Rui Martins FerreiraFounder and CEO at O Processo
Rui Martins Ferreira is the founder and CEO of the Digital Marketing agency O Processo. He is also a nutrition and lead conversion trainer at Factory Braga.
Previously, he worked as a digital marketing strategist at HUND; e-commerce strategist at IndieNote; e-commerce project manager at Sonae MC; operations manager at Sotubos and Ferro&Aço; and sales & marketing assistant at Sumol+Compal Mozambique. He also created a blog called "Searching For Lotus", with a friend, where he told stories of his three month trip through eight countries in Southeast Asia.
With a degree in Management, a post-graduate degree in Industrial and Business Economics, and training in Advanced Psychology, Web Marketing and Data Driven Marketing and Analytics, Rui Martins Ferreira is one of the special guests at Connecting Stories of PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS.
1. Despite having an academic background in Management, you decided to go into the area of Marketing. Can you tell us a bit about your journey and professional experience?
I chose Management because I saw myself having a company in the future. I didn't know exactly if this would happen, because I also saw myself working in a big company, but it was an idea that I liked a lot.
As Management seemed general enough to me to have several options, I thought it would be a good choice.
After the course, my path did not go straight to Marketing, although in the course I had already had several Marketing classes.
For some reason, the click was not made right away. I suspect this happened because what was taught seemed to have little connection to the reality I knew or anticipated. We talked a lot about great studies, surveys, focus groups, something with its value, but very far from what I expected to need in the future and, even further, from the image I had of what was Marketing, more related to Communication.
After the course, I went to take a post-graduation in Industrial and Company Economics, because this post-graduation had Leadership, Communication and Negotiation classes, something new for me and which aroused me much more interest than other post-graduation courses.
After the post-graduation, I went to Mozambique for two years, first at Sumol+Compal as an Inov trainee and then at a luso-mozambican company. At the end of those two years, I decided that it was time to live new experiences and I went to travel for three months through southeast asia. At the end of that period, and this is where things started to change, I went to work for Sonae's E-commerce department.
Every day, before sitting in my seat, I looked at a digital screen that existed in the open space, with the number of people in the online store of Continente and, at that moment, it made me feel part of something big.
Although I stayed only six months, it was there that I saw for the first time a more or less clear path for my future. It was as if I had the opportunity to see how the world would unfold before that happened. I had to be connected to E-commerce and Digital Marketing.
After that experience, I was in a Digital Marketing agency in Braga for three years until, as years before in Mozambique, I felt it was time to go on another adventure. And that's where O Processo was born.
2. How can we relate these two areas: Management and Marketing?
The way I see it is very simple. Marketing is one of the sub-areas of Management, as are Sales, Finance or Human Resources.
3. How did the idea of creating your own agency – O Processo – come along?
The idea came up as I felt more and more capable in my Marketing skills. Maybe the tipping point happened the moment I read a book called “Value Added Selling”, because I felt more confident in my ability to sell. It was always something I enjoyed doing, but the book taught me several things and validated others, helping me to better organize my thoughts and give me confidence.
4. What is this project?
We are a Digital Marketing company that helps companies increase sales and profit. We have a mindset that is very tied to results and our actions always try to be connected to them. Of course we don't control the whole process (nor are we supposed to), but our actions always have that in mind. We never agree with a client to reach a certain number of tastes or shares. This has its place as a means to an end, but never as an end in itself.
5. As a marketing professional, how do you think this area has evolved over time?
My analysis lacks any validity, because I haven't made any study, but it seems to me that the market is expanding, with more and more companies and freelancers in the sector. As long as the market continues to grow, everything is fine. When this doesn't happen, there will be a correction.
Depending on the evolution of technologies, there may be a greater advantage for larger companies, with better CRM's or data analysis software that will earn "Leverage" with companies that, not being able to pay, will not be able to transpose so much value to their customers. Of course, being bigger will also have its disadvantages. Management is more distant from customers, the company is slower and, in general, has a colder relationship with customers.
6. What is the importance of Marketing in companies?
Rory Sutherland has a phrase that I love that says more or less this: “Sometimes we think we have a problem in our product when, in fact, we only have a perception problem”. To me this is the power of Marketing.
The truth is that there is no objective reality. We are all different and we perceive stimulation differently. Even in assessing value, consumers do not have enough time, energy or knowledge to study all the options and get as close as possible to the objective value of a product. That's why they make the decision based on perceptions.
A company that ignores this is leaving money on the table. Marketing is able to add emotional value to products that otherwise would be equal to each other. So it will be the role of Marketing to "trick" people? Of course not. There is always an emotional value associated to each product and this value is no less real than the physical attributes of a product.
That's why Apple has 2/3 of the world profit generated in smartphones, despite having 32% of market share.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg, because Marketing is very much connected to the strategy, the direction, the identification of the way to follow. In knowing the pains and dreams of the people we identify as potential customers.
7. Do you believe that this area and the professionals in it are given due value in Portugal?
I don't see the equation from this perspective. I don't think other people owe us anything. I think the focus should be on the question: “How do I best demonstrate my worth?” rather than “Why don't others open their eyes?”.
Besides, I don't think this feeling is very different than what the Human Resources, Accounting or Sales people feel.
8. How do you see the future of Marketing in the country and in the world?
I will answer in another way. I don't know how will be the future of the Marketing of our country. What I would like is for Marketing professionals to help Portugal do what the footwear sector has done. To migrate from an economy whose competitive advantage is based on price to one that is based on value.
But for this to happen, I think the Marketing staff has to raise the level. Decisions can't be based on “it looks good”. It's not because Marketing is not an exact science that we can't resort to the knowledge produced in areas such as Psychology, Sociology or Behavioral Economics.
There are several scientific journals that talk about the consumer and the way he makes decisions and this, at the end of the day, is what we are trying to influence.
9. You are also a nutrition and lead conversion trainer at Factory Braga. How do you reconcile these two projects? What challenges do you face in your daily life?
The time requirement is higher in preparation. The creation time of the course took about three to four times longer than the course itself. The class time itself is not very difficult or demanding in terms of workload.
10. As PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is the leading developer of digital billboards and multimedia kiosks for the international market, what is your opinion on PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS' digital marketing strategy?
I don't know enough about the strategy or the subsequent goals to make an assessment, but if you're leaders in the identified sector, you're doing something right. Maybe the answer is really to reinforce what they have been doing.
Anyway, in a general answer, Marketing doesn't have to be complicated. If you know your personas and their pains and dreams well, you just have to position your product as the solution, the vehicle, the bridge to a state where those pains are eliminated or those goals are achieved.
How does your product help your personas to end the pain? How does it help them achieve their goals? Whatever the answers are, you only have to post them on the channels where your personas spend time, whether it's Linkedin, Facebook, Google or other.
Connecting Stories is an 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.