Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with VeraContent’s Kyler Canastra and Thiago Kiwi, head of marketing and communications at Headspring, on building a brand with content:

Kyler Canastra 0:00
Hi everyone, I’m Kyler from The Content Mix and I’m excited to be here with Thiago Kiwi, Head of Marketing and Communications at Headspring. Based in London, Headspring is a joint venture by The Financial Times and IE Business School established to achieve transformational results through collaboration with organizations across the globe. Headspring co creates future focused learning designs that empower people develop leaders and enhance the strengths of businesses. And we can say that Thiago’s work at headspring is merely a reflection of his love for learning and his dedication to providing educational opportunities to individuals around the globe. Originally from Brazil, an opportunity to write for Brazilian lifestyle magazine as a UK correspondent led to go into the world of marketing and education sector in the UK. And we’re excited to dive in and learn more firsthand about his experiences abroad and in the sector. So let’s get the ball rolling. And welcome Thiago to the show. Thank you so much for joining us to go on the content next.

Thiago Kiwi 0:56
Thank you, Carla. It’s a pleasure being here. You know, thanks for having me.

Kyler Canastra 0:59
All right. excited to have you. So where are you joining us in from today?

Thiago Kiwi 1:03
I’m joining you from London, here in southeast London in Beckenham where I live with my wife and three kids.

Kyler Canastra 1:12
Oh, there’s a bit chilly today now compared to

Thiago Kiwi 1:16
Shea Yeah, I mean, it’s been it’s been alright, these days. Yeah. I mean, we had a very cold wheat, the beginning of December, but now it’s my oats like 12 degrees, which is okay.

Kyler Canastra 1:28
Yeah. But I feel a big shift from your home right of Brazil, where Yeah, I give you a nice introduction based on some of the research I’ve done and the conversations we had leading up to the interview, but I kind of want to have you introduce yourself, in your own words. So can you just tell us a bit more from Brazil? But where are you from? And what’s your connection to content marketing in Europe?

Thiago Kiwi 1:49
Yeah, I mean, you did a pretty good job, you know, doing the research and going back to my origins. Yeah, as you say that, you know, from Brazil, I’m from the city of San Paolo, which is probably the biggest one in the country. You know, I grew up very, you know, in a very humble background, you know, I, you know, my mom was a single mom, my parents, they, they Well, they divorced when I was very young, you know, so, yeah, so I grew up, you know, in a very humble background, but I’m very happy as well, you know, it just me and my mom, we’re always kind of partners. We have a good kind of simple life, but we’ve been nice, you know, and we didn’t have a lot of luxury, but, I mean, she taught me how to be a good person, how to be a good human being, you know, and that’s what counts the most. Yeah, exactly. You know, we didn’t really have like, oh, you know, going to theaters going to expensive holidays, but we had a nice happy life. And my mom is, is my is my hero in life. And, yeah, but, you know, the way I came into the world, you know, work word or business work over marketing was mostly, you know, of course, through education, you know, as I grew up, you know, I went to university in Brazil, I study, actually journalism there, in the first few years, really, on my careers, did a lot of internships and work as a journalist. So my first four years really professional, were essentially creating content, you know, working with text, videos, audio, you know, reporting, you know, when you’re working as a journalist, you basically have the, the mission of always coming back into the office, the end of the day with stories, you know, so that was, those are really powerful school, and even today, like to everything, everything I do, I think, is a reflection of me, seeing myself as a content creator. You know, I very much believe in content, I believe the brands are built on, on content nowadays, you know, especially with social media, being so strong, you know, you need content as a brand. And to me, that’s how we all started really, you know, work as a journalist in Brazil, and then moving, moving to the UK. And again, you know, focusing on work of some brands on social media working as a content creator. Now, yeah, as a as head of marketing, I had spring which has been very, very fun and very rewarding experience

Kyler Canastra 4:47
as well. That’s awesome. And I feel like a lot of the episodes I’ve done recently and this is my experience in general talking to content marketers, many of them have journalism background, including like my, the CEO of our content, where I work as a journalist now. So like you said before, you had a lot of experience back in your country of Brazil, and you worked, you know, in communications and journalism industry, which included working for a very important network, such as data networks. And then also you worked in news writing. So as I said, before, you know, this whole idea of working with words and storytelling, not only is it important in the world of journalism, but also important role of marketing and content. Now, just wondering, in your opinion, kind of how does that work together? Was it an easy transition for you to kind of move from that world and kind of pivot to marketing?

