Squared Online Corporate Review: Manulife

“While it is always helpful to have a digital agency supporting us, I felt it was both important and interesting to learn the science behind search and programmatic – that was what drew me to the Squared Online programme.”

Headquartered in Canada, Manulife offers financial and protection solutions to more than 28 million customers worldwide. Through a comprehensive range of insurance, investment, wealth management and financial planning services, Manulife manages over US$849 billion in assets.

In Asia, Manulife operates in 10 markets, spanning North and Southeast Asia. As one of the world’s largest insurers and wealth managers, Manulife is committed to digital transformation and investing in their internal talent, to help them grow and develop digital capabilities and competencies. A strong supporter of the Squared Online programme, Manulife continues to nominate passionate learners from across Asia for digital training and development.

Let’s hear from Yvet Castillo, who successfully graduated from Squared Online in 2020 and received the coveted “Inspirational Square” and “Distinction” awards.

What did you hope to get out of Squared Online?

Prior to joining, my Senior Manager at Manulife shared with me what the course entailed. She had graduated from Squared Online last year so I had a good idea of what to expect. Such a course would be very helpful to my work as it would give me not only a broader, but also a deeper, understanding of digital and the many pieces that go into the bigger picture.

Moreover, I wanted to discover how a Digital Marketing Manager would be able to contribute to the overall transformation of a business in an organisational context. As part of the Digital Team at Manulife, I was already involved in various digital initiatives, so diving deeper into customer journeys across all touchpoints would be incredibly useful.

What module did you find particularly useful?

Whilst Module 3 was most helpful for me and my way of working, I have to say that Module 2 covered important areas as well, such as Customer Journey, See-Think-Do-Care, Micromoments – these are my favourite topics from the course.

These frameworks are not only helpful for our social strategy and content development, but can also be applied across other areas, such as App development. Module 2 also deepened my understanding of how my role can contribute to others. I am not just a Digital Marketer, but also a consumer. I go through the same purchasing patterns and behaviours as everyone else.

It is interesting and easier for me now to really put myself in the customer’s shoes. This helps me to be mindful of the signals that we send out and the corresponding messages that we would get back.

Do you find yourself to be more confident in Digital Marketing after graduating from Squared Online?

Yes, I feel more confident – and not just in skills, but also in being more keenly attuned to the customer journey. Before this course, I was just focusing on social, but now, I am inspired by the vast array of digital tools that are available that can improve our engagement with, and outcomes for, our customers. This course helped me to be more open to the digital solutions out in the market.

As a recipient of both the “Inspirational Square” and “Distinction” awards, what advice would you give to students going through Squared Online?

I was actually unaware there was such a recognition, so when I received the awards, it took me by surprise!

My advice to all marketing professionals who are joining the course is really to put themselves out there, keep an open mind and embrace new ideas. Be a sponge and learn from others – not only from the digital marketing specialist trainers, but also other students.

Everyone comes with their own experiences, opinions and practices, so the mutual sharing is oftentimes refreshing and useful. You will surprise yourself by what you can learn from others!

Would you recommend anyone to study Squared Online? What advice would you give to someone thinking of embarking on the course?

Definitely. Especially for people whose scope of work touches on digital. The best advice I can give is, the course offers a very good opportunity to learn, so be dedicated and the rest will follow. Balancing between work and your studies just boils down to time management. Do a little at a time and try not to fall behind. If you value the chance to learn, you will make time for it.

By the numbers:


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Squared Online is the award-winning digital marketing leadership course developed with Google and powered by Avado. The programme is designed to build leadership and collaboration skills through an interactive and hands-on approach and helps marketers develop their knowledge and confidence in all things digital.

Want to hear more about how Squared Online could impact your career?

You can contact us at the following:
marketing.apac@avadolearning.com | +65 6876 7908

Radzif Nasri

Posted July 11, 2020