Report From The International Bureau
Philippine Marketing Association's Conference

By Bruce Hoggard, Director of International Affairs,
Canadian Institute of Marketing,
E-mail: [email protected]

Mabuhay (greetings) from Manila in the Philippines where I attended the May 1999 Annual General Meeting of the Asia Pacific Marketing Federation (APMF) and a marketing conference hosted by the Philippine Marketing Association (PMA).

Canada's role in the APMF has entered a new era and increased status. As Canada's representative to the APMF, as well as being on the Canadian National Board of Directors, I was appointed the Chairperson of the APMF Trade Development and Promotion Committee. This committee is responsible for developing trade and marketing opportunities between the member countries and in developing affinity and sponsorship programs for the APMF.

The Canadian Institute has been invited to send applications from Canadian companies to PMA for consideration in the Agora Awards for Marketing excellence. This 20-year awards program recognizes six categories. Any company interested in pursuing the Agora Award and the prestige it brings in Asia should contact me for an application and more information. The Awards are in mid-November this year.

The other major award program being sanctioned by the APMF is the APMF EM Award for environmental marketing in the Asia-Pacific region. This award is hosted each year by the Marketing Association of Thailand (MAT) and is designed to honour outstanding marketing plans that have helped preserve and enhance the natural environment. The awards consist of the following categories: Gold, Silver and Bronze. The deadline for these awards is October 31 1999, with winners being announced January 15, 2000. The awards ceremony will be held in Bangkok in March, 2000. Once again companies seeking more information or applications should contact me.

In conjunction with the APMF's AGM, the Philippine Marketing Association (PMA) held a first class marketing conference in Manila called Reinventing Marketing: The Asian Challenge. The conference was kicked off by a 40 person male choir singing the national anthem and several other songs. This was followed by a group in original ³headhunter² dress performing a traditional style dance. This ended in a person running in to light a torch on the stage as all the flags of the APMF countries were brought in by flag bearers. Then each representative was personally introduced. I felt pride and accomplishment as I stood to the sound of O'Canada.

The morning speakers included Hermawan Kartajaya, the President of the APMF, Dory the President of the PMA and Hon. Melito Salazar, Under-Secretary for Investment and Industry. Mr Salazar had just recently been interviewed for Asiaweek magazine, discussing how governments could weather the Asian economic storms. Unfortunately, President Estrada was not able to attend, sending Ramon Cardenah, the Deputy Executive Secretary, Office of the President, to deliver the message from the Government.

The afternoon breakout sessions had two themes. Four speakers from Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Philippines discussed the changes made in these countries to survive the economic problems affecting the marketing profession. A "new" term was quoted from Singapore ­ glocalization. This term refers to the modification of an international product to satisfy specific needs and requirements in each individual global market. An example of this is McDonald's providing hot sauce instead of ketchup with their meals in many Asian countries. The other concurrent session was for the Certified Professional Marketer ­ Asia Pacific, discussing the merits of the program and its growth and value. The conference also had a mini tradeshow with 15 companies displaying their company's products.

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