Thiago Kiwi 5:32
Um, well, I mean, when you work as a journalist, I think you essentially you have, you have one job, which is essentially to, to cover stories writes to bring stories to a reader. So my days working for therapists, for example, I was there, essentially covering everything you can imagine from politics to a, you know, a roof that caught fire, you know, down the road, you know, so I was always on the phone with the fire brigade, you know, my best friend, you know, the fire brigade, the police secretary, you know, the security ministers and people like that. So, but I had one task, which was essentially, to cover the news, right? You know, I didn’t really see much beyond that, you know, why, you know, you why my boss wanted me to cover all the news, you know, like, I remember one day, was a quite remarkable day when there was a big plane crash was that the an Air France flight that crashed on the way from Rio to Paris, this was in 2009, it was a big story, the plane disappeared for a few days, I remember. And I got into the office, my boss, he was like, you know, you need to cover all these stories, you know, come on, you know, fast, and I just couldn’t read really couldn’t understand the connection, of course, now, looking back, now I understand, you know, I understand that, basically, you need the news. So your, your readers will come and keep coming to the website, and of course, that’s connected to advertising. Right, you know, so there at the time, it was very much funded by advertising, right. So, you know, essentially, the traffic getting traffic meant more money for them. But today, as a, as a marketer, I see that completely different, right, you know, I don’t see content as the driver, because it’s not the driver of revenue for us. But it’s certainly content is, is heavily involved in the client journey, you know, in the customer journey. Right. You know, so for us, I think that is the main difference, you know, seeing content from a different perspective. You know, sometimes when you see people in the who are making that transition coming from a content background into a marketing role, you see that sometimes they don’t really get this, this change of mindset, you know, so you really have to support them in understanding that content is about your customer, understanding that you’re there to support them in their buying decisions, give them guidance on how to use a product or how to use a services, and even to inspire them, of course, to buy your service. Right. But oh, to basically help them decide that you’re the best solution for, for, for the needs that they have. You know, so it’s it’s slightly different. But I think the principles of creating content, the same, you know, and I think journalism is a great kind of way to get into.

Kyler Canastra 8:44
Yeah, and that’s the whole concept of storytelling, which I think, yeah, it’s essential in both fields, but also like journalism, obviously, telling the news and sharing that information with the world, but also with content marketing, where, you know, making content that people can resonate with, and actually, like, feel connected to a brand. So they would want to invest. So it’s Yeah, two different things. But they also have the same mission now to kind of be able to connect with people, and have an audience that really was intrigued by the content you’re producing. Now, you also have been on the side of producing the content because as I mentioned before, when you’re in San Paulo, you started working for Papa de Homem, which is a leading online Brazilian lifestyle magazine, okay, which produces high quality content for professional audience in this position. You were based in the UK, it’s kind of from you know, correct. This is kind of what made you go to the UK and start your new life in Europe. So what’s the reason behind your move to the UK? How is it to write for a Latin American company and audience all living in a completely different culture?

Thiago Kiwi 9:43
Well, I mean, it’s interesting, right, let’s, so I left. Brazil actually does off. They’re finished working for Terra. Terra at the time was basically the biggest news channel online news channel in Brazil. Like you know, we had so much traffic we had an editor called Edson Rossi. He was amazing. He literally changed the entire way that we wrote stories, you know, the structure of the team. And I was about to graduate from university, then, you know, and but something happened in my Latin my personal life that I fell in love. I fell in love with his English bureau. And just as I was about to kind of finishing university and getting to really the full, full on the world of work. And what I did, basically, I kind of gave up my job at the time, you know, I had offers to continue at Terra. But I say, Look, I’m very young, I could, you know, let me try this, right. So I decided to move to the UK. With my, you know, at the time, she was my girlfriend. And, yeah, I came here without really, without a real plan, you know, didn’t really know what was gonna do, you know, and I remember, coming here in February, it was very cold, you know, it’s like, Oh, my God, what have I done in my life, you know, sleeping on someone’s sofa, you know, it’d be crazy at the time. But you know, I was 21, 22 years old. So we don’t really care about all these things. And so yeah, after a few months, you know, what I did? When it came to the UK, it was like, okay, my, my, my initial plan was basically to start working journalism again, you know, so I started to applying for jobs, or internships, in newspapers, magazines, but I was really struggling, I think the language aspect was initially a challenge, you know, so that was one thing that that was kind of was a big challenge in the beginning. But I think, this opportunity, Papa de Homem, main came, while I was here, already, you know, in the UK, so what happened was, I was a big fan of Papa de Homem. You know, it was a, it is a it’s a magazine, or websites that basically guided me through most of my kind of teenage years into kind of early, early adulthood. And they were really growing massively, they’re getting a lot of investment, a lot of advertising coming to them, you know, and they went into the, you know, they started hiring people. And I, you know, applied, I sent some text to say, look, you can work with you guys can start work writing for you. And yeah, you know, it’s such a covering stories here from the UK, you know, from a global perspective, and send to them. It was very interesting, because they were super strong on social media as well, and started raising my profile on social media. People started following me, I was like, Whoa, you know, and sometimes I tweeted some stuff. And that thing, you know, got big, I was like, wow, you know, so to me, was a very, very interesting learning curve, as well, to see how people react to the content that you produce, you know, and, because when you’re working, sometimes in journalism, you don’t really see the way people consume your content, right? With Papa John’s, because he was more was more switched on into digital media, social media, it was a great opportunity to see how people reacted, you know, he was a strong community. So he had a lot of comments on the on each article they wrote, you know, so it was, it was a great opportunity. You know, like, for me, I was loving it, I was loving it, too. But I knew as well, that I needed to get into a business in the UK, you know, I needed to get working in the UK for a UK company. And that’s what I continued, you know, working for Papa de Homem, while I was also looking for other opportunities that are UK based as well.

