Saturday, November 2, 2013

Here is to making new memories!

It has been almost a year since I've updated my blog. This time around I would like to share another part of my life to everyone. I have been very obsessed with making a food blog. But for some weird reasons, I just could not start. The thought of starting another blog just scares me. But what do I have to lose if I'll make one? And so I am taking my chances and making MrBigBurp. A kid at heart who wanders around searching for happy food. Do visit me here: Cheers to y'all!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gone are the dragons, here comes the snakes!

How would I encapsulate my 2012? Maybe I can say that this year, I gained A LOT. Literally I gained 30 pounds or so. But figuratively, I gained a lot of experiences. This year is probably one of the toughest and meaningful years I ever had.

The rapid expansion at work definitely took a toll on me this year. But needless to say, I learned a lot through the process. I might have learned most of those the hard ways, still the learning and maturity is priceless.

Aside from work, I also got admitted to Graduate School. I must admit that I never thought that joining together work and school will be this tough. Yet, as I always say, it gives me the balance I need right now. At work, everything seems to be predetermined and you have little room to explore your creativity. That is why I never felt so free when I am at school. You keep on pushing the limits of your creativity and keep you driven to experiment on new methods in marketing.

This year also came with an affirmation. I realized that a commitment is not yet on my priority. I felt that I still got a lot on my plate. But I really enjoyed putting myself out there and meet some people. For now, I guess that is just it.

I guess amidst this chaos, I am ever thankful for the binding agents that kept my head above water all the time. My friends and family are always there to support my decisions. They are like a council where I seek refuge for advice. And they give the most logical advice there is. Their prayers also helped me a lot. Most importantly, the glue that kept me intact is God. My personal experience with God really put to heavy weights every time I am in trouble. But my faith never wither, instead it shines the brightest. I know that He never left me. He just watches me struggle and succeed like a proud father to his child.

Now with the year of the snakes coming, I felt a bit of jitters but mostly excitement on the opportunities. I know that like the previous year, 2013 will be tough on me. But I am facing it again with my head up high. To 2013, bring it on!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Work, School, and God

It has been a long time since I updated my blog. For the past months were really challenging but definitely fun. And in those times I reached another milestone in my life when I got admitted to Graduate School. I am now an official working student. I consider this part of my life as a big leap forward.

As I am writing this entry, we just ended the 1st term and I believe I did well on both my subjects. And I am now patiently waiting for my grades online.

I always find good reasons to go to class after a busy day at work. Since I handle the department calendar, I got to plot my meetings ahead and avoid any conflicts in my masters’ schedule. I always find every class entertaining and informative. We get to discuss issues like professionals in class. What makes it interesting is that the class came from different industry which makes the discussion very insightful. This is what I call a nice break from the office chaos and try to move out of what I do and explore other aspects of marketing. Every day, I feel that I am fresh in the industry. And it humbles me with the fact that I still have a lot of things to learn.

But more that the academic life, I always look forward mingling with my classmates. The small talks and long conversations with them feel like I am not just another aging man from the corporate world. During these times, I realized that my network is quite wide contrary to what I think. It is like wow, you know him... Wow you are friends with… Wow, what a small world. I felt that I am a bit of a social butterfly because of this.

Going back to my work. It is the point in time where everything gets very stressful. The management continues to pressure us to meet our deadlines. Everyone is pretty much on the edge. And despite the effort you put in to meet the deadline, some people (internal and external) are just difficult to deal with. I would rather not elaborate on this. The point is, no matter how much you control things; you’ll always encounter people who would be hesitant to cooperate.

Like I’ve said, the past months were being testy and a lot of temptation. Focus in work is sometimes hard to maintain. I’ll be distracted by one thing or the other. But I thank God for being there to talk me out of doing bad decisions. And in these stressful moments, I became closer to God. He filled me in with the inspiration to continue my daily chores at work and school.

Now, I am just patiently waiting on how things will develop. I know whatever happens; it is God’s decision that matters. I entrust to the Lord all my decisions. I entrust to the Lord that he will always give provision. I entrust to the Lord that he will always be there to guide me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Basic Marketing Framework

Just a thought after 1st term in Graduate Studies. This is how I will encapsulate the lessons I had in Basic Marketing.

Marketing Managers have to be aware of 2 things, Company and the External Environment. As a marketing manager, he or she has to know the whole company, the organization, the operations, its vision and mission, the people inside, etc. These are the things that can immediately address to achieve company objectives. These are controllable variables that can be adjusted internally to serve any marketing strategy. At the same time, the marketing manager needs a keen observation of the external environment. These are variables that are beyond your company’s control but immensely affect your whole operation. Thus, every change in the external environment may pose a new opportunity or threat to the company. Example is when new policy restrictions on imported items that are used as raw materials in your production, then this can be very fatal for your company. Lastly, you need to be very vigilant on the activities of your competitors. Sometimes, it is good to have a very speculative view of your competitors because it is an impetus for continuously improving your product. In doing so, there are a lot of tools you can use such as analysing Socio, Political, Economic, Natural resources, and Technology (SPENT) and the 5 competitive forces suggested by porters which deals with the Bargaining power of Customers and Suppliers, Competitive Rivalry, new entrants, and substitutes (Cenon, 2012).

After having a good understanding of the two then that is the only time for you to make your strategy. This is because these items are framework for strategy planning which start with broad market and narrows down to specific market and marketing mix (Perrault, Cannon, McCarthy, 2012) In making a strategy you need to determine your market segmentation which will give you an idea on the market you want or the most strategic to target. This is the point where you would decide whether to concentrate resources on a single target market approach, multiple target market approach, or combined market segments. After deciding on the target market then you can now position your brand. This should also be enough to differentiate the product from the substitutes or competitors.

