Astrid Vasconcellos, director of marketing and communications for Twitter in Latin America, is the winner of the 2017 INMA Scholarship to the Berlin School of Creative Leadership’s Executive MBA programme, which funds €20,000 in tuition support.

Elisabeth Nelson, senior director/audience engagement strategy at Gannett, was the runner-up. Both are enrolled in the MBA programme.

Here’s a bit about Vasconcellos, her career, and industry outlook:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I am marketing and communications professional with over 10 years experience working for different segments of the media industry, including PR agencies, television networks, and digital media. I have spent the last seven years developing my skills as a leader within fast past environments and cross-functional teams.

I love managing teams and have always been passionate about communications, design, and research. In my current role, as marketing and communications director for Twitter in Latin America, I am responsible for communicating Twitter’s value to both external and B2B audiences. I hold a graduate degree in social communications from Brazilian university FAAP (Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado).

Astrid Vasconcellos, director of marketing and communications for Twitter in Latin America, is the winner of this year's INMA Scholarship to the Berlin School of Creative Leadership’s Executive MBA programme.
Astrid Vasconcellos, director of marketing and communications for Twitter in Latin America, is the winner of this year's INMA Scholarship to the Berlin School of Creative Leadership’s Executive MBA programme.

Can you tell us about Twitter’s presence in Latin America?

Latin America is among the most important regions for Twitter globally. It’s a high potential growth market, with mobile, broadband and internet penetration still expanding. 

What do you think is going to be the biggest challenge or obstacle in digital communication in 2017?

We live in a consumer-centric age, where consumers can pull all the information they need versus depending on it being pushed to them. Given this increased control of consumers decisions, it’ll be important for marketers to establish a genuine connection with their customers and simplify processes.

Although it has always been a marketer's role, to deliver the right message to the appropriate audience in a relevant context — this will be even more challenging as digital communication advances and consumers are more fragmented, overloaded with information, and have lower attention spans.

In order to differentiate themselves, brands will need to cut through the clutter and anticipate consumers needs before they even ask.

Can you give us your top five predicted buzzwords or hashtags of 2017?

#MobileFirst: Increasingly consumers turn to their phones to get informed. We also see more and more traffic coming from mobile devices than desktops. Content, ads, and experiences will need to be integrated with the mobile user lifestyle vs. only enhancing online or offline experiences to mobile. 

#LiveStreaming: Livestreaming will continue to grow. With all major digital platforms: Twitter, Facebook and Google entering this territory with both premium and consumer generated content. There will be a lot more live broadcasts throughout 2017, with opportunities for brands to connect to their consumers.

#InteractiveContent: Content will continuously evolve from static to interactive. Consumers will want to engage with the information they are reading about and eventually even purchase. Chatbots will play a role in this, making the consumer experience simpler and more effective.

#Relevance: With attention spans getting smaller and information overload larger, demand for relevant, contextual and synthesized messages will be increasingly important. Short content, with the correct segmentation, placed in the right context will appeal to consumers, especially those from Generation Z.

#VirtualAugmentedReality: PokemonGo says it all. This will be a new way for brands to create experiences with their consumers, which will definitively be hot in 2017.

How will receiving the INMA Berlin School Scholarship help you move forward in your line of work?

It will certainly help me be a more well-rounded and knowledgable professional. Through this opportunity granted by INMA, I will gain a broader perspective of the media industry, as well as further develop my leadership skills and establish a global network which will all be invaluable for my line of work in the future.