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Carolina Pintor

The value of developing meaningful relationships

How did you come to EdTech?

I’m a business administrator, and I started my career in marketing from an internship. Almost 11 years ago, I came into the world of EdTech through Nivel Siete, and since then I have been involved in the tech world from different perspectives. I managed Field Marketing operations, marketing strategies, digital demand, and product marketing at Blackboard, which broadened my understanding. Now I have come back to the marketing field, applying my experience in EdTech from different perspectives.

How do you like your operating teams to function?

You should have a marketing strategy for both the short and long term. Over the short term, you have to measure specific results and execute cyclical initiatives that reach different contacts in your target audience, from platform administrators to decision-makers at universities or businesses. Over the long term, you have to nurture and strengthen these relationships, since many products and services in this industry complement each other or are renewed over time. You need a marketing team that deeply understands the products or services, as well as the B2B market. This understanding is fundamental to speaking the same language as the clients and competitors in the industry. As a result, you need a deep knowledge of the product and a broad understanding of the industry to be successful in EdTech marketing.

✨ Pearl of wisdomYou need a marketing team that deeply understands the products or services, as well as the B2B market. This understanding is fundamental to speaking the same language as the clients and competitors in the industry.

What excites you most about the industry?

I have worked in professional development for businesses in the corporate and commercial market, but I have always kept my connection to the universities in Latin America and throughout the world. I think that education is a crucial tool for the development of countries and people. I have had the opportunity to be present for the evolution of many universities in Latin America, from the implementation of their LMS to the creation of advanced learning ecosystems. This is really interesting to me, since the universities are serving people in different stages of their lives, from undergraduate to people seeking continual learning throughout their lives. This idea of “lifelong learning” is fundamental for me. Being at the intersection of technology and education allows me to be up to date on the latest trends in both fields, which I find very enriching. So I think that my passion for education is what motivates me to continue in this industry.

✨ Pearl of wisdomThis idea of “lifelong learning” is fundamental for me. Being at the intersection of technology and education allows me to be up to date on the latest trends in both fields, which I find very enriching.

What is your main responsibility in your current role?

I lead Coursera’s marketing strategy for its Enterprise portfolio in Latin America, which encompasses three segments: Coursera for Campus, Coursera for Business, and Coursera for Government. Despite being part of a single region, each country has its particularities, which makes my job feel like leading multiple mini-regions. The main challenge comes out of scaling a regional marketing strategy at a global company, adapting it to the specific needs of each country. This requires considering aspects like content localization, availability of materials in Spanish and Portuguese, and fitting the product to each market. In summary, translating a local strategy to a global context is a complex challenge that requires tackling various aspects, from the product to client support.

✨ Pearl of wisdomKeeping up to date is key to understanding the market evolution. Segmentation is based on geographic and cultural factors, as well as knowledge of the market and its development.

What criteria do you use for working with different countries?

The segmentation criteria are based on geographic location, but also on an ability to understand the region, their business culture, and the educational landscape. This involves knowing about university rankings, trends, and government support for education. In the corporate world, it is essential to identify the leading industries in each country and anticipate the training needs based on local development. Keeping up to date is key to understanding the market evolution. Segmentation is based on geographic and cultural factors, as well as knowledge of the market and its development.

What tools and strategies have served you well for localizing content?

To tackle that challenge, I think the human component is essential. Although artificial intelligence tools are valuable, I always prefer to have a person who knows the product in depth and knows how to communicate with our audience. Sometimes, those of us who have been in the same industry for a long time tend to repeat patterns. Because of that, it is beneficial to have someone else, whether that’s an external collaborator or an agency, who can offer a fresh perspective. This person doesn’t just translate, they also make specific adjustments to adapt the message to the Latin American market, eliminating or modifying elements as necessary. On top of that, doing a detailed review of the message to insure its coherence with our marketing objectives is key. More than highlighting success in translation, I think the key focus is on localization and in having the human component not just to review, but to really adapt the message to our market needs.

✨ Pearl of wisdomMore than highlighting success in translation, I think the key focus is on localization and in having the human component not just to review, but to really adapt the message to our market needs.

If you had to organize the marketing department of a multinational EdTech firm, how would you do it?

