Corporate News

Marketing execs told to catch up to Asian peers

Posted on June 08, 2012

LOCAL MARKETING executives need to hasten their adoption of the digital platform as well as better integrate their multimedia campaigns to keep up with more globally-acclaimed peers in the region, an expert yesterday said.

“Digital is already going mainstream in the region. For the local marketing scene, that only accounts for only around 3% [of marketing campaigns],” Donald Patrick L. Lim, managing director of MRM Worldwide, the digital and relationship marketing arm of advertising giant McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Inc., told BusinessWorld following a briefing yesterday on the Philippine Marketing Association’s (PMA) upcoming summit.

“We’re also seeing a lot of integration in the region in terms of unifying TV (television), radio, and print marketing campaigns,” Mr. Lim added.

For instance, in terms of strategy, Mr. Lim cited the weak presence of so-called brand sentiment surveys in the country, which instantly provide online data on consumer feedback to certain products and services.

Such surveys are already currently being used in countries like Singapore and Malaysia.

In contrast, “most local executives don’t even know this type of marketing exists,” Mr. Lim said.

“If you’re able to monitor your product through the brand sentiment survey, then this becomes your early-warning device so you can prepare adequate marketing strategies moving forward,” he added.

Traditional market research, which may only occur a few times a year, tend to be too slow and unresponsive to the rapidly changing sentiment of consumers, he explained.

Filipino marketing executives also tend to have a more rigid work mind-set versus their Asian counterparts, he added.

“In the region, other marketing people are allowed to be very creative and are assertive. Most Filipinos, however, have a submissive mind-set: ‘This is okay. We’ll just follow the original marketing plan.’ But if we hold ourselves back like that, we’ll never reach our full potential,” Mr. Lim said during the briefing.

As a result, Asian marketing executives usually have an edge in bagging international accolades compared to Filipino equivalents, he said.

Nevertheless, local marketing executives are seen to be adept in harnessing social media, Mr. Lim said, citing the campaign for Magnum ice cream in the first quarter.

Universal Robina Corp., the maker of Magnum in the Philippines, tapped microblogging service Twitter to popularize the novel foreign ice cream brand in the market as users readily “re-tweeted” Magnum endorsements.

Moving forward, Mr. Lim said he hopes local marketing leaders will take advantage of an upcoming conference here in Manila -- of which he will be part of -- to acquire necessary skills to enhance their respective marketing strategies.

From July 19 to 20, the PMA will be hosting its second Asian Marketing Conference, dubbed this year as “Asiannovation2: Unleash the Asian Marketing Masters” at the Makati Shangri-La, which will feature around 15 resource speakers from all over the region.

This year’s attendance is expected to hit up to 700 from an estimated 500 attendees in 2008. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente