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Freeman Cebu Business

Learning from the millennials

TRADE FORUM - Chris Malazarte - The Freeman

Just because you’re on top, doesn’t mean you see everything down below. Success comes when you have the humility to immerse with the people on the battleground. Many businesses fail because the men on top think they know everything. “I have been in this business longer than you know so do not tell me what to do.” I remember very well these words from one of my clients back when the internet was rather new in the export industry. At the time, I proposed an online marketing program for her fashion accessories brand which was already at the brink of losing because of the fierce competition.

Well the company and along with its brand are now already extinct. Of course, I was young then and thought that she knew better and so I said to myself that maybe I didn’t know much or perhaps she simply knew everything being obviously more experienced in marketing. Then later, I tried offering my services to Cebuano companies but just the same, many of them were cold to the idea.

Internet selling was something very new at that time and I kept on asking why such a good idea had to be dismissed so quickly that I kept on bringing up that cliché that “No prophet is welcome in his hometown.” Or just maybe I was simply way too ahead of their time.

I tried my luck outside Cebu and did not expect the warm patronage of Manila-based companies and by corporations in the energy, retail, manufacturing, and real estate industries. Then the next thing I knew, I was already conducting seminars to sales and advertising people on online marketing. While I still do seminars in online marketing every now and then, I also conduct general marketing seminars (call it offline marketing if you will) for small to large corporations. And thank heavens, I am getting more clients in Cebu than from out of town. And every once in a while, I hold seminars and hands-on demo on Facebook branding and marketing for free. And if you’re into real estate doing online marketing, just message my staff and leave your name to get a free slot in one of my seminars through this number: 0925 339 9255.     

Going back, never underestimate the power of the new generation. I was sort of the new generation marketer at the time when internet was new. And admittedly today, I have seen better and more aggressive marketing people as young as 23 years old who know when and how to attack their customers. No wonder, you see more and more “kids” getting richer than their dads.

I have seen many millennials who have worked their way to the top for their enviable speed to innovate. Thus, you can’t be too arrogant to say that you know better in marketing just because you have an MBA or a Ph. D in marketing. Many of the things we know in business school easily get outdated because of the rapid changes in search algorithms, tech devices, and rules in internet advertising. I would like to say that the best teacher in online marketing is when you really get yourself involved in the campaign and choose the best marketing model to follow after. 

In short, if you are thinking about putting up a marketing campaign in the internet, the younger generation can best advice you with what to do. Of course, many of the traditional marketing methods still work today but eventually they will be overtaken for cost reasons.

But the whole point to what I’m saying is never be complacent with what you know. You may be the more educated marketing guy but you can’t always and wholly trust what you know in school. Millennials who are actively doing business online sometimes have so much to say better than our marketing professors because they are always in the loop with what’s new. Millennials are fast learners and are more than willing to heuristically experiment and fail and try something new.

I have seen many millennials who are financially independent because they rely on their ability to succeed as entrepreneurs than to be in the comfort zone of a nine to five job.

If you happen to be a millennial reading this piece, don’t be that guy in the song who is ‘young, dumb and broke” get up and move your behind and be that man you would like to become.   

Send emails to trade.forumph@gmail.com.

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