Kyler Canastra 13:56
Yeah. And it is really interesting, I find as someone that also lives away from I live in from the US and I lived in Spain, and I live in Portugal. And it’s kind of you know, you always meet these people, either. So it’s really great to meet people who are similar business view, and then also have these really cool stories of you know, I ended up here because of XY and Z. And then yeah, I got this job. And I was trying to do this. And it’s interesting to hear that and also to see how that experience as a producing content, having more direct access to, you know, the audience that was reading your content, really helps, you know, kind of gives you a good perspective, because then moving on into the role of constant marketing, you have to kind of try to understand who your target audience is without getting that feedback. So actually seeing it from both sides. I’m sure it’s really helped to, and you’re in your role now in your career now. But as you mentioned, during this time we were looking for are the work in the UK, and then your next probably, you know, role that you had on your CV, which I read was that you were the PR and social media executive at the London School of Business and Finance. So it’s also during this time that you went back to school, I think no to pursue posts Graduate Studies and he also has produced pursued a master’s in political communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. So I was very looking at this and say, okay, went back to school, he’s interested in education. So I wanted to know, like, in your opinion, why is it so important to go back to school? As a marketing professional? And what’s the role of continuous learning in the world of marketing?

Thiago Kiwi 15:19
Oh, my God, yes, I think, no, no, what the reality is, I mean, this might sound controversial, but no one really knows anything, like, of what is happening in the world, you know, you know, who could predict that, you know, two or three years ago, who could predict that they would be in the situation that we are today with a global pandemic, you know, so much, so much going on in the world we have, you know, there’s so much that I think, for you to be able to absorb, and to be able to how to, you know, to, for you to be able to understand, and to know how to act, in times of change, you have to have the mindset of learning, you know, so to me, education, learning is part of my life, you know, I see that very much as, as being, you know, part of who I am, you know, without learning, you basically get stuck, you know, so I went back to university, yeah, back in, well, I think 1013 or 14, I remember exactly what year it was, and but I decided to do a degree that I was very interested in, you know, I had the choice of maybe doing a master’s in marketing, doing a master’s in denoting communications or in an MBA, but I was like, Okay, I want to do something that I’m very interested in, which has always been like politics. I’ve always been a bit of a politics junkie, you know, very interested in how people communicated. You know, if you look at, you know, the big kind of speeches of like Martin Luther King, you know, these things that really inspire people, these are the things that you may have always okay, how, what led that person to actually create such a piece of content, because that’s what it is ultimately, but create that piece of speech that inspired so many, you know, and it’s such an important time of history, but also through through the years since then, you know, so I remember, like, when I was, when I was, in my, suppose my, my cover letter for to be admitted on the course, I remember I mentioned all these, you know, I’m inspired by these people, you know, because they really move, they created a movement. And I believe that understanding what drives what drives people to really buy, or to really believe in to really believe and buy a vision of a politician or a public person, like, for example, such as Martin Luther King, for example. I think that it’s very much linked to business in a way, also, because, you know, even if you look at people like Simon Sinek, who talks about, you know, starts with why, you know, how do you actually get the crowds behind you, I think, that is very much connected to how to do political speech, in a way, you know, so that’s why, in a way, I was very interested in learning about political communications, because it is highly connected with the world of business, you know, having to drive the crowds and millions and millions of people to, to vote for, you know, believing what he’s saying, to believe in your project. That is, in a way, like, you know, that many lessons that businesses can come can learn from that, you know, and, and that’s why I went to study that topic. But since then, you know, I’ve done a lot as well, you know, I’ve done recently the Google square, it’s quite an online program, which to me was amazing, you know, I really enjoyed it. And I learned so much from the groups, you know, there’s a lot of group work. I learned a lot from books, you know, I’m always reading always have a book on a goal. Learning, you know, biographies as well, you know, and but yeah, you know, to me, education, learning, whether it’s a formal education, whether you do by yourself, it’s essential to everybody’s, you know, to anybody who wants you to succeed, you know, they need to, people need to have that, that as part of the daily life of

Kyler Canastra 19:54
exactly and like the idea of continuous learning and just trying to stay on top of everything. I feel like everything’s changing, you know, in this world. So it’s really hard to keep talking about the trends and see what people are more receptive to. But I do think it’s really interesting the point of looking at politicians and kind of how, why do people stand behind them and what they’ve done? And then kind of putting that into like a marketing perspective? Why would your target audience, for example, really want to invest in your company, you have to find those human is like kind of like this analysis, very of human behavior, of just hiring to understand what attracts you and what doesn’t, I think it’s so cool that like, I find that a lot of people in marketing, and a lot of people I’ve had on the show are very much proponents of continuous learning, but also just like pursuing your passion, like you can pursue your passion for politics, but has given you an even better understanding of the world and how people react. And I think that’s so important. So it’s great that you’re a huge proponent of continuous learning, because I am as well. And then also, like, you know, you kind of have now work in the education management sector, I mean, that you’ve kind of dedicated your career to so after the London School of Business and Finance, he went on to work for global university systems as both the PR and communications manager and the senior communications manager. And during this time, he played a huge role in the expansion of the business from three to over 20 global brands, who built a paid social structure from scratch and generate positive ROI within 18 months, they also manage a budget over 4 million pounds for lead generation, branding, customer acquisition among many other accolades during your time, so I was just more curious to learn about that experience as well like working for global university systems. And how was it because we asked a lot of people to who are, you know, leaders in their and their organizations, and you lead a team of 11? There? So can you just tell us a bit more about how that experience was to leading a team of 11? People?

