Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The December 2023 Issue Of StarCentral Magazine: Merven Virueda

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Merven Virueda, Parramatta Community College’s Marketing and Programs Manager, stands as a beacon of creativity and expertise in the dynamic worlds of marketing, sales, and entertainment. With an impressive career spanning over two decades, Merven has become a driving force in helping businesses across diverse industries maximise their ROI and lead generation.

Merven’s professional journey has seen him collaborate with a wide array of organizations, showcasing his adaptability and prowess in navigating the unique challenges presented by hotels, home builders, educational services, NGOs, FMCG, nightclubs/pubs, and e-commerce ventures. His holistic approach to marketing extends beyond conventional boundaries, making him a sought-after professional in the field.

Formally armed with a Bachelor of Marketing from The Australian Catholic University and an Advanced Diploma of Music Industry Business from NSW TAFE, Merven brings a unique blend of strategic thinking and creative flair to the table. This combination of formal education and hands-on experience has been the cornerstone of his success.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Merven has left an indelible mark on the Western Sydney community. His commitment to personal and professional development earned him a nomination as a 2023 City of Parramatta Citizen of the Year Finalist. Through various learning opportunities in the education sector, Merven has positively impacted the lives of countless community members.

Merven’s passion for marketing goes beyond the boardroom; it’s a commitment to enhancing the fabric of the communities he serves. Whether it’s through helping businesses thrive or contributing to the growth and development of individuals, Merven Virueda stands as a testament to the transformative power of creativity, education, and community engagement.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Merven to discuss his journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

As a not-for-profit organization with a strong focus on social purpose, how does Parramatta Community College ensure that quality education is accessible to everyone in the community, including those facing barriers to training?

Parramatta Community College takes pride in its commitment to accessible education for everyone in the community. We offer an eclectic range of courses, including NSW Government Funded Training, Business and Computer Training, Beauty courses, Leisure and Lifestyle, and Languages. Every enrollment fee received is reinvested back into the college, enabling us to continue providing quality learning opportunities for the community. Through strategic partnerships and innovative programs, we address barriers to training, making quality education a reality for individuals facing diverse challenges. By embracing inclusivity, we strive to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals, breaking down obstacles to education and creating opportunities for personal and professional growth.

With over 20 years of experience in marketing, sales, and entertainment, you’ve had a diverse career. How has your background in these industries shaped your approach to marketing, and what unique perspectives do you bring to your role as Marketing and Programs Manager?

With over two decades of experience in marketing, sales, and entertainment, my journey has cultivated a unique approach as a Marketing and Programs Manager. My diverse background shapes a dynamic blend of creativity and strategy, allowing me to navigate the ever-changing marketing landscape. Adaptability and a keen eye for trends ensure our campaigns resonate effectively. Drawing from entertainment, I infuse storytelling into our strategies, creating engaging narratives that connect with our community. In essence, my multifaceted career serves as a wellspring of insights, enhancing the impact of Parramatta Community College’s marketing efforts.

As a creative marketer, can you share a specific moment that you’re particularly proud of, detailing the challenges faced and the successful outcomes achieved?

There are many moments to share throughout my career. However, while at Parramatta Community College, winning the “Most Outstanding Education Services” at the Parramatta Local Business Awards in 2017 and 2021 is a source of immense pride. The 2021 recognition is particularly special because it was achieved during the global pandemic and highlights our collective resilience and commitment to excellence. The surge in enrollments reflects the success of our adaptive strategies. As the Marketing and Programs Manager, I’m proud of our team’s dedication and thankful for support from stakeholders and the community. This award not only acknowledges past achievements but also propels us into a future marked by an unwavering commitment to accessible, quality education in Parramatta, inspiring ongoing transformative efforts.

You’ve worked with a wide range of organizations, from hotels to NGOs. How do you adapt your marketing strategies to suit the diverse needs and goals of different industries and sectors?

In my dynamic marketing journey, I thrive on adapting strategies to the unique needs of diverse industries, from luxurious hotels to impactful NGOs. My approach is all about crafting bespoke campaigns that resonate with each sector’s distinct essence. I immerse myself in understanding their language and aspirations, ensuring flexibility and innovation in every strategy. It’s not just about meeting needs; it’s about anticipating them and creating marketing symphonies that uniquely elevate each organisation’s goals and aspirations.

