Success lessons from young market masters

/ 12:10 AM February 23, 2014

THE 9TH Mansmith YMMA awardees 2014 flanked by co-founders Chiqui Escareal-Go (far left) and Josiah Go (far right): (at the back from left) Bea Atienza (Commonwealth – McCann Shanghai), Jeffrey James Saez (Nuworks Interactive Labs, Inc.), Joe Mark Pardiñas (Rags2Riches, Inc.), Maynoll Montalbo (Mont Albo Wellness Corp.), Jaryd Luke Chan (Procter & Gamble), Charlyn Rochel Yu (Universal Robina Corp.) ; (seated from left) Grace Mendoza (Merck Sharp & Dohme), Joan Marie Uy (Merck Sharp & Dohme), Magdalene Lim (Procter & Gamble)

Last Feb. 19, another batch of outstanding young marketers and entrepreneurs was given recognition at the 9th Mansmith Young Market Masters Awards (YMMA) night at the Mandarin Hotel in Makati City.  Organized and presented by the country’s leading marketing and sales training company, Mansmith and Fielders Inc., these young men and women (ages 35 years and below) exemplify the ideal young professionals in the marketing industry that can serve as inspiration to other young people with their work on creating big ideas and insights, executing strategies flawlessly and defending their brands and companies successfully and innovatively despite competitive pressures, natural, social and political challenges, both locally and globally.

Below are snippets of the achievements and personal insights of these nine young men and women as they share their advice to other young and aspiring marketers in the country.  (For their complete profile as well as those of past winners’, please visit



Bea J. Atienza Regional Digital Strategist, Commonwealth (McCann Shanghai)

Bea set up MRM Manila’s Strategic Planning team and established digital strategy standards within the agency. She steered creative output to generate 100 percent client retention from 2011 to 2013. During that period MRM doubled its revenue from the previous year (a record growth year).


Among Bea’s successful efforts is the Nescafé digital campaign which created a record-breaking fan base of over 2 million and with Mashable noting the brand as one of the top in digital engagement.  This digital marketing effort increased sales as well as loyalty with research showing that respondents were more willing to drink Nescafé as a result of digital engagement. Other MRM award-winning digital cases under Bea’s team are the Kitkat “Everybody Break Now” campaign and the Royal Facebook fan page.

“Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in what’s new—new apps, new viral videos … but it’s important to figure out how digital can help brands and address the challenges these brands are facing. Digital is actually a new set of tools to address traditional marketing challenges. It is important to keep learning as digital changes so fast and customers change even more quickly. I am my own toughest critic as I push myself and my team to make sure our work is the best. I always tell my team to always find new challenges, never stay content with what you’ve achieved, and make sure there’s always something new to conquer.”


Jaryd Luke T. Chan, Regional Brand Manager, Procter & Gamble

In the past two years, Jaryd has been building a diverse range of P&G brands across Southeast Asia, which includes Safeguard and Bonux in the Philippines, and Dynamo and Ariel liquid laundry detergent in Malaysia. With Jaryd at the helm and with various creative and relevant marketing plan executions, these brands grew sales and attained market leadership despite immense competitive pressures. Successful campaigns led by Jaryd that established product relevance and superiority include Safeguard’s “Round-the-clock protection against skin germs unlike other ordinary soaps” and “1 Ariel cleans better than 6 scoops of other detergents.”

“When I first started, I thought marketing would be all about creativity and common sense, but to address challenges, you need proper tools to identify or take advantage of opportunities—you need to have data or facts, you need to have consumer understanding.  Sure, you need to make the best guess but based on knowledge-based leadership. For marketers, boldness is a very important trait. Being bold gives you the best chance to win. Most marketers are not winning— they’re playing not to lose. Having the boldness, the courage and of course, doing the proper homework via knowledge based leadership, are needed in order to win in the market place.”


