Life is Blis – Eiji Macasaet
Tell us about yourself
After graduating with a communication and media arts degree, I started my career in advertising with ABS-CBN, the biggest broadcasting network and media conglomerate in the Philippines. At that time, they were just starting to develop and structure their digital efforts called ABS-CBN Interactive. I handled their digital initiatives, which at that time was super new and everything was still happening traditionally. My responsibilities involved getting sponsorships, onboarding partners and marketing.
I developed a huge interest in digital since and it sparked a desire to excel in this industry. My next stint was with an ad network called AdMax. Programmatic wasn’t a thing yet then. Providentially, the company was named the official reseller for Facebook and my role as the sales manager was to represent the social platform in the Philippines. This was six years ago when Facebook was getting huge penetration across the globe, but not as active in Asia. I got to work closely with the regional Facebook team to address the challenge of putting Facebook on the map locally. It didn’t take long to pick up obviously and the popular thinking was that digital advertising meant social media. Looking at the growth of the user base, it was a huge success which was not really what we were expecting at the time. So from selling only Facebook, my portfolio expanded to sell a variety of products and efforts.
At this point, I knew I wanted to continue my career in sales — on top of learning and the hunger to excel, I love meeting people and having face-to-face interactions.
AdMax was later bought by Komli and this prompted me to embark on my next step to explore selling outside social. I’ve been intentional about wanting to explore different venues and verticals within digital. So my next move was to AdLux, which was a search network HQ’d in Australia. So just as with AdMax and Facebook, at AdLux, I got into search at the time Google was already a huge hit and everybody wanted to do search advertising. Being in a regional role, I was on the road often traveling to Malaysia and Singapore.
Eventually I knew I wanted to stay put and a good offer came through from CtrlShift as the senior business director for the Philippines. I was working with Spotify, Waze and LinkedIn and a number of different premium publishers. It was a huge leap because from doing all of the display via programmatically or via network, I was positioned in a very premium level of advertising and just focused across certain apps. It was due to my previous experience as a reseller in the market that I was able to leverage on growing Spotify in the Philippines.
So all that kind of paved the way to get more traction to continue building partnerships, working with different brands, that huge amount of campaigns on a daily, on a monthly basis.
Being back in the Philippines, I was really enjoying my time selling all these platforms and was always up for a challenge. With a good performance and traction that we’ve had in the market, they promoted me to be the Country Director for the Philippines, which came as a surprise as I was just focused on doing what I love to do which is selling.
Across all my roles you’ll notice I look for the opportunity of getting to know the needs, how the trends are working in the country and most importantly what value I could bring in. It was a really great stint and after three years, the opportunity with Blis surfaced and that’s where we are today.
Why did you decide to join?
I was referred by a colleague from my previous company who was already with Blis. I met with Richard Andrew who told me about the role and how it’d be a good fit for me based on feedback he gathered. It was enticing because this was a lot different from what I’d been doing. Programmatic was excelling, location is a great platform that we have and how Blis had been positioned across different markets all appealed to me.
In my previous experience, we were doing location with Waze and not programmatically, though it’s a great brand to represent it was still just one channel to focus on. As a publisher it was limiting in sense because you’re limited within the app’s capabilities, strategy-wise and how the platform works, it was pretty straightforward but at that time was really fun to be part of. But as someone in sales, I’d always want to expand my horizons and learn more along the way.
I wanted to look at how else I could excel and learn that aspect of getting more strategies out into the market. I know we can do better if not more, understanding the needs and finding ways to meet expectations of the advertisers on how they would be able to communicate and target their audiences better. So hearing about Blis from Richard and doing my own research, I know there was a lot of potential for growth with Blis from a personal and professional aspect which up to now I never fail to see.
It was quite an adjustment and a lot of learning on my first month but that went very well — working with Blis, everybody has been really helpful around APAC and that’s one of the things that I value in a company. It’s very different when you are a small office in the market, albeit of course I was the first hire in the Philippines, but you do have support across and internally such that you don’t even feel that you’re a remote office at all.
The way we work as a team is a huge factor for me to be able to focus on growing the market. More than the positive results we put in together in terms of revenue and growth in our roster of clients locally, it’s really all the hard work we put in with the guidance and expertise of our creatives, marketing and leadership teams and the commitment we all provide to our clients that we practice internally to deliver that makes this role more rewarding.
What do you do at Blis?
I represent Blis in the Philippines as the agency group head, I handle the day to day, working with clients and internal teams, I promote Blis and how advertisers can leverage the platform, how we differentiate from competitors and how the programmatic space works and moves in real-time environment.
I’m very passionate about the industry and I try to keep a level of service when it comes to helping out the agencies and the brands we work with to address whatever is needed in achieving their KPIs or campaign goals.
Best moment at Blis so far?
The best moment at Blis so far is the fact that my market, Philippines, has been excelling really well. We have been one of the most successful expansion markets in Asia and I’m very proud to say that because there was a really a lot of work and effort that was put into that.
In the past two years that we’ve been in the market, I would also say that it boils down to the people — working with the same teams and growing with them has been one of the best experiences.
Tell us something not many people know about you?
I’m a frustrated singer and perhaps, something less obvious, I’m a HUGE gamer. If I could, I’d stay at home all day. Also, I don’t think everybody knows that I’m an introvert because of the position that I have that requires me to become active outside and gaming is how I recharge.
As much as I can, I rest as long as I could; as an introvert, I would want to stay home everyday. But when it comes to work, I absolutely cannot be productive at home. That’s pretty much why I’m always in the office or out and about!
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