Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Join "Be Fun. Be Colorful. Be Fabulous. Be Bold Photo Contest" and Win a Sexy ToyWatch

Fashion photographers (including newbies and hobbyists) are encouraged to join ToyWatch Philippines photo contest. Four winners will be recognized and shall get a sexy ToyWatch ranging from twelve (P12k) to thirty-five (P35k) thousand pesos in value.

This contest has 4 categories:
  1. Be Fun
  2. Be Colorful
  3. Be Fabulous
  4. Be Bold
Visit the links above to view the mechanics and how to participate. Deadline for photo submission is up to January 4, 2011.

What makes ToyWatch interesting is that it is dubbed as a Swatch and Rolex combined timepiece. This brand that started in 2005 is worn by famous celebrities. Its product range includes the Jelly Collection (Tattoo, Army, Looped), Fluo (Mood Stained, Disco, Winter Oversized), and Skeleton (or now known as Naked).

Personally like its unisex watch design that gives a rebellious feel.

If a watch design partly gives a glimpse on the kind of personality you have, then the purchase I made recently should speak for itself.

In the Philippines, ToyWatch is available in Rustan's branches in Gateway Mall Cubao, Shangri-la Mandaluyong, and Makati.

Hope you can join the photo contest and get the chance to win your very own ToyWatch soon.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Using TV Infomercial and Social Media to Drive E-Commerce Sales

A lot of companies are using the Apple iPad as valuable prize to their contests to encourage participation and purchase. Proactiv Philippines ran a promo this year to encourage people in using the site as a point of purchase. Buyers who ordered the product online got one raffle entry for the iPad promo.

Eventually, the winner was announced and that is Douden Quintin. A 22-year old who works as technical support agent in a BPO company. He saw the Proactiv TV infomercial on cable and bought the Proactiv Solution 60-day kit online at my.proactiv.com.ph.

Proactiv, as a product marketed online, had interesting challenges:

1. The product is a bit on the high-end side therefore catering to segments who can afford skin care products at that price range. It is endorsed by popular celebrities like Justin Bieber to help give further credibility on its effectiveness.

2. The product is available in Watson's for over the counter purchases.

3. The product is promoted through tv cable infomercials encouraging visitors to either go to the physical stores, call the hotline number, or visit the website to make a purchase.

4. Social media awareness was created through the Proactiv Philippines Facebook game where a weekly winner won a 30-day kit. Winners are kept posted through the Proactiv Philippines Facebook page.

5. Several blogs gave coupon codes that allowed buyers to avail the product kit at discounted rate.

After the iPad contest, the company launched another promotion – Buy Proactiv 60-day Kit online and get a free gift. The gift is a complete sampler set with Proactiv Renewing Cleanser 30ml, Proactiv Revitalizing Toner 30ml, and Repairing Lotion 30ml.

Proactiv Philippines efforts to promote their website online provides an interesting case study on e-commerce marketing. Look forward learning more on how others execute online programs that triggers purchase.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Google Search Results goes Social - tracking Vizconde Massacre

News earlier this month showed social sharing of information can definitely affect how the search engine displays results.

For example, searching for information about the "Vizconde Massacre" shows this result with the first item indicating which news was shared by people and for how many times.

With the Vizconde Massacre case nearing a Supreme Court decision, it is interesting to see as well how the chatter on this topic has increased.

With more information and facts coming out that is open to the public, unlike before when it is limited through traditional media and movies, ordinary Filipinos with Internet access can now discuss this and be further enlightened.

I recall when this issue first came out, much of how I perceive this issue is dependent on what is told in the media. At that time, I already concluded in my mind that Hubert Webb is guilty and former Senator Freddie Web was using his position to influence the outcome of the case.

However, there were social media chatter coming out lately in Facebook and Twitter. Folks giving their opinion and even expressing doubt about the decision rendered on the case.

What caught my attention and am sure of a lot of people is the Webb family dedication in pursuing justice for their son. I can't help but wonder where that passion is coming from after all these years. If I am in their shoes knowing a family member is not guilty, won't I do the same? Then another question came to mind, what if the members of the court that decided on the case was wrong?