Thiago Kiwi 21:39
Yes, yes, it was, it was challenging. But he was very, very powerful, you know, and very card to building in my life, you know, I came into global university systems, because basically, my, my previous job, you know, the London School of Business and Finance is part of, it’s now part of the global university system. So they are, they’re kind of, I just say, like, an umbrella brand that they own a lot of in universities throughout, you know, through Europe and Asia. And I think now, US and Caribbean, you know, so they’re growing massively. And I joined, yeah, I joined them, pretty much. You know, I came from the London School of Business and Finance, you know, and, as I said, before, you know, as you as you mentioned, it was basically three brands, and then they’ve grown massively through acquisitions, you know, so, by the time I left, there was about I was, we were essentially managing 1617 brands, you know, if I remember correctly, and my role during during this period, while I was there really evolved, because in the beginning, I was very much a content person, you know, I was managing a team, you know, we essentially were responsible for content, social media content, driving the dialogues, and we did some really interesting things. We did this thing called the was called the great mind series, which was essentially a, a series of interviews, you know, video interviews, and the time we manage to secure some amazing people, like, you know, when I end up going to reach Richard Branson’s house, you know, like, give me like an interview there. You know, it was amazing, you know, there was an Oxford. So that was a remarkable day, you know, working with a lot of very interesting people, like former Prime Minister of the UK, Joe major. Because when you work with you, when you work with education brands, there’s a lot of people who want to be associated with you, you know, education is one of those things that you attract is always a magnet to interesting people, you know, so, yeah, sometimes a few or just maybe like a size business, or if you’re just like, a tech company, perhaps not everybody wants to be associated with that, you know, with education. It’s a very kind of,

kind of neutral ground, where everybody wants to, you know, sometimes to be associated. So, we managed to interview some amazing people, some, some of the people that did seem pulled off like Richard Branson, John Major, they said, this lady from Dragon’s Den, Dragon’s Den is kind of this equivalent of this program in the US a Shark Tank, how, you know, so to do some of those, Deborah meeting, you know, that was an interesting one. So, within a lot and we even got some awards from that. But then, you know, moving from that content role into a more performance marketing role, because essentially, I was kind of the person for social media, the team was responsible for social media, and then it started evolving, you know, into was paid social, right. And then, with time, we managed to secure a contract with Facebook, that basically enabled us to do paid advertising on Facebook. And we started to see some really good results. You know, this was back in the day when people were skeptical about Facebook advertising, right, you know, so, you know, my remember my boss, he was the CMO, you know, is it really worth investing? I don’t know, this X amount of money on Facebook, you know, is it going to drive leads just isn’t going to drive demand? And then yeah, we we managed to prove the point, you know, and, as mentioned, we’ve got some really good results, you know, good positive return on investment, we were growing the investments, we were promoting, you know, we’re doing advertising for about 16, you know, 10, you know, 10 to 16 brands at the time, you know, managing all the ads, all the campaign’s you know, so it was a big kind of learning curve from Jimmy and just going back to education, you know, what I had to do at the time, you know, because I didn’t really had, I didn’t really have a lot of training on, on, you know, paid advertising, you know, that wasn’t really my thing. But I yeah, I basically was the first person, the whole company to be fully qualified as a Facebook marketer, you know, so I had all the, all the certificates that I needed, did a lot of courses, a lot of exams, just to make sure that I was on top of the game, because, you know, as when they, when the business decided to invest, you know, put money into it, you know, as you mentioned, at the time, by the time I left was around 4 million, you know, you do have to bring that money back, in multiplied by mobile in many, many times, you know, so it’s important that you stay on top of the game, understand how things work, and understand how to prove the ROI at the end of it.

Kyler Canastra 26:53
And I think like, for me about that experience, I think the biggest takeaway is this idea of education, being something that unifies people, I think, in a time that we’re so divided in this world, I find, I do think like education is something that people really value doesn’t matter what your background is, or who you are, I think people understand the power of education. So I think it’s interesting to learn about, like the marketing side of it. And, as I mentioned, before, I’ve worked with at like, higher education, universities, with their marketing departments in my career as well. And it’s been something that’s really been inspiring to know that you can, you know, your content might be, you know, bringing in these new people are going to have this whole educational journey and kind of, you know, win from that, you know, get a really good life experiences. So, I think that kind of, you know, has led you more on your more recent endeavor, right, I had spring, which I mentioned on the intro is a joint venture of the Financial Times and AI Business School. And the organization itself empowers other organizations to embrace change, some of them were mentioning before, too, and create this long term impact in terms of continuous learning. So as the head of marketing communications, you become responsible for creating this new as Executive Education brand, from implementing attribution models in a data driven sales funnel to improving marketing processes to reducing the sales qualification window from five months to 20 days, you’ve been quite busy, I can tell from your time it had spring, so I just want to know, like, how did you end up, you know, working in this new joint venture? And also what makes it a special place to work?

