Maintaining Agency – Client Relationship: Trust is the key link to have a successful campaign..
By Nguyen Nguyet Van Khanh – s3298853
December 09, 2012.
I met her in the beautiful Monday’s afternoon; the coffee shop is not so crowded for a conversation. My, Nguyen Tra – an Account Manager of Ogilvy Vietnam seems to have a little tiredness on her face after finished a meeting with her client. However, when we talked about her agency life and career, there is a thing that strongly impressed me: her enthusiasm for Advertising area and a strong willed inside the 25 year-old women.
It is not easy to have a date with her; we decided to meet at Noa, the popular coffee shop located at Centec ground floor. This building becomes a ‘symbol’ for every international brand as well as local company to place their office. Some highlighted name such as Yahoo, Bitzer, Ajinomoto, especially Ogilvy – one of the biggest agency in Vietnam.
‘We usually have double-work in the end of the year, so let meet downstairs of my office and I will be on time’, she said. It firstly impressed me because of her characteristic: punctual and steady.
It was a sunny afternoon. She welcomed me with a smile on her face; she is charming and attractive, apart from my imagination. We started a conversation, mostly about her agency life and career path after finished a cup of coffee.
‘It was the time in 2009s, when I graduated and so confused to find a job which fit with my personality. This job must be happen in an international environment to help me develop my skill wisely, it is fashionable, outgoing, well communication, and yes, that dream all unite in Ogilvy’, My shared.
As an Account Manager, there is variety type of client she had to deal with to build up a successful campaign. ‘Sometime, I feel like I am a “super daughter” who could satisfied every “mother-in-law in the world”, My jokingly shared.
“The key contact of client, the middle man..”
Account Department is very important not only in advertising process but also in relationship management between client and corporate. ‘An account means a client, how many accounts you have means how many clients you are handling. I’m currently have 7 brands in hands such as MILO and La Vie from Nestle group, Electrolux, Estee Lauder & Clinique from EL group’, My explained.
As Ogilvy’s representative, My daily work is become the key contact of client, get their idea and bring back to creative team for concept and execution.
She looks young and fashionable, there is no clue to figure out that she could handle many responsibilities at the first sight. A deep understanding about your client and experience are never useless in Advertising area.
‘In this criterion, trust is the key link of any relationship..”
The length of relationship depends on how trustful you are. ‘Agency-Client relationship provides many benefit for company, it less costly for a service firm to maintain it instead of attract the new one’ (Berry, 1995). However, money is not always considered to be the first option. ‘Sometime, reputation and trust are essentially important’, she emphasized.
“The story not to tell…”
We continued our story by sharing her most impressive campaign since she became an Account Manager at Ogilvy.
‘You know it is a hard time for me. I represent for Ogilvy to communicate and work with client instead of each department has different people to talk to client. I have to take brief from client, de-brief planning and brainstorming to generate concept and develop creative idea. Therefore, I have to involve in every step of a campaign since the 1st brief to the production to make sure everything going well and fit with creative want and client need’, My said.
At that time, her client was the national aviation – Vietnam Airline. ‘They going to launched the biggest TVC scale that our company has made, not in term of costing, but in term of scope of work. However, a long tragedy happened during this time”, My humorously said.
The creative concept is all about the lotus, which represent for Vietnam Airline, appear everywhere in the world with tag line “ Fly and See”. The production is huge, traveled to 5 countries US, France, Indian, Cambodia, and Australia to shoot and post production. Unfortunately, Vietnam Airline never does any commercial that had a look and feel of international aviation. My also had to deal with ‘impossible’ client who was strict and old fashionable. ‘She asked Ogilvy to do this campaign with a limited budget which around 110,000 USD, however, an actually price is 200,000. After many time negotiated, I need to persuade her to building trust, follow with our concept and up the price to 200,000’, My shared. She was shocked that time, on the other hands, she got her first lesson in life on how to balance between an national local cooperate and an international agency working style. This campaign ranked high rate on Youtube and well known across the country.
‘We were so proud to build the advertising campaign for it. It is such an amazing job ever that lucky I was involved in. About profit, no, but reputation, yes, that why we need to scarify..’, she gave me a funny winked.
“Timing, Budget, Strategic Planning and Creativity…”
My changed her tone of voice into more serious one when I asked her about any advice or tips to have a successful campaign as well as maintain a long-term relationship with her client. Her face turns bright suddenly after my question ‘There are many people think that successful campaigns not only come from good idea or creativity of agency but also from the good relationship between your company and client? (Halinen, 1997) Are you agree? – ‘Totally agree!’. My shared 4 aspects, which contribute for a successful campaign:
- Timing: To save time and meet deadline, My shared to me the four key point: I have to know my client well, must understand the other’s expectation, must compromise to achieve win-win benefit and must support each other to process everything quickly.
- Budget: To plan budget wisely, ‘You and client must forecast together based on experience and benchmark. If there were not a good relationship, negotiation would take forever’, My interestingly said. Sometime, if the creative idea is over the budget, good relationship will help me a lot to persuade client buy my idea.
- Planning: ‘Strategic Planning is where you and your client need to sit down to brainstorm for the campaign, which way to go and how to leverage brand efficiency. If there isn’t a good relationship, fighting & disagreement during discussion is something you can’t avoid’. My laughed
- Creativity: The main point is I need to know my client style & taste, if client appreciate my creative effort and both side have the same level of creative approach, it is a perfect hook for successful campaign.
Having a talk with My is an great experience ever to me. ‘As a newbie, be enthusiastic and active learning everyday. You might start with many basic works, but those works will build up your skill and enhance experience…’.
Proof of Life:
Word Count: 1180.
Berry, L 1995, ‘Relationship Marketing of Service, Growing Interest, Emerging Perspective’, Journal of Academy of Marketing Science, pg 236-245, viewed on 28th December 2012 <http://jesr.journal.fatih.edu.tr/CustomerRelationshipManagement.pdf>
Halinen, A 1997, ‘Relationship Marketing in Professional Service: A Study of Agency-Client Dynamic in Advertising Sector’, published on 1st January 1997, Routledge, viewed on 28th December 2012.
Vietnam Airline 2011, ‘Vietnam Airline Commercial: Fly and See’, online video, accessed on 28th December 2012, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjF7SG8PkDs>