Being a 2023 City of Parramatta Citizen of the Year Finalist is a significant recognition. Could you elaborate on the initiatives or contributions that led to this recognition, particularly in improving personal and professional development in the Western Sydney Community?

Being a 2023 City of Parramatta Citizen of the Year Finalist is a humbling acknowledgment of my commitment to personal and professional development in Western Sydney. From establishing education initiatives to fostering networking and career opportunities, I continuously aim to empower individuals and contribute to the community’s growth. Through sponsorships and donations, I’ve supported many charitable causes, including sponsoring various Filipino events and beauty pageants, and gifting vouchers to Merrylands Youth Centre and Carevan Blacktown. I’ve also donated art classes and supplies for seniors at Blacktown Older Women’s Network and initiated an after-school art program for primary school children at Dundas Area Neighbourhood Centre. This recognition fuels my passion for making a positive impact in Western Sydney.

In your role as Marketing and Programs Manager, how do you balance creativity with data-driven decision-making to ensure effective marketing strategies that yield a strong return on investment (ROI) and lead generation?

I seamlessly blend creativity with data-driven decision-making to craft compelling marketing strategies. By using creativity to engage our audience through innovative campaigns while relying on data to ensure precision and alignment with audience preferences, the synergy of creative storytelling and data analytics forms the basis for continuous refinement and optimisation. This dynamic approach guarantees not only visually appealing campaigns but also effective results in terms of ROI and lead generation.

The marketing landscape is continually evolving. How do you stay updated on the latest trends and technologies in marketing, and how do you incorporate these innovations into your marketing programs?

I stay updated through continuous learning, attending education-focused conferences, and engaging with industry peers. To incorporate innovations, I assess their relevance and impact on educational goals, ensuring alignment with audience needs. Our adaptable marketing programs seamlessly integrate trends, and a culture of experimentation ensures we stay ahead. This approach keeps our campaigns current and at the forefront of education services.

Could you elaborate on the role of Parramatta Community College in transforming lives and uplifting communities in Western Sydney? How do your programs address specific challenges faced by individuals, including those affected by domestic violence or mental health issues?

Parramatta Community College is a transformative force in Western Sydney. For nearly 40 years, we have uplifted lives through accessible and inclusive programs and community engagement. Our not-for-profit, locally-based institution is dedicated to addressing diverse needs, including mental health and domestic violence challenges. Our arts and crafts classes contribute to improved mental well-being, providing a therapeutic outlet. Beyond education, we empower individuals affected by domestic violence by offering supportive learning environments, fostering resilience, and creating pathways to a brighter future.

Looking forward, what are the key priorities and aspirations for Parramatta Community College? Are there any new initiatives or programs on the horizon that you would like to highlight?

Looking ahead, Parramatta Community College is committed to advancing accessibility, innovation, and community impact. We plan to broaden our course offerings, emphasizing digital literacy and fostering partnerships with local businesses for tailored training. Prioritizing mental health, we’ll expand therapeutic arts programs, striving to remain a dynamic hub for community development and transformative education. We will also continue promoting our new beauty courses from the PCC Beauty Academy, aiming to provide a pathway into the beauty industry. Additionally, discussions are underway to deliver beauty courses to models and beauty queens managed by StarCentral and MS Entertainment Network.

Looking ahead, what excites you the most about the future of marketing, and are there any upcoming projects or trends that you believe will have a significant impact on the industry?

I’m genuinely excited about the dynamic fusion of technology and creativity in marketing. The possibilities of immersive technologies like augmented reality, precise AI-driven personalisation, and emerging trends such as ephemeral content and social commerce are particularly thrilling. Inclusivity and sustainability continue to shape marketing strategies. Our upcoming campaigns aim to enhance continuous communication through innovative content, interactive campaigns, and strategic collaborations. This ensures Parramatta Community College remains a trailblazer in educational marketing, making a lasting positive impact on our community.

Photo Credit: Tony Palliser/Studio 49

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