But then again, what do we really know about laws and evidences? I guess more reading on that aspect.

Nevertheless, this brings further pressure to the Supreme Court and police authorities in being diligent and explain its upcoming decision on Hubert Webb's appeal for his release, regardless to whose favor it will turn to, with the public having more questions in mind as further information gets unraveled about the case - where a simple "dismissal of an evidence value" may no longer be acceptable as a reason.

Currently in my reading / watching list: (too much to read, watch, and so little time - bookmarking them here. If you have suggested readings, kindly share the link too.)
  1. Revisiting Hubert Webb 
  2. Hubert Webb Facebook Wall
  3. Probe revisits the Vizconde Massacre

Monday, September 20, 2010

Free Webinar: How to Start a Coffee Shop Business & Choose Your Coffee Blend

In celebration of Coffee Month this October, the Philippine Coffee Board is organizing a series of activities to promote locally grown coffee.

This October 9, Saturday, 10 am to 12 noon, there will be a 2 hour webinar on:

1. How to put up a Coffee Shop

Miss Pacita "Chit" Juan has been at the helm of the Philippine Coffee Board Inc since its inception as the Presidential Task Force on Coffee Rehabilitation, incorporated as National Coffee Develoment Board in 2002 and renamed Philippine Coffee Board Inc. She founded a national coffee chain in 1993 and left the company in 2008 to concentrate on projects benefiting the coffee industry under the DA's "Pilipinas: Gising at Magkape Program".

She has also in 2008 put up a social enterprise called ECHOstore sustainable lifestyle and ECHOcafe, dedicated to promotion of coffee, culture and communities in different parts of the country.

She has tucked under her belt almost 20 years of advocacy in coffee and experience in putting up cafes and restaurants.

In this webinar, Ms Juan encourages entrepreneurs to put up their own brands of coffee shops, using Philippine coffee, of course.

A believer of branding, she will walk you through creating your own brand of coffee and putting up your coffee shop with your own personality.

2. How to Choose Your Coffee Blend

Manny has been in the coffee business for almost 30 years. He is familiar with coffee buying and operates his own roastery called CAFEX. His brands are Continental Coffee, Batangas Harvest and Monte Alto coffees.

Manny custom roasts coffee for many establishments including hotels and restaurants. He is a passionate coffee enthusiast and has great experience in "cupping" coffee and creating coffee blends for individual clients.

He is also Area Director for North Luzon for the Philippine Coffee Board. He and Ms Juan go together to far flung towns to buy coffee from small farmers, giving farmers alternative markets for their produce.

In this webinar, Manny will guide you on "How to Choose Your Coffee Blend" and how to market your own coffees.

To register for this webinar, just visit the Facebook Events page and click on "I'm Attending". You can also contact me directly and will add you in the webinar system.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Winners of free delegate pass: PR2.0 - 17th National Public Relations Congress

Many thanks to those who joined our free delegate pass contest for the PR2.0 - 17 National Public Relations Congress organized by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines. This will be on September 23 and 24, 2010 at the Grand Ballroom, InterContinental Manila, Makati City with the theme, “PR2.0 Build. Engage. Deliver.

Search Profile Index is a proud sponsor of this conference.

The winners are:
Congratulations to the winners!

Note that this delegate prize can't be passed on to another person.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

News, Celebrity, Gaming, Travel, and Jobs are Yahoo! Top Search Categories for 1st Half 2010

The latest news information, celebrity gossip, vacation information, and jobs are most searched by Filipinos for the first half in 2001 via Yahoo! Philippines according to Arlene Aran Amarante, country sales directory of Yahoo! Philippines.

Yahoo! Top Searched Categories in the Philippines are:
(numbers indicated are popular keywords per category)

1. News is Information (4)
Yahoo! is the go to source for news information. The top searches show Filipinos using the Web to stay on top of news stories. These searches illustrate Filipinos desire for more details on specific stories and news makers.