This is followed by making a marketing mix. Under this are the 4P’s namely Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. This means that you should be making products that will fit your target market. That is why if you are targeting young early adopters - tech savvy people, then your product development should have all the advance technology like Apple. They pride the high quality and the level of technology of their product. With price, biggest consideration is the ability to pay of the target market. And, your brand should have a market representation on areas where the market is.

To have a formal and credible marketing plan we need to do market research. They can provide us with information about the consumers especially on their behaviour, demographics, psychographics, etc. These kinds of feedback are important in creating a strategy and needed to formalize the action plan thought their marketing mix. That is why there are different approaches in market research such as Concept and Product Test (CPT), Usage, Attitude, Image (UAI), Balance Price Trade Off (BPTO), Ad Test, etc. All of these answer to a specific marketing mix.

But before I end, I would like to emphasize on one thing. Looking at the diagram, the overarching principle here is the Customer Satisfaction. The reason why we are doing this entire marketing plan is to satisfy our target market. Now, the whole strategy and marketing mix will fail if we won’t be able to meet the expectations of our customers. This means that along the way, we misunderstood their behaviour leading to poor judgement on the strategy and marketing mix. That is why market research takes a very important role on making sure that we get the profile of the customers correct (Research should be accurate and validated). [BMV]

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The rich families' battle against Estate Tax (part 1)

United States in so far is the richest country in the world. It is the country with the most billionaires, nearly 34%. Wealth accumulation has been liberal because of its capitalist market. But with the economic meltdown brought about by the greedy Wall Street, the wealth of the rich people is now put into limelight.

It was only in recent times that the US realized how immense the wealth disparity in their country. 50% of the national income is accounted from the top 10% of the richest families in the US. Wealth concentration is highly skewed towards the richest of the rich.

But the greed of the rich families continues to blur the line of social equity by lobbying for the permanent repeal of the Estate Tax. The said measure will give the rich a big room to preserve their wealth at the same time continue amassing wealth.

What is Estate Tax?

It is a form of tax levied on your inheritance. Currently, the law allows an exception of $ 5M from your estate with a 35% tax rate. But if looking at history, the exception has continuously increased while tax rate has decreased.

How serious are these rich families in winning the battle against the Estate Tax?

The gruesome battle started in the early Bush Administration (or the rich friendly Republican). Some figures from PCCW and UFE show that the rich families (Allyn-Soderberg, Cox, Blethen, Devos, etc.) have at least spent $ 5B on lobbying in favor of a permanent repeal and another $27.7M in campaign contributions. But they never seem to run out of money by supporting outside organizations to run negative and hate Ad campaigns against Estate Tax (Policy and Taxation Group, Freedom Works, American family Business Institute, etc.).

What are the usual complaints of the rich families?

1. Estate Tax is unfair because it is a form of double taxation.

2. Disincentive to work harder since the state will be mostly benefiting from it. Ergo, they can’t enjoy the fruits of their hard earned wealth.

3. Their parents worked their butt off to give their children a good future.

4. Estate Tax is unfair for those Mid wealthy families.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Enough Sour-graping

All of us have problems. We face every day with problems at home, office, schools, friends, etc. Following this logic, I am wondering why some people still happy despite having a lot of problems. Also, why some people’s problem seems to be very small but it is as if the whole world went conspiring against them. With this in mind I went on to assume three things.

1. Problems does not equate to your emotional state,

2. Problems are very relative, and

3. People have different tolerance and threshold on handling problems.

If you try and observe the rich and the poor, then you will see how these 3 assumptions I made are translated to social behaviours. To help you understand let me paint this simple picture for you.

A poor man’s problem every day is where to get provisions like food for his family. He asked himself, “Where in God’s mercy will I get money to buy food?”. In retrospect, a rich man’s concern every day is where to eat for lunch. The rich man asked himself, “This restaurant serves very slow, where in this damned area will I find a new place to eat?”. If you try and weigh the gravity of their problems you will realize that the former is far humanely degrading than the later. To simplify it, the poor man’s problem is far greater than the rich man’s problem. The one is simply trying to survive for the day and the other is just simply ranting about the service of the restaurant.

Despite this, why do we see those leaving by mere hand to mouth existence happier than a grumpy old corporate guy?

I would try to end this by thanking the random guy I saw early this morning scavenging for food. During that time I feel so desperate about myself. I am sour-graping about very small things, but it felt that I am always at the brink of being suffocated by it. That very moment I felt like a pathetic loser trying to consume myself with stupid things while the guy in front of me is shamelessly searching for something to eat and drink from the left overs.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Party at work

2011 is almost over. This is one of the challenging years for the company due to twin disaster in Japan and Thailand that threatened the global supply chain. Despite these exogenous events, the company is thriving to get it's 10th consecutive triple crown. A decade of quality products and service.

With all of these things,the year has to end on the right note.

First is the Dealer Christmas Party at Manila Hotel.

Then the Marketing Division Christmas Party at the Wharft ala 70's

Then the Coporate Christmas Party at TMP Sta Rosa. (and I won a Rudy Project sling bag in the raffle)

Then the VSO Christmas and Year End lunch at GT Tower.

Lastly is the DDD Christmas and Year End Dinner at Cyma and Polo's Biggest Loser Celebration.

Cheers for closing another fun year, 2011. Let us all welcome the year of the Dragon with optimism!