Sizing Up Philippine Marketing In 2016 - Certified Professional Manager
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Sizing Up Philippine Marketing In 2016

In a few months, 2015 will close and Filipinos will wake to a new trade environment brought about by the ASEAN integration, in addition to a national election that is bound to send shockwaves to the economy. The area of marketing is bound to be hit hard, so it pays for managers to know which practices will survive and which will be buried come year’s end.

In this article, marketing consultant Jose Mari “Topo” Abeleda, a lecturer on marketing, advertising, management, sales, and operations, shares his thoughts on how the marketing field could behave in 2016 and what managers can do to prepare for it.
Spill over

Topo says that managers can expect to see some of this year’s trends spilling over to 2016, especially for higher end markets. “Internet, mobile, digital and content for the rich and aspiring segments, which represents a tiny portion of the market,” he said. Social media giant Facebook will remain dominant, but customers may grow weary of the platform and look for something new.

Big movers this year, which include group buying and simplified purchasing models, will continue to prosper as customers look for less time-consuming practices and better value.

When ASEAN Integration commences in 2016, luxury bags are likely to thrive more in an integrated international market. Low-end goods will be more affected to price-sensitive customers.

Integration blues

The ASEAN integration will turn the region into a singular economic bloc that will compel its members to keep up to remain globally relevant. Because of this agreement, Filipino companies are at risk of greater competition as foreign corporations take advantage of a large consumer base. “Open markets would mean high competition, which I doubt if the Philippines is ready for,” Topo said. Thus, enduring issues such as traffic and floods may push the country’s delivery sector to its limits.

Topo said the new trade agreement will benefit the luxury industries, which should enjoy robust demands and loyal patrons. Low-end markets, however, will not budge from their current status and be vulnerable to brand switchers.

A different game

Any shift in marketing will affect its arms. Topo predicts that branding for high-end markets will flourish, but traditional advertising may be inching toward its twilight because television and radio no longer have clout over a young, digitally-savvy majority. Digital Marketing, particularly social media, will continue to be dominant platforms for spreading awareness, but not so much on conversion to sales. “The time for conversion is too long to directly attribute to Digital,” he explains.

According to Topo, marketers should consider their positioning carefully because differentiation would still be a critical factor to get ahead in the highly-polarized Philippine market. The brand messaging, he added, should be kept short and direct.

Digital Marketing is here to stay. A music fan in a concert records his experience with his Smart Phone. The millennial generation is a growing underserved market that brands are yet to fully explore.

New management

Brands are not the only ones up for calibration; managers will be forced to evolve and rethink habits to stay afloat. “The worst habit would be having too much confidence. Competitors are increasing and evolving. Assuming that “you cannot fall” may lead some market leaders to oblivion,” Topo says. The basics have not changed, but managers who supplement these with a strategic outlook, analytical skills, adaptability and an in-depth knowledge of markets are better ready for 2016’s surprises.

Topo also stressed the value of training career advancement, saying that certifications such as CPM (Certified Professional Manager) can be used as a yardstick by head-hunters and companies when scouting for well-equipped managers.

Professor Jose Mari “Topo” Abeleda is a subject matter expert Marketing Management in the Certified Professional Managers (CPM) course, a mini-MBA program that provides professionals and businessmen the training they need to lead their organization amidst dynamic business environments in the Philippines and the ASEAN. You can learn more about Marketing Management at the CPM Min-MBA seminars.

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