Thiago Kiwi 28:22
Oh, you know, headspring is, I love it, you know, it is a place is the family to me, you know, I love that. So let’s go back into Yeah, into it. So yeah, after, you know, after was those working at Global University Systems, you know, those these opportunity really, of working for the joint venture of the ft and IE business school at the time, he wasn’t called Head spring, you know, at the time, there was a net another name, which was the COVID corporate Learning Alliance. But it wasn’t a real brand. It was very much based on the on the FT brand and on the IE brands, you know, depending on the market that you were, you know, our sales team used to pick up the phone and say, Oh, this is Thiago. This is Nick from FC or from IE, depending who you’re speaking with. And so the first the first job there was to basically build a brand, you know, from scratch pretty much. And but yeah, but I guess I guess the biggest change for me, it wasn’t even so much on the branding aspect. But it was on the big shift between b2c You know, direct to consumer, you know, directory students at the time, right, you know, was basically driving performance marketing. Content marketing to students who could buy the program could buy the courses straight away from us. Now is a much more b2b aspect. You know, We’ve had spring we work with global clients, you know, we work with a lot of the banks in the UK and a lot of the banks in Spain, we work with a lot of the large companies in the Middle East in Germany as well. So, so, but we are focused as corporates. And that was the biggest kind of change your mindset that I had to go through personally, you know, it took me a while to really get it, you know, because sometimes when you go come from a from a b2c background where, you know, you do an advertising today, that person can click on your ads, and buy your course, or buy your products straight away, you know, moving from that, to like a b2b, where the sales funnel, the sales timeframe is some anytime between six months to two years, that really, you really need to shift your mind or, you know, to understand this approach, so my, my initial, my initial approach was basically to try and replicate the success that I had a Gus, in my previous job. I had spring, you know, so focusing a lot on digital channels, focusing a lot on advertising, increasing Google, you know, beat PPC, b2b, folk, PPC ads, you know, display ads on LinkedIn. But what we realized that we weren’t really getting a lot of return. For that kind of, I would say, the direct response advertising, you know, we really needed to build a brand. And that’s where you come in, you know, that’s where head spring come in. Oui, oui, oui, oui, you know, first of all, it took us about six months or so, just to be just to come up, just to get to the point of Headspring, you know,

as a brand, it was a very long process, we had a lot of stakeholders involved clients, prospects, partners, we’ve got to a point where we had about four 400 names, you know, it was it was a very complex, but also very, very interesting learning learning curve as well, because we, we’ve talked a lot of people, we got feedback all the time, we know we had our board that we that needed to approve it, you know, so it was, it was a very interesting process, which I can tell him perhaps in another episode, just to create, you know, how to go through a whole rebranding exercise, you know, learned a lot from that. But I guess, you know, my priority today, you know, after being we’ve had spring, now, for three, nearly four years, is basically building that brand. Because in b2b, there is no direct response, you can’t really just put an ad today on Google or Facebook and get the revenue, you know, you basically have to build your reputation, and your reputation I, I’m a strong believer, that reputation is built through content, no is built through the trust that that your clients, your partners, put on you, you know, to always give them value, you know, in a see the role of the marketer to create value, you know, it’s their content. So that’s why we investing a lot in podcasting, you know, we also the podcasting, a lot of articles, a lot of thought leadership, a lot of research. A lot of, you know, content marketing as a whole webinars, events, you know, we just finished a massive event was a virtual event, but it still was a very important one for us last month. And we had a lot of very interesting brands evolved, you know, so for me, you know, to me, I think that was the biggest mind shift, mindset shift, you know, true in the sense that there is nothing I can do today and head on Marciel head spring that is going to generate a sale tomorrow. Nothing, you know, and, you know, sometimes days you have is hard to have the conversation internally, because especially sales teams and our director of sales, sometimes, oh, no, we need more sales. But as much as I can increase the budget on Google today, or anything else, you know, it’s going to take the time because our buyers what we sell essentially a custom custom training programs, right so we sell programs that are for to train leaders to develop leaders, you know, to you know, often is the kind of the whole leadership team of the organization. And the solution is 100% customized to our clients. So it’s not going to be a one day thing. It’s not going to take one day to close a deal. You know, is going to be six months, it’s going to be, you know, 12 months, sometimes two years, you know, just from the, from the point where you get the clients, or from first touchpoints, to the client to the sales could be 12, to 12 months to two years. And then in throughout the journey throughout the customer journey, content plays a big role in, in ensuring that your clients, your customer, your prospect is always seeing you, you know, they remain top of the mind. So, to me, that’s the biggest lesson, but there’s so much, you know, data also plays a key role in the, you know, the data is, is essential, because, you know, in order to understand who is reading your content, who is consuming your content, you need to have data, you need to be able to track that, you know, because otherwise not able to demonstrate ROI at the end of it. So you need to them to have a good data integrity system is in place.

