Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Life After The 2013 ADB International Skills Development Forum

Yours truly attending the 2013 ADB International
Skills Development Forum as a representative
of Bloggers 4 Change
The 2013 ADB International Skills Development Forum is one of the most fruitful dialogues I have ever participated in. I was invited there as the founder of Bloggers 4 Change, a community of bloggers and social media influencers who are passionate about using social media for social responsibility. It was a 4-day forum that discussed about the growing unemployment rate of the youth in the world, as well as the growing mismatch of the skills of the youth with the ones that are required by the industry. It was attended by many delegates from all over the world with special participation of more than 40 youth delegates from all over Asia. I am more than grateful to be invited as one of them.

During the 2nd day of the forum, I found myself thinking about how my life would be after it. Definitely, I don’t want it to be just any other gathering I will attend in, and then afterwards forget about the whole thing. I want it to be fruitful. I want to start somewhere, start small and start soon.

A few days back, I had just registered by first business at the Department of Trade and Industry. Finally, my dream of becoming an entrepreneur is becoming more and more real. I still have 2 government offices to visit, the municipal hall and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and then I am officially the boss of my own business. At an early age of 25, I know this is not a small feat. But I want to tell my fellow young Filipinos is that this is already very much achievable.

I owe a lot to the Internet. Before, I was just a regular young professional thriving in the corporate world. I was very fortunate to work for top companies in the Philippines such as Lamoiyan Corporation, Amway Philippines and Globe Telecom. But working as an employee for long is not for me. This is what compelled me to explore the possibility of creating my own digital marketing agency, Mediactiv8, which only started as a blog. I would never have probably become who I am right now if not because of the Internet. I am very thankful that I was able to jump unto the blogging and social media bandwagon (which was really my interest) a few years back.

Now I am already out of the corporate world and doing it on my own. I enjoy the freedom that I have as well as the many opportunities being laid down before me as a result of being in a growing industry. This is what I also want to share with my fellow youth – the digital ocean is still blue. And I am not just speaking about the corporate setting. There are even many opportunities to work at home as an online professional.

Popular online jobs include blogging, graphic designing, social media marketing, virtual assistance, website designing and many more. You may want to check out web sites such as Elance, Freelancer and Odesk. These are job portals that connect online professionals to individuals and organizations that need them. This market is booming since people from the more developed countries found out that they can actually outsource jobs to people from the less developed ones. This gave people from more developed countries more savings as well as time to do more things, while people from less developed ones were actually given more decent jobs and alternative sources of income. There had been a beautiful exchange of skills and currency in this market and I believe that this it will continue to grow in the many years to come.

I am an online professional. I am a Digital Marketing Consultant for various organizations especially for the NGOs and the SMEs. I believe that these organizations are the ones who need digital marketing more since the barrier to entry to the digital world is very low. Gone are the days that only the high and mighty corporations can pay for media advertising. Now, social media is here and is readily available for individuals and organizations that need it.

What will my life be like after the 2013 ADB International Skills Development Forum?

I can see myself being involved more than ever in pushing ICT-based initiatives that promote education and employment for more people. I want to start somewhere, start small and start soon.

Below are some of the ICT-based initiatives that I am currently working on and will be working on.

With my co-delegates during the forum
1. Virtual Staff Entrepreneur Program. Mediactiv8, my company, is currently working as the digital marketing arm of DigitalFilipino.com. DigitalFilipino.com had been in the business of promoting e-commerce entrepreneurship in the country since the year 1997. Now, the site had grown to becoming an advocate not only for entrepreneurs but also for big companies such as MRM Worldwide, Sulit, AyosDito and other companies in the digital marketing and e-commerce industry. Will you ever believe that DigitalFilipino.com is being run only by a single lady? Her name is Janette Toral and one of her priorities right now is the promotion of the virtual assistance industry in the country. This is the same advocacy that I am pushing for – the online jobs. Through this 14-part webinar series, participants will be taught Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Virtual Assistance and many more. And this program is being offered absolutely for FREE! If you have colleagues and friends who are looking for part-time and full-time opportunities online, please don’t hesitate to share to them the following link that will take them to the website of the program. In that website, they will be able to know more about the program and sign up too! The program starts on December 14, 2013. Here’s the link: http://certified.digitalfilipino.com/course/virtual-staff-entrepreneur-program/

2. One Internet Day. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of its club, DigitalFilipino.com shall be staging once again the One Internet Day as an advocacy for helping not only the aspiring online professionals but also the victims of various calamities in the Philippines. Last November 2013, many provinces in the Philippines were devastated by the Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. It was a day that the Philippines and the world will not forget. Through the help of various international digital marketing speakers all over the world, DigitalFilipino.com was able to organize another One Internet Day on November 22, 2013 for the benefit of the families of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. On December 20, 2013, we shall be staging the online event once again and this time we have invited various Filipino speakers to help us with the advocacy. To know more about this initiative, please visit this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1423325387899597/?source=1

3. E-Commerce Entrepreneur Summit. One of the biggest events that we are looking forward to organize next year is the E-Commerce Entrepreneur Summit. It will be a gathering of various e-commerce entrepreneurs as well those who aspire to be like them. This event is set to be staged on February 2014. To keep yourself posted with this event, please subscribe to our mailing list. Click here: http://surveys.benchmarkemail.com//Survey/Start?id=339170&s=361352

4. E-Commerce Entrepreneur Program. If DigitalFilipino.com has programs for bloggers and social media marketers, it also has programs for E-Commerce Entrepreneurs. The E-Commerce Entrepreneur Program is especially made for businessmen and entrepreneurs who have the passion for selling goods and services online. Being an e-commerce advocate for more than 10 years, Ms. Janette Toral would like to share her journey to others being an e-commerce entrepreneur herself. The 3-module program consists of the following: E-Commerce Site Launch; E-Commerce Marketing and Operations and E-Commerce Consulting as a Service. To know more about this program, please click here: http://certified.digitalfilipino.com/course/e-commerce-entrepreneur-program/

5. Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur Program. I am a graduate of Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur Program. It is a certification program designed by the Ateneo de Manila University and DigitalFilipino.com for entrepreneurs, professionals and students who would like to explore the world of blogging and social media entrepreneurship. It is a 3-module program that touches on the following: Blog Launch, Copywriting and Social Media Promotions; Professional Blogging, Social Media Marketing and Advertising as a Business and Making Money from Blogging and Social Media as a Service Provider. Module 1 starts on January 25, 2014. For more information, please visit this link: http://digitalfilipino.com/bsm/.

