Preview Best Dressed listers MJ Benitez and Raymond Ang, along with Martin Yambao, are three friends who simply share the same creative interests. From this grew Milk Man Marketing, a firm that will tell your story in the freshest ways. These millennial marketers are out to prove that big ideas don't need noise-making gimmicks to be noticed; it's all about careful planning and thoughtful execution, after all. We had the chance to sit down with the Milk Man team and picked their brains in an interview below. Keep reading!
Can you tell us the story behind Milk Man Marketing? How did this venture come about?
"Milk Man Marketing is a boutique marketing consultancy firm that specializes in indirect marketing. Our portfolio includes branded content publishing, in-house magazines, brand refining, advertising campaigns, websites, events, social media management, and more.
"We actually started in 2013—at least, unofficially. As creatives starting out in publishing and retail at the same time, we worked with each other on some of our first big breaks, and would also get each other to contribute for the companies and publications we worked for. We made things official in 2015 when one of our clients—Bench, who we do the in-store magazine Benchmark for—asked for an official receipt. We called it Milk Man Marketing.
"Beyond all that, though, the real story of Milk Man is that we’ve all known each other from way back—Martin and Raymond were high school classmates, MJ has been friends with both since college. Before the shoots, before the industry, we started out as friends who just happened to have the same interest."
What's the idea behind your brand name?
"Freshness guaranteed. And we deliver ideas straight to your door."
The founders come from different career backgrounds. How do you guys fit together as Milk Man Marketing?
"Milk Man Marketing believes in collective intelligence, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Each partner brings something specific to the table—managing director Martin Yambao brings his retail and social media background to the company, creative director MJ Benitez brings her point of view as one of the city’s top stylists, editorial director Raymond Ang brings multi-platform storytelling."
What is your niche?
"We always say that Milk Man Marketing helps brands tell their stories, and that probably comes from the fact that we all share an editorial background—MJ got her start with Preview, Raymond cut his teeth at The Philippine Star and Rogue, and Martin with YStyle.
"We like to approach branded communication in a way that feels special for the consumer. Our wheelhouse covers lifestyle and retail, but our niche is storytelling (be it a campaign, a pop-up or a brand’s social media) that reads as thoughtful and different."
What can Milk Man offer that other marketing firms can't?
"As a company of three and as a creative consultancy, we believe there’s value in keeping things small. Milk Man Marketing can help big ideas be heard, without having to be loud."
What are things you learned while putting up this brand? Are there any struggles that you've encountered? How did you overcome them?
"Client threshold is something we often talk about; on the costs of creative work, on an openness with unconventional thinking, on a brand’s relationship with newness, and so on. It’s questions like...what value do we bring? And how do we put a price that feels right?
"We struggled in the beginning, but so far, we’ve been lucky enough that clients have been finding us based on work we’ve done. It’s something we learned early on: Be open to saying no if a brand and your company’s sensibilities don’t align."
Have we seen any of your work?
"Milk Man Marketing’s clients include Ayala Land Premier, Bench, and The Natori Company. And most recently, the company worked with Anonymous, a Singapore-based creative agency, on Uniqlo Philippines' flagship campaign #OurFutureIsHere—we helped cast the talents and we created content for the website and in-store publication."
Where do you see your brand five years from now?
"[We'll be] on the 10th successful edition of The Milk Shop for sure. But in some capacity, we all hope to grow our company to a point where we will no longer need day jobs and we can devote our creative energies to Milk Man Marketing. How that company looks like, exactly? Only time will tell."