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Life at Sweet Escape Philippines with Marketing Manager Ally Lim-Gonzales
04 Sep 2019EXPERIENCEBY SweetEscape

With the future of work constantly evolving, it’s interesting to see the role technology plays in a marketing leader’s day to day.

We spoke with SweetEscape Philippines' Ally Lim-Gonzales about the importance of personal branding in the digital age, start-up culture, what’s in store for SweetEscape Philippines, and more down below:

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1. What is personal branding and why is it important? How has the concept of “brand” evolved in the past couple of years?

A personal brand is the intellectual, visual and emotional impression people have when they think of you. It's important because this is the summary of the unique impression you leave on people and it affects decisions made involving not just your personal life and relationships, but even your career opportunities. In the past a "brand" only referred to commercial products/services and what made them unique, but now a brand can be a person as well. I am a brand, you are a brand. In the age of social media and faster and better ways of doing background checks on people you meet, our unique personal branding has never been more important.

2. What’s exciting about marketing these days? On the flip side, what makes it a challenge?

What I find exciting about marketing in 2019 is that thanks to technology, there are just so many channels we can utilize to get specific brand messaging to very specific groups of people. On the flip side, with everyone having access to these platforms, getting your content to standout against the clutter is more challenging (and more expensive) than ever.

3. Why did you make the switch from a multinational to a start-up?

The excitement and flexibility of being in a start-up was really appealing to me. If you are proactive and follow through with executing your ideas and tracking results, you can carve your own path at a start-up. My time at a multinational like Nike taught me structured and essential knowledge on marketing, but the fast paced, challenging, constantly evolving and flexible culture at SweetEscape really had me interested. Now I cannot imagine myself being anywhere but at a fast-growing start-up like SweetEscape.

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4. How is social media used as a tool in the workplace?

Apart from being a crucial channel for SweetEscape to build brand awareness (inspirational content), user acquisition and conversion (ads), we use social media to research about influencers, brands, and events we want to collaborate with. It's also a crucial tool which helps us engage with and speak directly to our clients.

5. How do you effectively use technology in leading a team?

The work culture at SweetEscape Philippines is very flexible and output oriented. We are also a very lean team at the moment and are always out and about for meetings, events, or shoots. That being said, technology is so crucial in leading a team nowadays. Messaging apps like Slack and WhatsApp keep us all connected and up to date in real time on the status, approvals, file sharing, and results of each campaign we are working on. Technology helps me check up on the team even remotely, and we can effectively collaborate on presentations and plans while all of us are online via Google Sheets or Google Slides. Making sure there are specific group chats for specific projects/campaigns on Slack also helps keep the entire team organized and up to date. Google Hangouts is also crucial for conference calls and presentations to more effectively collaborate when an email isn't enough. Project management tools like Trello help to keep everyone involved in a project on track for deadlines and helps the country team collaborate better with the regional team too when a project has several moving parts led by people in different countries.

6. What’s in store for SweetEscape Philippines?

by SE PG 6 for SweetEscape in Manila

With the successful launch of the more affordable 1 hour photo shoot product in the Philippines boosting domestic sales, we are looking forward to more new and repeat Filipino clients booking more shoots for domestic travel till the holiday season. With our nation-wide repricing for the 2 hour photo shoot product, we have made SweetEscape accessible to even more Filipinos not just for travel, but even for everyday occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions, baptisms, etc.

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Also expect even more cities to be added in our list of Philippine shoot destinations! Lastly, we are excited to be ramping up our B2B division, SweetEscape for Business in the Philippines. Expect to see more food, fashion, real estate and corporate photography by SweetEscape!

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