Taking into cognisance my proclivity to understanding clients' needs more carefully in order to deliver the right creative business solutions for brands, I believe the brand and communication space beckons us to introspect insights that would make the relationship between company and agency work for the betterment of both parties.
With the use of The Client Side
, I go in search of the people that really make our advertising industry – our clients. On this platform I profile chief marketing officers, marketing and brand communication managers to gain knowledge of what is paramount to them when we speak marketing and brand communications. These individuals are our partners when it comes to meeting brand and business objectives.
- Hi Tumi, Please tell us a bit about yourself and your career.
Tumi Mmope, born and bred in Soweto, Pimville, Johannesburg. Currently Senior Brand Manager at a well-known FMCG company with five-plus years experience. I have worked on commodities, household care and drinkables. I have a very magnetic personality, passion and analytical skills to match; I dub myself as the perfect brand cocktail!
- What is the advertising/marketing quote or saying you live by?
“Once you tell yourself you know everything – you block yourself from learning new things.”
- How would you define advertising effectiveness as a client?
Once an agency understands the root issue that we are trying to solve on a brand – we achieve great success.
- Creative awards, how important are they to you as a client?
Not important at all...
As long as the business objective are achieved in terms of volume/market share that’s enough for me. A shiny metal means nothing, if you are still declining in the market.
- Where do you think advertising agencies can improve to better serve their clients?
Agencies do not ask enough about market share, category issues, reasons for decline, history of the brand – their answer to everything is a TVC – (reach).
How they can improve is not to brainstorm around a table and provide a strategy with desktop info – go into trade, consumer visits, go to our consumers (lapsed or current).
Serve? Adverting agencies do not exist to serve brand managers – they are the right hand to every business/brand manager – this mindset of Master and Slave needs to come to an end.
- How do you ensure there is transformation in the advertising and marketing industry?
I collaborate with my partners/agencies. We work together and present my strategy, business context, current issues, etc. before they even think of touching anything on the brands I manage. We craft a ways-of-working prior and set KPIs prior to doing any work. I basically induct all my agencies.
Once you create a partner with agencies – I establish a “WE” not a “THEY” relationship. “We are ALL solving business objective, using our brands to tell a story, which ultimately converts into a ROI.
My biggest frustration with most agencies is that they are still operating as a service provider and not as a partner... Brand managers bully the heck out of agencies – that hinders the agencies’ ability to think as a partner because they are giving clients what they want with no proper thought. This cycle of brand managers vs agencies needs to stop so we can all work together to think beyond what’s in front of us.
- What is your measure metrics to choosing an advertising agency partner?
If the agency can solve the problem by understanding the brief:
Asking for additional information from brand team, i.e. shares, BE, etc. This for me – tells me you want to know more and you are engaging with the brief - not in a rush to pitch a TVC.
Understanding my consumer beyond desktop research – trade visits.
The ability to mentally apply yourself.
- Everyday client advertising agency relationships – what are your key needs from an ad agency to make your life easier?
Engage with me – I have a very open working style that empowers agencies to see me as Tumi the brand manager NOT the client who controls budget.
- Let us engage on social platform such as Whatsapp.
- If you are a strategic lead agency – present a problem/s with attached solution/s.
- Think about probable solutions to solve the issue prior to picking up the call, to add fuel to a small fire.