— Interview by Emily Santos
Emily is a social producer and brand strategist. Since graduating from Columbia College Chicago in 2018 she has been sharpening her craft in the digital space.
Valeria Luna, The Head of Marketing at The Podcast App, an app on a mission to bring podcasts to hundreds of millions of people around the world and connect them with content that will help them learn and be moved shares her perspective as a Latinx Executive and how working the other end of the spectrum in the start-up world benefits existing and future Founders. Valeria shared with us the importance podcasting has on the media market, why this start-up has amazing growth potential and her advice to Latinx professionals looking to jump-start their career in the marketing or start-up industry.
Explain the importance of The Podcast App and its importance on the media market
Podcasts are the fastest growing form of media, and The Podcast App is the first podcast player that’s designed to be easy to use for anyone in the world, regardless of their background. You can access over 600 thousand shows, search for specific episodes, create your own listen to the later playlist and receive personalized episode recommendations.
Why does The Podcast App have a high growth potential?
Podcast listeners have been growing steadily for the past 10 years, and right now it has become a monthly habit for almost one-third of the US population: 90 million people. This same phenomenon is quickly happening worldwide, which means there will eventually be a billion people accessing audio content every day. We’ve built the most user-friendly podcast player, so they can navigate this new world and get the best content for them.
What is the company’s 5-year vision?
We love podcasts they are a key source of our day-to-day learning, both personally and professionally. We have learned about a broad variety of topics: from nutrition and meditation to in-depth conversations with high profile entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Our goal is to connect more people with content that will help them learn and be moved, and eventually, turn The Podcast App into the largest university in the world.
What inspired you to join the team at The Podcast App?
I deeply believe in the power of podcasts to transform people’s lives. But most importantly I joined the team because of the people. I find daily inspiration in working with an extremely talented group of professionals who have a people-first mentality, and that’s the case with our team at The Podcast App. One of our core values is being a force of good in the world, which influences not only our mission but also the everyday work in the company. I couldn’t imagine a more exciting environment!
Explain your role as the Head of Marketing?
I head our user acquisition efforts that drive thousands of installs to The Podcast App monthly in a profitable way. We became the #1 podcast player in the App Store charts in 2017, through paid marketing and App Store Optimization.
What advice do you have for Latinx professionals looking to start a career in a growing Start-up?
Always remember that you have the agency to choose which company to work for. Look for companies whose mission you feel inspired by, and think whether you are going to enjoy spending time with the team. You are going to You want to make sure you are going to wake up excited and want to show up every day.
What advice do you have for Latinx marketing professionals?
Don’t get distracted with what’s new, understand where your customers are and what they need. Make sure to interact with colleagues to learn from other people’s mistakes, so you can save time.
What are your current favorite podcasts?
How I Built This, inspiring stories about entrepreneurs who’ve created movements
Inside Intercom: great insights about product development and marketing strategies.
Great Women of Business: inspiring stories of great businesswomen in the US, and insights about the strategies they’ve used to create empires
Can you explain the difficulties of being promoted into an executive position?
I can think about 3 skills that need to be developed to be promoted to an executive position in a corporation: leadership, communication, and strategic thinking. Leadership in terms of managing and inspiring people; communication as the tool to articulate your ideas and compellingly express them to move others; and strategic thinking, because you need to understand what is really important for the company and be working towards that.
Do you believe working the other end of the spectrum in the start-up world (executive position) benefits existing and future founders?
I do. By working in a start-up you are usually exposed to a more comprehensive view of the business, you get to learn about not only your specific role but about how to run the business. From managing budgets to fundraising strategies, and most importantly you learn how to deal with the emotional rollercoaster that a start-up can be.
Would you recommend founders to work in an executive position prior to starting their own business?
Totally, I think about it as being in a laboratory: you get to experiment in the field and learn by responsibly doing. All the knowledge that you get in these types of experiences, is transferrable to building your own business in the future.