Monday, August 20, 2007

Vietnam needs to do PR: Kotler

Philip Kotler

By QUE ANH

(SGT-HCMC) Vietnam should focus on public relations activities first to disseminate information about Vietnam, which encourages multinational companies to choose the country as a destination for business, said Philip Kotler, the world’s leading management and marketing guru.

In his speech under the theme “New Marketing for New Age”, Kotler said no companies could do that by themselves without the help from the government, the tourism bureau and the inward investment bureau. They should make companies think “Made in Vietnam” is a really strong label.

Moreover, Vietnam should have well-trained marketing staff who must know well about the product, love the product, know how it is made and always listen to customers.

The guru advised Vietnam take the example of a Japanese company. A newly-recruited marketing officer will not be immediately assigned to tasks in the marketing department. Step by step, they are sent to the factory for some months to know well about the product, to the customer service office where they learn how to listen to their customers and to the sales department to know how it works.

Finally, Vietnam should develop companies producing quality products which will polish Vietnam’s image in the global community’s eyes.

“Vietnam should show the world its wish to reach out to the overseas markets,” Kotler shared. To do so, Vietnamese companies should be strong in the local market, then regional, and then global ones. Gradually, Vietnam needs to win customers’ heart share, then mind share, and finally soul share.

The guru also expressed his pleasure to be in Vietnam and share his knowledge and experience. Amazed by what he saw in the country, Kotler ended his speech by saying: “You’re very impressive with the annual growth rate of 7-8%. Certainly I will promote Vietnam in the world arena. I’ll get some more people to come here.”

Kotler came to HCMC on August 16-17 at the invitation of PACE Education Group.

The guru pointed out the fact that Vietnam is not really known to the world, especially the U.S., at present. “In the U.S., people don’t know that Intel have come here and they are building factories here rather than in China. They don’t know that Yamaha and Nike are here either,” he added.