By: Aye Ubaldo
Former Nestlé Philippines Director of Communication and Marketing Services Sandra Puno was recently named the Chief Marketing Communications Officer (CMCO) of the Year by the Asia-Pacific Tambuli Awards, a program organized by the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P).
The Tambuli CMCO Award is bestowed on the Chief Marketing Communications Officer who has demonstrated leadership in achieving marketing communications excellence and profitability for the organization, and promoting social good through integrated marketing communications. The winning CMCO is chosen by a search committee, with members of the Asia-Pacific Tambuli Awards (APTA) Advisory Board serving as jurors for this special award.
The promotion of social good is a goal intrinsically embedded in the way Nestlé does business. This is the principle of Creating Shared Value or CSV, which Ms. Puno championed in her marketing leadership role in Nestlé, encouraging the brand teams to look beyond just the selling, to drive initiatives that truly add value to society.
In keeping with CSV, Ms. Puno, who retired from Nestlé recently, led many of Nestlé’s successful communications programs in the Philippines, among them the Choose Wellness, Choose Nestlé campaign now on its ninth year. On average nearly a million consumers are engaged annually by Nestlé through its nutrition counselling, with about nine million reached thus far. About three million consumers were reached in 2014 alone through the Wellness Expo, the trade and Wellness Campus programs.
Another initiative with Ms. Puno’s deep involvement is the BEAR BRAND Powdered Milk Drink campaign to fight Micronutrient Deficiency (MND), a condition characterized by a lack of essential vitamins and minerals required by the body for proper growth and development. MND affects millions of Filipino school children, stunting their growth and development.
Ms. Puno has served as an advocate for a number of causes, including the signing of the Philippine Pledge on Responsible Advertising for Children (RAC) under the auspices of the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA), where she served as vice president.
Her fervent passion is United for Healthier Kids (U4HK), launched successfully last December. Through this multi-sectoral advocacy, Nestlé, in collaboration with FNRI-DOST, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp., Facebook, and other partners, aims to help parents with children aged 4-12 years fight the serious issue of under-nutrition.
With a forward-looking outlook, Ms. Puno spearheaded various initiatives to help bring Nestlé Philippines to the forefront of marketing in the 21st century. In 2014, she launched the Nestlé Philippines Digital Acceleration Team (DAT) which included training personnel in Switzerland at the Nestlé global DAT Command Center. The global center teaches Nestlé’s digital marketers the latest tools and techniques, and enables them to work directly with global digital giants such as Google and Facebook.
She led the construction of the Philippine DAT Command Center, which uses the same tools to listen and engage with consumers on social media, serving as an inspiration for brand teams at Nestlé Philippines to embrace digital marketing. The DAT set-up is one of the first such operations in the country.
Nestlé and its brands have gained leadership and recognition in Philippine digital marketing during Ms. Puno’s tenure as communication director. Today, Nestlé Philippines has established a meaningful presence on the Web, with 67 online properties. Combined, Nestlé Philippines’ 29 Facebook pages have gained more than 16 million fans, the highest number among fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies in the Philippines with two Nestlé brands in the country’s top five Facebook pages. In Youtube, the Nestle PH Channel with over 94 million views ranks second in terms of Brands in the Philippines ranking, according to Socialbakers report as of July 7, 2015.
The various marketing communications initiatives driven by Ms. Puno have helped Nestlé Philippines to become a major source of marketing talent for the Nestlé world. Today, there are close to 80 Filipino expats working with Nestlé overseas, most of them with marketing functions, a testament to the strong marketing talent pool she has helped to develop under her leadership.