2. Arts & Entertainment (8)
Entertainment searches also ranked high on the list of top searches, as the celebrity-driven country used the Web to explore both local and global showbiz. Many searched for information on their favorite stars and some used the Web to find updates on new movies, music and upcoming concerts.

3. Gaming (3)
Gaming proved to be another popular trend in the first half of 2010. Filipino gamers utilized Yahoo! to search for online games and new game releases. Searches even showed a need for gamers to get ahead with searches for gaming tips and cheat codes for popular games.

4. Travel & Hospitality (69)
During the summer months in the Philippines many turned to Yahoo! to search for travel and hospitality information. Based on this data, Filipinos seem to want to explore different parts of the world and their searches reflect this by including vacation spots both locally and abroad.

5. Business & Careers (50)
Throughout 2010 business and careers were on the minds of many Filipinos. The top searches show that many use the Web to research job opportunities within the country and abroad. Searches also reflect growth in the e-commerce industry.

Using Yahoo! Search data from January to July 2010, these top searches represent what matters most to Filipinos and offer insights that have proven to be useful to advertisers.

Other categories:

  • automotive (34)
  • electronics (21) 
  • finance (6)
  • flowers & candy (1)
  • food & beverage (2)
  • government (3)
  • health & beauty (1)
  • home & garden (3)
  • Internet & computing (25)
  • lifestyle (2)
  • mass merchants (8)
  • matrimony (1)
  • professional services (6)
  • real estate (3)
  • references (1)
  • science & technology (1)
Sorry folks, was not given actual keywords as they are bidded upon and may affect current value.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Get a free delegate pass: PR2.0 - 17th National Public Relations Congress

The Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) is organizing the 17th National Public Relations Congress on September 23 and 24, 2010 at the Grand Ballroom, InterContinental Manila, Makati City with the theme, “PR2.0 Build. Engage. Deliver.

The theme revolves around the rapid changes in the practice of PR and communications with the advent of personalized communications and social media, and the challenges and opportunities in building brands and communities of advocates, in audience and consumer engagement, and in delivering value and results to the organization and the community at large.

They are giving away two (2) delegate passes to this event.

Should you like to participate and hope to get one of the passes, this is what you have to do:

Post a comment to this blog entry and give me the url link where your entry can be found.
Deadline for submission of entries is on September 15, 2010.

Two winners will be chosen based on:

  • First winner shall be based on most number of Facebook likes or thumbs up from readers. Deadline for counting of likes will be on September 17 (before 12 midnight).
  • Second winner will be based on the blog post story - why do you want to attend the summit.
The 2 winners who will get one delegate pass each shall be posted here on or before September 18.

I hope you can join and see you at the PR2.0 - 17th National Public Relations Congress.

Search Profile Index by 4th Media I.T. Corp. is a media sponsor in this conference.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Promoting Medicine Brands using Social Media

Since social networking sites and blogs gradually became mainstream, brands started exploring this medium to reach out to their target customers, market, and expert influencers.

Looking over a year period, pharmaceutical brands are promoted online through:
  1. Blogger feature
    Companies invite bloggers, influential users in the community or field they are in to contribute original content or be featured. This gives mutual recognition.

  2. Event blogging
    Companies organize brand-related events and invite bloggers. To encourage them to write, a special contest is sometimes organized giving a special prize for the best post-event write-up.

  3. Blog writing contest
    Bloggers and companies can organizing writing projects that best suit their product theme.

  4. User ideas submission
    Target audience or users can come up with major activities that encourages user audience to participate where the winner(s) who get the prize is able to partake in an exclusive event.

  5. Photo submission and voting
    Users submit a photo meeting the contest theme. In order to win, judging and / or enough votes must be garnered from the community. Purchase may be required in order to join or vote.

  6. User story submission and voting
    Participant submit a story meeting the contest theme. In order to win, judging and / or enough votes must be garnered from the community.

