The unexpected Marketing that lead me to be where I am now
To tell everyone frankly, I wasn’t aware of Marketing at all. But growing up having a mini sari-sari or grocery store in a public market, I thought I was already doing informal marketing. I guess it was related to the “palengke” (market) experiences that I gained from kindergarten until before entering college.
So let me share something. Growing up, I am very much aware that my father is into sales. He’s a self-employed individual, who is doing everything for his business. He would leave us for a few days to almost two weeks, doing canvassing, taking orders and delivering the goods for his clients. “Magcacanvass lang muna ako dun sa Isabela”, that was one of his statements before. It means that he would market those stainless products that he intended to sell to those hardware stores. He’s a one-man team – from marketing to outsourcing the products, packing and delivering it, even processing the receivables, that kind of thing. That was the old way of doing marketing for your products/business and creating business awareness and closing transaction deals.
Wayback in college, I was active in a non-governmental organization, the Gerry Roxas Foundation, that helped me to develop my other skills in public speaking, event organizing, facilitation and leading a certain group of people. We handled leadership camps where we attended to the awardees; in other words, we “market” those gathering events for our co-awardees to be camp attendees and camp graduates.
I was also a member of a socio-academic organization, Samahan Tungo sa Progresibong Administration (STPA), in which I became part of the External Affairs committee. I handled some tasks in visiting and inviting universities that offer Public Administration (PubAd) courses, so that their students would attend and be part of our event’s audience in the university.
My professional experience started some time in February 2013 when I got hired as a Junior Sales Account Executive (SAE) for a small printing company. Our company was already practicing e-commerce, making calls to old and new clients, sending price quotations and order confirmations via email, updating progress of the client’s project via phone call or email, admin/management checks client’s payment via online banking etc. My then, Sales and Marketing Manager/Mentor (SMM), allowed me to attend business meetings with her. Then eventually, she and the management let me attend those client meetings by myself. That was a few months after I eagerly learned before regularization almost everything about our products.
What I did before I showed up to any business meetings, I will have my own set of samples, showing the different kinds of papers, processes and finishing that we can do for their company’s marketing collaterals. I carried our past printed projects to those meetings from North Caloocan all the way to Makati or BGC, which showcased our company’s commitment to quality printing service.
One of my biggest clients at that time was sulit.com turned OLX, now acquired by Carousell. I even got the chance to personally meet and negotiate with the Director of the World Economic Forum wayback then. My SMM even let me handle our Facebook page, which initially had less than 50 likes. I managed to grow the organic likes to 2000+, until I resigned from the company in 2015.
I decided to jump into another related industry, the book distribution/publishing industry, and luckily I was hired by one of the biggest companies in the Philippines. That uncovered and let me hone my skill set to a combination of administrative, sales and marketing duties as a SAE. I managed several key accounts during my stay and I even handled chaotic turned major accounts by negotiating to the client’s higher ups, after talking with my main contact person. Our workload was basically like a supervisor, in which we have certain areas to sustain and develop the business.
The company sent me to several gatherings in and out of Metro Manila – yes, to those national events which broaden and gave me global perspective on certain issues – as one of their representatives. I guess my manager and the top management was so convinced that I am a bit of a social butterfly and can add life to any fellowship party. They saw that I can create an instant rapport with anyone that I will meet and can keep in touch with them, in a professional business perspective.
Being a SAE since kindergarten made me realize that the things businesses are doing are rapidly changing, particularly in marketing. Before, they usually hire agents to do the “hard work” for them while they do the managing of the business. With the aid of technology, e-commerce was established. But not all businesses are aware of it. Awareness could lead to utilization and more convenient ways of doing business transactions.
Another positive externality of e-commerce is cost-effective marketing for those small & medium enterprises (SMEs). Their products or services can easily create a presence in the global market, which may increase their revenues in the long run. This could also give way to collaborators and or brand alliances in and out of their industry.
So, those are my not-so-informal marketing encounters, that lead me to be where I am now.