Kyler Canastra 36:00
Yeah, so important data, and also this whole idea of things take time, especially not just in the b2b environment, but content in general takes time. And I think that’s always comes up in the show, and it comes up with the clients I’ve worked with, it’s just you got to trust in the process, and also understand the value that you’re adding. And that whole idea of, you know, content, helping with the reputation, and by, you know, adding value to the people who are reading the content, but also building trust is so essential. So you did touch upon a bit, I was gonna ask you kind of the role of content in your role Headspring, you touched upon him already, but I wanted to know, if you had like a piece of content, or a campaign that you’ve done during your time at head spring that you’re particularly proud of?

Thiago Kiwi 36:40
Yeah, I mean, I can think of two, you know, if I’m allowed to say, I think, I think the first one was the first campaign that we did when we actually launched the brand. First came into the market, which was based on the concept of mean, the tagline was, was we don’t have the answers. Right? Because, really, you know, we wanted to be different, right. And the way I felt that, you know, especially in the business where we operate, right, we are talking with corporates, selling, selling, you know, training programs for them. But really, ultimately, what we’re truly believing is that we are not the ones who are going to give the answers to the client, we help them find the answers by themselves. Right. So, basically, you know, the whole campaign that we don’t have the answers is, you know, it’s kind of a way to break away from the traditional approach, you know, come to us, we’ll give you all the answers, you know, so it was it was a company that was quite proud of just to come up with their with their line, you know, yeah, it was a good one. We did a lot of advertising. And we did. Yeah, like some events, some, some activities based on that. But I would say the most, one of the things I’m most proud at Headspring is to something that we’ve done recently, actually, we’ve done for the second year in a row now, as a global event called learning exchange, which is essentially, you know, for us a handspring what is really important for us to, to remain very close with our clients, right to keep a relationship with them to almost use our platform, to give them almost to help our clients to be in the center stage. Right, to put the limelight on on them. The spotlight, I would say, on the clients, we know. So we created this, this event called learning exchange. Last year, this was you know, the first time we did was last year.

Kyler Canastra 38:54
By the year. Yeah, it was like

Thiago Kiwi 38:57
2020 Other pandemic, what are we doing? You know, so we decided to do this event, a virtual event. You know, it’s such a virtual conference. I mean, we had a lot of very interesting panels. But I think what was the most remarkable and we’ve just done the second one, the first one was great last year, you know, worked really well. But we it was a massive, kind of it was a massive step up from the first the second one, you know, in terms of the speakers, you know, we we didn’t really have to pay the speakers, you know, we had a lot of people who just wants to come just because they wanted to be associated with your brand. You know, we had to turn down a lot of speakers, we had to turn down a lot of people who could add a lot of value, but we just didn’t have the space to to to to accommodate all of them. But I mean, we had, for example, the the chief learning officer of Unilever, doing a keynote speech for us, you know, we had a lot of our clients, you know, companies such as, I don’t know, Schindler, Melia hotels, you know, some really big brands, you know, coming to us, you know, and speaking our event, you know, just because they want you to be associated red spring or because they’re happy, you know, to talk about the experience that they had with us. Or because we are, you know, because we have a good relationship with them. So, to me, what that indicates that first, you know, the work of building the brand is good is doing well. So that’s one thing. And the second was, you know, my role as a marketing guy, and in as we, as a marketing team, is to help our sales team to keep a good relationship with their clients, right, you have reasons to go to the clients and have a conversation, you know, just you have another touch point. So I think, we, through learning exchange, we’re able to give our sales salespeople a really good reason to be in touch with people that they wanted to, you know, say like, we had this event, Jenny speak at this event, we have a spot here for you, I think you’ll be great at speaking at this panel about diversity, or this panel about leading teams or this panel about sustainability, you know, so it really is a good way for our sales team to really have the conversation, you know, and into initiate conversations. And to me, that’s the most important thing, you know, obviously, we can we can’t get ourselves to focus on the job of marketing, which is creating content when you have to say, Okay, this is actually worked for our sales team. Does this give them an opportunity to connect with people? And in this case, it is, and I’m very happy with the results that we had this year. The team was amazing in putting the two together, you know, so, yeah, I mean, just hats off to the entire team. Really?

Kyler Canastra 42:12
Yeah, I heard that’s one thing, I really have enjoyed working like an education, management sector and marketing, it’s just like, you enter, you have so many opportunities to bring people together and do like really good programming and events that, yes, they do lead to like the goals that you’re trying to have on your sales team and your marketing team. But at the same time, it’s just kind of this really cool opportunity to exchange and bring people together and just have, I don’t know, idea, Exchange, which I think it’s so cool. And such, it must be rewarding to have that job. Now we’re coming towards the end of the interview. But before I wrap up, and anything, I was kind of want to pick your brain a bit further and know, okay, I feel like this part of the interview I always enjoy, because I get to see like what people do to get to be successful in their daily lives. So I was just wondering if you had any daily habits that you would attribute to your success that you could share with us, especially now, when it seems like you’re working from home today, and where a lot of us are kind of fully remote or hybrid? So what are some things that you do to kind of maintain that motivation and concentration?

