And so with the combination of my successes, and avoidences of other, almost certain, failures, I have become an unequivocal expert on:
“How Not To Market In Asia”.
To give you an idea of how I arrived at this writing premise, let me go through just a few of the details of this last week’s scenario. For good sportsmanship, I’m not going to name any of the companies, specific programs or people involved, aside from myself, but I’ll just give you a basic idea of the facts I had on hand:
I was contacted early last week by a gentleman who had found this blog, as well as my profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn. If you Google the words “Advertising”, “Marketing”, and “Vietnam” in a Boolean fashion, you’ll more than likely hit me on page one, giving me a more than fair web presence in Vietnam – with credit given also to my significant postings on the previous subjects.
The gentleman proceeded to ask a number of questions related to my business via Google chat and I directed him to my LinkedIn profile to get a handle on my previous experiences. After another day or so of chat inquiries I deduced that he was looking for someone to do sales work on a commission basis. He had a TV show with a sponsorship package he wanted to sell to a large foreign bank in town, and assured me that the sale was almost closed – save for the fact that the bank had questioned his company’s lack of “Demographic Profile” for their show – which he needed in less than a week. I was immediately taken aback. How do you get to almost closing a deal on sponsorship of a TV program without a Demographic Profile of your product? It’s almost slide #1 in your Powerpoint intro, isn’t it? Apparently it wasn’t. My immediate feeling was that if they had missed this, that their pitch probably had quite a few more holes – and that basically, they were a long way from selling anything.
I looked at the company’s website, read the show description, watched the demo and read the bios of all of the Directors of the company. The project, as it exists on the Internet looked good by local standards, but that’s a far cry from getting a bank director, in these currently murky financial waters, to sign off on what I was told was a US $20,000 sponsorship deal – and with the Demographic Profile being the only thing standing in the way? I didn’t see it.
After more and more questions and fewer and fewer answers – hours worth – over the Internet and phone, it was obvious, that I could no more guarantee a sale based on only one small part of the plan, no matter what I wrote, than I could pull rabbits out of hats or coerce Genies out of bottles. Quite simply, I felt there was far more work in the job than the gentleman was claiming. And convincing him of that, was not going to be easy. It was time to cut to the chase.
client:……yes we got some closure
me:………what does “some” mean?
…………..”closing” a deal means getting a contract on paper…
For more information on Brand Marketing Training in Vietnam, go here.
For more in the “How Not To Market In Asia” series, click below:
II) What’s Wrong With the Vietnam Advertising Association?
III) Detri-viral Marketing: When Web 2.0 works against your brand