  7. Photo tagging in social networks
    This is now popular with sites like Facebook that allows users to tag photos. Those with the most number of tags, like, and comments win.
  8. "Like" a Facebook page
    As shared by Iris, this is where Facebook users are encouraged to become a Facebook fan and win a prize (or participate in its future promotions).
Some challenges I noticed for social media and blogging contest in general includes:
  1. Depending on the prize, some users join the contest even if they don't believe or like the product or event.

  2. Photo and video tagging through Facebook is tantamount to spamming as you can tag around 50 people or more in one photo or video. So to counter this negative perception, what some brands have done is also provide a prize to those who give comments and like votes.

  3. Accusation of fake accounts created to participate in the voting is also seen in some contest. This gives a lot of challenge to contest organizers to monitor bot-votes and the likes. 

      As shown in the slides I embedded in this post, a growing number of pharmaceutical companies are embracing social media and the blogging community in promoting their products. Most of these are done in the exercise of promoting brand awareness.

      However, pharmaceutical companies need to do more beyond just giving us commercial messages. In this time when there are so many supplements with no approved therapeutic claims and BFAD recognized medicines whose safety is questioned, pharmaceutical companies need to give us more information even if the government doesn't compel it.

      Friday, July 30, 2010

      Is Saridon safe? lack of online information can cast product doubts

      Writing for a Cebu-based publication gives me insight on the various activities happening in the city and region as I get to receive invites and "fyi" type of materials through e-mail, text message, and phone calls. Usually I ignore this however the Saridon case caught my interest.

      Let me start by saying I don't know what Saridon is and therefore have to rely on search engines to get more information. What disappointed me though is when I search for more information, there's hardly any coming from the product maker itself appearing on page one.

      Found a commercial that was done a few years ago and a billboard creation blitz that got television exposure. There were 3 Facebook pages about Saridon but hardly do they provide any information and unclear if they are corporate pages or not.

      It turns out that Saridon is a pain killer that is popular in Visayas and Mindanao due to its affordable price. There are warnings about the product from various newspaper columnists saying that Saridon is unsafe citing its previous formula containing phenacetin and its new formulation has propyphenazone that can have negative side-effects to those who take it.

      As the product is only circulated in specific parts of the country, this further fuels the doubt as it might imply testing on specific audience only.

      Bayer eventually reacted and contacted columnists where the explanation was published by some. However, I think that won't be enough to curb doubts that started circulating and even reached those who are unaware of the product to begin with.

      The Saridon case in my opinion proves that product owners can't afford not having a website where sufficient information is provided. When search, they should appear on the page one of search engine results.

      This is most useful if in case news about the reliability of their products start circulating offline. The only choice for most people is to look for additional information and get further clarification. It doesn't help if no sufficient information about it is found online from its own makers and distributors.

      Perhaps the Department of Health should start requiring website presence to all medicines given or issued with BFAD permit (and to those with no approved therapeutic claims) to properly inform the consumer and have a contact point if in case there will be questions or complaints (pointing back to the DOH website).

      For example, I am curious about this case on drug-induced hepatitis with hepatic granuloma due to saridon if it refers to the same Saridon formulation that is circulating in the market today. (saw this from Benj blog post about Saridon)

      For those who are familiar with medicines, perhaps this is also a good opportunity to create a site or blog that aims to educate the consumer further.

      Thursday, July 29, 2010

      No approved therapeutic claims - labeling consistency offline and online

      Like many Filipinos, I have tried various medicines and supplements that carries the label "no approved therapeutic claims" and ignore it most of the time. The decision to purchase was heavily influenced by friends who have tried it and testimonials from other users perceived to be as credible.

      Today, we see a lot of these products marketed as part of a television program where they sponsor segments. Over the radio and on billboards, famous broadcast personalities, politicians, and celebrities promote various brands.

      This one hundred fifty billion pesos (P150B) health supplements industry is definitely thriving as products get sold through various over the counter outlets, direct selling, and multi-level marketing models.

