Less price promotion campaigns in Lithuania

Daiva Tonkuniene
Interview with Daiva Tonkuniene, Managing Director of DDB Vilnius.

An experienced Lithuanian agency manager recommends agencies to take a deeper look into the client’s business and clients to be more specific with the briefs.

With around 25 employees, DDB Vilnius is currently one of the biggest in Lithuania. Historically, DDB has always focused on service clients as opposed to FMCG. Currently they have three telcos, several financial clients and just to point out – the European Institute for Gender Equality (very excited about this one). However, they are working with the biggest alcoholic beverages producer in Lithuania, hence all parties are represented.

Daiva Tonkuniene has worked in DDB Vilnius for 10 years. Menwhile, she spent 5 years working as a Marketing Director in telecom giant TEO. Afterwards, she decided to return to DDB.

You have been on both sides (agency and client) – what advice would you give to each of the sides?

Clients should be very specific with their briefs. Be precise on the message, general communication and most importantly – the result. What are you looking to get back here? Good briefs are key for achieving the best results.

As for the agencies, I would really recommend taking a deeper look into the client’s business. What are the problems and challenges they are tackling? This cultivates better ideas. Look behind the brief and be more proactive. With a clever approach and a deeper knowledge, you might be able to solve a couple of business problems for them.

Experts claim that the agency needs to be involved already in the brief writing process. The relationship between the agency and the client has to be as intimate as possible. Sadly, that’s rarely the case.

I agree, a strong cooperation always helps. Both should work closely together. Starting from annual planning to discussions around general communication issues. On the other hand, the last word should come after the client, because they’re more aware of their business landscape. Agencies should certainly speak up, but in the end, it’s about finding that middle ground where both sides are respected.

What about pan-Baltic cooperation? How often do you collaborate with your colleagues from Tallinn and Riga?

It really depends on the client, but frankly not that often. Generally, we’re still lacking in this pan-Baltic mind-set. If the client concentrates their business from a pan-Baltic perspective then they usually opt for the same group. This trend is more visible on an operational level. Swedbank is a clear frontrunner, but some activities are still done locally. It would be great to consider the three markets as one, but the truth is that we’re very different.

What are the trends in Lithuanian consumer behaviour?

Firstly, I’m noticing a clear drop in price promotion campaigns, which means that the competition on a price level is getting smaller.
Lithuanians are becoming interested in certain new things. Food on a wider scale is a huge topic for example. Are you making healthier choices? What are the new cool brands on the market (from coffee to restaurants)?
Internet has opened up our consumers. They are not afraid to express their opinion; they are more demanding towards customer service – the result of general rise in quality.

Interviewed by Hando Sinisalu, Best Marketing International

The fourth pan-Baltic advertising festival Balticbest will bring together marketing managers and agency people in Tallinn, Estonia on August 30, 2017. Come to participate: www.balticbest.eu