouveiaDigital Marketing consultant and trainer
With extensive experience in the Digital Marketing area, Marco Gouveia is currently a Google Regional Trainer, Digital Board Advisor at Pestana Hotel Group, certified Digital Marketing consultant and trainer, with proven experience in SEO, Google Ads and Web Analytics.
Specialized in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Advertising (SEA), Social Media Marketing and Web Analytics, Marco Gouveia also founded the Influenza agency, which aims to serve as a bridge between influencers and brands, as well as supporting each of these players to grow individually.
Graduated in Human Resources Management and master in Strategic Planning, Marco Gouveia is one of the special guests at Connecting Stories of PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS.
1. You are Google Regional Trainer, Digital Board Advisor at Pestana Hotel Group and Digital Marketing consultant and trainer. Can you tell us a bit about your journey and professional experience?
It's been over 16 years since I started working at Digital. The beginning of my career in this area was very self-taught, due to my enormous curiosity and desire to know more about a subject that, at the time, was still little explored: Search Engine Marketing (SEM). However, still during my degree in Human Resources Management, I decided to create what would be the first blog in the country about the youth series "Morangos com Açúcar", which proved to be a tremendous success and allowed me to unveil, by myself, the universe of Digital, analyzing how blogs, online ads and search engines themselves worked. After the course, I specialized in Web Design and after five years dedicated to personal projects in Digital Marketing, I accepted the then unusual position of SEM in the company Páginas Amarelas, defining innovative strategies based on online.
Since then, I dedicate all my work to this area and today I'm a Digital Marketing consultant and trainer. In addition, I am in fact Digital Board Advisor for the Pestana Hotel Group and trainer at Atelier Digital Google, which has trained more than 50 thousands of portuguese, in addition to being a professor of Digital Marketing at several universities in the country and co-author of the book “Digital Marketing for Business”.
2. How are all these functions managed? Is there a secret?
It is, without a doubt, an enormous challenge. My great goal is and always has been to do my best on all fronts and, as much as it's a very individual and personal task, it only becomes possible because of the wonderful teams I'm around. I usually allude to that maxim which says that alone we can reach faster, but together we can reach further, and I believe in that a lot. The people I have chosen to be by my side in my projects, along my path, are my great pillars and nothing would be possible without their commitment and dedication. And, of course, having the privilege of working on what I'm passionate about helps a lot. Having a purpose that makes us wake up motivated – mine being to help people through Digital – and see the difference we can make in someone's life, no matter how small, makes any tiredness and run worthwhile.
3. How did the passion for Digital Marketing come along?
The story is quite curious. I graduated, to the amazement of many people, in Human Resources Management, and the truth is that I didn't identify with the course. At a certain point, I saw myself extremely unmotivated and started, as a matter of curiosity, to explore the Digital area. The blogs were still appearing in the online panorama and I found myself very intrigued with the way some pages had ads. I tried to discover the logic behind it, understand how everything worked and immersed myself in this area in one breath, creating my own blog and exploring that universe to the maximum.
From then on, the path was very organic and flowed naturally. I found out it was something I loved and through which I could help people and business a lot, and I never stopped.
4. You created, more than 16 years ago, your own consulting brand (Marco Gouveia - Digital Marketing Training & Consulting) and, more recently, the agency Influenza. As an entrepreneur, what are the main challenging you have found?
The necessary bureaucracy and formalities are a constant for those who are enterprising and are, without a doubt, one of the least exciting aspects, because they have nothing to do with the idealization and creativity related to the project itself; there are always issues to deal with that we had no idea were necessary. Many times, in the beginnings, it seems that we are navigating in the void: everything is new – especially in this area of Digital, which only now seems to be waking up in a more generalized way in the entrepreneurial conscience –, and what weighs even more is to be everything, even so, our responsibility.
Then, something inevitable and challenging that also occurs when you undertake is the endless accumulation of functions. There is a lot to think about and, in the early stages of the process, at least the teams are still very small and the work ends up weighing more heavily. We are in constant verification of what is viable or not, of what can be more relevant or harmful for the clients and for the brand, and it is in these moments of greater pressure that a sense of mission is essential, in order not to discourage and maintain the focus.
5. You are, for more than six years, Google Regional Trainer and was, for more than nine years, responsible for Digital Marketing at the Pestana Hotel Group, where today you are Digital Board Advisor. How did these opportunities come along?
Fortunately, in both cases, opportunities came by invitation. I was in Páginas Amarelas when the phone rang with the opportunity to join the largest portuguese hotel group: the Pestana Hotel Group. I didn't apply, my name was referenced by an administrator and a commercial director of Pousadas de Portugal. At the time, I didn't count on this invitation and it was a challenging decision because weeks before I had renewed my contract with Páginas Amarelas, where I liked to work, I liked the workplace and my colleagues. However, the opportunity to go and work for the first time in a portuguese multinational and with international markets, made me take a chance and, in good time, I did so.
In Google's case, the situation is even more peculiar. They were ceaselessly calling me from a spanish contact. As I'm very reticent about international calls, I didn't answer. Until one day, I was working in Pestana and they called me. This time, the number, along with the name "Google", appeared on the display of the Pestana landline and there, obviously, I answered. I was in charge of the Google training program, which had invited me to be Google Regional Trainer. I accepted immediately, did all the tests requested and, months later, I was Google trainer. Until today.