6. E-Commerce Creators Boot Camp. One of the most in-demand professions nowadays, with the advent of digital marketing and e-commerce, is website designing. Through the E-Commerce Creators Boot Camp, DigitalFilipino.com collaborates with Mr. Gilmar Padua of InfinityHub.com in teaching the participants know how to develop their own e-commerce website. As an entrepreneur, it is not enough to just hire someone who will do the tweaking of your website for you. Entrepreneurs must have at least an idea on how these things work to be able to work more effectively and independently. To know more about the program, please visit this link: http://ecommercebootcamp.digitalfilipino.com/course/e-commerce-creators-boot-camp-wordpress/

7. Search Influencer Boot Camp. Aside from website designing, another in-demand profession is Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Through the Search Influencer Boot Camp, DigitalFilipino.com teaches the participants the rudiments of Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. The goal of the program is very simple – How can we help our clients achieve the highest ranking on Google search results? To know more about the program, please click here: http://ecommercebootcamp.digitalfilipino.com/course/search-influencer-boot-camp/?doing_wp_cron=1386905208.8576080799102783203125

8. Digital Marketing for Real Estate Industry. DigitalFilipino.com started to target niche-specific industries that need digital marketing and one of it is the real estate industry. Ms. Janette Toral is working hand-in-hand with Ms. Maita Siquijor of EstateClass.com in educating real estate professionals on digital marketing. Ms. Siquijor attests that the use of online media accounts for the most number of generated leads who inquired on about her properties. To know more about the program, please visit this link: http://influencerbootcamp.digitalfilipino.com/course/digital-marketing-for-the-real-estate-industry/

9. Mediactiv8. I created Mediactiv8 right after finishing the Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur program. It started out as a blog and now it is being positioned as a digital marketing service provider for various individuals and organizations. Through my blog-turned-company, I offer digital marketing services such as consultancy; social media and community management; media relations management; website designing, SEO and many more. To know more about Mediactiv8, please click here: http://www.mediactiv8.com/

10. Bloggers 4 Change. Bloggers 4 Change is the reason why I got invited to the 2013 ADB International Skills Development Forum. I started this group around 2 years ago when I saw that there is no community of bloggers had yet been created to advance social responsibility in the country. There are many blogging communities created for events, fashion, food and travel but none was created for “changemaking” yet – which I believe is one of the most admirable uses of social media. This is how I came to start Bloggers 4 Change.

In the middle of this year, 2013, I resigned from my post as a Senior Community Manager for Globe Telecom and one of my objectives is to focus on Bloggers 4 Change. Without much promotions, I saw that the community was growing (we are now more than 200 bloggers in the group) and I felt it is about time that I focus on it. In the next few years, I see the community to be making great changes in the society through the use of social media. To know more about us please visit: http://bloggers4change.net/

If you would like to get updated on Mediactiv8's upcoming events and promotions, please sign up to our mailing list. Click here: http://surveys.benchmarkemail.com//Survey/Start?id=339170&s=361352

You may also read my blogs below to know more about the 2013 ADB International Skills Development Forum.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Top 10 Lessons From The 2013 ADB International Skills Development Forum








Getting ready for the morning session on Day 2

I am more than grateful to God to be invited to the 2013 ADB International Skills Development Forum. It was unplanned and was certainly a “last minute” decision. But when I was there for two days, the whole conference astounded me. Prior to joining the forum, I was just a regular young professional weaving dreams for himself, for his family and for the people around him. I said to myself, “I’d like to create my own e-learning program or a website that shall promote work-at-home opportunities.” And then I was invited to the forum. And the forum pushes for ICT-based solutions (I am a digital marketing professional.).





Boom! For me, it was more than just hitting the jackpot.



I came to the forum as a dreamer. I went out as a changed man. All the more my fervor for pushing for e-learning, e-commerce and online job opportunities became stronger. Suddenly, I progressed from being a mere dreamer to a man filled with purpose. Suddenly, my decision to leave a comfortable job in a big telco company in the Philippines made sense. Suddenly, all those sleepless nights I spent just to attend classes and finish my projects from my first e-learning certification program on digital marketing paid off. Suddenly, it’s magic. (Is that a song?)



Seriously, I’d like to thank all the people behind the 2013 ADB International Skills Development Forum including my awesome co-delegates from the Philippines and abroad. (Woot! Woot!) I have already written my 5 best takeaways from the first day of the forum but still those weren’t enough. Below are some of the few more things that I’d like to add on the list.







1. The promise of emerging industries.



I jolted at the mention of 3D printing during the forum. How can that be mentioned there? Oh yes, it’s one of the emerging trends in the industry right now, I know. But what are the chances? A week before the forum, I was just talking to an IT company that needs a Digital Marketing Consultant to promote their personal and industrial 3D printers. I thought to myself that this can be the toughest project I will ever take in my entire career. Who wants a 3D printer inside their homes? But when the Business Development Manager started to brief me, I became excited. There is a huge market for 3D printers for architects, designers, hobbyists, homemakers students and others.



What’s the catch?






Booth of the youth delegates at #ADBSkillsDevForum

Just when you thought that you already know a lot of things about the world where you live, you are already wrong. There is so much to discover and know about the world around us especially on those emerging industries that pose a huge promise of more job opportunities for more people. 




My challenge for my fellow youth delegates is to stay open to possibilities and stop limiting themselves. Let us always be on a lookout for those emerging industries that give hope to more people in the areas of jobs and training. Change is constant. If you intend to stay in the same place forever, you pose a danger to yourself. But if you stay awake and hopeful for the promise of the future, you will win.



2. The burden of the ICT guy.



Being the only participant who is not directly attached with any NGO somehow made me an accidental participant. But it also made all the difference.



I represented the community that I started around 2-3 years ago called Bloggers 4 Change Network. It is a community of bloggers who are passionate about using social media for social responsibility.



Being pro-ICT, I carried the burden of sharing my experiences as a Digital Marketing Consultant. I always say that I am a product of e-learning and online jobs. I recently resigned from my corporate job as a Senior Community Manager for Globe Telecom because I see more opportunities online. And not just more opportunities, but better opportunities. The ocean is blue and the grasses are green on that side of the world.



This is what I had been rallying about since Day 1. Honestly, my jaw dropped a bit when only 2 people ticked “Digital Jobs/Apps” from among the many issues that we want to tackle as a group. But I can totally understand this as I may be the only one directly involved in the ICT industry. 





I can look at it in 2 perspectives. One side is saying that ICT is not one of the biggest concerns of my co-delegates. On the other hand, that there are still lots of opportunities to educate them about it. I am so glad that I am not the only voice who is pushing for ICT-based solutions. From the real-time poll tallying to the discussions among the adult delegates from other nations, the words “digital”, “ICT”, “social media” and “virtual” were never missed. My only sincere hope is that may there be a concrete action plan that will highly involve ICT-based solutions as an enabler towards achieving the goal of providing more training and job opportunities for the youth.



3. On starting somewhere, starting small and starting soon.



A few days back, I tweeted that the year 2013 was the year for startups and that the year 2014 will be the year for storytellers. I haven't changed my mind about it yet.





This year, I’ve met the most number of startup founders in my entire life. One is involved in online advertising, the others are in digital marketing and the other one is in wire transfer of payments. Next year, they will be celebrating their first years (hopefully they make it 365 days in the Philippines) and then they shall be telling their stories -- especially for other aspiring startupreneurs' consumption.



I believe in starting somewhere, starting small and starting really soon. I believe that the increase in number of startups being built in the Philippines and in the world is mostly ICT-driven. Internet created more opportunities for entrepreneurs and professionals. It also made starting a business a lot easier. Hopefully more and more people will be enticed to explore the potential of the Internet to become a source of development and livelihood to many.





4. On guiding the young ones.



I admire the youth delegates from Vietnam and the Philippines -- Quy and Luigi. Quy talked about the need for properly guiding the youth on what career to pursue. Luigi mentioned about the time when people of our age threw themselves to pursuing nursing just because it was “in-demand” during that time.



I have been longing to ask these burning questions.




Ms. Nash Tysmans looks ready in her cheongsam



Is the being in-demand of a job enough reason for you to take it? Are we not supposed to take jobs based on our strengths and interests? Who should give the youth career guidance? What can we do in order to resolve these problems?



