Just this evening, I get off late from work and plan to have dinner in one of the best tasting chicken restaurant here in davao. This is one of my favourite place. I clapped my hands twice to call the waiter's attention. I had chicken wings, soup, and green mango shake. And not far from me is a banner with the excellence awards the restaurant received. Wait, Received?
Everytime I see this excellence in marketing award etc. marked on different products or displayed in large format tarpaulin in restaurants, and service provider companies, I can't help myself not to get irritated. No body deserve it actually.
The story... Two years ago, I was working in a very small start-up software development firm in Makati. A company of less than 10 members, quite profitable and comfortable to work with, but definitely not luxurious. We work in mezzanine of less than 100 sqm. While I serve as chief software engineer of the firm, I must say I don't get much($) out of it. We shared a vision to build our products, the company, and we will reap the rewards after. At many cases, we opt not to buy things that are not necessary to cut costs down. While we need more people we decided not to as to high rate of senior engineers and we just extend our time and work hours. A company where everyone's involved, I can view some financial reports also as I own some shares on it. We're pretty performing well. My friend, the owner of the company and her girl friend works as developer too. Marketing is something we don't do as we live thru our client's referrals. This expense is way out of our strategic plans!
The one night, I received a fax message. The message is remarkably decent and legimately looking and nice. We are being awarded for our excellence in MARKETING. Whatta... Imagine that!
But but but.... We have to pay 15,xxx.00 PHP "subsidy fee" at specified deadline upon acceptance. Aba, at may deadline pa ha.
Given these metrics as stated in the document, I must say we definitely failed to represent:
- Market-share Dominance
Back then, we only have I think less than 20 clients. Less than five are big clients.
- Well Researched Market
Yes we are aware of the market, but we keep this research just on us. How come they know that huh?
- Innovative Marketing Strategies
We don't market. Basically because we're not ready yet.
- Mass Media Publicity
The only print ad we printed as far as I rememer is a tarpaulin we used for Software Innovation Phils. in Makati Shang-rila, that's just it.
- Customer Service Quality
Alright, we're good at it :).
- Quality of Service
We're not perfect, but we have this.
- Value for Money
Our pricing varies. Several factors are concerns like licenses, service agreements, maturity, trial sites etc. Something confidential. Take not, we have not talk with them not even one ha.
We struglle still to deliver the best product. On release of our version 6 that time, that serve as beta. I can tell you, we had several revisions then.
- Truthful Advertising
We don't mislead our customers. We don't advertise.
- Customer Confidence
- Awards Received
N-O-N-E so far.
- Market Acceptability in Overall
We don't have concrete market research report. If this awards committee have this market acceptability report, I guess every awardee deserve to have a copy, don't we?
IMO, for an entity to get an excellence award, you have to be either nominated and/or selected by person or committe from a government body, organization, or general public. It is not something you get from yellow pages, put on fish bowl, pick the unlucky one.
By the way, this ploy is not just in marketing, but also in shopper's choice of products and services, etc. Usually three you can get in batch. Grandslam lol.
Don't be mislead by everything you see as it can be deceiving, don't be a victim, or conspirator. I only trust awards given by an NGO, legitimate consumer group, government body, and the general public. For trusting product quality, food safety, and manufacturer best practices, look for ISO/TUV certifications and DTI seal.
As I write this post I tried not to disclose anything specific as we have this stupid and mostly abused Libel Law. If you experienced the same, we're glad to hear your story.