When GLOCAL works:
Campaigns with TV commercial production budgets of US$100,000 have become once-in-a-lifetime opportunities in Vietnam, and jokes are made about the gloomy future of agencies. But, speaking seriously, that only urges me to look for more efficiency-oriented approaches for our clients while maintaining the agency’s DNA—the Sei-katsu-sha Insight philosophy.
In huge contrast with 20 years ago, when bidding on jobs came just once a year or less, I get at least three bidding projects per month in my business development role. Prior to the invitations for these competitions, I had to approach a diverse pool of advertisers. The popular question I got at credential presentations was: “What’s your unique selling point?”
From all the failures and successes, I have no doubt that positioning my agency based on the “GLOCAL” concept, in which we think global and act local, is that USP.
As advertisers change agencies frequently in search of ever higher performance, brand executions tend to become short-term and tactical in nature, rather than strategic approaches that deliver long-term rewards. That’s when our global-standard strategy, which is based on thoroughly understanding everyday people—or sei-katsu-sha—proves invaluable. I believe that this marks us as a strategic partner and marketing consultant, not just an advertising agency. And not compromising on the quality of creative is the impetus that helps us win. Good work in the face of tight deadlines is convincing proof of our high competency and impresses new clients about what we can do for them.
Recently, the border between global agencies and local ones has blurred in terms of personnel, as there’s been a stream of experienced key members from the giants joining local agencies. This makes locals much more flexible and “easy to work with.” Acting local is the efficient way to ensure we are selected, as it prioritizes flexibility and reasonable costs for our clients We offer more options for cooperating and more solutions to choose from, making us a friendly and effective one-stop shop.
Since 2018, I have been excited every day about developing business for the Hakuhodo Group in Vietnam. I am amazed at the transformation of myself and the team—and with the list of new clients I have helped cultivate using the GLOCAL model.
Roles and titles current when this article was published in December 2019.