You might be interested to know that from the poll conducted during the 2nd day of the forum, the delegates are more concerned with “the youth not being able to get the job that they want” than “the youth not getting any jobs at all”.



This can be the reason why Quy and Luigi brought up the issue of acquiring proper career guidance in career, more than acquiring a job itself. I believe that this calls for a more responsible media reporting, parenting and teaching for the young ones.



5. Don’t forget the kids!



On Day 2, we were outnumbered by the adult delegates and stayed only in one corner of the ADB Auditorium. But this did not stop us from being heard. Quy and Luigi talked in front of the stage and “refused to concede that the youth cannot make a dent in the world”. We blogged, Facebook-ed, Instagram-ed and tweeted our viewpoints. We seated with the adult delegates during lunch and break times. Basically, we did everything for our voices to be heard by them and never allowed that chance to pass us by.



One of the panelists encouraged participation from the youth during the onset of the program. They wanted us to speak up and ask questions more. When he said that, I knew that something wonderful is about to happen on the 2nd day.



6. Becoming The Apprentice.



The first grand winner of The Apprentice Asia is from the Philippines. I am so proud of Jonathan Yabut. How did he bested the participants from other Asian countries? It was amazing and inspiring.



I envy him. During my college years, I never had the chance to become an intern in a company. Right after college, I never thought how unprepared I was for the corporate world.



I wonder how many young people like me had experienced the same. Do they still have good chances of getting good jobs even without internship opportunities? Even if they do, are they prepared enough to survive and become regularized?



I may be very blessed because of the many training I had undergone that somehow augmented to my lack of internship experience in a company. I still believe though that real-world training outside school is very important.



I hope that in the coming days, this issue may be touched and be provided for an action plan to provide more internship opportunities for students to become more prepared in the real world.



7. Majority thinks. 






Quy (left) from Vietnman and me

During the forum, we conducted a poll from among the participants. The results might interest you. Here is the summary.


  • Majority thinks that the youth are not getting the jobs they aspire for.

  • Majority thinks that the training are not relevant to the jobs.

  • Majority thinks that there are enough internship programs available.

  • Majority thinks that mobile is the most common mode of accessing the Internet.

  • Majority thinks we are ready for the kind of environment that uses the Internet for education/employment.

  • Majority thinks that young people use social media to look for jobs.

  • Majority thinks that using a combination of online and offline methods in teaching is the best option to choose. 

  • Majority thinks there are very little entrepreneurship training available. 



8. The great mismatch.



I have been hearing the word “skills mismatch” a lot during the forum -- from my fellow youth delegates to the adult ones. They said that the available skills of the youth today are not anymore relevant to the needs of the industry. This made me think somehow that the problem is not really the scarcity of jobs, but the scarcity of required skills.



Even in my own world, the online world, the problem is not the lack of jobs. There are lots of jobs. But are there enough people who have the skills needed to do the job? Also, is there enough information dissemination about these available online jobs?



No. There are not enough people who have the skills needed to do online jobs such as digital marketing, graphics designing, website designing and etc. These skills are highly specialized and not too many schools offer these courses.



No. There are also not enough promotion and support for online jobs. Not too many of my peers have accounts on Elance, Freelancer and Odesk yet. Not too many of my peers too aspire to become an online professional like me. Most of them still want to stick to the traditional jobs offline. Most of the adult ones may be all the more unaware of these kind of opportunities online since the young ones are more active than them online. What we need is more support in promoting these online opportunities to more people.



Indonesia and the Philippines are among the top 10 users of social media in the world. This speaks a lot about the Internet usage of many Asians. I believe that promoting these online opportunities would not be very difficult to achieve.



9. The intriguing relationship of tourism and employment.



I remember the slogan of the former Secretary of Tourism of the Philippines. He said, “Kapag may turismo, may trabaho.” English: “If there’s tourism, there are jobs.”



Yesterday, a representative from the Department of Tourism spoke to us about their current initiatives in training and developing the Filipinos for jobs created through tourism.



This made me realize how much we should be supporting our country’s tourism as it seems to have a direct relationship with job creation. Travel and leisure must not be underestimated. For a less developed country like the Philippines, we may not boast of our modern infrastructures and technology that much. But we can definitely boast of our natural beauty and tourist spots that more developed countries look for.



It’s all about focusing on one’s strengths. In recognizing a country’s competitive advantage over the others, I believe that’s where opportunities begin.



10. Completing the ecosystem.


Mr. Luigi De Vera to represent the Philippine delegation on Day 2





In the challenge of creating jobs and developing the skills of the youth, the participation of everybody is highly needed. 





This is not just the fight of the government nor the academe. Definitely, the youth cannot just do this on their own. I believe that the participation of the private sector, civil society and NGOs are needed more than ever. 





I thank the Asian Development Bank for creating this platform where a meaningful dialogue from among the stakeholders may be started and concrete action plans may be implemented towards developing the skills of the youth and providing jobs for them.



The 2013 ADB International Skills Development Forum runs from December 9 to 12, 2013 at ADB Headquarters in Manila. To participate online, please use the hashtags #ADBSkillsForDevForum #AsianYouth #Skills4Youth.

Monday, December 9, 2013

My 5 Best Takeaways From ADB #Skills4Youth Forum - Day 1







1. The important role of the Internet. From the brainstorming sessions to the real-time polling, I have been hearing the words such as “digital apps”, “digital jobs”, “e-commerce”, “e-learning”, “ICT”, “online jobs”, “social media” and the like. As an online professional, it’s good to know that my peers all over the region are now more open to ICT-based initiatives as solutions to problems such as youth unemployment. I myself am a product of ICT-based initiatives. Not only that I am an online professional, I also completed my certification as a blog and social media entrepreneur through an e-learning-led program designed by Ateneo de Manila University and DigitalFilipino.com. Deep inside me, there is a burning passion to tell the whole world that digital is the way to go and that in my world, there are so many available jobs for the Asian youth. Also, what I don’t understand is that the Philippines and Indonesia are among the top 10 users of social media in the whole world. Are we really not aware of these online jobs? Is this an issue of a mismatch between the available jobs and the available skills of the Asian youth? Is this an issue found along the lines of formal and informal jobs?



I am parking these questions for now. I know that these will somehow be answered in the next few days of the forum. But one thing’s sure for me -- if we want something new, let’s do something new. Exploring the many possibilities that the online world can offer as an enabler is a good action point to start with.







2. The power of brevity. I had been to many local and international forums, especially in leadership and marketing. I can say that people generally love to express themselves through words. But talking does not necessarily mean productivity. This is what I appreciate the most in #Skills4Youth forum. Having only a few hours in a day, we know we cannot just talk. We need to arrive at action points. This led us to agreeing on a specific framework to follow and then crowdsource our responses to it through online. My peers in #Skills4Youth forum appreciate simplicity, speed and technology – some of the things often neglected before as people tend to focus more on making the discussions more “complete” and “participative”. But efficiency is also a measure of success and time is a very important element. I am very glad that we started it out right on Day 1.



3. The 5W Proposal. I have discovered a new proposal framework during the #Skills4Youth forum. Let’s take a look at the 5 Ws one by one.


  • Why? – Rationale or the issues you want resolved

  • What? – Action points

  • Who? – Partners, stakeholders, supporters

  • When? - Timeline

  • What does success look like? - Outcome


The framework may look very simple as it only has 5 questions -- a far cry from your college thesis, yes, but I believe that this is what also made it very powerful. At this day and age, where innovation is almost made equivalent to simplifying things, making things complicated had become obsolete. We are now entering the age of Twitter (cutting your shoutouts to 149 chars.) and iPhone (having just 1 or 2 buttons on your phone).



