Digital Marketing

At the recently concluded 16th Mansmith Young Market Masters Awards (YMMA), we asked three of the marketing rockstars to share about digital marketing. They are Mar Corazo, Global Digital Marketing Manager of Unilever Foods & Refreshments and YMMA Awardee for Digital Marketing, Kaye Enriquez, Partner of CBR and YMMA Awardee for Digital Business Building, and Marie Ces “Patet” de Guzman, Digital Marketing Manager of Primer Group of Companies and YMMA Awardee for Digital Marketing. Here are the learning points from the YMMA winners:

Q1: How is digital marketing thinking different from traditional marketing thinking?

Mar: Digital marketing thinking vs. traditional marketing thinking means always-on vs. time-bound; perpetually beta mode vs. waiting for the final product; fragmented reality vs. mono-channel mindset; two-way communication vs. one-way monologue. There are two similarities in both though: in any kind of marketing, creativity is key and consumer is king.

Kaye: Digital Marketing has broken boundaries both Process and Skill. Digital marketing thrives in a non-linear process. It’s not about going through A then B then C and so on. Second is Skill. With digital continuing to evolve and transform, successful marketers are no longer just measured by years of experience but by the ability to be able to quickly adapt and innovate.

Patet: Digital Marketing takes its fundamentals from traditional marketing but with different channels, platforms and touchpoints, you have to be more versatile and take quicker action. Digital marketing is data-driven that helps you pivot your strategies quickly. You should be adaptable and can come up with a different strategy for every single customer that you are talking to because everything – from the message, creatives, copies, platforms that you use – can be personalized. While traditional marketing is still relevant to some brands, more than having separate thinking for digital and traditional marketing, the challenge is how to merge these both to create an omnichannel approach that will better the customer journey.

Q2: From experience, how does a brand achieve success (reach, return on ad spend, etc) with its digital marketing campaigns? Can you cite some examples of metrics you consistently monitor? 

Mar: The basics of brilliant marketing still apply to digital-led campaigns. The measures may change but the intent remains the same. For awareness, it’s about getting the optimal reach, and this can be measured through impressions, among other things. From there, interest or consideration could be measured through clicks and click-through rates. If there is a way to purchase the product or service online, conversion rates via actual sales against spend would help determine whether a campaign has been successful. Online or offline, we want the people we serve to remember and choose the brand, again and again.

Kaye: For brands to be able to succeed, you must first be clear on your measure of success. Digital can provide a wide array of metrics you can track but not all that can be measured counts. Take out the noise and focus on important signals. By knowing exactly what you want to accomplish and determining the right KPIs that match that will make the difference. The other is the need to constantly optimize – test and learn as often as you can. Key metrics to look at would be focusing on effectivity (rates – click rate, conversion rate, etc) and efficiency (cost per – cost per reach, cost per click, cost per action, etc).

Patet: My mentor, Albette Buddahim reminds us to always check if your ads are Sufficient – Effective – Efficient. Sufficient is measured by reach and frequency to ensure we’re talking to enough people. We have to be effective, which we see through our click through rates and return on ad spend and of course efficient based on our buys and results like cost per click, traffic or acquisition. It’s not simply looking at a single metric because each of these affect our performance KPIs, and with this we are guided by where to improve to ultimately achieve our objective.

Q3: Can you share an unexpected positive outcome from digital activities for a brand or product during the pandemic? How was it attained?

Mar: Everybody has heard how e-Commerce penetration and how the need for instant-everything increased dramatically from the pandemic. What has been less celebrated – though certainly more vital – is the genuine interest in healthy and ‘good’ food. More than ever, people are searching online for more plant-based recipes and ingredients that are not only good for them but also good for the planet. For our beloved brand, Knorr, our digital content that talk about the benefits of eating better for people and planet have received higher engagement and translated to sales spikes at the height of the lockdowns. Our most recent campaign, #EatForGood, encourages everyone to ‘change the world by changing what’s on your plate’ and has resonated with people around the world, who now realize the impact that food has on their bodies and the environment.

Kaye: Retail products, being one of the highly affected categories have produced various success stories. While each may differ in context or approach, what unifies them all is how they were able to pivot their business from offline to online, innovating their offering while keeping customer experience at the center. This has not only helped their respective businesses stay afloat but has contributed to the huge growth of ecommerce and cashless payments in the country.

Patet: Being a non-essential, there was very little expectation for the retail industry to pick up during the pandemic thus the need to pivot the way we did business and shift efforts online. With the majority of Primer Group’s offline doors closed during the quarantine, we showed the adaptability of the company in how this was handled end to end. Proper merchandise allocation, shifting of talents, repositioning our products to be more relevant through marketing strategies using our eCommerce platforms contributed to the success of the brands. 

Q4: What is the digital campaign you have been proudest to be involved in and why?

Mar: I am proud to have launched our biggest-ever global purposeful campaign because it is now creating real impact. With #EatForGood, Knorr encouraged people to ‘change the world by changing what’s on their plates’ via more plants and more variety for their dishes. Food is the biggest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions and through this campaign we are educating people to change their eating habits for the good of their health and of the planet’s. With Knorr, vegetables, grains, and other ingredients can still taste great. Our digital and social campaign was activated simultaneously in over 10 countries, which included an online recipe platform that helps people turn heavy meat-based dishes into plant-based options without sacrificing flavour.

Kaye: The RCBC campaign “Every Step of the Way” launched during the height of the pandemic last year. RCBC recognized that people were facing the need to adapt and turn to digital products and services to fulfill their daily needs. Because of this, RCBC innovated how it served its customers by empowering them to address their banking needs from the safety of their homes efficiently and conveniently via the reengineered RCBC online banking app. The campaign is a great example of how data, technology and creative, when integrated, can deliver business results.

Patet: Looking back at everything that happened in the last two years, and with a lot of retailers shutting down due to the pandemic, one of the most crucial times for us was the first couple of months. Our offline doors were closed and this contributed to the majority of Primer Group’s business. Because of our digital marketing efforts, and with my focus on performance marketing, we saw our KPIs were overachieving with a ROAS as high as 100X, and sales continued to grow month on month. There was not a single digital campaign to mention because with all brands exceeding our benchmarks and targets, we saw how big of an impact this was to Primer Group and its business. 


Josiah Go is Chairman and Chief Innovation Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders Inc. The search for the 17th Mansmith Young Market Masters Awards (YMMA) is ongoing. Forms are available at 

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