Marketing is quite the wonderland of culture, leadership, and innovation. It’s an industry where you always have to be on your toes because just when you think you’ve mastered an aspect of it, it changes. IPSUM JPX, the 50th edition of Philippine Marketing Association’s (PMA) National Marketing Conference and its first country-focused conference, takes us to a day brimming with Japanese brands and immerses us into the culture behind it.
Does it spark joy?
One of the speakers, Christine Dichiao, a Certified Konmari Consultant, took the question, “Does it spark joy?” into a whole new level. From pop culture to something we should all embody in our lives, the Konmari Consultant talked about vision and where we want to be.
Tidying up transformed from a chore to the, “joy of tidying”. How curious is it that by a shift of culture, a chore turns into an enjoyable activity? You might be asking, “What does this have to do with marketing?” Apart from the fact that every marketer knows how much easier it is to work on a clean desk, the same mindset can also be applied to different factors in sales and marketing. Cut the unnecessary corners and keep what truly matters. For example, before setting up a meeting, ask yourself if this is just clutter in people’s schedules or will it be truly productive. As Dichiao would ask, “will it spark joy?”
Cute + Polite + Weird = Japanese Advertising
Leadership is a tricky subject, especially in the marketing industry. You have to be able to foresee trends and lead a bunch of creative people who each have their own unique styles. That itself is no easy feat. Masako Okamura, Executive Creative Director of ASPAC – Dentus Aegis Network Philippines, takes this challenge to another level as she merges two cultures together, Japanese and Filipino, in creating marketing campaigns that work.
According to Okamura, this is the formula that works for the Japanese audience: cute, polite, and weird with a dash of humor. The Filipino audience differs in terms of humor. Filipino humor is much more straightforward. With these applied, results can be seen in viral television ads.
Leadership in the marketing industry goes well beyond campaigns. It’s in merging global and local trends, culture, and even humor.
“Coffee is not just a staple; it’s a lifestyle.”
One of the fan favorite booths during the event was Familymart’s. Mainly because of their free hot or iced coffee. Incidentally, that is what Celina Matias, AVP for brand and marketing for Phoenix Petroleum, the company that bought Familymart to the Philippines, talked about. She mentioned the rise of their coffee variant from one of the lowest selling products to one of the top by a simple matter of inclusivity.
Matias focuses on “family” when referring to their customers. By treating their customers as family members, they provided them with feedback—both good and bad—which saved the coffee variant. Only a couple of months ago, they introduced the Familymart Coffee Creations by UCC. Matias proudly shares that the success of this launch can be attributed to one lesson: putting the customer at the heart of everything you are doing.
In the case of innovation we can be so absorbed inside the boardroom brainstorming and inside our heads that we forget who truly matters—the consumers.
With over 20 speakers from various industries, the talks were truly eye-opening. One of the panel interviewees was a doctor and an actual Pokémon trainer in Pokemon-Go, Dr. Blue Soon. He has traveled the globe in the hopes of literally catching ‘em all. He is one of the proof that marketing can be done in such out-of-the-box ways that there really are countless ways to promote a certain product.
Jaclyn Cayetano, Head of Education and Training of Prestige Shiseido Philippines Corp, transfixed the audience with intricate videos of color that represented the shades, hues, and textures of their brand. Their innovation is to disassociate makeup as something for the eyes, lips, cheeks separately rather, something that is differentiated by texture and is safe for use for all parts of the face, a truly breathtaking innovation for beauty lovers everywhere.
Suffice to say with the amount of unique characters, speakers and talks, the conference is indeed a gigantic learning experience, and it did, in fact, spark joy.
Lotie Mercado is an Editorial Assistant at WorkWise Asia. She loves literature, art and films.