Who would have thought that a former Filipino janitor in a regular computer shop from years back, now transcends as an internationally renowned digital marketer? This is the journey of ESTRAT 360 Digital Marketing Company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ruben Licera who was adjudged as the “Digital Marketer of the Year” of the prestigious Asian Leadership Awards for Excellence in Digital Marketer of the Year Award 2021 for Branding and Marketing.
This award is regularly and supposedly held in key cities in Asia for the past 19 years. But considering the pandemic restrictions, this year’s award giving was held virtually last June 10, 2021!
The Asian Leadership Awards for Excellence in Branding and Marketing acknowledges the achievements of Asia’s leading visionaries in the field. And Coach Ruben’s contributions towards the region’s economic development through advocating “Digital Marketing” as a vehicle of growth for business and individuals he has worked with paved the way for his international recognition.
Where It All Started: The Origin of A Digital Marketer
Ruben Licera’s success story all started in a typical computer shop in Davao City. He was working as a janitor back then, and during his break, he learned the basic skills in utilizing Microsoft 95, as well as the world wide web, which has just started during his time there.
Opportunities in digital marketing were unveiled before his eyes during his International Trade and Fair Management and Marketing in Rotterdam in 2007, which was sponsored by the Royal Government of The Netherlands.
During the start of his digital marketing career, he was a PR and Marketing officer during the day at an international resort, and at night, he was a part-time writer.
Before venturing as a full-time digital marketer, Ruben Licera was an influencer and a respected blogger in Cebu. He received awards from the Philippine Blogging Awards, and the Globe Media Excellence Awards – the Visayas, which was formerly known as Cebu Media Excellence Awards.
During his time as a Community Manager for the Google Developers (GDG) and Google Business Group (GBG), he was able to get a better grasp of the “next big thing” in digital marketing; thus, paving his way to the wider digital landscape.
Digital Marketing CEO
From a one-man agency, Coach Ruben Licera grew ESTRAT360.com, as one of the reputable and respected integrated communications + digital marketing agencies in the Philippines manned by a network of more than 35+ full-time professionals, managing more than 300+ clients, 58,000+ campaigns serving 28 nationalities.
Under Ruben Licera’s leadership, ESTRAT has managed and executed the digital marketing campaigns of some of the countries prestigious and familiar brands: SUBWAY®, Anejo Gold Rum, Cemex Philippines, PASAR Corporation, Tsuneishi Shipbuilding, Rico’s Lechon, Parilya, Cafe Laguna, Ullis Streets of Asia, LemonGrass Viet and Thai Resto and a dozen more international and national brands in FMCG, Coaching and Consulting, Hospitality, and Real Estate sectors.
ESTRAT 360 won SILVER “Startup of the Year, and BRONZE “Communication Professional of the Year” from the prestigious 2019 International Business Awards (IBA) in Vienna, Austria.
Earlier this year, ESTRAT was also recognized as one of the Philippines’ Brand Leadership Awards presented by the World Marketing Congress (WMC) and the World’s Federation of Marketing Professionals.
Coach Ruben Licera is also providing consultancy on integrated communications and digital marketing via www.RubenLicera.com.
“Live The Great Life” Advocate
Now, Ruben Licera is linked to different organizations, providing them mentorship on how to elevate their business through digital marketing. And, not only that. Partnered with Philippine Government agencies like Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Tourism (DOT), and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), he continues to empower other Filipinos by encouraging them to learn digital marketing and online freelancing.
According to ESTRAT 360’s Customer Experience DIrector Kezia Rico, Coach Ruben Licera is known for his mantra “Live the Great Life.” Rico stated that during Coach Ruben’s younger days as an active youth leader, he believed that one’s role after serving God is serving others by sharing one’s blessing. Rico also added that Coach Ruben never forgets to share wherever and whenever.
Paying It Forward
At the end of the day, the Digital Marketer of the Year Award 2021 Coach Ruben Licera never forgets to pay it forward. He continues to serve as a digital marketing coach and mentor to grassroots and people’s organizations. He has also forged partnerships with business-support organizations by providing pro-bono mentorships to amplify awareness of the opportunities that digital marketing can provide to careers and businesses.
“This award might sound personal but this award would not be possible if not for the mentors, business partners, and employees who had grown with me over the years. Being a digital marketer is more than managing, strategizing, and executing online campaigns. It is also advocating growth for everyone around you,” shares Coach Ruben Licera.
Other Awards and Recognitions
In 2017, Ruben Licera and his team at Rico’s Lechon won the prestigious Asia Pacific Stevie Awards SILVER for “Innovations in Public Relations”.
It was followed by strings of local awards. In 2018, Ruben was chosen as a delegate of the Google Connect Live 2018 in San Francisco, USA.
In that same year he was recognized as one of the “Pillar of Youth Leadership“ Awards given by the Parliament of Youth Leaders, Inc. for his advocacy of providing jobs through online freelancing.
In 2019, Ruben Licera was awarded as one of the Outstanding CAS Alumni of the University of the Visayas (UV).
Coach Ruben Licera capped 2019 with a BRONZE “Communications Professional of the Year” Award from the 2019 International Business Awards (IBA) in Vienna, Austria.
“Coach Ruben is always goal and success driven to provide the best for his family and extended family in ESTRAT”, says ESTRAT’s Chief Operating Officer Iren Sangre-Licera.
Secrets to Success
When asked about the secrets of his success from a computer shop janitor to founder and CEO of an international award-winning digital marketing agency, and now Digital Marketer of the Year Award 2021. Coach Ruben Licera quips, “As an Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) member, we always start our planning and execution with a prayer. We can plan all we want, but success will always be from God.”
Coach Licera adds, “We always aim to win and excel as a team in all our campaigns. For those we fail, we will always aim that we get the wisdom of the experience and then move fast forward with action and determination.”
Coach Ruben ends, “I choose to define success not with how much I can accumulate in this life. Creating impact for others to grow is my measurement. Want guaranteed success? Always aim to serve others.”