Immap: Digital marketing going real timeBy Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Companies must prepare for real-time engagement with consumers, who have more ways to go online than ever, according to Manny Fernando, who was recently sworn in as president of the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (Immap).
Mobile is key growth factor. “We notice that there are new online consumers coming from pure mobile access—there is an emergence of secondary handsets supporting Internet browsing,” Fernando says.
Tablets and other devices are also seen to get cheaper, while software and applications compete for dominance. As such, consumers are able to access social media through various screens and across different parts of the day.
“Digital marketing is no longer a specialization as it now permeates and underpins almost every marketing discipline in today’s business landscape,” Fernando says. At the same time, he notes, digital marketers also need to protect consumers’ trust in marketing campaigns conducted over the Internet, via mobile phones, and other electronic means.
Privacy issues and identity theft are among present concerns, Fernando says. “We need to protect and uphold privacy concerns or else the consumers will lose trust with the campaigns,” he says.
Relatedly, there are also concerns on cyber bullying and how digital interactions affect perception.
Fernando cites other trends that continue to influence digital marketing in the Philippines. “Wireless data will continue to grow as access rates become more consumer-friendly coupled with how smart phones and other connected devices become more affordable for more Filipinos,” he says.
Other trends such as the emergence of Android as a computing platform, the maturity of group and social commerce site, SoLoMo (social, local, mobile) convergence, and the widespread promotion of brands through social media and online games were also predicted to happen this year.
Also unveiled at the event are Immap’s key industry initiatives this year that the newly inducted officers designed to “help further shape the strategic role of digital marketing in not only the business sector but also in society,” Fernando says.
Key programs include the annual Immap Interactive Summit and Boomerang Awards, a series of Open Mic Nights inspired by last year’s successful networking event, a digital marketing expo in the fourth quarter, executive roundtable sessions, the expansion of the organization’s successful Certified Digital Marketer Program (CDMP) outside Metro Manila, participation in the advertising industry’s joint committee that will establish and define a common measurement currency for digital marketing initiatives, and the creation of an updated Code of Ethics and Regulation Guidelines.
The CDMP is an 11-week diploma program. Participants who have successfully completed the coursework program can qualify to be recognized by Immap as a certified digital marketer who can help companies establish and widen their—and their brands’—online presence.
Fernando, in his induction speech during Immap’s recent membership meeting, says the organization’s purpose has evolved ever since it started as a marketing association for Internet and mobile organizations.
“Now, we have a higher purpose to consider. Our new vision is for Immap to be the center of excellence and innovation in the Philippines entrusted by the advertising industry to shape the future of digital marketing,” Fernando says.
Immap, now on its sixth year representing the digital marketing industry, is being led this year by Fernando, the president and CEO of MyMegamobile, a subsidiary of the Inquirer Group of Companies. Also leading Immap are Paul John Peña as vice president; Roshan Nandwani of BBDO Proximity Philippines as secretary; and Norelyn Babiera, vice president of Fiera de Manila, as treasurer.
Joining Immap’s board of directors this year are Arlene Amarante, country ambassador and sales director of Yahoo! Philippines; Coni Cruz, program design and management head of BlueBlade Technologies; Lea Besa-Jimenez, general manager of NetBooster Asia; Melissa Limcaoco, digital group head of Smart Communications; Jack Madrid, country manager of Multiply Philippines; Eduardo Mapa Jr., president and CEO of Media Contacts/Havas Digital; Mike Palacios, general manager of Havoc Digital; Carlos Palma, country manager of NuffNang Philippines; TJ Parpan, general manager of DensuINDIO; Paolo Pineda, business development head of ABS-CBN; and JV Rufino, director for mobile of the Inquirer Group of Publications.
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