Undeniably, the 5W Proposal is a breath of fresh air. When it was laid down to the group during the brainstorming session, there was a sudden gush excitement and thrill within the group. We know that by having a direction (and having a simple one) will allow us to accomplish more.



4. On starting small and becoming solution-oriented. I appreciated it when John Trew encouraged us to become solution-oriented and to start small. One of the fears that I have when attending big forums such as the #Skills4Youth is that we may get trapped in creating motherhood statements after long discourses of what the problem is all about, without much forward movement. I am very glad that we are focusing more on the solutions rather than on the status quo. I believe this is the reason why the forum was created on the first place -- to create action points. In business, we often use The Business Model Canvas by Business Model Generation when we create plans. Perhaps, it will help us immensely if we can adapt the canvas and transform it into something that can be used by NGOs. To download The Business Model Canvas, please visit http://businessmodelgeneration.com/canvas.



5. Genuine concern of the youth. I appreciate all of my co-delegates especially the ones from our neighboring countries in Asia. We have one delegate from China who experienced being a farmer and had a hard time acquiring education in her country. This is despite China being an economic superpower today. Another one is from Vietnam who used to work from 7am to 10pm every single day. I was astonished by their stories. I never realized how blessed I am with the opportunities that I have right now until I met them. I know that I can never work in a farm nor work 15 hours a day. But these are the stories that they brought from their countries to the ADB #Skills4Youth forum.



Through them I was able to see the genuine concern of the youth for their fellow youth who are unemployed/uneducated. It's because they had experienced the brunt of it themselves. My prayer is that their stories be heard by more people in the world, especially by my fellow Filipino youth, and realize how serious the repercussions are of being unemployed/uneducated. The premise is simple. If you are unemployed/uneducated, you are hungry. If you are hungry, you become more vulnerable to much more serious problems such as crimes, drug addiction, prostitution and etc.



We are done with Day 1 and we are now moving on to Day 2. Changing the world, I know, is not an easy task but I am grateful because something is being done. I am very glad that as a youth, being at the forefront of the world, I am at season of my life where I can see the problems more clearly and at the same time, have the strength to work with my fellow youth towards finding solutions and creating action points.



Below are some of the interesting keywords that I have picked out from the youth delegation in ADB #Skills4Youth forum.


  • Enterprise

  • Skills mismatch

  • Informal and formal

  • Rural and urban

  • Mentorship

  • Lack of institutional support

  • Surplus of professionals

  • Skills development

  • Education system

  • Rural opportunities

  • Incapacitated education system

  • Education opportunities

  • Indigenous people

  • Top social media users

  • Skills

  • Supply and demand of labor

  • Lack of policies

  • Inadequate financial and technical support

  • E-commerce

  • Online jobs

  • Agriculture

  • ICT 

  • Market-driven opportunities

  • Education

  • Entrepreneur

  • Micro-financing

  • Friendlier government processes

  • Loans

  • Support from government and private sector

  • Incentive for entrepreneurs

  • Internship programs

  • Train the trainer program

  • E-learning

  • Parent training

  • Sensitivity awareness to gender, differently-abled and etc.

  • Financial management skills

  • Research

  • Green skills

  • Green jobs

  • Training through government and private sector

  • Employment framework plan

  • Youth reintegration program

  • Competency based training for out of school youth

  • Mobile school


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Notes on e-FPS Webinar by Ms. Elizabeth Costales of itPhilippines.net

Below are some of my notes taken during the e-FPS Webinar conducted by Ms. Elizabeth Costales of itPhilippines.net.

• e-FPS is an offshoot of the passage of Republic Act 8792 or E-Commerce Law of the Philippines where BIR aligned themselves with e-Governance or e-Gov. The goal of e-Gov is to improve the delivery of services of the government to citizens (G2C), government to businesses (G2B) and government to government (G2G).

• From 2000 up to the present time, BIR had designed several e-Services to taxpayers to be aligned with e-Gov. These e-Services are enumerated below as described one by one by Ms. Costales.

o e-Reg – For self-employed and professionals who are new in taxation
o e-DST - For banks and businesses that issue doc stamps
o PAYBIR - For payments requiring SMS (e.g. GCash)
o e-Broad – A service that notifies taxpayers that payments had already been received
o e-Complaint – Where complaints to BIR can be lodged
o e-Submission – Where attachments are being sent alongside your other tax documents
o e-Accreg – Where you accredit your POS machine
o e-Sales – Where you submit the output of your POS machine to BIR for further processing
o e-ReportCard – Open to CEOs for tax performance tracking
o e-ORB – For excise tax ypayers
o TRCMS – Tax Ruling and Case Management System, where tax payers seek tax rulings

• Electronic Filing and Payment System or e-FPS is especially designed to cater to the needs of entrepreneurs, professionals, self-employed individuals and mixed income earners for a more convenient and cost-efficient way of filing and paying their taxes.

• e-FPS is a system developed and maintained by the Bureau of Internal Revenu or BIR.

• e-FPS makes the filing and paying of taxes online. This means taxpayers may file and pay their taxes online using a computer with an internet connection.

• e-FPS has two systems.

o e-Filing – Data-capture facility that uses BIR-supplied validation of computation rules to efficiently check tax payers’ inputs. It is based on the hard copy of the tax returns.
o e-Payment – Online payment confirmation process between the BIR e-FPS and the participating banks through an Internet-enabled banking system.

• Below are some of e-FPS’ features and strengths as discussed by Ms. Costales.

o Fast – Some portions of the form had already been filled
o Automatic calculation – The system automatically computes some figures using the given amounts you inputted
o Instant filing confirmation – Right after filing and paying, a notification from the BIR shall automatically be sent to you
o Convenient – Available 24/7 in the BIR website; file anywhere, anytime
o Secure – Uses multi-layer security systems
o Free – No enrolment fee, no usage fee, no postage and courier expenses
o Easy – Has online guides and FAQs

To know more about eFPS, please join the eFPS Coaching with Ms. Elizabeth Costales on November 13, 2013 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm at BancNet Training Room located at 19/F Equitable Bank Tower, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City.

To register, please click the following link - www.facebook.com/events/552701331465446.

Monday, November 11, 2013

STEPS to a Super Business by Dean Pax Lapid

What: STEPS to a Super Business. This seminar is about creating your super business or boosting your existing business one step at a time.

Who will speak: This seminar is to be lead by Dean Pax Lapid, a Go Negosyo Mentor, a business consultant at AIM and a bestselling author of the book 21 Steps on How to Start Your Own Business published by Go Negosyo.

When: November 19, 2013 (Tuesday) from 1pm to 5pm.

Where: Businessmaker Training Lounge at 1203A West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange (Tektite) Bldg., Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

How to join: Please contact Bennette at 0916-672-5070. You may also email her at mentors@lead-more.com

Saturday, October 19, 2013

5 Admirable Things About Pru Life UK's New Campaign

1. The insurance company who listens.
pru life uk always listening always understanding best insurance company philippines

When I saw Pru Life UK’s new video on YouTube as well as its brand credo, I was caught by the company’s consistency and commitment to “listening” to their customers. Hearing it straight from the agents shown in the video, it is very apparent that the company is striving not to become a run-of-the-mill insurance company. They want to become the "insurance company who listens". In the video, one of the agents said something like “We don’t just talk about insurance. We want to become a source of hope.” These words stayed with me for a little while.

