Cebu businesses encouraged to harness online, digital tools

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014


CEBU businesses are encouraged to utilize all digital platforms available to create traffic and sales, speakers of a recent internet forum said.

Janette Toral, founder of Digital Filipino, said one way to engage the audience to the website is through creating targeted programs and approaches for them. She said companies should take time in understanding what the customers really want.

Toral noted that today, when the Internet has become a powerful tool in making companies grow, websites shouldn’t just be merely a showcase of products and services but a platform that can create a sustainable online following.

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Toral was one of the speakers during an internet forum held in Cebu Grand Hotel in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Philippine internet organized by TenMinutes.ph. Cebu City was the first city in the country to be connected to the internet on March 29, 1994 at 10:18 a.m. at the University of San Carlos-Talamban.

Speakers at the forum encouraged participants to go online as it presents huge opportunities be it in business or pushing advocacies.

Jonji Gonzales, founder of tenminutes.ph said brands should also strengthen their presence in social media platforms. He said having presence online would allow them to capture the growing online market. But like websites, it also has to be engaging and interactive.

“The social media can help build reputation and boost sales. But it has to be managed well,” said Gonzales. “Because it (social media) can also make or break your brand.”

Gonzales said content plays an important role, saying that consumers these days have become smarter. “They no longer want to be sold but told,” he said. “If you succeed in this, you will be able to convert your consumers to become brand ambassadors themselves.”

Max Limpag, co-founder of Innopub Media, urged participants to develop applications or programs for the mobile platform. (Disclosure: Limpag is the editor of this section.) He said the new medium opens more opportunities in building a market and community, given the growing smartphone adoption in the Philippines.

Citing a study, Limpag, said Filipinos spend close to three hours or 174 minutes on the phone compared to other devices like laptop (143 minutes), tablet (115 minutes) and television (99 minutes) daily.

“People say that mobile is the future but it isn’t, because mobile is actually now,” said Limpag. “If you are still planning for your mobile strategy you might be a bit late and it might be time to speed up to where you want to grow in mobile because we are not talking about several years away, we are talking about the increasing shift to mobile that is happening right now.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 02, 2014.

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