“Quality” is the most important factor which Miss Nguyen Thi Tu Anh, an account manager in Publicis Company, always kept reminds me when she shared her experiences, knowledge and opinions. That will help an agency persuade and get the job from big clients. In this case, a big client means companies which are usually global companies have a good and long-term experiences in advertising; have a big budget for a campaign and a big brand in the world.
Vietnam is the potential market for global companies to invest in (Capital land inside 2010), so there are more global companies come to Vietnam and open their business. However, following the statistic of A.T. Kearney Global Retail Development Index (A.T. Kearney Global Retail Development Index 2011 and 2008), Vietnam felled down from the 1st country on the global retail markets in 2008 to the 23th country in 2011. One of the reasons for that failure may be the working process of global companies with Vietnamese advertising agencies. Vietnamese agencies have the strength is the understanding of local culture and society, however, they also meet a lot of challenges including lack of professional working style, confidences or skill to deal with these global clients. Therefore, I chose to interview Tu Anh because she is young, enthusiastic, talent and has 4 years working experience in global advertising agencies, she can help future advertising practitioners in the process to persuade big clients. My article follows Tu Anh’s recommendation and experience to some cases and suggests people how to deal with it to persuade big clients.
Figure 1. Reproduced from: Fuaidy 2010
The most important thing is your outcome, concentrate on that and do not distract by big clients will help you to have confidence (Zainzinger 2012). “To build your confidences, the preparation will help you”, Tu Anh shared with me. To be more specific, preparation will make you understand deeply and clearly client’s vision and mission and that bring confidence to you. Tu Anh’s team had to think a lot of ideas and spent a long time to discuss some appropriate ideas and come up with the best one for client. Thus, when her team went to pitching, they have confidence and gain more success. As a consequence, you will stay with your confidence in front of your big client. “When you prepared, you can answers most of the questions, the other questions you might not because they are in another topic”, Tu Anh remarked and smiled.
Figure 2. Reproduced from: Mickelson 2011
2. Building relationship:
Tu Anh shared with me one of her stories that happend when she was working for a telephone company. Client provided a complicated guideline for her agency to work, so when everything was in the final process and the agency would publish their print advertising. Unfortunately, client changed the ideas and it was not the similar with what her agency was doing. This is a huge problem, and her agency can lose a big money. However, because of the good relationship between her agency and that client, the client understood, trusted and accepted agency’s reasons. As a result, her agency was not sued and both client and agency worked together to handle this problem. Relationship is one of the powerful factors in the workplace, it can bring to you opportunities and understanding from clients (Zainzinger 2012).
Figure 3. Reproduced from: You Wall n.d.
3. Keep updating:
Tu Anh shared with me a story that her colleague forgot a campaign because she did not update so nobody remembered that campaign and it brought to her really bad consequence. To solve that, people need to set up meetings to present the schedule and timeline. Then receive the feedback from client to find the final timeline which client agrees with. Tu Anh said that for every campaign, in every week, her team needed to have a meeting with client to update the information, presented the process of campaign to make agreements and comments of new changes. Then the agency will write call report to update the changing including new decisions and agreements. Updating is importance because it will help you remember what you are doing and receive the new changing from clients.
Figure 4. Reproduced from: Maltoni 2012
4. Listening is first:
Tu Anh shared with me that at very first beginning to work with big client, the agency will have the briefing from client about the objectives of campaign which follows company’s vision and mission. “If you want to understand them, you need to listen them first”, Tu Anh said. Listening is one of the necessary skills for people to work better in workplace (Exforsys Inc 2007). Moreover, Exforsys Inc (2007) cited that when you listen well, people will respond effectively and clearly. Therefore, listening will help agency can understand what client’s wants and requires; and they will minimize the percentage of unexpected situations.
Figure 5. Reproduced from: McDowell 2012
5. Not every client is good to work with:
Making decision is not just from client; Tu Anh said to me that agency also can choose the client to work with. To clarify, more clients is not mean more benefits will come to agency because if agency receive more jobs, but they cannot do well the current job, everything will be failed. Moreover, not all the client can bring profitable benefit to your agency, because if the job is too much work with small money, the agency cannot earn money from that. In addition, there still have potential opportunities for agency, why they need to care just one and forget other potential ones. “Be careful in choosing the client to work with, even they are big clients”, Tu Anh suggested.
Figure 5. Reproduced from: Quality one clean 2012
6. Quality is everything:
What help you to win in the pitching competition? What help you make your client trust you? What help you to keep the long-term relationship with client? There is one answer for these questions, “Quality”. Tu Anh said that, quality is the most important thing for you to get the trust from client while prove your agency’s values. “Gifts and money under table sometimes can work in making people like you, but your agency do not have any quality, everything mean nothing”, Tu Anh shared.
Big clients are opportunities and challenges for advertising agency. Tu Anh helps to give some advices for future-advertisers can understand the clients’ wants and expects. I hope my article will assist new advertising practitioners will give some points for them to think about and apply in their future jobs.
About: Nguyen Thi Tu Anh is an account manager for Publicis Company. She graduated Bachelor of Commerce in Rmit Vietnam University in 2008 and the course, namely “graduated diploma marketing” in Singapore to discover more about the advertising world. She worked for Leo Burnett, JWT, Colgate-Palmolive Company and now is Publicis Company.
Publicis Company (finding more at http://www.publicis.com/) is the largest global network within the Publicis Groupe which is one of the world’s three largest advertising holding companies, with more than 200 offices, in 82 countries and over 9,000 communication experts. Publicis in Vietnam work for some clients such as Kinh Do Bakery, Nestly and Diana.
Posted by Nguyen Thanh Luan
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