Thiago Kiwi 43:13
Yeah, it’s, it’s quite tough, you know, I have to say, you know, the last 12 months of the last few years, pretty much they’ve been really tough, you know, mental health, you know, it’s a serious thing. You know, we all need to look after our minds and comfort of our well being, you know, so, to me, what keeps me going, you know, it’s two things, I’d say, you know, running is a part of my daily life, you know, not, you know, hasn’t, you know, it’s something that I’ve been doing for, say 10 years or so since I came to the UK pretty much. I feel that I need to and even sometimes my wife, like she says, Oh, if I wake up in a bad mood, she say, I’ll just go for a run, man, you know, you. You know. So to me, yeah, that’s an important part of my life, you know, just running, but exercising in a row like it as a whole, I think it is a big thing for me. But also reading, you know, reading to me is like, again, it’s something I love, you know, spend a lot of time reading. What I struggle, for example of not having to commute. It’s like not having the 30 minutes on the train that you can read a book, you know, so you have to find time to read, but reading it’s probably the most impactful thing you can do in your life for your learning and development. You know, when especially reading books, you know, those kind of books maybe are old fashioned today, I don’t know. But reading a book will lead you to read another and then religious to read another one and another one. and it’s the most to me is one of the most rewarding things, you know, the feeling of finishing a book, just like that, you know, next, you know, so reading and writing my things I would say, I was gonna ask you, you mentioned

Kyler Canastra 45:17
that already, but have you ever struggled sometimes trying to find time to read or to motivate myself to do so and carve out that time give any

Thiago Kiwi 45:27
time? Time is hard. So the hydrosphere you know, we’re all very busy every three kids

Kyler Canastra 45:33
a lot more responsibilities than me with my phone. What what I mean,

Thiago Kiwi 45:37
what I have to do, you know, is a wake up early. Um, luckily, luckily, I have kind of, I’ve always been like, an early bird. Yeah, I’ve always been a morning person, you know? So I usually wake up at six. And before everyone else, yeah, then, you know, maybe I’ll do you know, do a half an hour run, and back by half, six, or if I wake up at half, six, back by seven, then I have the time to get my kids ready to school for school and leave the house in time. You know, so. Yeah, and, but yeah, any, any gaps really, that you can find? isn’t, you know, is helpful? Yeah, I tried. I tried to fit some of these things, you know, with books, you know, something I’d start I started doing last year is doing audiobooks. Okay, so I do a lot of audiobooks as well, you know, sometimes when I’m reading I’m also listen to a book. But, you know, for example, I did a lot of cooking in the weekends, you know, like, for example, my lows were here yesterday. So, you know, while I’m cooking, kind of listen to the book, you know, so it’s kind of finding the time as well, just to, to be in that, you know, just optimizing the time and but yeah, but I mean, time is a is a tough thing, you know, I think, is the most valuable assets that we that we all have in our lives. And, and yeah, so whatever, half an hour that you can do, but also appreciate that people might not have the time, you know, they’re just overtired to, you know, to actually even think about running or thinking, thinking about reading a book. And I appreciate that, you know, so do do one thing, though, was my I mean, my main advice would be, you know, for people is basically to do, what they, what they think it works for them, you know, what makes them happy, you know, in my case, what makes me happy is to go for a run, you know, what, you know, and maybe read a book, but to people perhaps maybe just sleeping half an hour more an hour more or, or to watch some TV or you know, and that’s absolutely fine. Do whatever works for you. If you want to play video games, I love playing video games as well. Just do it, man. You know, like, there’s no rules, you know, do what is good for your mind.

Kyler Canastra 48:04
Yeah. And what makes you happy? Exactly. As someone is such a bookworm as yourself. What recommendations do you have when it comes to books? Any like recent books a good enjoyed and?

Thiago Kiwi 48:13
Yeah, a lot? Oh, that’s a tough? That’s a very tough question. You know, like picking one is hard. I would say a book that I read recently, that I think is really worth it. It’s just a book, a foundation for life, I’d say. It’s the seven habits by Stephen Coyne. Sorry, the seven habits by Stephen Covey. Amazing book, like it’s a, it’s a big book. So it’s not something that you do lightly, you know, so, but if you want to spend some time like reading dedicate your true book that’s really going to change your way of thinking, recommend, you know, the seven habits of highly productive people. It’s really good one. Now, whatever read or listen recently as an audiobook, that was really good as well as I think it’s more it’s less of a book but more of a course. It’s called the creative thinkers toolbox. It’s on Amazon, it’s on thing called an audible is a fantastic is a fantastic, fantastic resource. You know, basically it’s like lectures, but the speakers is fantastic. And you learn so much about creativity, you know, and a lot of the misconceptions that I had about creativity, you know, of how your brain works, you know, actually, I learned that was completely wrong, you know, so. I’ve always been a person who trusted in my kind of, “oh, this idea is gonna come eventually”. I always postponed things like, ah I need to write something, let me wait until the idea comes. But actually, what I realized with this audiobook, is that you need to be proactive when it comes to creativity. So if you need to write a headline for a story or if you need to come up with a name for a new podcast, sit down and spend time really creating as many as you can. Because the way the brain works is basically you need to give yourself the time and follow the rule of extended efforts. The more time you spend actually trying to come up with creative ideas, creative names, the more the creative juices will flow and the better you are going to be and the better the result will be eventually.