Magdalene Y. Lim, Country Brand Manager, Procter & Gamble

Maggie played an instrumental role in defining the vision and strategy of Procter & Gamble’s Dishcare business in Asia, as she accelerated the business in the Philippines, qualified new launches into Asia’s biggest markets, and advocated winning Philippine models for re-application to European and American subsidiaries. This she did with Joy Dishwashing liquid with a drive to convert users of laundry bars for dishwashing via commercial marketing with her “no-residue” campaign. This campaign made Joy the fastest-growing brand in P&G Philippines, reaching highest ever market shares, while benefitting an additional six million Filipinos who no longer have to worry about soap residue on their utensils.


“Marketers need to be authentic and steadfast. Authentic because we really need to understand the strengths and opportunities of the products or brands that we are selling, because this is the core of my work and I need to know other areas to improve on for the future. We need to have a mindset change when it comes to seeing barriers or constraints as blessings in disguise because it forces us to focus on the core important thing that is meant to really drive the business. Finally, marketers must have a sense of purpose—to understand what the product really is to the consumer, the community or the country. When the going gets tough, this becomes my personal motivation and it strengthens the ownership I have for the business.”


Grace M. Mendoza, Category Manager, Merck Sharp & Dohme

Grace has put together her best marketing and sales experiences in planning and implementing strategies with a clear understanding of consumer motivations and buying behavior. Her campaign for the brand Contractubex (an antiscar ointment) combined the functional aspect of the efficacy of the product that “lightens, flattens and softens” scars with the emotional side—via the “Moving On” advertising campaign which focused on positive real women who don’t let scars get in the way of living a confident, meaningful life.

“I’m passionate about what I do. I’m blessed to have work that I really love doing. Things can get boring, monotonous, or stressful at times, but because I like what I do, I end up doing it well. I’m versatile and creative with the way I do things. Our work is constantly evolving, with new SOPs and processes put into place all the time. I don’t resist the change, I try to adapt quickly. Though sometimes these changes lengthen processes, I try to find ways to make things more efficient, to optimize resources and produce better output. And finally I’m grateful (for the support of people around me and to God).  I believe passion, versatility and gratitude are the important ingredients to success.”


Maynoll D. Montalbo, president, Mont Albo Wellness Corp.

One of two entrepreneurs to be recognized in this batch of winners, Dr. Noll had always been a firm believer of Filipino traditional healing practices such as the “hilot” and had a clear understanding of his target market—Filipinos who loved massages but found most services available too pricey. His spa concept was purely Filipino —from the logo to the uniforms and to the spa interior design, making it practical and nonintimidating, yet guaranteed to satisfy every spa fanatic. His niche business model has been proven successful and has thrived despite commodification and price wars in the industry, now offering spa franchises to bring quality Filipino service to more people at a more affordable price. Dr. Noll dreams of a Filipino global spa brand with “hilot” as part of every spa’s menu all over the world.

“I can describe myself as impulsive and demanding but also sensitive— not just to my surroundings but to my target market. I also describe myself as intrepid—or an individual who can perform productively and efficiently in a very complex and difficult environment.

With the many marketing challenges facing us, being intrepid will play an important role especially if you’re a young marketer.”


Joe Mark SP. Pardiñas, Sales, Marketing, and Key Accounts Manager, Rag2Riches, Inc.

When Matt started as the Sales and Marketing Manager of Rags2Riches in July 2009, he was faced with a challenge to create a sales and marketing framework that would connect different levels and aspects of the corporation’s marketing and sales activities in one desired output—effectively communicating Rags2Riches as a for-profit social enterprise that creates stylish, ethically sourced and eco-friendly lifestyle products handcrafted by empowered community artisans.

Matt was able to triple the business of Rags2Riches from 2009 to 2012 by establishing regular sales channels and developing business opportunities with the corporate sector through an integrated corporate social responsibility platform. Rags2Riches was able to support the livelihood of 120 artisans through strategic and regular sales under Rags2Riches, and helped empower and train 800 more artisans.

“This award represents a celebration of a dream coming true, and all the things that our community artisans can do given the same opportunity we have; they too, can definitely achieve great things. This award is also a celebration of an opportunity to share one important lesson I learned in life. It is Gratitude, to be always grateful. And the best form of gratitude is the one that comes with a humble acceptance that our successes did not happen because we had the monopoly of knowledge, skills, and talents; but because we live in a community that shared our own dreams.”


Jeffrey James R. Saez, Managing Director, Nuworks Interactive Labs, Inc.

