Q&A with Cristine Vieira | President + Co-Founder, Find Your Influence

phoenix
  • By: phoenix
  • In: Q&As
  • Posted: October 5, 2018

Growing up, Cristine Vieira was always on the move as her family moved back and forth between Brazil and New Jersey. She settled in Tempe, Arizona where she earned a degree in marketing from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. Her dream of a career in marketing became a reality when she joined Avnet Technology Solutions, where she managed business and marketing strategy. Cristine then transitioned to LifeLock, still in its early stages as a company. She instantly loved the cutting-edge, analytical nature of digital media and the ever-changing startup environment. During her tenure she managed highly successful social media, brand ambassador and affiliate programs, and recognized the industry’s need for a solution that would make these campaigns more efficient. She co-founded Find Your Influence with partner Jamie Reardon to solve that very problem. Cristine has done her share of moving about the country and welcomes the opportunity to remain in Arizona indefinitely, with her husband and their two children.

cristine vieira

What do you love most about working in the tech world?
I love how much tech changes and how we are trying to find efficient solutions for specific problems. In general, I tend to be very analytical. I like to look at a problem and first figure out a solution and then to think through a tech solution for the same problem that results in making lives easier. With Find Your Influence, I’m able to do that. Every single day we have a new problem we are trying to solve in the influencer space. For example, how do we find more relevant influencers? How do we make an agency’s job easier when it comes to managing influencer marketing campaigns? When I was at LifeLock (2007-2013), I managed an influencer marketing program for years. One of the first things we did when we saw the success of a campaign was ask how we could make it more efficient. How could we make the analytics more valuable to LifeLock? Our first step was start looking for a tech solution in the influencer marketing space. That was eight years ago. My ‘aha moment’ came when we couldn’t find one. From there, we decided to go and build one. That was probably the first time I was looking for a technology solution and there wasn’t one that existed. We decided to fix that. To take the leap and start our own solution was exciting! Both Jamie Reardon (Co-Founder) and I were researching it together and when we couldn’t find anything, we just looked at one another and knew that it was something we wanted to do together. At home, my husband was super supportive. I was more scared than he was because I’m a little more risk-averse. When I came home with the idea and shared it with him, I was hesitant because we had a little boy and I was pregnant with our daughter. He was the one that pushed me and told me that we had to do it.

 

What do you believe is the biggest hurdle women face in pursuing a career in technology?
I think it’s that there aren’t as many women in the space. My first tech job was at Avnet where I was part of the marketing department. That team had a lot of women leaders and employees but if you looked at the majority of the company and their clients, it was over 90 percent men. I remember going to conferences and it felt like a frat party. For any female to walk into a room and feel comfortable enough to speak up, it made it a lot harder. At Find Your Influence, our staff skews heavily female but that is not intentional at all. We first built the team on more of a referral basis. We tended to get a lot of friends of friends. As we’ve grown, we’ve certainly become more diverse. I feel strongly that we’ve been fortunate with the team we’ve built.

 

If you could change one thing about your education or career path, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change anything about my career path, however with my education I may have pursued a more technical focus that offered a certificate. I think I could have benefitted from more experience and exposure to tech early on. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing from Arizona State but it didn’t give me insight into the tech world. I have no regrets about my degree. That was the right degree for me because I’ve had a wonderful career in marketing. I just wish I had some type of certificate or technical experience that I could have layered on.

 

Who in the tech field inspires you and why?
I’m constantly talking to everybody. The person in tech I speak with the most is Rafael Loureiro, the Chief Technology Officer for Emailage. He’s been in tech for many years and is someone that I trust and can talk through ideas. I also participate in StartupAZ Foundation’s StartupAZ Collective, a group of all SaaS founders in Arizona. Each month we meet, hear from a speaker, share ideas and ask questions of one another. We share our highs and lows and welcome feedback. I rely heavily on this group when it comes to tech and questions about the space, and SaaS in general.

 

For more information on Cristine Vieira, connect with her on LinkedIn or follow Find Your Influence on Twitter @FindInfluence. Don’t forget to subscribe to our updates @ phoenix.girlsintech.org.

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