      Lately, new policies were imposed as to how they should be properly labeled. The "no approved therapeutics claim" is replaced with "Mahalagang Paalala: Ang (name of product) Ay Hindi Gamot At Hindi Dapat Gamiting Panggamot sa Anumang Uri ng Sakit”.

      The herbal medicines industry was on an uproar stating that the said requirement will kill their industry. They also filed an administrative and graft case against the Department of Health Secretary.

      But the argument there is, the Filipino consumers should know the truth on what they are purchasing and be properly informed. From a practical and pro-consumer point of view, that is hard to argue.
      However, when you go online, these products get promoted on Facebook, buy & sell sites, and the likes, the Filipino version of the required product label is not necessarily posted. (Of course there is also the question whether it should be imposed in the first place.)

      I'm quite confident with consumers demanding on how product marketers should present their brands online. However, I believe that brands who will be honest enough in presenting themselves like are they "food" or "medicine" and be able to properly explain on what exactly do they do to reduce or heal dangerous diseases that they listed - despite not having "approved therapeutic claims" will standout online.

      They can take the challenge of raising the bar in doing online marketing in their product category.

      Monday, May 03, 2010

      Biggest Tweetup and Orange Nation Flash Mob by Kaibigan ni Manny Villar

      Last April 8 was a very memorable day for me. I was excited in attending my first Tweetup organized by Sherwin Sowy at National Sports Grill, Greenbelt 3. I'm glad to attend and became part of the biggest Internet tweetup in Philippine Internet history to date. The gathering had around 80+ Twitter folks in attendance.

      That convinced me that being influential on Twitter is not really about having a huge number of following but being able to mobilize people, making them to support an endeavor, and tapping to the influence and network of common friends in the process. It was great to see the faces behind the very active Twitter ids.

      Saw the iPad in action for the first time too. Yves Gonzalez brought his Apple iPad and it just awed us. (but I still don't think I will buy one.)

      Prior to the Tweetup, another event took place that late afternoon - the Orange Nation eyeball led by Kaibigan ni Villar. Word got passed through text about the eyeball and it was a great opportunity to catch up with bloggers actively covering election movements.

      What made that eyeball interesting was its purpose to spread positive campaign messages and an appeal to stop the black propaganda happening online being hurled against presidentiable Senator Manny Villar. Also saw Ramon "Monmon" Mitra for the first time.

      At 6 pm, around 200 (in my estimate) Manny Villar supporters that converged at Greenbelt 3 paused for one minute as their way of sending that appeal to everyone. Although my video was only focused on the one infront of me.

      Before it ended, something unexpected also happened, a group of Gibo supporters were also roaming Greenbelt 3 and both groups end up clapping at each other. Some who knew each other even approached and greeted. It was a nice site to look at reflecting how mature supporters are, at least for this two camps, as Carlo Ople has also noted.

      In both activities I witnessed, it amazed me how individuals can build tribes and indeed make a difference today. Communities, especially those active in online and offline social media, are unstoppable. They are more than capable of organizing themselves and inspire their peers to action.

      Tuesday, April 06, 2010

      Make Money 2.0: E-Commerce and E-Lancing

      janette toral, originally uploaded by chronorancher.

      This April 10, I'll be speaking at an event organized by Carlo Ople of Catalyst Marketing. The event is dubbed as Make Money 2.0. It will be at at the Victory Multipurpose Hall, located at the upper level of the Greenhills Promenade.

      The first event where I spoke last February 15 was a blast and glad that Carlo invited me again for this event.

      By the way, Carlo just launched his Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs e-book. Folks interested can download it for free. Check it out!

      Look forward listening once more to Carlo Ople as he will be the one to speak this time on how to make money through blogging and personal branding.

      I was able to hear snippets of his blogging experience and personal branding talk at the BlogWorld Philippines event and when he accepted his DigitalFilipino Web Award 2009 in the Professional Blogging category.

      Find more videos like this on DigitalFilipino.com Social Network

      Carlo is such an inspiring speaker, down-to-earth, without any hype and that is what I like about his style.

      Look forward catching up with Carlo and event participants this April 10.