Digital agency in Cebu to get int’l award, like big players

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Monday, May 26, 2014


DESPITE being new and small, a local company working in digital marketing has been recognized internationally.

Third Team Media (TTM), a four-year-old business established by technology entrepreneur Fleire Castro, grabbed the Silver Award in the Services Company of the Year Category in the first Asia–Pacific Stevie Awards.

The awarding will be held in Seoul, Korea on May 30 where big-time companies like ABS-CBN, health publishing company Medical Observer Philippines, real estate company Robinsons Land Corp. and global call center and IT outsourcing company Telus International Philippines will also be receiving awards.

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New space

Castro said that TTM will not be able to join them in Seoul due to lack of funds, and instead they will concentrate their resources in growing the business.

Last month, TTM transferred to its 40-square-meter office in iMEZ inside the Mactan Economic Zone II, which, Castro said, will be operational by June this year. TTM only maintained a virtual office in Cebu in IT inside the University of the Philippines Lahug campus when it was still starting.

Originally formed by Castro in 2008, TTM became a registered business in two years’ time and handled marketing projects and activities on the digital platform.

“I started my career in the field of information technology with a fascination for social media – blogging, social networks, and forums…When I left my corporate work back in 2008, I found my calling in helping brands and businesses find value from these channels for their own communities,” Castro said in a statement.

Outward-looking

TTM has worked with foreign clients involved in outsourcing, utilities, education, health care, food and restaurants, consultancy, and non-government organizations. She said they have already served more than 10 international companies.

By 2012, TTM started serving local clients although the projects were still events-based. The following year, they started to get local clients involved in the business of real estate, power distribution, food, and outsourcing, among others.

As a social media and digital agency, TTM manages the companies’ social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.

Generally, its services include social media planning and strategy, creation and customization, content creation, community management, and campaign execution.

Castro believes they are the first established digital agency in Cebu whose thrust is primarily marketing companies in the social media arena.

Social push

However, being the pioneering team in Cebu also carries with it challenges, especially in terms of educating Cebu-based companies on the importance of investing in social media marketing.

She said that although companies have their own internal marketing, which is tasked to handle both online and offline activities, tapping a digital agency is vital since experience and expertise are needed in creating a successful social media presence.

“Companies need to go digital…The (country’s) internet penetration is at 37 percent or 37 million are in the internet and a portion of them are in social media,” Castro said in an interview.

“Customers look for your business online, that’s why you have to establish your presence there,” Castro said.

She added that companies in Manila are already very open to digital marketing and digital agencies are thriving. Digital agencies in Manila charge clients per month from P50,000 to P100,000. Castro said that TTM offers lower rates.

Castro hopes the international recognition will help further expose the importance of digital marketing in business.

“Right now, we are hoping to help more local businesses in Cebu with their digital marketing campaigns,” said Castro. TTM also became recently part of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Castro also sees opportunities for digital agencies in the Philippines with the full integration of Southeast Asian economies in 2015. She hopes to see more clients coming in with the integration, given that the country has an advantage because of people’s English writing and speaking skills.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 27, 2014.

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