RMIT Vietnam’s School of Communication & Design recently hosted its first Creative Conversation show, welcoming Nguyen Thi Hai Ha, Co-founder and Managing Director of ClickMedia, to discuss new creative businesses in Vietnam.
With an eye on the continuing changes and possibilities in creative industries in Vietnam, the School of Communication & Design has initiated the Creative Conversations series under the format of chat show interviews with a variety of guests to discuss major topics in the industry.
This is part of the School's strategy to become one of the most well-known and respected in Vietnam for creative and communication subjects.
“We have been steadily building RMIT Vietnam as a hub of creativity education and practice that will transform the future of creative industries in this country and the region,” said Professor Rick Bennett, Head of the School of Communication & Design.
The first Creative Conversation show introduced the subject of new creative businesses and the future of creative industries in Vietnam.
“Last year, the government produced a report that talks about the national strategy for cultural industries in Vietnam for 2020-2030,” Professor Bennett said.
“This strategy is driven by the single vision for Vietnam to be a major centre and a market leader for cultural industries in Southeast Asia. By 2030, Vietnam wants to have a globally creative economy.”
Professor Bennett also listed advertising, fashion design, product design, communication design, film and video among the key priorities in the future, and Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang listed in the document as Creative Hubs.
“In my opinion creative graduates will form their own new businesses and in turn shape the future of the creative industry in Vietnam,” he stated.
The chat show welcomed Ms Nguyen Thi Hai Ha, Co-founder and Managing Director of ClickMedia, an agency that facilitates brands in communicating with their customer base via a full range of digital media.
Founded in 2009 when there was no predecessor in the industry, ClickMedia has served leading brands and companies such as Heineken, Unilever, Pepsi Co, Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Vinamilk.
“Back in the 2000s, perceptions about digital media were different from now,” Ms Ha said.
“Instead of offering one-way digital ads, which were popular at the time, ClickMedia was created to offer community and content benefits.”
It became the first social media agency in a wave of social media focused firms in the advertising industry. Clients with stringent demands for quality and value were drawn to the company, and the business grew quickly.
In 2014, ClickMedia joined WPP, the world's leading company in marketing communications services, and today Ms Ha leads a team of more than 100 employees.
During the session, she discussed her experience in starting up in a creative industry, and its attendant challenges.
“A business in the creative industries still has to tackle all the challenges that every [business in] industry faces, such as finances, human resources, client recruitment, operations, and business development,” she said.
“However, in communications and advertising, we also need character and creativity. They are the capabilities needed to create the conversations, to communicate with audiences and clients.”
This means that good leadership is crucial to recruiting talented individuals, on whom the success of a creative agency depends.
Adding to Professor Bennett's note on training students for the future, Ms Ha also discussed the importance of preparing for change.
She explained an industry concept called multi-agency projects, whereby agencies from sectors such as advertising, digital media and activation work on one assigned brief and project from a client.
“The boundaries between different types of agencies are no longer there. All agencies have to try to catch up with the client and solve their problem,” Ms Ha shared.
“We are all transforming ourselves to become an agency of change. This means the industry is witnessing a lot of agency restructuring, new titles and new skill requirements.”
Other industry trends including context over content, real-time crowdsourcing and mobile-friendly content were also introduced to students, with ClickMedia's work used as examples.
“It is both exciting and challenging: the only way to survive is genuine hard work and innovation,” Ms Ha advised students, who will work in an always-changing industry.
The Creative Conversation series is scheduled to continue with future topical sessions and experienced guest speakers.
Story: Phuong Le