Being a marketer who advocates “listening” in this day and age where nearly everyone wanted to become the best and the loudest “talker”, my admiration goes to Pru Life UK. They are very consistent and committed to their own brand credo that goes “Always Listening. Always Understanding.” In that aspect, they had become a good communicator. And good communication is very important in any business, especially for them, who need to understand perfectly the needs and wants of their customers.

Because of this campaign, I was able to understand Pru Life UK more. In my mind, they have taken the spot of the “insurance company who listens”. If they stay consistent and committed to their brand credo, they'll draw people to themselves - for a quick chat.

2. Smart move to use social media.

Being a company who listens, using social media, the “media of the people”, is a very very smart move for Pru Life UK. Social media, as I see it, is a "listening" medium, more than an advertising medium. It’s different from all other communication channels such as TV, radio and print, which are all focused on talking about brands. In social media, you can’t just do that. In social media, you must learn how to listen or understand what the people in social media want. And if you were able to produce a message that they like, prepare for stardom. If they don’t, you have successfully wasted your advertising budget.

Life is like that in social media. Why? Because it’s about the people, not your brand. But when you learn how to listen and find out what people want, you’ll be greatly rewarded. It all boils down to good listening and understanding of your consumers.

For a brand that wants to take the positioning of the “insurance company who listens”, I highly recommend to materialize this brand credo over the “media of the people”. Pru Life UK’s bold attempt to do their campaign in social media, I believe, is strategically aligned to the very DNA of their brand.

3. Short video that focuses on the emotions.

Pru Life UK is an insurance company. Imagine if they focused on explaining their products and services in their videos and websites. Clearly, the company knows that no one will be interested to hear about their products and services and how these things work, no matter how good and beneficial these things are. It will be very boring. Thus, they focused on the benefits.

In the 33-second video of Pru Life UK, they focused on dreams, aspirations and feelings. The video made me feel good and made me want to know more about the company, which is why I searched for them over the Internet, which then led me to their good-looking website.

When an ad leads a person to be curious about a company that the latter searched for the company over the Internet, the ad did its job.

Watch the new video of Pru Life UK here and see for yourself.


4. Simple campaign page filled with eye-catching memes.

The key to creating good websites is simplicity. Yes, I know. You want to say a lot of things about your company and how good it is. But remember, you must be able to make your visitors care about it first.

When I saw the new campaign page created for Pru Life UK named “Life’s Little Secrets”, I saw colors and pictures and inspiring messages. It made me want to click them. And when I did, it allowed me to share them with my friends.

Again, the “insurance company who listens”. To think, these memes and quotable quotes are not directly about Pru Life UK’s products and services. But it’s about their customers and what they stand for. Their customers are dreamers. People who want to achieve things. People who, in way or another, need the help of insurance companies like Pru Life UK.

Life’s Little Secrets website may not be directly talking about Pru Life UK’s products and services, but in my mind, it is the kind of company that wants to do more than just that. It’s a step further towards winning the hearts of the people who want to win.

To check out their new campaign page, please click here.

5. The insurance company with a heart.

Insurance agents who have built strong relationships with their clients, a brand credo that speaks of the importance of listening, and a campaign strategy that is consistent with the brand’s positioning. As a marketer, I can’t help but admire Pru Life UK. Being a dreamer and a potential client myself, I appreciated the company all the more.

Because of the five things enumerated above, I have come to understood Pru Life UK more, from both standpoints of a marketer and a potential client. A lot of companies should learn from Pru Life UK.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The only reason why you should enroll to the E-Commerce Entrepreneur Program of DigitalFilipino.com

ecommerce entrepreneur program digital filipino janette toral advocateSomething wonderful happened. While I was creating a promotional blog for the E-Commerce Entrepreneur Program being offered by DigitalFilipino.com, I decided that I will not be using the usual style that I use whenever I blog.

I work best in creating a list of ideas that I want to share about a particular topic and then expound on each idea. I was supposed to create a list of reasons why one should enroll to the E-Commerce Entrepreneur Program. But while I was writing it, I felt different. I paused, stopped typing, procrastinated a bit, took a quick walk away from my working area, went back, thought for a while and then began to type again.

I decided that I will only be focusing on the single most important reason why one should enroll on DigitalFilipino.com’s E-Commerce Entrepreneur Program.

This time, I shall be typing this blog post from the heart.

I had been working with Ms. Janette Toral since August of this year and words can’t fully describe how thankful I am for two things – freedom and experience. Freedom doesn’t only pertain to seeing myself working inside any café at any time of the day (though that is very very feasible for my case), the job also gave me the freedom to pursue what I wanted to do – from reading the novel that I want, to doing my tasks in my local church every Tuesday and to browsing any website that I admire. Sadly, a regular daytime job doesn’t allow things like these. What’s sadder is that most employers still see these side activities as “distractions”. And I completely disagree.

Without reading the novels that I want to read, I don’t know how will I able to make the most creative copies that I needed to create to attract as many Likers that I need for a particular post. Without attending my local church, I don’t know where I will get additional strength that I need. Without visiting the websites that I admire, I don’t know how else I will appreciate the very importance of user experience whenever we create websites.



These aren’t distractions at all and it’s sad that some employers still box their employees and impose too many rules that actually hurt the creativity of their people. I can never count the times I said “God, thank you.” every time I see employees lining up in trains after a tiring day at work. I’m already out of the rat race. If only they knew that there are more opportunities today than there were five, six years ago.

Second is experience. This is my collective word for new knowledge, opportunities and skills. Where else was I able to learn to appreciate digital marketing in the light of the many fields that need it such as music, photography, real estate and others? Where else was I able to get the chance to talk to a huge crowd at no less than the SMX Convention Center? Where else was I able to learn how to tweak WordPress, a blogging platform that I avoid at all cost because of my ongoing love affair with Blogspot? All of these things happened to me because I chose to be a startup entrepreneur.

Mediactiv8, the startup social media marketing agency that I am currently building is the very offshoot of the program I underwent under the mentorship of Ms. Janette Toral and it is the same “person” that she hired during the time when my dream to “do it on my own” is running wilder than ever in my veins.

Why do I need to tell you these things?

Friends, the future is in E-Commerce Entrepreneurship. Tony Gaskins Jr. said, “If you don’t build your own dream someone else will hire you to help build theirs.” If you want turn your dream into reality, you have to start somewhere and I believe that startups aren’t called “startups” just because. I believe they are once dreams. Dreams that were once fleeting above the heavens, persistently chased by a dreamer who never stopped believing that it will come true, caught by the dreamer’s net and then brought down to earth.

Do you have a dream business? Do you believe that one day, you will also stop running in the rat race? Your time has finally come.

DigitalFilipino.com’s E-Commerce Entrepreneur Program is not just a course in digital marketing. It is a movement, an advocacy. DigitalFilipino.com had been in the business of encouraging the growth of e-commerce entrepreneurship in the Philippines and abroad since the year 1997. Think about what you were doing back in 1997. In my case, I was still in Grade 2, and I will never be able to touch a personal computer yet until I reach Grade 5. But back in 1997, there is already someone who believed that e-commerce will grow in the country and will provide more opportunities for Filipinos.

