Monday, August 15, 2022

How I Became A Telco Brand Ambassador

I'm a fan of forums. Before the advent of Facebook, forums are our go-to place for knowledge, particularly in the online game Ragnarok. I can spend hours reading guides on different builds, items and leveling guide for the game.


Logo taken from Feedough

Fast forward to 3 years ago. I rediscover my love for reading on forums via the website Reddit. There's a huge Pinoy Redditors on Reddit particularly in the sub-forum r/Philippines. Last time I check it's around 700,000+ I've been active ever since.

Around September last year, I went to an ISP's kiosk in Robinson's Galleria to have my prepaid number replaced. I bought the original card where the SIM was housed along with an Affidavit of Loss. When the personnel said that I can return after a few days for the new SIM, I objected saying that I have all the necessary requirements with me and that it is stated on their website that it can be replace right there and then. I even talked to the manager and yes, it was replaced a few hours instead of days.

I posted the whole story on Reddit to share the benefit of being a "reklamador" while following the process and requirements. That post caught the attention of someone at this local ISP who's looking for a go-to person on Reddit to promote the brand and at the same time, handle queries on Reddit.

She told me that even though I made a complaint about the ISP, I made it a point that it's fair, which earn her respect. Then she offered me a job as the brand's ambassador on Reddit as an ex-deal for a 2 year plan (Platinum 3799 with a mobile phone). The deal was worth 180k including an insurance if in case the gadget gets accidental damage.

It took almost 2 months before everything was signed up -- including the contract and shipment of the gadget to our home. I can't believe it actually -- probably just a stroke of luck. I mean, there are lots of people on Reddit and I got to be chosen to be the brand ambassador.
She did mentioned that she offered the post to some Redditors and she even sought out an admin / moderator of the sub-forum but they thought that she's a fake. Well, she was indeed real and is working for the ISP as someone in the high places of marketing.

Shortly after getting the gadget with a postpaid plan, I got invited to events with other brand ambassadors across all platforms. It was fun knowing that the ISP actually cared for their customers and wanted to reach out to a lot of people across all platforms. I also got a lot of perks and some credit to my digital wallet.

That's when it hit me how much ISPs spend on marketing, to their brand ambassadors / influencers alone. In that particular event, there were around 200 people from Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and other platform. How much more are ISPs paying for the advertisements?
If this ISP can spend a 2-year Platinum contract with gadget for someone on Reddit, how much more do they spend for those assigned on Facebook, TikTok and YouTube?

On the other hand, they really care about their customers and they would go as far as getting an ambassador from each platform just to monitor and assists their customers who are having issues or queries regarding the product.

The devil's advocate in me however is saying, that if these ISPs spend less money on marketing and more on improving their infrastructure itself, they would probably retain the same number of customers or even more simply by word of mouth. There's a saying that if a customer is satisfied with a product, he/she will tell 5-10 of his/her about it. But if the product is bad, he/she will tell the world about it.

For now, I'll take the most about this influencer / brand ambassador thing, help their customers as much as I can, and fight fake news regarding the products and services of the company.

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