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Ex-Janitor wins Digital Marketer of the Year Award

ESTRAT 360 Marketing Company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ruben Licera is adjudged as the “Digital Marketer of the Year” of the prestigious 2021 Asian Leadership Awards for Excellence in Branding and Marketing.. Regularly held in key cities in Asia for the past 19 years, this year’s award giving was held virtually last June 10.

Asian Leadership Awards aims to recognize the achievement of Asia’s leading visionaries. Ruben Licera was recognized for his contributions towards the region’s economic development through “Digital Marketing” as a vehicle of growth for businesses and individuals he has worked with.


Genesis of A Digital Marketer

Unknown to many, Ruben Licera started his career in the industry as a janitor of a computer shop in Davao City. During his off-cleaning time, he was exposed to learning the basic skills in using Microsoft 95 and connecting to the world via the then starting world wide web.

His International Trade Fair Management and Marketing in Rotterdam in 2007, sponsored by the Royal Government of Netherlands, opened his eyes to the opportunities digital marketing can provide to careers and businesses.

With newly acquired skills in both offline and online marketing, he launched his digital marketing career as an online part-time writer by night, and PR and Marketing officer by day at an international resort.

Before joining full-time as a digital marketer, Ruben Licera was a respected blogger and influencer from Cebu. His stories have garnered him awards from the Philippine Blogging Awards, and the Globe Media Excellence Awards – Visayas (formerly Cebu Media Excellence Awards).

It was during his stint as Community Manager for the Google Developers Group (GDG) and Google Business Group (GBG) that he was able to get trend information of the “next big thing” in digital while working at nights as a full-time digital freelancer.


Digital Marketing CEO

In 2010, Ruben Licera first launched his Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency with Php 500.00 and a borrowed PC from his brother and failed.

With the first failures in starting businesses, Ruben Licera founded ESTRAT 360 Marketing Company (ESTRAT360.com) – now an international award-winning integrated communications and digital marketing agency from Cebu, serving the world.

Some of the successful brands and companies ESTRAT360 is fortunate to work with are: SUBWAY®, Anejo Gold Rum, Ginebra San Miguel, Cemex Philippines, PASAR Corporation, Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Co., Rico’s Lechon, Cafe Laguna Group and a dozen more international and national brands in FMCG, Coaching and Consulting, Hospitality and Real Estate sectors.

From a one-man agency, with Coach Ruben Licera at the helm of ESTRAT360.com, the company has grown to more than 35+ full time digital professionals and have managed more than 300+ clients, 58,000+ campaigns serving 28 nationalities.


“Live The Great Life” Advocate

Coach Ruben Licera is widely connected to grassroots organizations providing pro-bono mentorship on how to scale their business through digital marketing. He is also empowering other Filipinos from the countryside in learning online freelancing and digital marketing through partnerships with Philippine government agencies such as the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Tourism (DOT).

“ ‘Live The Great Life’ is Coach Ruben Licera’s mantra,” says ESTRAT 360’s Customer Experience Director Kezia Rico.

“As an active youth leader in his younger days, Coach Ruben believes that one’s role after serving God is serving others by sharing one’s blessings. And he never forgets to share wherever, whenever,” shares Rico.

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, 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.”

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