CMO on a Mission to Help SMBs Succeed Learns Marketing Strategies to Grow His Company and Career
The Emerging CMO: Strategic Marketing Leadership program gave Luiz Piovesana, chief marketing officer of Nuvemshop, the frameworks and skills to grow his technology company.
Since he was an undergraduate, Luiz Piovesana has been driven “to help small businesses thrive.” While studying engineering at a São Paulo, Brazil, university, he joined the Junior Enterprise movement — a student-run nonprofit that provides services in their areas of study to companies, institutions, and individuals. Working with the organization, Luiz applied his studies in mechatronics and robotics to helping small businesses.
“I fell in love with understanding and running a business,” Luiz says. “It was life-changing. Though I didn’t go to a business school, I had a curiosity for learning and putting that into practice.” During his senior year, Luiz co-founded an online business networking platform for small- to medium-sized businesses, or SMBs, called Empreendemia.
Luiz has since dedicated his career to helping entrepreneurs and SMBs succeed. After co-founding Empreendemia, he was head of marketing at a business-to-business tech company that services enterprise customers. Since 2019, he has served as chief marketing officer at Nuvemshop — a Brazil-based e-commerce platform that gives retailers the tools to set up, manage, and market their online stores. The company has 1000 employees in three countries, with 100K+ active merchants selling throughout Latin America. In 2021, they acquired a 250-person logistics company called Mandaê, and a 40-person e-commerce education company, Ecommerce na Prática.
Over the years, Luiz traveled to marketing events in Latin America and the U.S. to network and stay on top of trends. But as his need for high-level marketing education increased, the return on investment to attend these events decreased. “I thought, let’s find the best possibilities for marketing leaders to go and learn,” he says. This desire to learn more to help him grow his company and his career led Luiz to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business Executive Education.
Learning with Other Marketing Leaders
Luiz enrolled in the one-week, on-campus program, The Emerging CMO: Strategic Marketing Leadership. “I wanted [to learn] marketing strategy frameworks, with cases and analysis from the professors,” Luiz recalls. “I wanted an environment with a focus on innovation and technology. The other really important thing was to interact with peers.”
The curriculum blends strategic marketing management, customer-centric innovation, communication, and leadership skills. Luiz enjoyed the professors’ lectures and case studies, Q&A, and discussion among his peers. “I enjoyed being 100-percent focused on learning — and able to free [my] mind from the biases of everyday operations,” Luiz says. “It was refreshing to have new inputs and tools and the ability to zoom out, to bring other examples and information to the table.”
Luiz immersed himself in learning alongside other marketing leaders from different sectors. “When you exchange ideas with other [executives], you get to build the strategy that makes the most sense for your company,” he says.
Strategies to Drive Business Growth
Luiz has big plans for his company, with a goal of reaching 500K e-commerce customers in the next 5 years. “The program gave me the strategic marketing management frameworks that have taken years of research to build,” Luiz reflects. “Today, I am more confident and comfortable making decisions because of the frameworks I saw tested during the course.
He has stayed in touch with the other program participants, hosting a barbeque at his home for his Brazilian classmates. That network, says Luiz, is vital to keeping a fresh outlook on marketing, while exchanging ideas and experiences based on what they learned at Stanford. The digital marketplace changes constantly, and marketing leaders need to stay ahead of the curve.
“I believe in constant learning; it’s embedded in our company culture,” Luiz says. “If the CMO role evolves and I don’t, I’m not the person for [the job]. For me, learning never ends.”