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Commencing after Commencement

What better way to celebrate the first day after graduating from Florida International University with a Master of Science in Marketing, than writing your first blog post after a month! 

Want a better way?

Writing the blog post about attending a Fireside Chat organized by the HPRA (Hispanic PR Association) with Miguel Bañon Kelley, Head of Communications for Latin America & US Latin at Spotify.

Nikole Flores HPRA’s Fireside Chat with Miguel Bañon Kelley

That’s what I decided to do the day after graduating, and if you have heard me talk during this past year, you are most likely already aware of the admiration I have for Spotify because of the difference it is making as an organization that promotes diversity and culture.

But I would like to do things a little different in this space.  I want to start presenting observations and situations where you could find nuggets of marketing… everyday experiences that were made better because there was a marketer or somebody with a talent for marketing present in the room when the decision was made.  With that said, let’s do this:


If you are a Spotify user, most likely you have run into the “Viva Latino”, “RapCaviar”, or “Hot Country” playlists.  Also, if you are in Chicago, the Miami area, or other major city, you may already know that these playlists are taking a life of their own, and are being transformed into a concert experience as well.  

Miguel Bañon Kelley summarized the idea behind these new experiences, extremely well during today’s HPRA conversation, when he mentioned that Spotify is an organization where success is decided by the users.

Allowing playlists to become their own brands, and have their own social media accounts might seem like the logical thing to do.  Being customer centric and utilizing the data to innovate and add new business models might be simple when analyzed in retrospective.  Simple right? But as Data continues to transform the way we do business, we may still find organizations with similar capabilities that are still betting for their hunches, or their executive’s personal agendas.

Who hasn’t been approached to create campaigns, and support the development of brands by executives that do not have a clear objective, or do not align with the organization’s mission?  Before jumping into creative mode, make sure that you understand the mission. Treat every decision you make like a Statement of Work, and ask your client, or yourself: Is this In Scope or Out of Scope? Utilizing the mission as the measurement that determines the range of the decision.   

Being able to adapt, and utilize data to explore and expand within your mission is what great marketers do.  Again: “success is decided by the users”, and we must dance to their beat. 

So next August when I’m jamming to Bad Bunny at the Viva Latino Live, a playlist transformed into an experience, I’ll be grateful to Spotify that there was a marketer in the room where this happened.

I’ll also be grateful to my professors for making sure that we were creative and skeptical when interpreting our Data, and making sure that we all understood the power and universality of great storytelling… and I’ll sing to my Cohort wherever they are… Vamos Bien… E!   


This is my first day after commencement, and I’m sure I’m not the only one having to answer friends and family some questions about our plans after graduation.  Everyone who has graduated from something have had to go through the same type of questionnaire, and Yes! if you are an undergraduate student, believe me when I say that the answer to that question might be even more challenging if you have just completed a Master’s degree.

Because this is the first blog post after commencement, I would like to share Professor Miyazaki’s advice with anyone willing to receive it, and also drop it here to revisit it every time I want to find the answers myself… 

1) Be proud

2) Keep learning… and teach

3) Make your next big plan now

4) Become known for something. Don’t let it just happen.


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