Friday, July 12, 2024
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Filipa Neves: “Being a marketing manager means making consumers fall in love with our Brand.”

Filipa Neves has a remarkable career in marketing in our country. She is currently Marketing Director at HEINEKEN Mozambique, a position she took on after a brilliant spell at Sumol+Compal.

PM: What made you fall in love with marketing?

FN: My Uncle Rafael had a printing company specializing in selling advertising material and gifts. In the summer, during school vacations, I would go to help him. That dynamic, the speed and the fact that there was a different challenge every day really captivated me. That’s how this passion for marketing came about at around the age of 14.

Another important fact is that I started studying marketing at the age of 18, when I began my degree in Marketing Management at IPAM, the Portuguese Institute of Marketing Administration.

Later, I tried to deepen my knowledge with a postgraduate degree in Consumer Behavior and Consumer Psychology at the Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing, in São Paulo, Brazil. I also did a postgraduate degree in Marketing and Strategic Management and a master’s degree in Children’s Marketing at the University of Minho in Braga. In addition, I did a specialization in Consumer Psychology at the University of Porto and took part in various online training courses in marketing, management, digital marketing, consumer behaviour and, more recently, financial management.

PM: What does marketing mean to you?

FN: Marketing for me means balance. From a business perspective, of course. The balance between a functional benefit and an emotional benefit. It’s the challenge of creating a value proposition that is recognized in that way by the consumer.

I really like marketing and I think we’re all marketers in some way. Marketing is the art of telling compelling stories, of creating deep and meaningful connections between brands and people. It’s the drive that turns ideas into movements, products into unforgettable experiences and consumers into true ambassadors. At the heart of marketing is the ability to understand not only tangible needs, but also people’s deepest desires and aspirations.

Basically, marketing is made up of four P’s, isn’t it? Product, price, communication and distribution. For me, the challenge for any marketing manager is to add the fifth P, which is the P of passion, and make consumers fall in love with our brand.

The job of the marketing manager, be it the marketing director or the brand manager, is to nurture this love affair. To make the consumer remain loyal and in love with the product.

So it’s very much about magic. It’s functional and emotional. It has to be reason and emotion in balance and in the same tone.

PM: How did you adapt to Mozambique and what were the challenges of working with local brands?

FN: I confess that moving to Mozambique was a challenge. It’s a completely different culture. From the market to the consumer profile, above all because the Mozambican consumer is suspicious by nature. That’s why I initially faced obstacles, but I learned to appreciate the Mozambican market for its honesty and unique challenges.

At Compal, I took part in the initial phase of the operation in Boane, which involved building brands practically from scratch. The startup dynamics and building procedures were enriching experiences. I still admire Compal for its quality and brand value, even after I left at the end of 2016 to join the HEINEKEN team.

This opened up a window of opportunity for me, not only to meet new consumers every day, but also to begin to understand the best ways to build brands in consumers’ minds, in order to win them over.

Working with brands like Sumol+Compal and now HEINEKEN Mozambique has been a fascinating opportunity to understand and build brands in this context.

PM: How would you describe joining HEINEKEN and what points do you highlight in this new challenge?

FN: I joined HEINEKEN at the start of its operations in Mozambique at the end of 2016. There I had the opportunity to work with a globally recognized brand and contribute to the creation of the TXILAR brand.

So it was a great challenge and a very happy one. And it gave me the opportunity to do a lot of consumer behavior studies, to understand what people like, what they value, what they prefer. And having that opportunity has allowed me to grow a lot professionally.

PM: How do you see business marketing in Mozambique, highlighting its strengths and any challenges?

FN: The strengths of marketing in Mozambique include an experimental and young consumer, which makes communication challenging and innovative. In other words, the fact that the Mozambican consumer likes new brands, new approaches, new forms of interaction, and that the consumer is also quite young, makes communication easier and allows the manager to create new forms of approach.

As for the challenges, I think they depend a lot on the manager’s proactivity. I see marketing as a constantly challenging and stimulating area.

PM: What are your dreams or future goals for your professional career?

FN: Ever since I was young, I’ve always dreamed of doing a PhD. I haven’t done it yet, but I’d like to.

On the other hand, I think that everything we learn should be shared and that’s why I see the end of my career in a more academic field. Although I love the industry and the speed of the business world, I see myself sharing my knowledge with new professionals in the future.

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