Albert Cuadrante:  Exemplary Marketing Leader Driven To Deliver Hassle-Free Customer Experience

Albert Cuadrante: Exemplary Marketing Leader Driven To Deliver Hassle-Free Customer Experience

Albert Cuadrante, Chief Marketing Officer

Albert Cuadrante

Chief Marketing Officer

In today's data-driven world, we all have access to information, statistics, and reports at all times. Accessing this information, however, is only part of the challenge we face; great marketing leaders cut through the noise to uncover the connection, digesting data fast and smartly to find the right metrics by which to measure their success. Moreover, we live in a hyper-competitive environment where everyone is fighting for consumers' attention and preferences, and every firm must keep a laser-like focus on the needs of its customers. Great marketing leaders recognize the necessity of putting their customers first and commiserating with the end-users of their services or products.

Albert Cuadrante is one such exemplary marketing leader who understands that successful marketing begins and ends with the consumer. He is a strong advocate of technological innovations to continue pushing the current paradigm and exploring new ways to be relevant to customers. Albert possesses around three decades of industry expertise, having held prominent roles in several organizations of repute. Currently, Albert is the Chief Marketing Officer of Union Bank of the Philippines. Albert engages in an exclusive interview with CEO Insights Asia, wherein he enlightens us more about his professional journey and the unique traits of Union Bank of the Philippines.

Throw some light on your professional background and experience.

I started my marketing career in the Philippines with Procter & Gamble which served as the cornerstone of my marketing profession. At Procter & Gamble, I was in charge of the company's key products, which enabled me to develop a strong customer-centric discipline in my marketing practice. After leaving Procter & Gamble in 2002, I founded Acumen  Strategy Consultants, a full-service marketing and management consulting organization. During my consulting practice, I was fortunate to have Jollibee Foods Corporation as a client, who eventually gave me a full-time position and also allowed me to keep my firm Acumen, which I had to hand over to my partner for day-to-day operations. I held different executive positions at Jollibee before leaving as the head of their digital commerce and customer loyalty group. After JFC, I accepted the invitation to join Union Bank of the Philippines, which is in my current role as their Chief Marketing Officer.

What prompted you to join the Union Bank of the Philippines?

The attraction of Union Bank, for me, was its visionary direction and commitment towards a different way of banking through digital transformation. Unlike other banks, Union Bank's decision to fully embrace digitalization began long before the pandemic, rather than as a response to it. Union Bank began shifting gears in 2015, and in 2016, they decided to do their digital transformation with the adoption of the agile way of working. This, in my opinion, is the ideal setting for a marketing practitioner like me to continue pushing the current status quo and seeking new ways to remain relevant to customers.

Union bank is the ideal setting for A marketing practitioner like me To continue pushing the status quo & seeking new ways to remain Relevant to customers

You possess about three decades of experience. What is your success mantra?

I'm also a faculty member of Ateneo de Manila University, where I teach International Marketing. And as a teacher, I consider myself a lifelong learner. That is my overall credo for always maintaining the urge to learn new things and be exposed to emerging trends. And I believe in the growth mindset. The growth mindset promotes getting out of your comfort zone, opening your mind to new ways of thinking, and learning new skills to stay relevant. As I share my experience with students, I also learn so much from them, because they are the new breed of consumers in our digital economy.

How would you define Union Bank of the Philippines as an organization and its current position in the market?

Union Bank, in my opinion, is a trailblazer. It's a term that I believe is very appropriate given its progressive outlook and culture. It is utilizing that progressive approach to encourage diversity in its advancement and growth. The overall goal of Union Bank is to promote inclusive financial prosperity. It does not employ digital technology as an end in itself, but rather as a means to provide excellent customer service with speed, convenience, and reliability. This, in my opinion, distinguishes it from other traditional banks. We want to help people not only survive their everyday lives, which were especially difficult during the peak of the pandemic but also succeed, to reach their financial goals as they progress in life.

In light of your strong experience within the industry, what advice would you give to budding leaders?

I always tell people to stay curious, to have a neverending appetite for learning, and have a growth mindset. It's funny that I used to tell people all the time that I'd never work for a bank. But look at where I am now. But, in retrospect, what I meant was that I would never work for a corporation that is afraid of change and prefers to keep to the old ways of doing things, which I believe many banks are still pretty famous for. All in all, marketing starts and ends with the consumer. That is something we must always remember. This is the value creation process's infinity loop, which I believe marketing practitioners should never forget.

Albert Cuadrante, Chief Marketing Officer, Union Bank of the Philippines

As a leader, Albert values what everyone brings to the table in terms of ideas and points of view. He enjoys working with people from various backgrounds also because it's a rich source of learning. Being a perpetual learner, he encourages people to look for opportunities to continue to develop themselves, both with hard skills and soft skills.

Hobbies: Playing Badminton & Cooking Different Cuisines

Favorite Cuisine:  Filipino, Spanish & Japanese.

Favorite Book: Winning on Purpose by Fred Reichheld and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by James Martin.

Favorite Travel Destination: Japan

Most Cherished Award: Awarded the Asia Pacific Tamboli CMO of the year in 2013

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