Today, e-commerce had truly arrived. You will see it in the many online businesses here and there as well as the many startups being built that are anchored on e-commerce. If you desire to build one, I hope that you consider getting help from us, from DigitalFilipino.com, and you will be assured that you will be supported until your e-commerce objectives and bottom lines are attained.

Why you should enroll to the E-Commerce Entrepreneur Program of DigitalFilipino.com?

It's because of your dream. And as your fellow dreamers, we want to accompany you in your journey.

Shall you have questions, please feel free to contact me anytime via 0917-838-7545 or via markjosephdelgado@ymail.com. You may also know more about the program by visiting http://certified.digitalfilipino.com/.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. The program is already ongoing, can I still join?

Yes, anyone can join this program whenever they are ready.

2. Are the videos of the learning sessions being uploaded?

Yes, all the videos are to be uploaded on the learning platform.

3. Will there be consultation sessions?

Yes, consultation sessions with Ms. Janette Toral is to be held every Monday, 7 to 8pm along with the weekly webinars.

4. Will be able to join the E-Commerce Creators Boot Camp?

Yes, part of the perks of enrolling to the Digital Entrepreneur Program are the accesses to the different boot camps including the E-Commerce Creators Boot Camp. To know more about the other perks, please visit http://certified.digitalfilipino.com/membership/.

5. If we registered as an SME or Corporate, can we change attendees?

Yes, SME and Corporate members are allowed to send different attendees for any session limited to the slots allotted for them.

7. How long is the subscription?

The E-Commerce Entrepreneur Program is a 22-week intensive mentorship program but being an automatic member of the DigitalFilipino Club, enrollees are entitled to one year of online learning and consultation. To see the other benefits, please visit http://certified.digitalfilipino.com/membership/.

8. Are there face-to-face sessions aside from the webinars?

Yes, face-to-face sessions are to be held at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business in Rockwell Center in Makati City from 9am to 5pm. The dates are Oct. 14, 21 and 22.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

4 Things to Consider When Planning for a Blog

1. Content Generation
4 Things to Consider When Planning for a Blog Mediactiv8

The content is the lifeblood of a blog. Without it, a blog is not a blog. At the onset, you must be able to plan how you will be able to get your contents. Will it be coming from you solely? Or will you solicit for guest posts? Whatever your source maybe, make sure that you keep the "blood" flowing.

You have to go for sustainability to keep your blog going. Other important questions to ask yourself include "Where will I get my ideas for your topics?" and "What kind of resources do I have that will help me generate contents for my blog?" For example, you are a frequent traveler because of your job. Then, it will be very easy to suggest that you blog about your travels. The key here is maximing the opportunities and resources that you have. If you have a steady supply of a commodity, then blog about it!

2. Promotion

A blog is meant to be read. To get readers, you have to promote your blog. How do you maximize this opportunity? Promote your blog to as many possible touchpoints that you have access to - online and offline. Promote through your Facebook account, Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram and others! The more touchpoints that you have, the more readers that you will gain.

But of course, you cannot just promote to anyone. To become strategic in targetting your readers, you must be able to know what kind of readers read your blog. Once you know who they are, then it will be easier for you to choose which touchpoints to use in promoting your blog.



3. Participation

Plan how readers and fans can participate in the growth of your blog. Can they submit guest posts? Can they donate money through PayPal? Can you organize contests for them? Whatever your activity may be, make sure that your readers and fans have a way of joining an activity in your blog, aside from reading.

4. Monetization

Although this is is not imperative for all, I believe that it will be beneficial to monetize a blog. It will surely help the blogger continue on what he or she is doing. How do you want to earn money through blog? Do you want to put Google Ads on it? Do you plan to leave a space for advertisers that you may contact by yourself? Do you plan to sell your products and services through it? Whatever your plan is, make sure that you include the monetization of your blog as one of your considerations.

You might also our blog entitled 8 Things to Consider Before Starting a Blog.

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blogger social media manager e-commerce digital marketer startup entrepreneur consultant manila philippines
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Mark Delgado (@iammarkdelgado) is a Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur (CBSME) who is passionate about consultative works, creative writing, events management, ideation, startupreneurship, strategic marketing and training. He founded Mediactiv8, a startup social media marketing company that advocates digital marketing education and entrepreneurship in the Philippines. To see more of his works, please check out www.facebook.com/Mediactiv8.

Monday, September 23, 2013

10 Tips To Get Your Slides Featured on SlideShare's Homepage

How I got featured on SlideShare’s Homepage?

Actually, there is no exact science as to how SlideShare chooses their featured slides. They said they handpick the slides one by one.

When I got featured, the number of views for my deck rose from 100 to more than 1,000 in just a couple of hours. If you are strategically preparing your slides for this kind of stardom, of course, you are also increasing the possibility of getting more fans and followers for your Facebook Page and Twitter account (if those touchpoints are in your SlideShare page).
Click on this link to view the deck featured on SlideShare.

Here, though, are few personal tips that I want to share with you on how I created the deck that got featured.

1. Understand clearly what the topic is all about.

Before I start any deck, I take a considerable amount of pause and then ask myself, “What is the topic really all about?” As speakers, sometimes we get too excited to share our ideas and miss the whole point why we got invited on the first place. There is a reason why we get invited as speakers and the audience also got needs that we can suffice. The key is in knowing clearly what we can contribute to their knowledge through our talks.

2. List down all the ideas that you want to share about the topic.

Personally, I always want to give my audience an exhaustive list of all the important lessons that I have learned about the topic that is assigned to me. Therefore, I start by creating a long list of important lessons coming from my head and heart and then, I choose.


3. Choose the best ideas.

Yes, I choose from the list. It depends on the amount of time I was given. Sometimes, I group similar ideas into groups and discuss them by group. Sometimes, I just discuss them as a list. The key is in choosing the best ideas that speak to you the most and then, sharing it to others.

4. Transform each idea into impact statements.

Transforming each idea into impact statements is very important. First, you are helping your audience remember your ideas. Second, you are helping yourself become tweet-able (so think 140-characters or less). And third, you ultimately are helping yourself. I’ll tell why in the next item.

5. Use the impact statements as your talking points.

how to get featured in slideshare homepage mediactiv8
Click on this link to view the deck featured on SlideShare.
Because you will use the impact statements as your talking points, you don’t have to memorize or read your whole talk. All you need to do is keep yourself posted through these talking points which you may read through your deck flashed overhead. Each impact statement should go right through your heart and to your audience’s hearts. Once this happens, that’s when you should start talking.

6. Pick the most thought-evoking image that you can find for each talking point.

A picture paints a thousand words, they say. If that is so, choose the right images that will support your talking points and you will be spared from too much talking.

7. Give your deck a catchy name.

The name of your deck is the first text that shall be read by your audience, unless you show something else. Make it a goal to catch their attention using this word or phrase.

8. Match the name with a perfect image.

Focus on the feeling that an image will evoke once the audience sees it. If it feels right with your deck title, use it.

9. Leave your contact information on the last slide.

Believe me, if you decided to follow the previous items, people will want to contact you.

10. Put your social media touchpoint on each slide.

Your Twitter handle and a hashtag will come very handy on each slide. If someone likes one of your impact statements, there is a fat chance that you will be quoted on Twitter.

Below are some more tips that SlideShare shared.

