What are you selling? – Account management in Singapore
“Let’s do a sales promo ad. It will entice people to purchase more products. Yes! That sounds great! Insert a big blurb stating the discount and a huge photograph of the product. Can you send us a first draft tomorrow at 4pm?”
As an agency account manager in Singapore, what would you do next? Would you go and brief your creative team exactly what the client told you and get them to do the first draft within the time line stipulated by the client?
Let’s get back to this question at the end. My journey in this amazing business of ideas has taught me many a lesson. Some lessons are learned quickly. Some…take time.
Like with any form of business, it is important to learn the basics. Secret to a solid structure is a good foundation. As an account management person in an agency, it is important to learn how to answer this question:
What are you selling?
This is the paramount question you need to ask yourself as soon as you get a client brief. What are you selling?
Even though it sounds like a simple question, you need to sensitize your thinking to the soft elements of your client’s product/service. After all, in a world where physical product features become parity overnight, the soft elements do make the biggest difference.
Does Adidas sell shoes? Apple sell communication devices? Coke sell cola?
Are Apple products the best in the market? As consumers, the majority of us believe they are the best. For most of us, we cannot imagine our lives without our precious ipads, iphones etc. Does Apple sell only due to its product features? Or is there something else that binds all Apple products together? Something intangible that all of us as humane beings drawn to?
What is this magical element? Is it the fact that Apple was the first brand to sell us a completely new style of living? Is it because Apple decided to sell us ‘fashion’ and not communication devices? Is it because of the uplifting feeling you get when you buy into the ‘Apple lifestyle’?
What are you selling?
It is an intrinsic branding question. A question, which every account management person needs to figure out. Be it a launch, branding ad or even a sales promotion, it is critical that you incorporate what you are ‘trying to sell’ into every piece of communication.
So, next time you get a new client brief..
If it’s to sell
- shoes… you might want to ‘really’ sell ‘self-belief’.
- credit cards… you might want to sell ‘convenience’
- wireless products… you might want to sell ‘freedom’
- tourism… you might want to sell ‘exploration’
The trick is to analyse and deduce the most intrinsic humane value the product is associated with. Something I would like to call ‘Brand Humanisation’.
Let’s go back to where we started this conversation.
Would you do exactly what the client wanted?
Well, that’s a completely different conversation. But you know where to start. No matter what the client brief is… start with: What are you trying to sell?
Think about it. Even if it’s your next big interview.
What are you trying to sell?
Udara Withana, Account Director, Ambrosia Communications
(Bsc.Hons. in Business Management)
(MCIM , Chartered Marketer , CIM UK)