TalentView: Juan Ignacio Pinto

Juan Ignacio Pinto, Head of Content Marketing and Advertising at Multi X. Photo: Multi X.
Juan Ignacio Pinto, Head of Content Marketing and Advertising at Multi X. Photo: Multi X.

When talking Spanish, if there is one tattoo that is associated with sailors and fishermen, it is that old-school style heart with the inscription "Amor de Madre" (Mother's Love), a symbol of their real anchor on land. If Juan Ignacio Pinto were one of those sailors and was explaining why he came to aquaculture, he would show his tattoo, but instead of "Amor de Madre", it would say "Amor de Padre" (Father's Love) on it. And the fact is that to reach his current position as Head of Content Marketing and Advertising at Multi X, there had to be a previous job offer to enter this industry and, although his vision of how marketing should be done was what led him to finally accept it, his father's "little fish" were what did him to apply for it before.

Son of a former salmon farmer and with a vision of marketing understood as culture, content, and innovation, we could say that what brought Juan Ignacio to aquaculture was a mixture of blood ties and passion for his work. His is a story of commitment to his roots, but also to the way of doing and understanding the industry of his company, Multi X, and, although he does not express it textually during our talk, we dare say that also to his country, Chile.

Blood & Marketing ties

When we ask Juan Ignacio Pinto "why aquaculture?", he tells us that it was exactly the same thing the recruiter asked him three years ago when he was applying for this job. We are not at all surprised after seeing that his previous job was in one of the main TV, Digital & Cable companies in Chile (one of the few public ones that remain in the world), a completely different scenario to which, he confesses, it was difficult to say goodbye. But, as we have said, he had two very good reasons to change.

Juan Ignacio Pinto, Head of Content Marketing and Advertising at Multi X. Photo: Multi X.

The first is that Juan Ignacio grew up in the salmon industry. "My father used to manage a small salmon farm in the '90s until the early 2000s. So, since I was 10, I went to the farm sites, feed salmon, helped my dad and operators, go to hatcheries to see 'my father's little fishes' as he always used to say". "Do you want to go with me to see my little fishes?", that was what his father used to tell him. Who could resist? "Imagine a child that was asked that by his father. Of course, I went all the time to see those little fishes grow. So, I have a personal relationship and special care about this industry".

The second reason may seem less sentimental, but it was also very personal. "I saw a clever vision about Marketing on the offer which surprised me. Because I knew that the industry was new in Marketing, but the offer had this vision about Marketing as a culture, about content, about innovation that was way ahead even for companies which have long experience in Marketing". Behind that "clever vision" was Cecilia Rojas, former Head of Marketing of brands like Red Bull, NatGeo, and Fox, and the person who was creating the team. "We have the best interview, to be honest, and we shared the vision about the jobs to be done in this area", says Juan Ignacio Pinto.

Sustainability at the center of the business

When it comes to sustainability, Juan Ignacio is clear that "the big challenge among any food manufacture is to feed the world" and, as we have heard so often, sustainable options are needed to achieve this. "Salmon farming is by far one of the industries that has the lowest carbon footprints & water consumption. And no one could argue that", he claims. But he stresses that at Multi X they go beyond production and that a lot of effort goes into making things right in their community. "The industry is sustainable, meaning trying to reduce the impact at zero at some point, while taking care of our people it is part of the strategy at all levels, with zero waste programs, circular economy, the use of renewable energy, co-working, etc.".

Multi X's "Soledad" farm in the Aysén Region, Chile. Photo: Multi X.

According to him, as a consequence of all this work carried out by a big sustainability team, led by Francisco Lobos, and an "excellent" corporate communications team that handles it internally, "Multi X is well known in the industry as an example of 'doing things right', almost as a claim". And then there is the other point of view, that of the marketers. "From Marketing and Corporate Communications point of view, behind those terms, there's always stories. And we tell those stories, defining the message and the channel in order to engage with the specific audience", Juan Ignacio explains, and give us some examples. For instance, to talk about reusing & recycling, they partnered with Atandocabos (a 'Clean Tech Company' developing collaborative technology solutions to convert massive plastic waste into new raw materials and products), and they create a content about how is possible to transform a fish net into a pair of sunglasses or a skateboard.

