CA14’s partner Grant Lee helps Filipino women in business understand and apply marketing tactics and technology through Canada’s Catalyste+
Chartered Professional Marketer, Grant Lee, works from his winter home in Villasis, Pangasinan, Philippines to provide marketing services to private sector clients in Canada and the USA through AGL Marketing Limited and CA14.
In addition to his private sector work since 1998, he volunteers his services to Catalyste+ (formerly CESO) to help micro and small businesses outside of Canada improve marketing strategy, tactics, and technology to increase sales or advance a notion.
Catalyste+ is a Canadian economic development organization. It helps people build better lives by strengthening local economies in Canada and countries less wealthy than Canada. Catalyste+ envisions stronger economies for better lives with a mission to build capacity with businesses, governments, and community organizations to promote locally driven, inclusive growth and sustainable development. Lee is specialized in the Catalyste+ program called, “Accelerating Women’s Empowerment.” The program is designed to improve the economic and social well-being of the poorest, most marginalized, and vulnerable people, particularly women and girls, while contributing to Sustainable Development Goals. Lee has been focused on this sort of volunteer work since 2009.
Now, his volunteer assignments are primarily based in the Philippines where he winters November through May.
About the assignments
There are certain things that small, and microbusinesses need to know in marketing that lends favourably to their success. The marketing mix, or 7Ps is a marketing principle that when executed well, leads to improved product and services sales and advancement of ideas like the platform of a candidate for election, community outreach program, and causes – whatever they may be. Small business owners tend to overlook marketing standards. There are standards in marketing. The organization “Ad Standards” in Canada enforces a code of advertising to maintain community confidence in advertising. And there are ethics in marketing as outlined by the Chartered Institute of Marketing Management of Ontario. Integrated marketing communications is key to any business. The standardized, yet unique marketing plans that Lee prepares for Catalyste+ partners include integrated marketing communications tactics along with the technology required for digital and traditional marketing communications.
A typical 14-day onsite or online assignment includes a balance of workshops and technical training. Lee assesses the competencies of the partner over the first 48 hours during meetings and online research. After that there is a branding exercise to determine as accurately as possible, given the brief period of the assignment and available technology and competencies, the brand attributes and promise of the organization. Then it becomes easier to build strategy and tactics around the promise and attributes and tell the story of the business or organization through words, graphics, animation, and video to specific audiences identified through research.
Lee trains the partners in fundamental social media elements like writing, photography, effective posts, building followers and advertising. In the Philippines 83% of the 113 million population uses Facebook for business and socializing. Fifty-four percent of users are women. Facebook is the main social media communications platform. He trains on the use of Canva for digital and print flyers, brochures, calling cards, advertisements and more. He then takes the partners into the world of websites, online stores, and Google My Business. Although email marketing campaigns are not as popular as any kind of marketing through Facebook, Lee demonstrates the effectiveness of using insights from e-newsletters and the value of email databases. He helps them with their first email marketing campaign. When combined with the metrics from social media pages (Facebook primarily) small business owners realize how they can make marketing and business decisions aided by data to reduce the risk of decisions in marketing and business development. All small businesses that he trains in the Philippines overlook the statistics generated by local government units, the provincial governments, and nation. Demonstrations on how to use demographics and financial data in marketing trigger new ways of communicating with audiences.
Lee’s work in the Philippines since 2021 with Catalyste+ includes marketing plans and training for three manufacturers of leather products in Marikina, three businesses in ginger farming, one turmeric products producer and “restobar”, two involved with manufacturing and selling muscovado products, and one cooperative producing pickled papaya using the products of local farmers. Lying ahead are assignments with calamansi farmers, pork farmers, squash farmers, and other industries.
Grant Lee’s partnership with CA14 is invaluable when he is on assignment for Catalyste+ and needs expert advice and assistance. The CA14 team is a tight coalition that has international reach and experience delivered through assignments in other countries and cultures. This experience is available to Ontario small businesses that need a little help in marketing.