Kyler Canastra 50:53
For sure. Now, three, that’s great. I love all the recommendations we have. And my last recommendation question is because it seems like you look for inspiration in books, but also you mentioned before that your mother was a really a big source of inspiration for you. I was just wondering, do you have any other like role models or sources of inspiration that drive you?

Thiago Kiwi 51:14
Yeah, yeah. So I say, you know, my mom, definitely, you know, best person out there. You know, buys, of course, and I’m sure everybody else say the same about their mother, but it’s two people that I know, one people, one person, like, from our current times, I read recently, his, his biography, Barack Obama, I read the Michelle Obama bio, and then I read his which came after. And I was so inspired by them, like, that compose like, Well, these guys are like, if you think that you are going through difficult challenges, but he’s like, you know, dealing wars dealing with like pirates is, you know, dealing with so many, you know, like, you know, financial crisis, unemployment, you know, the lives of so many people dependent on, on, on on him, you know, to me, Barack Obama is a, you know, it’s, you know, just reading his book really inspired me. A historical person that really often come comes to mind as well, as, you know, the st. St. Paul, you know, his biography, you know, it’s impressive as well. He basically was, you know, a bad guy, kind of thing. You know, he was like, you know, he was a kind of very bad guy, you know, evolved, like, in a lot of stuff, you know, in the early days of his lives, and then he, he changed his life. You know, he basically, to me, it’s like, a good story about him. You know, are we all imperfect? You know, nobody, he’s perfect. I’m not perfect, you know, perfect, but we can work through, you know, our imperfections and strive to improve. And so for me, he, you know, that story, I read his book. It’s called Paul and Steven, the book actually. And, to me, it was a very, very powerful story as well, you know, so yeah, these two guys, you know, Obama and some St. Paul. They, these are good. Starting Points. Yeah.

Kyler Canastra 53:35
And I don’t want to make the show political, but as an American, and I can say that we miss honestly about oh, no, it was it’s been a rocky road since then.

Thiago Kiwi 53:47
Yes, he’s been the hardcore writer. But, you know, nobody’s, uh, yeah, nobody is perfect. And I’m sure he’s, you know, he’s got his own challenges as well, his own his perfections I, especially politicians, you know, it’s very hard to, to kind of say, Oh, this guy is an inspiration to me. But, you know, I was quite inspired by his book by his autobiography. Yes.

Kyler Canastra 54:10
Interesting Man and destiny. Now, we’ve come to the end of the interview, which is, you know, I can feel like we could talk for a lot longer. I’ve learned so much from your and I’m sure our audience has as well, from your experience, what has brought you from Brazil to the UK and your marketing experience. But also, it’s like the things that inspire you, whether it be you know, running an exercise to the books that you read. Now, do you This is hard question to answer, but I’m going to ask it. Do you have any final takeaways or a piece of parting advice from your experience in the conversation today that you’d like to give our audience a

Thiago Kiwi 54:44
very simple question. Yeah, I really believe in yourself. Believe in your ideas. And don’t be afraid to to keep learning you know, making mistakes and Learn from it. You know, I think that is my main advice. There’s no rules, you know, especially with marketing, we’re sitting, we’re such a privileged position because we have the tools, you know, we, we have the brands to work with. We have so many channels nowadays that we can create content. You know, just try, you know, I recently started doing podcasts myself, because we don’t have like a podcast person, you know, say, Well, I want to do podcast, let’s do you know, and, to me, it’s been a massive learning curve, you know, getting better at each episode at each interview, and it’s just been a powerful way of learning and developing, but, you know, don’t yeah, don’t let yourself, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you know, and just learn, you know, just learn from every experience, whether there is a good experience or a bad one. Just learn from it and improve next time, right?

Kyler Canastra 56:05
Yeah, exactly. Now, we got in touch on LinkedIn, but anyone that’s listening now, once again, touch with you, how would be the best or would be the best way to get in touch?

Thiago Kiwi 56:15
Yeah, LinkedIn is probably the good place, you know, Chicago, Kevie. So I’m there. I’m not, I’m not very active. But sometimes I do a few posts. But yeah, that’s me, you know.

Kyler Canastra 56:30
Perfect. Well, I want to thank you, again, so much, Jaggu, for sharing your insights with us today. And I want to thank everyone for listening in. This actually marks the last episode of 2021. And we actually have some exciting things in the pipeline for the podcast in the new year. So definitely stay tuned for that. But as always, for more perspectives on the content marketing industry in Europe, and check out And keep tuning into the podcast next year as well for more interviews with content experts such as Yahoo. So again, thank you so much for your time, and we’ll see you all next time. And we hope that everyone has a safe and happy holiday.

Thiago Kiwi 57:06
Happy Christmas, everybody. Happy Holidays are the best.

Kyler Canastra 57:09
Thank you again to

Unknown Speaker 57:11
thank you

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