He says that was a "simple content", but there are also others that, without moving away from conceptual simplicity, engage more emotionally. These are proposed "for bigger initiatives or milestones that impact community like for example when we stopped raising salmon on our main lake in the region". Multi X was saying goodbye to what had been its home since its beginnings and the piece, as Juan Ignacio says, deserved that vision focused not on actions, but on feelings:

Farewell video of their first location in Los Lagos, by Multi X.
"Our story began many years ago / years in which you were the key / to help us feed the world with the best salmon / When we met, / everything worked differently, / handcrafted / and there was no current technology / that today / allows us to leave the lakes of Chile, / never to return / We leave very grateful. / Multiexport Foods / for a more sustainable future".
Sustainability, at the center of the message?

If we always talk about sustainability and we have just said that it is at the core of Multi X's business, why do we now wonder if it should be at the core of its message? Juan Ignacio explains it to us, and we can blame it on Marketing. "Marketing is about knowing your audience, and that means all your stakeholders", he says. From a corporate point of view, those are the company's people, investors, suppliers, the general public, NGOs, public opinion leaders, global clients, and so on. Besides, if, as Multi X, you have brands to consumers in different markets (the US & Chilean market, for them), then you have that specific audience that sometimes has a different understanding of sustainability. "The big challenge is the opposite 'how not to talk to general public', you have to define different media, channels, and content to really reach in a proper way the right audience, and that is key, and the only way you can get that is from research plus talent".

Thus, they came to the conclusion that "what sustainability means to consumer is a bit different from investors". "We try to look at the pains & gains among each audience and connect with them with value, translated in salmon products and engaging content while trying to increase consumption (sales) & brand awareness", the Head of Content Marketing and Advertising at Multi X tells us. And that happens when we are talking about consumer brands. As he explains, although sustainability is important to consumers, we must realize that it is not the primary driver for them when we talk about consumption. "The last 'Power of Seafood' study shows that sustainability concerns although has increased significantly among consumers from last years, specific in younger generations, it is not the main driver when they pick a brand. In these post-covid times, is mainly about health and eating healthy, so we really try to focus on that with brands like Latitude 45 Salmon, which aims to mass consumers".

Juan Ignacio Pinto goes even further: "Salmon has the ability to connect with that need at a level that not so many food products can. So is very important to work in that also, because at some point every single brand will be talking about sustainability, and that will be no longer a differentiator as an attribute, which is something that we always try to achieve as a marketer, to find those difference that makes you pick my brand and not the other. And you don't get to choose, positioning is defined by the consumer, not companies or brands".

Adopting the new from a people's point of view

When we ask Juan Ignacio about the future, he states "I've seen that the industry is getting smarter investing in R/D, transforming people culture in a good way, getting more digital than ever at all levels.  But at the same time, we are being exposed quickly to so much information & big data to manage in order to make the right decisions which is going to be challenging to make the right ones. But I think that is the beauty of it… Is part of the process to grow, you need to fail to learn and grow". The future is about embracing the new, he says, but doing it the right way depends a lot on investing in people, in their training, such as Multi X's training program open to everyone along the value chain. "I've been impressed by how many people have been growing in a really short time, and that, plus clever internal communication of those achievements, drives a motivated culture"

"To be agile and lean into innovation, to try, retry, to pivot, is the way of building big companies", he continues. In fact, Multi X is well known to be mobilized by innovation. "We have a program called 'Multi X-Plora' in which any of our 2.654 collaborators can submit an innovation project in any area they want, that will be reviewed and evaluated by a committee of experts in the specific area. They will also lead the person who submits the project after, so the idea effectively materializes into real innovation". According to Juan Ignacio, in the end, it all comes down to listening. "Listen to your people, your customers, consumers, your clients, your investors, your co-workers, your team". He highlights it, "to LISTEN, in order to create that unstoppable synergy about knowledge, innovation & experience".

Juan Ignacio Pinto, working. Photo: Multi X.

If at the beginning we said that what brought Juan Ignacio to aquaculture was a mixture of blood ties and passion for his work, it is not unusual that we end up talking about listening. Listening to all his stakeholders, to do his job well by creating the right message for each one. Listen to his community, to continue working hand in hand with them in search of a better future shared by all. Listen to his heart, to come back to where his father invited him to accompany him. We will continue to listen to José Ignacio Pinto, because, through his work at Multi X, he still has a lot to tell.

About Multi X

Born in the mid-'80s in Puerto Montt, Chile, from a pioneering vision of young Chilean entrepreneurs and adventurers who began to produce and export seafood products, they finally focus the offer only on salmon. Vertically integrated, from reproduction to the delivery of premium salmon to the final consumer, they are present in the 5 southernmost regions of the country. Its work model focuses on community relations through shared values, care for the environment, and care for its own employees.

Related Stories

No stories found.