Long reads

The Euro50 Q&A: Lígia Rodrigues da Silva, Zon

Head of marketing and communication Lígia Rodrigues da Silva has been responsible for the successful marketing launch of Zon Multimédia’s new IRIS by ZON Fiber triple-play offering.

Age 42 years old

Education Degree in Management; post-graduate in Advanced Marketing

Previous positions I started my professional activity within Unilever, as a management trainee. After six years of intensive training in marketing and sales in the food category at Unilever, which contributed largely to my professional growth, I decided to further develop my skills in the advertising world, where I took a position as account director with full responsibility for McDonalds Portugal’s account. Within the agency, I was responsible for both marketing and advertising, and during three years I carried out a very demanding job. In 2001, I accepted an invitation to work for the telecom business, with high expectations regarding the interactive TV launch back then. Although this project didn’t work out at that time, I fell in love with the cable business, and shortly after I became responsible for the company’s pay TV business. For the last five years I’ve been ZON TV Cabo’s head of marketing and communications. Moreover, I had the opportunity to take on the responsibility for the company’s re-branding after the telecom’s spin-off, which occurred at the end of 2007.

Last year’s highlights This year’s professional highlights were mainly related to a new service launch – IRIS by ZON Fiber – which is a triple-lay fibre service with a new user interface – the winner in this year TV of Tomorrow Show in San. Francisco, US – with broadband speeds above 30Mbps. A new marketing plan with a broader perspective was developed in order to present a new image of Zon, with a leadership attitude, built on the attributes that were lacking in our brand: innovation and technology. This resulted in a new creative framework that should be expressed through out all the touch points, starting with a new name and visual identity for this service – IRIS by ZON Fiber. We decided to develop the campaign on top of the strong image of the UI line, showing how it works but on a very personalised way, matching the service benefits. As a result we ended up with a stronger brand, with major increases in all brand attributes – namely innovation, young and modern, credible and quality of service. With this new advertising work we reached our highest levels, in which regards campaigns spontaneous impact and branding recognition and we conquered Gold in CTAM Creative Awards, in Malta last September.  Regarding business results, we achieve a 59% triple-play penetration in our cable customer base, which is one of the highest penetration of triple-play bundles in Europe. In the first semester the total amount of Zon triple-play clients with fibre grew almost 60%.

Most significant industry development There were several, namely all the new set top box functionalities, together with  pay TV  personalisation and an increase in broadband speeds due to FTTx infrastructures.

Goals for next year Despite the huge amount of investment made by our telco competitor, we aim to reinforce our market leadership, and strengthen our brand image. The roadmap of product development is very ambitious, with innovative services to be launch under IRIS by Zon Fiber brand.

Industry challenges and opportunities The main challenges are all related to our economic situation, here in Portugal. Portuguese people will face several financial restrictions, which will affect consumption in general, and we may suffer from a decrease in Zon revenues. The analogue signal switch off will represent a major opportunity to increase our actual customer base and reinforce market leadership.

Alternative career choice I would have liked to work in the tourism area, mainly because Portugal is a country with so many assets, from nature/climate/historical background to gastronomy, passing through sports golf, surf, that I feel almost oblige to help brand my country.

TV character most identified with Oprah but just because I feel the same pleasure from talking to people and I would enjoy having the power to help others.

Most admired personality I really admire Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi economist and founder of the Grameen Bank, an institution that provides microcredit, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. I strongly believe that we should give others the power to change their life.

Life outside work In my leisure time I like to spend time with my family and friends, I also have a great time travelling, reading and playing with my kids.