Marketing for the nation: this year’s message of MarkEd, UP JMA’s public marketing education arm and flagship project. Through this, the team aims to empower students to play an active role in nation-building with the application of sustainable marketing.
Access Granted is one of MarkEd’s three major initiatives. The goal of the initiative is to make marketing education more accessible through a series of workshops, facilitated by university students as well as professionals in the field. The first Access Granted was launched in late 2018, being the first MarkEd initiative specifically catering to public senior high school students around Metro. This semester, Access Granted will be visiting nine public senior high schools — thrice more schools than each of the two previous semesters visited. The initiative is only expanding, now catering to more than a thousand public school students.
Impact on students
Members of the team recount experiences in Bangkulasi Senior High School as being some of the most striking. Vida recounts how the principal of the school got emotional while thanking them and sharing the school’s need for education on sustainable marketing. Delos Reyes notes that this is something these students genuinely want to learn. “They ask how they can concretely utilize marketing to make an impact on their lives as early as today,” he says.
The team also recognizes the question and answer portion of the workshop as one of the most impactful. Through this, the team sees the students’ passion to learn marketing, how much they have learned, and how much more they still want to know. Sumulong says, “You see their genuine interest in marketing, not just for themselves but to further a bigger cause, building a better nation. [...] It makes all the effort that we put into the program so much more worth it and fulfilling.” “It never fails to give me chills,” says Delos Reyes.
Marketing with a purpose
Maglaya acknowledges the negative connotations of marketing – its association with capitalism and exploitation. However, Access Granted aims to shine a light on socially responsible, ethical, and sustainable marketing. “I’ve always seen marketing as an excellent and powerful tool to create social impact and communicate meaningful advocacies within small and big circles around the nation,” says Delos Reyes. In line with this, the project advocates for marketing that instead nurtures marginalized sectors and the environment. “Marketing must always be directed towards the service of the Filipino people; to inform, to persuade, and most importantly, to empower them as active agents in the development of our country,” adds Maglaya.
Amid this depressing socio-economic climate, it is interesting to see the perspective of young people on their future, their capabilities, and how they can make use of the opportunities they are given to make lives better. “It made me realize how our talks are valuable to so many students who feel helpless,” says Maglaya. Through education, the team desires to make these young Filipinos realize that, far from being powerless, they play a crucial role in bettering our society. “By empowering them with useful knowledge, social action then becomes an imperative,” Maglaya adds.
Accessing the future
This is only a stepping stone for MarkEd’s future. For the upcoming semesters, the team hopes for sustainability with the students and continuity with the advocacy. Vida says, “The youth needs to know that they can make a change in the country, may it be big or small.” While nine schools are a very small percentage of the wider national public school system, Delos Reyes says, “I see Access Granted as a potential kick-starter for this movement to domino around all youth in the Philippines.” In terms of marketing for the nation? “Access Granted is simply the first step,” says Maglaya.