6. How have you felt the evolution of Digital Marketing over the years?
In the beginning, and until recently, few companies even knew what Digital Marketing was all about: they relied only on their traditional ways. Having a Digital Marketing department was not even considered in the business world, nor was it thought to invest large amounts in this new area. However, more recently, this has been changing (and rightly so). Even the recognition of the relevance and unavoidability of this area has also extended to higher education itself, with more and more universities offering proposals for courses and specializations in Digital Marketing.
The number of professionals seeking the area, in its most varied aspects, is growing, and it is clear that this becomes positive for clients, as quality becomes a decisive differential and they have a wider range of options to resort to. It has definitely been a very stimulating area, for the opportunity to observe this evolution closely. The level of awareness of the importance of Digital Marketing in any business (and the difference it can mean in its performance) has grown immensely in the last decade, and this is fantastic, because it allows companies to become stronger and equipped with tools to prosper in an increasingly digital future.
7. Taking into account your vast experience in the area of Digital Marketing, what was the best campaign you have developed?
The best campaign I have ever developed was my first campaign and without any investment. Almost without knowledge in the area, I managed to set up a highly profitable digital strategy for "Morangos com Açúcar" blog, which included search engines, forums and the "social networks" of that time, such as mIRC and Hi5.
Another campaign I did with a high rate of profitability was for a portuguese soccer club, with the aim of selling club watches. An investment of less than a thousand euros, which gave a return of more than 300 thousand euros.
Regardless of the return, the most important thing in developing any campaign is the journey and learning. I try my best not to live in the past and always find better campaigns for clients and partners, along with my team.
8. Facing the creation of your own business, how do you see entrepreneurship today?
This is an interesting question. I have been an advocate since the beginning of the pandemic that this can be a particularly challenging time to undertake. The economic situation is not exactly favourable, the population's priorities and consumption habits are changing rapidly compared to, for example, the beginning of the year. In addition, many people finally found that Digital could be the "life buoy" for businesses that had a strong presence in it or that adapted to circumstances by investing in it, so the number of new businesses and initiatives to emerge was astonishing.
Nevertheless, history shows us that periods of crisis are also very often crucial moments of encouragement (often an obligation, even out of necessity) to put extremely creative projects into practice, and with great success (even in this pandemic, beautiful business ideas have already materialized).
I believe that, above all, at this stage, beyond the considerations that one would have to weave in the beginning, when putting in hypothesis to invest in a new business, one must understand very well that we are in an anomalous context of our life as a society, and what this could mean for any business that we decide to try to bring to life at this moment.
It will also be relevant to emphasize that entrepreneurship can and should exist even in a company that we do not own, through creativity and strategic thinking, to adapt it to the present and future.
9. How can Digital Marketing determine the success of a company and/or a brand?
Digital Marketing is extremely rich in possibilities: it can make the difference in the success of a company and/or a brand for the most diverse reasons. From SEO to SEA, from e-mail marketing to social networking platform management, the opportunities to impact our target audience(s) are immense.
One of the most evident advantages is its measurability. It is something that can be constantly analyzed, where we can verify, with data that support it, what works better or worse (that is, where it is more profitable, what has a return or gives us a loss, which audiences we should address and how – what helps to better understand the business itself and reconfigure objectives and practices). Moreover, it is obvious that it is in Digital that the people of the 21st century are, so companies and brands must be too – to be precisely where their customers and potential customers are.
10. What is the future of Digital Marketing? Is it a growing area?
I don't believe anymore, very honestly, to be possible to return to an "old-fashioned" Marketing model, which doesn't aim the digital sphere. As I mentioned before, there are more and more students and professionals specializing and learning about Digital Marketing – which, in itself, embodies its expansion as a professional area, even at the reputational level. This, as well as the adaptation I've seen in companies for which I do consulting, makes me firmly believe in the idea that it will become, more and more, an area as unavoidable for companies as financial or human resources, for example. It really deserves companies' attention. On the other hand, it's an area that is in permanent transformation, being quite demanding also due to the need of constant updating of those who work in it. In recent years and still today, Content Marketing – and therefore the relevance of SEO – has grown astonishingly, for example, even when many people had previously announced the death of SEO; influencers have also come to change society's consumption paradigms and the very marketing plans of many brands.
The truth is that no one can guess what is to come, but video marketing and social networking platforms are visibly growing, anticipating a continuation of this trend in the near future. Above all, it is important to be aware of the present, making this new area an ally for the growth of our business and our own personal experience in Digital.
11. As PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is the leading developer of digital billboards and multimedia kiosks for the international market, what is your opinion about PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, its products and its digital marketing strategy?
I believe that PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, reconciling offline and online, is making the best of these two worlds (proof of this are the numerous success cases in your portfolio). This is because, although today's reality is increasingly marked by digital, it is important to maintain a marketing vision in a holistic sense.
As I said, although I no longer believe it is possible to return to an "old-fashioned" marketing model, traditional media are still highly valued, so the strategy should involve integration between offline and online. Although it may seem a counter-sense, given recent technological developments, what I and my team are proposing in 2021 is to demonstrate how this is possible.
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.