I think the ideal formula is a combination of global and local focus with external support. Having a global team and a local team allows you to focus on creating impactful strategies instead of taking up your time with the details of execution that can take more time. For example, content production can benefit from external collaborators, whether through contracts or agencies, since an internal team may not have the capacity to adapt to regional specifications. Allowing internal teams to focus on creating valuable strategies and turning to external collaborators for content strategy, events, and communities can be the most effective formula.

✨ Pearl of wisdomAllowing internal teams to focus on creating valuable strategies and turning to external collaborators for content strategy, events, and communities can be the most effective formula.

In over a decade in EdTech, what do you think has been your most significant achievement?

One of the most memorable moments for me was when we were able to bring together 500 people in the Mexico MoodleMoot. The motivation was completely organic; everyone wanted to learn more about the world of open source and the platform itself. That event was a high point in my career. I had never imagined that it would be able to attract so many people. In this market, it is important to remember that we are not just inviting people to events or sharing documents, we’re building meaningful relationships. Here, we interact with people who don’t just have ten years of experience with the technology, they have a whole life’s worth. Talking to them about the platform or new tools is like talking to them about their daily lives. When we build relationships, we have to address different aspects, from who we invite to how we involve them and make them a part of our community. This mentality of building community is something I have always maintained as part of my initiatives. In addition to that, another achievement that stands out was the meeting of businesses, governments, and academic leadership in one event last year, after the pandemic, which made me very proud and reinforced my belief that education can bring together different industries.

✨ Pearl of wisdomWhen we build relationships, we have to address different aspects, from who we invite to how we involve them and make them a part of our community. This mentality of building community is something I have always maintained as part of my initiatives.

What works best to market an EdTech solution in Latin America?

To understand and meet the needs in Latin America, it is key to speak the same language. But I don’t see it as segmentation or discrimination, but rather as a privilege to connect in a specific way with each country. Each one has its particularities in terms of education and access. That means addressing their challenges and offering appropriate solutions. To do that, we need to understand the pain points in each market, because that’s the only way we can provide effective solutions that include our value proposition, whether in the form of a service or a product. We also need to talk with all the relevant actors, from decision-makers to end users. Customer success strategy is essential, especially for mature universities, because adoption and continual use of our products are key. We have to carefully analyze each area and apply demand-generation strategies that are specific to each one, including loyalty strategies that can significantly increase our sales, even in established markets.

✨ Pearl of wisdomEach country has its particularities in terms of education and access. That means addressing their challenges and offering appropriate solutions. To do that, we need to understand the pain points in each market, because that’s the only way we can provide effective solutions that include our value proposition, whether in the form of a service or a product.

How do events work in Latin America?

I believe events should offer practical, tangible learning that attendees can immediately apply in their daily lives. Although we all know that events have a commercial component, in marketing I always look to balance that with valuable takeaways. When I review the content for an event, I check that each presentation will offer specific, useful advice that the audience can implement immediately. Some events, which are more like dynamic workshops, are particularly effective in this sense, since they offer clear advice and allow us to hear needs directly from professionals in the field. This interaction is beneficial for both parties and can inspire future webinars, ebooks, and relevant content. On top of that, I believe events should address topics that are truly innovative, not stay trapped in concepts like “digital transformation” that we’ve been talking about for years now. Instead, we should focus on trends and data that are current and challenging. Interactive, enriching events are especially valuable in the EdTech industry.

In Latin America, there is space to create impactful events like HolonIQ, that stand out for their keynote speakers, regional focus, startup participation, and workshop opportunities. However, I’m selective about the events I participate in. I’m interested in events that build community. Although there are new events in the world of education, some are more corporate. In the EdTech industry, we also have to consider the presence of competitors and other providers.

✨ Pearl of wisdomWhen I review the content for an event, I check that each presentation will offer specific, useful advice that the audience can implement immediately. Some events, which are more like dynamic workshops, are particularly effective in this sense, since they offer clear advice and allow us to hear needs directly from professionals in the field.
🔥 Rapid fire questions
Agency or in-house?
Agency
Inbound or outbound?
Inbound
Marketing or sales?
Marketing, of course.
Hubspot, Pardot, Elocua or something else?
Marketo
Specialists or generalists?
Generalists
Ed or Tech?
Tech
Do or think?
Think
Quantity or quality?
Quality
In-person or virtual?
In-person