July 12, 2016

brand-academyOn the last day of PANA Brand Academy 2016, a series of seminar-workshops for young marketers and marketing communicators, industry experts explored the topics of brand activation, public relations and communications, and the benefits of a well-executed integrated marketing strategy.

The young marketers were able to interact with specialists Benjamin Reyes Jr., division head for Shopper Marketing at Publicis Manila, Wennifer Chan Ty of Nestle Philippines, Ed Timbungco APR/CPME of San Beda College, Mendiola, and Therese dela Cruz-Angeles, planning director of McCann Worldgroup Philippines.

Reyes opened the day-long workshop with “Shopper Marketing 101” examining the mind of a shopper and how to capture their attention that would lead to actual purchase. He reiterated shoppers’ short-term memory and this is crucial for brands as they only have 18 seconds to convince consumers to buy.

Beyond capturing their attention, Reyes also noted how companies could go beyond the shopping alleys and into the streets or even train stations using technology. He cited as example a brand in South Korea where it used QR codes to enable consumers to buy from a poster in a train station and have the goods delivered to their homes.

Chua discussed “Brand Activation” and took special mention of today’s new currency, which is social media. She said companies need to consider awareness, trial, purchase, loyalty and advocacy when promoting a brand.

“In Nestle, we give consumers a ‘Tasteperience’ or giving them the experience of ‘ooh and aah’ through product samples,” she said.

Young marketers were quick to note that product sampling is easy for food and beverage brands but how about in other products. Chua said there are many ways to let consumers experience their products.

“The secret to differentiation is the story,” she said.

Marketers can help brands make an impact or distinguish them from the others through stories that would project the kind of image a brand wants. Consumers are responsive to marketing strategies that they could relate to and without having a product sampling or tasting, advertisements can lead to a purchase as long as they could relate to the message of the product or brand.

Timbungco’s “PR and Crisis Communications” elicited the most queries from the four sessions. It was obvious that crisis management is a skill that many marketers would want to master especially now that social listening can impact brands, negatively or positively, in an instant.

Timbungco also sits at the Public Relations Society of the Philippines board of directors.

He explained how companies should have an “Issues Management Plan” that should consist of pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis  plans and the importance of “practicing” it even if there is no crisis occurring. This is to ensure that the response would be quick and executed with minimal missteps at the time of brand crisis.

More importantly, Timbungco said, how marketers and brands must forge a good working relationship with media because they will be their go-to people to assert the crisis at hand. It is important to get the right message across to correct or explain issues that may come up especially in the cruel world of social media.

To cap off the workshop is Angeles’ “Integrated Marketing Plan” talk, which delves into creating a unified approach that maximizes all channels of marketing.

“We have simplistic approach in understanding approach in understanding integrated marketing communications,” Angeles said. “But we must first remember the brand is what drives the value.”

She stressed how branding communicates and campaigns must resonate directly to the target market. With brands competing to the markets’ short attention span, an effective marketing approach must now be multi-pronged.

The PANA Brand Academy was started to hone the skills of marketers who are intended to become the future leaders of marketing. By learning from the experts, they can also shape the future of marketing with their own experience and understanding of the industry.


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