Meet Pedro Fernandes: Part-Time CMO at iytro

Meet Pedro Fernandes: Part-Time CMO at iytro

As our team continues to grow, it helps to get to know each of us in detail. Today, we sat down with one of our newest members, Pedro Fernandes, a Part-Time CMO at iytro.

Can you share a bit about your professional experience before joining iytro?

I’ve done a lot before joining iytro. Back in 2012, I worked at Displax, a touch screen manufacturer. I was their marketing director and that's where I gained experience promoting hardware. Working on the launch of a new product was quite the experience I set up an event on the company’s 10th anniversary where we had a piano and the newest large format touch screen next to each other. The goal was to show that there was no lag on the screen so we had a pianist play the piano while another person played on the screen, the melodies synced. We gained worldwide recognition, it was an amazing experience. 

I then went on to work at Primetag as their CMO. There I created a go-to-market strategy based around content marketing and lead generation. The product was a platform that measured the success of online digital campaigns. We used the data collected by the platform to publish reports on the state of the influencer marketing market and they served as a form of PR and content for the company. Many people downloaded the reports and that resulted in Primetag being seen as experts in influencer marketing.

Those were some career highlights before joining iytro. After a conversation with Phil I was very interested in joining the team and especially interested in the Minimum Viable Marketing model, but also wanted to stay in Portugal. I'm a curious person by nature so the most interesting thing for me about iytro was that I could learn about different markets, people and products. I wanted to challenge myself because that’s how you grow; the brain is a muscle and you need to exercise it.

What does a typical day as a Part-Time CMO at iytro look like?

To be honest, there is no such thing! But I start all of my days the same, with a morning workout and my English breakfast tea. I play music, the genre depends on the day but I mostly listen to rock and classic jazz. Don’t ask me what my favorite song is either, that changes daily. I like being organized and always knowing what I have to do, that's why I take meeting notes.

Why do you enjoy working with startups?

I have always liked technology and have been obsessed with computers and math, I get that from my dad. I think I got really lucky with my first job, at an agency, that the rest kind of just happened. In a way, working with startups means you are ahead of others and the challenges that arise always excite me. I find the startup world cool to work in.

What are some common marketing mistakes you see when working with startups?

A lot of the time, I see startups playing it safe. I think a lot of founders are afraid to make mistakes but that is how you grow. If you are not making mistakes, you are not going fast enough. Don’t play it safe. Making mistakes is part of the journey and learning from those mistakes is critical. Think of it like a basketball game. In basketball you are also allowed a certain number of fouls, if you aren’t getting any fouls, then you are not being aggressive enough.

Another mistake I see is companies changing their product based on client feedback. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to listen to your clients but you shouldn’t make your product too complicated. When the product becomes too complicated, the team cannot keep up. The sales team will have to keep relearning about the product and the marketing team will have to keep marketing new aspects of the product. Knowing where to draw the line can be difficult but stick to your vision and always remember the initial problem your product solves. Your job is to add value to the product and sometimes added features actually take value away.

What marketing practices do you recommend for startups?

Depending on their stage of growth, startups should focus on different things. In the beginning stages, pre-seed or seed, startups should focus on validating product market fit. Determine if your product delivers value to your users and if it’s a better solution than the alternatives. During stages of growth, measure everything and don’t be afraid to test things out. 

Do you have any podcast or book recommendations?

I have quite a few. For podcasts, I recommend Pivot, All-In, and if you speak Portuguese, A Arte de Guerra. For books, I recommend The Hard Things about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz and Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull. 

If you're interested in working with us and one of our Part-Time CMOs, Get in Touch.

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