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#AOTYAwards Indonesia judges’ corner: Agencies, your work can’t just be all talk

Marketing Interactive is bringing its flagship award show Agency of the Year to Indonesia for the first time this year. This comes after 11 successful editions in Singapore and nine in Malaysia, the event now comes to Indonesia’s shores to measure, recognise, reward and the industry’s top-performing agencies.

Judged solely by an independent panel of client-side marketers, the awards offer agencies a fantastic opportunity to impress the jury with their outstanding products and services, business performance, people and perspectives. We have 20 categories available for entry this year and you have until Wednesday 13 March 2019 to complete and submit your entries.

To help you win over the hearts of our judges, we sit down with them through a series of interviews to find out more about their day-to-day work, agency relationships and expectations from the submissions.

First up we have, Jia-Li Fong, head of brand and trade marketing, global emerging markets, Mattel Indonesia. She has been with the company for over five years, previously working in markets such as Malaysia. She has also honed her skills working with the likes of Nestle and EY.

Marketing Interactive: Can you tell us what your role is like?

My role of leading the marketing team anchors on two critical purposes:
1) To create meaningful connections with our consumers that create business growth
2) Develop my team to deliver their personal best so that both the individuals and the company can flourish.

Marketing for a global company means ensuring alignments on brand frameworks yet delicately adapting it to local nuances to genuinely affect consumer behavior that leads to a measurable win for the business. Market landscapes, technological advances and consumer trends are constantly evolving. This means I must not only craft the right strategies but also be agile and creative in the way we execute internally and with other stakeholders.

Marketing Interactive: In your view, how has the marketing function evolved over the years?

The very core of marketing has not changed, but it has become more complex with the pace of technological evolution. Roles within marketing are becoming more segmented – branding, PR, social media, performance marketing. The segmentation requires deeper integration of teams to create synergies across functions as we work towards the common goal of delighting the consumer who demand to be omniscient. Consumers nowadays wants to be an active part of the conversation instead of being at the receiving end.

How we communicate with the consumers and where the conversation takes place are now very dynamic.

It requires even more discipline and commitment to continuous learning as there is a constant need to be data focused and to embrace a test-and-learn mindset to get to the nugget of what will move the needle for the business.

Marketing Interactive: How closely do you work with agencies in your current role?

Agencies by and large are an extended part of the marketing team that are highly specialised in their services and are held to high standards and accountability. A good working relationship is an integral part of a winning formula and it is without a doubt that we value and work closely with all our agencies. We take on the role of steering committee whilst actively engaging and participating with the agency whom becomes our immediate execution team. For the most part we ideate and strategise together.

Marketing Interactive: What do you look for when deciding if an agency is right fit for your team?

Credentials of the agency is mandatory, with proven results that reveal it is not just all ‘talk’. The agency needs to demonstrate capabilities to add value from an external perspective that are enlightening, with openness and transparency that can harness the power of synergy to plan and execute for meaningful growth together. They need to not only have the mind and muscles, but also a heart – a passion for our brands.

Marketing Interactive: What will you be looking out for in the agency of the year awards submissions?

A compelling story and/or innovative solutions to business challenges. It must start with clear objectives and be supported by tangible business results.

Marketing Interactive: Given you have worked across numerous markets, what do you feel is unique to Indonesia?

Size, consumer behavior and the rapid development that Indonesia is in. Indonesia has taken big steps in recent years towards becoming a more developed market. I marvel on how Indonesians celebrate their rich culture and traditions and yet are liberal to embrace what is forthcoming such as mobile technology. It makes Indonesia a proud community-based nation which is not afraid to stand out versus the rest of the world.

Agencies interested to enter the first-EVER Agency of the Year Awards Indonesia can download the entry guidelines here, and submit their entries for any of the 20 categories at the Entry Submission Page.

 
Rezwana Manjur
Southeast Asia Editor
Marketing Magazine Singapore
Rezwana Manjur, a true blue city girl and complete social animal, spends half her time sifting through advertising scandals, and the other half testing out brands' retail marketing strategies at the mall. She enjoys traveling and fantasising over the charming lads on hit TV show Mad Men. Most weekends, she turns nocturnal, except when brunch comes into play.

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