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blogger social media manager e-commerce digital marketer startup entrepreneur consultant manila philippines
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Mark Delgado (@iammarkdelgado) is a Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur (CBSME) who is passionate about consultative works, creative writing, events management, ideation, startupreneurship, strategic marketing and training. He founded Mediactiv8, a startup social media marketing company that advocates digital marketing education and entrepreneurship in the Philippines. To see more of his works, please check out www.facebook.com/Mediactiv8.

3 Lessons Coach Jim Saret Taught Me About Fitness, Life and Digital Marketing

coach jim saret digital influencers marketing summit 2013Who is Coach Jim Saret?

Coach Jim was catapulted to stardom when he was chosen as one of the coaches for The Biggest Loser: Pinoy Edition alongside Chinggay Andrada. During the Digital Influencers Marketing Summit 2013 where I first saw him in person, he told us that he coached for the Biggest Loser team where the “seniors” belonged to, while Chinggay coached for the younger ones. Despite the odds, Larry Martin, a former police officer and a member of his team, bagged the title as the first ever winner of the competition.

Why I listened to him?

Even from afar, you will see Coach Jim’s dedication to helping more people live a healthier lifestyle. Despite his fame, I did not see any hint of pride for himself or any ambition to become a showbiz personality. All I see is a man married to his passion and that passion is to help others live better lives. During his talk he said something like, “Hindi mababayaran ang experience na makita ang isang tao na makita ang sarili niya na nagbago ang pangangatawan.” (Seeing a person see the changes in his body is a priceless experience.) 

He was very real and authentic in person. He came without a presentation and only brought with him some photos and videos to show to us. In the middle of his talk, he funnily admitted that he can’t operate a Macbook and also fondly calls Ms. Janette Toral as “JT” whom he had formed a really good relationship with, as his digital marketer and personal friend.

Coach Jim may look very tall and well-built but he is very down-to-earth and humble.

1. The power of the right motivation.

Eat and exercise to become strong, not to lose weight. I was taken aback when he said this. When you look everywhere, many products and services are being advertised to help people lose weight and look better. But Coach Jim thought differently and I believe him. Why? The Biggest Loser: Pinoy Edition is the first ever franchise that allowed their finishers to go topless during the end of the competition. Other franchises cannot do that to their finishers because of the usual case of excess skin when someone loses weight. But Coach Jim’s program made his team look good while losing weight. And all these became possible because of the power of the right motivation.


He further explained that strength-training is the key. If you train your body to become strong, you are training yourself to enjoy sustainable exercise for a longer period of time and before you know it, you are not only losing weight, you are also feeling stronger and enjoying exercise itself, not growing tired of it.

I believe that this is also true in everything that we do in life, may it be in digital marketing or other fields of interest. We must aspire to “strengthen” ourselves in whatever we do and not focus on external motivations and rewards. Being strong allows us to do more. And the more we do, the better we become.

2. Everything is possible.

Coach Jim told us that he was able to design a fitness program that burns 600 calories in 4 minutes. Nobody believed in him, of course, for that seems impossible. But as you know how stories like this turn out, he was able to prove it in front of many people through a demonstration. In the end, he was able to redeem himself and everybody was happy.

At this day and age, we are given with so much knowledge and resources that we can use to improve things, including lives of other people. Coach Jim is an innovator in his own respect. I believe that we, in our own fields of interest, can be innovators too. And we must not be afraid to introduce new things despite the odds against us. If we know that our ideas will help others, we must share it and not let the odds bring us down.

3. It doesn’t have to be too tough.

If there’s anything Coach Jim taught me during his talk, it’s the fact that exercise doesn’t have to be tough. I can be fit and healthy without complaining about it. In fact, doing it the hard way is sometimes, the wrong way. If something is very difficult for us to do, we won’t be able to enjoy it and thus it won’t be sustainable for us to do in the long run. The key is enjoying what we do. If we don’t enjoy it at first, we can find ways to make it enjoyable.

In life, the things that we do don’t have to make us suffer. If we are suffering at work, we must find a way to make it easier and more enjoyable for us. If we are pushing ourselves too hard, there may be something wrong somewhere in the equation.

Thank you Coach Jim and to everyone who attended and supported us during the recently concluded Digital Influencers Marketing Summit 2013!
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blogger social media manager e-commerce digital marketer startup entrepreneur consultant manila philippines
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Mark Delgado (@iammarkdelgado) is a Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur (CBSME) who is passionate about consultative works, creative writing, events management, ideation, startupreneurship, strategic marketing and training. He founded Mediactiv8, a startup social media marketing company that advocates digital marketing education and entrepreneurship in the Philippines. To see more of his works, please check out www.facebook.com/Mediactiv8.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

3 Lessons in Life, Social Media Marketing and Customer Service

This post summarizes my talk during the 2nd Digital Influencers Marketing Summit held at the SMX Convention Center last September 21, 2013.

mark delgado digital influencers marketing summit 2013 mediactiv8 talkToday, I’d like to share with you three most important lessons that I have acquired in my life as a social media marketing and customer service professional. I started blogging back in 2010 and then I became a CBSME student. After graduation, I was hired by a local ad agency as a Digital Marketing Manager before I was absorbed by Globe Telecom as a Senior Community Manager. Now that I decided to do things on my own, I founded a startup called Mediactiv8, an agency that envisions to promote digital marketing education and entrepreneurship in the Philippines.

The Age of Listening

For many years, marketers and customer service professionals are just great talkers. We have successfully mastered the art of talking to consumers through billboards, emails, in-store ads, magazines, phones, radio, television and others. But with the advent of social media, the game has changed. The challenge for us now is knowing how to listen more.

The Age of Listening: Social Media Marketing
the age of listening digital influencers marketing summit 2013 mediactiv8 mark delgado
Stop marketing. Start listening. It will be very difficult to succeed in social media marketing if you don’t know your consumers well. You have to know the answers to simple questions such as “What time are they active online?” and “What types of content do they usually like, comment on and share?” For you to know your consumers well, you have to learn how to “listen”.

Facebook Insights, Google Analytics and others are some of the tools which can help you understand your consumers better.

The Age of Listening: Customer Service

Master a listening tool. Did you know that social media management tools are also called “listening tools”? In Globe, we were able to “listen” to what our subscribers say about us because of these tools. If someone tweets that there is no Globe signal in their place, our tools will be able to detect the tweet and then we’ll proactively engage the subscriber.

Sprout Social and Lithium are examples of listening tools.


Best of Both Worlds

There are two worlds: the offline and the online. Because of the clear distinction between the two, they are often made mutually exclusive and separated. But to think about it, there really are no purely offline campaigns as much as there really are no purely online campaigns.

best of both worlds digital influencers marketing summit 2013 mediactiv8 mark delgadoLet me convince you. What has the capacity to become popular online, also has the capacity to become popular offline. On the other hand, what can be a talk-of-the-town online, may also be a talk-of-the-town offline. There is a common ground between the two worlds and the best social media marketers and customer service professionals are those who will be able to find it.

Best of Both Worlds: Social Media Marketing 

Marry the two worlds. One of the measures of a truly successful social media marketing campaign is if it was really able to create a buzz in the offline world. On the other hand, an offline campaign may also be called successful if people talked about it in the online world. This is what marrying the two worlds is about. The challenge for social media marketers is to create a synergy between the two worlds and to maximize the conversations that will be produced from them.

Best of Both Worlds: Customer Service

Humanize the experience. This means stopping from hiding from brand logos whenever engaging with consumers and also means going out of your way to create a relationship with them even outside social media.

