In the second edition of #MARKETECHMONDAYS, MARKETECH APAC and Blogapalooza sat down with an agency-side expert, Jim Guzman. Jim is the Network Head of Social Media for Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) Philippines. He is also the General Manager of D+GILITY, DAN’s Social Media Intelligence Center. He is also a Managing Partner of iProspect Philippines, DAN’s Digital and Performance agency.
Jim had previously worked with McCann Worldgroup, where he worked for a decade. He handled big brands like Nestle, Unilever, Unilab, Jollibee, BPI, and other prestigious brands in McCann. In 2014, he moved to Singapore to join Commonwealth//McCann, a bespoke agency that was created for one of McCann’s biggest global accounts, General Motors.
Recently, he co-founded the Creator and Influencer Council of the Philippines (CICP) with industry colleagues and partners. He is now the founding president of the council. Early this year, Jim became the recipient of the 15th Mansmith Young Market Masters Awards which recognizes excellent Filipino marketers of today as role models.
First Dive into Marketing
Jim dove headfirst into marketing after finishing Integrated Marketing Communications at the University of Asia and the Pacific. He is also part of the faculty teaching Digital Marketing for graduating students under the university’s Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Program.
Right after graduation, he joined McCann Worldgroup Philippines, where he started as an Account Manager. Jim led the digital success of Nescafe in the Philippines. Nescafe Points was the first-ever DRM platform in the country and was at the forefront of the brand’s success online.Nescafe Points was a digital rewards engine that helped drive growth, engagement, and influence within Nescafe’s social communities. During this time, Jim also worked with other brands like Jollibee, where he launched Jollitown.com.ph, BPI Loans, Coffee-Mate, Nestle RTD, MLhuillier, Sky Cable & Sky Broadband, and United Laboratories.
Holistic Mentoring Under Dr. Donald Lim
Jim’s mentor, Dr. Donald Lim, is regard as the Father of Digital Marketing in the Philippines. Jim said that Dr. Donald Lim continues to guide him in his career.
“He [Dr. Donald Lim] started digital marketing in the country, having built websites for a lot of brands when he used to be with Yehey.com. I met him when he joined McCann Worldgroup to head MRM, the agency’s digital arm. I learn a lot from him day-by-day, even until now, as he continues to guide me in my career.
“One thing I learned that I value up to now is his style of working. He has trained me to always add value to the company that I work for, the industry, and the wider community.
“He involved me in various groups and organizations and has honed me holistically and professionally. I am also a fan of his charm, PR skills, and style of leadership; that’s why people love working with him,” Jim said.
Back to the PH: Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN)
According to Jim, it was Dr. Donald Lim who had asked him to go back to the Philippines to help build the social media capabilities of Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN). Before returning to the Philippines, Jim had been working in McCann Worldgroup Singapore, leading Social Media in the agency.
“So far, I’ve been enjoying my work in Dentsu as I lead social media in the network and drive businesses for both D+GILITY, the network’s social media intelligence center, and iProspect Philippines, a digital and performance agency. Both belong under the DAN group. I love working with great minds and talents and, of course, with Industry icons in the network.”
Jim also talks about CICP, a newly-established organization composed of creators, influencers, and marketers in the Philippines. The organization “aims to shape, inspire, educate and empower the creator influencer industry by leading training, initiatives, and projects to benefit its members and stakeholders,” Jim said.
The Learning Curve
Jim also shared what he considered a memorable “career failure” and his most significant accomplishment in his marketing career thus far. For the ‘failure’, Jim recounted a failed website launch for one of his agency’s biggest clients.
“It’s not really like a massive failure, but I will never forget the website I launched for a client before that crashed on the day it was supposed to be launched. What made me worried about it was that the client had invested a lot of money to amplify it, but it turns out, it wasn’t launched on time.
“I consider this one of my most memorable booboos during my junior years because we almost lost the account after the incident. And it was one of the agency’s biggest accounts. Although, to be fair, it was not just because of me. Needless to say, this experience made me a better project lead and, luckily, we were able to retain the client. Since then, I am always OC with my work and would do everything to avoid the same mistake.
“It taught me the value of always planning and having alternative game plans all the time. It honed me to avoid cramming at the last minute. This experience taught me to become more responsible, OC and detail-oriented,” Jim recounted.
His greatest accomplishment, he recalled, was his stint abroad. Working in Singapore contributed immensely to his personal and professional growth. Jim admitted that the work he handled in Singapore was different but much more advanced than what he did in Manila, especially in leading Social Media for General Motors then eventually for the entire agency.
“I Never Planned My Career”
Jim admits that he doesn’t have a personal mantra. However, over the years, he said that he never planned his career.
“I don’t have a mantra nor a fan of life quotes, to be honest. But through the years, one thing about me is that I never plan my career. I enjoy my work, learn, and experience as much as I can, ensure that I have a significant contribution and value to the organization I am part of and be nice to people. I believe that everything that’s happening in my life is all part of God’s plan,” Jim said.
D+GILITY in 2020
When asked about his key marketing strategies, Jim shared the mandate of DAN in 2017 when he joined, which was to centralize the social media expertise in one group. This led to the birth of D+GILITY.
“It was challenging because, technically, it’s another agency all together but servicing all DAN agencies internally to support their client’s social media requirements.
“Back then and even presently, our key strategies are basic: (1) Drive business, (2) Build products and capabilities, and (3) Lead thought-leadership and future-thinking. Proud to say that it has worked effectively given the businesses that we were able to strengthen and acquire in the last two years.
“I am not a big fan of grand plans. It’s okay to be ambitious but make sure that goals are doable and achievable. Sometimes, we create our own failures because we set unrealistic targets.
“For D+GILITY, the timing was perfect because our strategies are aligned with trends, address the present gaps internally and deliver what our clients need for their business. Along with these strategies, we strengthened our talent pool, our tools and technology, and social support processes,” Jim recounted.
“Don’t Rush It.”
Jim’s advice to new and young marketing professionals is as straightforward as his mantra: don’t rush it:
“Aligned with my “never plan” mantra, my advice is not to rush their career journey and success. There’s always a perfect time for everything.
“What’s important is you enjoy the present, learn as much as you can, and experience every opportunity to expand your network and learn from industry leaders and practitioners.
“Time will come that you will be leaders yourselves, and you will realize the value of maximizing what you have learned and experienced during your junior years,” Jim concluded.
If you’re a marketing leader and you want to share your career experience to inspire the marketing industry, please reach out, we want to hear your story.