Mansmith and Fielders has grown in ways we first thought were not possible – and only because we decided to shift to be advocacy-based when we found out that our clients and mentees attended our programs not just to learn but to rise and be better. Now on our 25th year, we reflect on how this could have happened – when we were just living our truth and sharing our passion of being lifelong learners, when we are but a private group of committed individuals (not a civic organization or an educational institution) who simply enjoyed pushing the bar of excellence or challenging the status quo, of giving back of ourselves and paying it forward.
From the time Chiqui took over in 2004 and grew the business 400%, we knew it was time to keep building on our line of sight, even if it were uncomfortable or daunting at first. After all, it was not just a matter of creating new courses and new frameworks that are not offered elsewhere and thus required us to invest on ourselves by studying abroad and to learn, we also saw and understood how the clients were changing in many ways, and that we needed to keep up with them.
One way of keeping up was to create new corporate divisions to address needs of different market segments who were giving us feedback on affordability or accessibility– something that inspired the creation of Day 8 Business Academy – our most daring advocacy that provides 3-hour training modules to SME owners with a revolutionary pay-what-you-want fee, or even for free if your company is losing. It was daring because even if we had different courses offered here, we had the same set of speakers from our other training divisions and this could cannibalize our business in Mansmith, Coach or Sensei. We are happy to share that this has not happened and has in fact inspired other entrepreneurs to attend other Mansmith courses as their desire for learning has been ignited. Other companies who also can’t afford to send their people to regular courses now send them to Day 8 so they can get professional training in sales, customer service, leadership, etc.
Part of the line of sight that created Day 8 was another advocacy called Marketing Rescue, a free consulting session for marketers and entrepreneurs who sent their inquiries on business and work. During these sessions, we discovered many questions from participants that we felt could be better addressed by a regular opportunity for learning. White Space Club and the Marketing Mentor blogcame up as natural extensions for more channels of learning, again borne out of insight that people from diverse industries wanted to network and come together to exchange, challenge and cross breed ideas while the blog offered a free Q&A resource to Filipinos with no access to or opportunities to learn from top-level executives and entrepreneurs in the country.
The other series of advocacies we established also followed a line of sight where we knew that if we really wanted to be relevant to the marketing industry, we needed to start with the development of the youth. Since 1997, Mansmith has supported the learning of marketing professors all over the country through the Association of Marketing Educators (AME) scholarship grant. In 2004, MarkProf Bootcamp was created as a free marketing leadership training program for the best graduating university student leaders wishing to have a career in marketing.
And building from these, came two other high impact advocacies namely – the Mansmith Young Market Masters Awards (YMMA), now searching for its 11th batch and which recognizesoutstanding marketers 35 years and below, and the 1st Mansmith Market Masters Awards (MMMA). In the midst of the YMMA search, we discovered that there are outstanding people who guided and supported the plans of our Mansmith YMMA winners, thus, we have started to recognize the extraordinary marketing mentors who have demonstrated a tireless commitment to help shape the Mansmith YMMA awardees to be the marketing rock stars they are today, fostering the spirit of excellence among the next generation of marketers.
The Mansmith Market Masters Awards (MMMA) is the first and only recognition for senior marketers based not just on corporate performance but mentoring of Mansmith YMMA winners. To be a Market Master, one has to be nominated by a YMMA winner no less.
The first set of awardees was given recognition last July 7, 2015 at the Hotel Intercontinental – these are John Concepcion, President and CEO of Unilever-RFM, the marketer of Selecta ice cream, Noel Lorenzana, President of Mediaquest Group, Didith Agoncillo-Morales, the In-Field Director of Roche and Margot Torres, Senior Vice President of McDonalds Philippines.
If there is anything we learned from our 25-year journey in Mansmith, it’s when you give, you keep growing – follow your heart, the line of sight is just there.
(JOSIAH GO AND CHIQUI ESCAREAL-GO are the chairman and president respectively of the marketing training firm Mansmith and Fielders Inc. and co-founders of the advocacies listed here. Please visit www.mansmith.net for more information.)