7 questions for our Italian Country Manager Valeria Santoro
Stocard has now officially opened the second international office in Italy and we are very excited to welcome Valeria Santoro in our team. Valeria is a real tech aficionado and has been working for Google, Nokia and Shopfully (DoveConviene) before she joined Stocard. If you’re curious to learn more about her background, her passion and her goals — check out these 7 questions!
- 5 facts about you?
- Originally I am from Rome — father entrepreneur and mother teacher — and have lived 2 years in Dublin and 8 in Milan.
- I consider myself part of the ‘transition generation’ that always has to explain their career choices and ‘weird’ jobs to boomers parents. Nevertheless, my family always supported me in all my choices — even when they couldn’t deeply understand them. Recently I explained to my mother what Stocard is and she got it! Finally, I’m doing something that can also improve their lives.
- I have a degree in political science and international economics, a master in marketing management, a master in sales data analysis and almost a second degree in communication science.
- In my free time, I travel as much as possible because every time I do, I come back with amazing experiences and inspiring books or a better knowledge of myself.
- When I have time, I force myself to run outside, because there’s nothing that puts myself more at ease with the world than running with a group of good friends.
2. Why did you start working in tech?
When I started working in one of the first online marketing departments in Italy for Chrysler Group, I wasn’t really aware of what this was going to mean for me. And then one experience after another I found myself deeply addicted and passionate for technology and how it has the potential to improve lives.
Prior to Stocard, I worked at Google, Nokia and Shopfully (DoveConviene), in various Business Development and Sales Management positions.
3. What drives you to work in a startup again?
At the time I’ve been contacted by Stocard I didn’t know the app. So I started to ask my friends and family about it and it turns out that even my sister, the least tech-savvy person, already knew Stocard.
Using it myself, I immediately saw how this mobile wallet makes my life so much easier. This filled me with so much enthusiasm and excitement that I was thinking day and night about how we could launch Stocard here in Italy.
And that’s exactly what drives me to work in a start-up again: excitement. The joy of being part of a project in which I truly believe. The proudness of launching it in my country. Having the privilege to work with such passion on an innovation that can make everyone’s lives easier. Working together with people that share the same passion, the same energy to make things happen.
Life without excitement is boring — it’s like an office where nobody walks freely without shoes.
4. What are the challenges in the Italian market?
Rather than challenges, I actually see opportunities for everybody: users, retailers, brands. Everyone can save money or time with Stocard.
The greatest challenge is probably the start: it’s going to be tiring. But I’m convinced that for retailers and brands it’s a huge opportunity to strengthen the relationship with all customers and increase the dialogue with them.
5. What are your goals with Stocard?
Helping retailers improve their loyalty programs and start a dialogue with the users. After all, loyal customers make up only 16 percent of all customers, and to acquire a new one costs 500 percent more more than retaining one.
We want to engage retailers and brands — from grocery to electronics, from furniture to garments, from restaurant to commodities — in improving the shopping experience for the customer. As customers, we all appreciate stores and brands that make our lives easier by simplifying the way of gathering information.
6. What are your three favorite apps?
Excluding Stocard of course, my favorite apps are: Netflix, Spotify and WhatsApp.
7. What are your top five loyalty programs?
Esselunga, Media World, Ikea, Sephora, Coin