Ligia Aguilhar

Head of Marketing at Thinkship

Ligia Aguilhar is the Head of Marketing at Thinkship, a digital business consulting firm that helps small and medium companies solve complex challenges through technology. In addition to her work at Thinkship, Ligia writes a blog about innovation and technology for one of the most prominent Brazilian newspapers, O Estado de S. Paulo. Before joining Thinkship, she was Director of Marketing at Strike Social, where she developed and implemented the company's content marketing strategy, resulting in 45 percent monthly growth on their blog. Ligia also managed the company's external communications and social media presence. Top-tier placements have included Adweek, Forbes, and Inc Magazine. She earned a master's degree in Media Strategy & Leadership from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 2016 to complement her background in journalism.

Content Marketing in a Digital, Startup Environment

In your opinion, how can content marketing help companies achieve their financial goals?

Content marketing is a powerful marketing strategy to drive demand for products and services. It helps brands build trust with customers and a reputation that will last in the long-term. We know customers often do research before they are ready to buy. When you create valuable, relevant content to position your brand as a thought leader in its segment, you attract the right audience to your business and put your brand on the top of consumers’ mind when they are ready to purchase, driving sales and contributing to financial goals.

What metrics are most critical to measuring the success of content marketing? 

The best metrics vary according to the company’s goals. Some metrics that I consider especially important to measure content consumption are unique visitors, unique page views, and source because they help me understand how my audience is growing, how people engage with my content, how they find it, and which posts perform best. When it comes to engagement, metrics such as average time on page, pages per session, new vs. returning visitors, and referral traffic give a clear understanding on how people interact with your content, how social media and referral links support your strategy, and what improvements are needed to get people to perform the actions you want when they visit your website. Lead capture forms, newsletter subscriptions, and conversion tracking are some relevant metrics regarding conversion.

In terms of digital marketing, how can marketers integrate the consumer and the digital platforms to create a brand experience?

I think it all comes down to having a clear understanding of the consumer’s behavior to understand their preferences and where they are in every step of the purchasing path. It’s important to learn how they behave in the digital world, what appeals to them, what they care about, and what they are talking about. With this data, you can design a marketing strategy that will touch them along their whole journey in a way that your brand can add value and bring something new to the conversation.

How do you evaluate the competitive landscape for digital strategy?

The digital market is extremely crowded and competitive. Brands need to invest wisely and really understand how digital works to be able to get any benefits from it. Think of paid social, for example. This can be a useful tactic as long as you listen to the data, design a carefully planned targeting strategy, understand the strengths and weaknesses of each social channel, and optimize your plan to reach the right people at the right time on the right platform. Without this type of effort, many companies end up spending money on some tactics only because they are popular and not because they have a clear understanding of how they can benefit from them.

What is the most interesting part of working in a startup for you? What are the business challenges unique to a startup space?

The most interesting part about working at a startup is having the ability to build the marketing strategy from the ground up and see the impact of your work through the growth of the company. Startups are dynamic and give you an opportunity to work in different aspects of marketing at the same time, which, in my opinion, makes you a better marketer in the long term. Whatever specialization you choose down the line, you will have a much better understanding of how marketing works after performing multiple roles at a startup. The challenges of working at a startup are the fast-paced environment and the limited resources. You generally work in small teams and have an incredible amount of work to do in a very short time. This is also what makes the work really exciting. You learn and grow as a professional much faster.

What are the key capabilities a marketer needs to perform as a Marketing Manager for a startup?

Startups often hire marketers to support their sales strategy and generate leads, but often a marketing manager ends up going beyond this task and having a crucial role working closely with the leadership to guide business decisions and develop recruiting and team building strategies. I think marketers interested in working for startups need to be dynamic professionals more than anything else. They need to really believe in the mission of the company and be able to keep up with the fast pace of startups.

Interview by Flavia Santos, Medill IMC Class Of 2018


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