We had been doing this in Globe. We use our own profile photos in our official Globe Twitter accounts that we use in engaging our subscribers. In creating genuine relationships with our subscribers, we also organize contests for them and then ask the Twitter team to hand the prizes to the winners personally.

It Takes A Village
it takes a village digital influencers marketing summit 2013 mediactiv8 mark delgado
There is an African Proverb that goes like “It takes a village to build a community.” Same goes for social media marketing and customer service. A social media marketing or a customer service campaign will not be successful without the people who will support it.

It Takes A Village: Social Media Marketing

Build a community. Build a campaign. As much as you are thinking about your blog, think about your readers. As much as you are thinking about your brand, think about your consumers. As much as you are thinking about strategy, think about culture. Did you know that culture eats strategy for lunch? Without community and culture, it will be hard to make anything successful in social media. Good thing there are Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, Twitter and forum sites that allow us to establish our communities.

One very good example of this is the Top 10 Emerging Influentials of 2013. Without a community of bloggers who will vouch for these blogs, not a single one of them be able to make it to this writing project.

It Takes A Village: Customer Service

be the good influencer digital influencers marketing summit 2013 mediactiv8 mark delgadoCreate a culture of helping one another. In Globe, we created a community of subscribers through a forum site where they can get help from fellow subscribers about their concerns. Starting a culture that allows people to help one another creates a community that is sustainable and not dependent on the very few customer service representatives that a company employs. If you help the people help themselves, you will be rewarded.

Be the good influencer.

We have all the resources that we need at our disposal. The challenge for us is to become digital influencers of the good kind. There are people who would rather talk about people and problems. On the other hand, there are people who would rather talk about idea and solutions. I hope you make the good choice.

Let’s keep in touch through www.facebook.com/Mediactiv8.

blogger social media manager e-commerce digital marketer startup entrepreneur consultant manila philippines
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Mark Delgado (@iammarkdelgado) is a Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur (CBSME) who is passionate about consultative works, creative writing, events management, ideation, startupreneurship, strategic marketing and training. He founded Mediactiv8, a startup social media marketing company that advocates digital marketing education and entrepreneurship in the Philippines. To see more of his works, please check out www.facebook.com/Mediactiv8.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

5 Tips to Improve Your Talks

This blog post is inspired by Ms. Janette Toral's blog entitled "Speakers are not heroes".

5 Tips to Make Improve Your Talks Mediactiv81. Share fresh ideas.

Truth is, people come to seminars to learn new things. So make sure that your are sharing with them something new and substantial, something that is drawn from your own unique experiences. Avoid generic titles and motherhood statements. Introduce new perspective. Challenge the status quo. And forecast the future.

2. Show your passion.

Nothing replaces passion. Passion is contagious. If you're passionate about what you're talking about, people will know and bigger is the chance that you'll make them agree with your thesis.

3. Tell stories.

Connecting is as important as communicating. When you hit the podium, make sure that you don't just talk. Tell stories. Connect to your audience. People love stories. It makes them imagine and think. Telling stories is much better than merely reciting a list of ideas that you have. Find your audience's sweet spot and you'll be rewarded with an attentive set of listeners.

4. Talk about your failures and successes.

Part of telling stories is being open in sharing what really happened. May it be a failure or a success, make sure that you provide your audience with a clear insight of what they must do and not do when they are about to cross their own bridges. One day, they will thank you for your honesty.



5. Be a mentor, not a hero.

Ms. Janette Toral told us that she read a book called Resonate, written by Nancy Duarte. The book tells us that as a speaker, you are wearing a hat of a mentor, not of a hero. The audience is the hero, not you. If you are the mentor then you have the burden of teaching and guiding the heroes in front you. If you hone them right, they will be perfect arrows that will hit the bull's eye.
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blogger social media manager e-commerce digital marketer startup entrepreneur consultant manila philippines
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Mark Delgado (@iammarkdelgado) is a Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur (CBSME) who is passionate about consultative works, creative writing, events management, ideation, startupreneurship, strategic marketing and training. He founded Mediactiv8, a startup social media marketing company that advocates digital marketing education and entrepreneurship in the Philippines. To see more of his works, please check out www.facebook.com/Mediactiv8.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

3 Important Life Lessons Jenni Epperson Taught Me During the 2nd Mompreneur Summit

Jenni Epperson 2nd Mompreneur SummitWhen Jenni Epperson walked up the stage, what I saw is a picture of an elegant high-fashion woman who wears a cheetah printed coat, red lipstick and carefully chosen accessories. This woman made it to the top, I said to myself. But when she started talking, Jenni is actually so much more.

She was more than what met my eye. She was funny, witty and real. She may be high-fashion, but she’s also very down-to-earth. Her authenticity radiated all over the place and it even occurred to me that this woman is actually famous but that didn’t go to her head.

I learned a lot of things from her and I got surprised with myself for taking down notes- something that I don’t usually oblige myself to do unless, something is really really noteworthy. In fact, her talk was noteworthy and this is me sharing to you all the gems that I found during her talk.

1. Self-discovery is a journey.

Just like any regular human being, Jenni found herself wanting to “find” herself too. There were just too many things that she wanted to do and one day she just felt confused and lost just like what happened to many of us too. She, then, decided to resolve this by going on top of a hill somewhere in Laguna and, uhm, apparently nothing happened. But for sure, a series of events occurred after that that made her the “Jenni Epperson” that she is now. She told us that knowing one’s self is important. How much do we really know ourselves? If your answer is not so much, it’s alright. What’s important is the willingness to “begin” the journey that entails trying many things along the way until we get there. Success happened to her. It can happen to us too.


2. It’s ok to be passionate about many things.

I am one of those people who frowns whenever told “Find your passion and make it your profession.” Problem is I do have a lot of things I am passionate about. I love business, singing, social media and writing. Which one should be my profession? Sometimes I beat myself for liking too many things. I call myself things such as happy-go-lucky, irresponsible and uncommitted. But when I listened to her, I found an ally and she said that it’s alright to like so many things and feel confused at times. The key is to try these things as much as you can. Again, this is a journey and not everyone will figure out their passions early in life. Some will take years to figure it out but the journey counts as much as the destination itself. Jenni also said that she took so many roles too. She became a receptionist, writer and whatnot and she was not ashamed to tell us about all of these things. She also said that trying out different things will help you do a process of elimination. The more that you eliminate, the more that you become aware of the things that you don’t really want until you’re down to the really few things that really speak to your heart.

3. Be your most authentic self.

Finding yourself is worth it. One of the benefits of the journey is that you learn to become your most authentic self. At the early stages of our lives, I believe that we don’t have yet or we are not aware yet of our identities. We usually look up to people and then imitate them. We were once superman, spider man and wonder woman. As we go on in years, we learn more about ourselves and Jenni believes that this process is very crucial. The more that we know ourselves, the more we can become authentic. I believe that being authentic and real to ourselves is one of the best gifts that we can offer the world. Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

Thank you so much, Jenni.
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blogger social media manager e-commerce digital marketer startup entrepreneur consultant manila philippines
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Mark Delgado (@iammarkdelgado) is a Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur (CBSME) who is passionate about consultative works, creative writing, events management, ideation, startupreneurship, strategic marketing and training. He founded Mediactiv8, a startup social media marketing company that advocates digital marketing education and entrepreneurship in the Philippines. To see more of his works, please check out www.facebook.com/Mediactiv8.