NuWorks Interactive Labs, Inc. was born in 2009 with an initial capitalization of P250,000; a 50-square meter room, and six people. Fast forward to 2013, NuWorks, led by Jeff, is now a multimillion company, housed in a 350-square meter office, with a 60-man strong workforce.   With the advertising industry growing by 2 percent on an average, NuWorks has been growing by at least 50 percent every year, ending 2013 with a 100 percent growth rate.

As a one-stop shop for digital advertisers, NuWorks is currently in the top 5 biggest independent digital advertising agencies in the country, competing against the big boys of global networks. Their over 200 successful digital campaigns not only garnered awards in the industry for their clients such as Nestle, Purefoods, 7-Eleven, among others, but also gave clients positive results in terms of increase in product sales. This was done by translating digital platforms and online environments to real-world experiences, creating ground-breaking campaign concepts, building engaging branded content environments, developing digital brand equity, and strategically planning and buying online media.

“Be truly entrepreneurial and truly experimental. If you commit to innovation, you will reap the benefits of the bold. When you feel butterflies in your tummy, it means you are up to something good. Also remember that success is a combination of preparation, luck and good intentions.”


Joan Marie T. Uy, Product Manager, Merck Sharp & Dohme

Joan joined MSD in late 2011 as the Product Manager of Elica, a topical steroid indicated for eczema. Elica was launched in 1992 which was supported by doctor promotions when registration status was switched from Rx to over-the-counter (OTC) in 2010. In this scenario, Joan saw the need to educate the customers so they could understand the category. Her team then identified the brand’s positioning and came up with Elica’s brand essence as the Eczema Expert. Aside from TV advertising, Joan utilized other consumer touch points such as digital where she led the development of a microsite which eventually led to the development of a full website after validating that consumers were seeking information online on the treatment and maintenance for eczema.  Since the launch (of the full website), online consumer reach increased from 29 percent to 44 percent among those reached by the campaign.

“More than six years ago, I pursued Marketing coming from a stint in business development. When I started and was tasked to launch a new product, I barely knew anything and admittedly the first six months preparing for the launch was nerve wracking. Through the course of time, I have learned that Marketing does not get easier but that you can get better at it.

One of the most important lessons that I have learned is to recognize your responsibility to your stakeholders—in my case, both the consumers and the doctors. A brand’s story is driven by the stories of the stakeholders; therefore they are the priority. It is not simply giving them information about your product but understanding the nature of information that they need from you. Recognizing this responsibility also means creating the same awareness among your partner agencies, trade and medical marketing teams that you collaborate with.”


Charlyn Rochel S. Yu, Assistant Brand Manager–Great Taste Coffee Mixes, Universal Robina Corp.

Charlyn led the innovative product launches of Great Taste White, Great Taste Original Twin Pack, and Great Taste BigSAVE Packs which helped smoothen Great Taste Coffee Mixes’ reposition as the “Coffee Innovator” for young modern coffee drinkers. Being different and first in the market transformed the brand from a mere participant to a significant challenger in the coffee market.  To date, Great Taste White remains the fastest growing brand and now the market leader in the coffee-mixes arena, where it has pioneered in the new category of “creamy” white coffee sub-segment.

“It is important to have a lot of passion in what you do—really loving your brand, really believing in your brand—this helps in making your work better and in motivating yourself to strive for success. You must also have a strong conviction— that despite any opposition, you are determined to try out your campaigns and make them successful.”

Mansmith CEO and YMMA co-founder Chiqui Escareal-Go notes “The achievements we recognize each year are but a testimony of the abundance of talent we have among our young Filipino marketers.  That they have accomplished much early in their careers, only affirms that the prospects of Philippine marketing and entrepreneurship remain solid and bright.  Surely, these are new standards by which future generations can build on and it is exciting to imagine what the future has in store for all of us, for the marketing industry and for our country.”

(For more information on the Mansmith Young Market Masters Awards (YMMA), visit  Chiqui Escareal-Go is the president of Mansmith and Fielders, Inc. ( and co-founder of the Mansmith YMMA, together with Mansmith chair, Josiah Go.)

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