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VML Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by
| Helen Lee is a freelance data analyst and writer with over 15 years of experience in marketing.

Question 1 of 30

An essential first step to the marketing strategy building process is conducting a market assessment centered around the Customer, Company and Competitor. Of these three, which do you feel you are most confident at assessing?

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VML Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    An essential first step to the marketing strategy building process is conducting a market assessment centered around the Customer, Company and Competitor. Of these three, which do you feel you are most confident at assessing?

      Hiring managers at VML are trying to assess your strengths and possible weaknesses. As the initial step, this process is crucial and affects all subsequent actions and resulting recommendations. By identifying your strengths and weaknesses, managers will be able to see if you are a fit for the balanced team VML managers are looking to build.

      When responding to this question, do not be hesitant to reveal weaknesses. Instead, be ready to explain how you are prepared to learn from other team members at VML and gain experience to serve clients better.

      Helen's Answer

      "My past project work has given me valuable experience in completing thorough market assessments for marketing strategies. Based on this experience, I am most confident at assessing the Customer. I base this confidence on my analytical experience gained through Marketing Research which has given me an understanding of what data is available to assess the client's current customers. Also, the marketing research data has also included market opportunities that allow for the identification of future customers. Although I have had limited experience assessing the Company and Competitors, I look forward to gaining additional knowledge in these areas from fellow team members at VML."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My experience in the marketing field has given me wide exposure to evaluating both internal efforts and industries overall. Through analytical projects, I have been able to assess marketing strategies and make recommendations to make changes to better target customer segments and address industry competition. I am confident my experience and knowledge will prove to be an asset for VML."

  2. 2.

    VML believes that for visitors to have an enjoyable experience on a website or an app, its functions and formatting should be human-centric. How does this tie into the big picture when it comes to digital strategy?

      Your answer will help the interviewer see into your philosophy behind user experience, its impact, and the importance in digital strategy. Tell the interviewer how your beliefs in user experience align with their digital strategy.

      Helen's Answer

      "The experience on a company's digital platforms needs to be human-centric and designed to fit in with the customer's needs. I know this from experience because I've seen campaigns where a company placed a lot of focus on collateral or different kinds of content, but when the customers made it to the website, whether because it was unattractive or they couldn't figure out how to use it, they quickly lost interest. When we don't match the target audience's preferences to a digital platform's functionality and feel, it can contradict all other messaging and branding that's been convincing until this point. They lose trust or become confused, and this causes them not to go to the next step. In this situation, the final result for the company is negative, and they suffer a loss in sales."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Website and app experiences designed with customers in mind are an essential part of digital strategy. The online platform may be the first or only place where the customer gathers an impression of a company, then decides whether or not to make a purchase. When user experience is well-planned, the website or app can become a place of comfort for the customer and allows them to feel connected with the brand. It also makes decisions easy for the customer. Being able to intuitively navigate a site to learn about product details and pricing, for example, or seamlessly follow calls to action and complete purchases lowers the resistance and pushes sales to the finish line. Finally, the positive experience creates new opportunities because happy customers often return and refer others."

  3. 3.

    How do you learn and grow when it comes to branding, design, and marketing?

      It is essential for VML that their team members are interested in continuous professional development. Discuss with the interviewer what you do to make sure you are on top of industry trends. Talk about what you do to keep yourself educated on new design techniques. Show the hiring authorities at VML that you have a desire to expand your design knowledge continually.

      Helen's Answer

      "I agree with VML that continuous professional development is critical to my success. In addition to my degree, I recently earned my Brand Management Certificate. I enjoy taking online courses and workshops, ensuring that I remain up to date on the latest branding, design, and marketing trends."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I do a lot of reading, educating myself on topics related to marketing, design, and branding. Also, I grow and learn by committing to at least one online course per quarter. This past month I took a workshop on the psychology behind brand colors and other design elements."

  4. 4.

    The technology available to our campaign managers is continually changing and improving. How do you remain current with the changing industry?

      To add value as a VML team member, it is crucial that you remain current to changes in the industry. Whether through formal or informal means, hiring managers want to be assured that you will make strides to stay informed and continue learning about trends and new developments in the digital advertising industry. Through your response, convey that you are interested in professional growth that will contribute to VML's strategic goals.

      Helen's Answer

      "From my experience in the digital advertising industry, I have witnessed the many technological changes and improvements that have benefited marketers. I understand that to get a full picture of the industry climate; you have to go outside the company's walls. I belong to several industry professional groups online where I am informed of seminars and training sessions as it relates to digital advertising technology. The information I acquire from these gatherings has been valuable as I implement my learnings into my job responsibilities and share with other team members within the company."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My experience at various companies has shown me that informal learning can be just as valuable as formal training sessions or seminars. I continually seek out ways to learn more about the digital advertising industry, whether it's from the technological side or the creative side. By connecting with clients, co-workers in other departments or professionals in my network, I have gained valuable insights into the Digital Advertising industry. The knowledge I gained has given me new perspectives on my work and the industry overall while giving me the tools I need to add value to the company."

  5. 5.

    Most of VML's client advertise through digital channels. Which digital channels are you most familiar with and what has been your experience using these particular channels?

      Digital marketing channels have quickly become a cost-effective way to deliver consumer advertising. VML's clients use many different types of digital channels depending on the industry, the product or service offered and the target market.

      Because digital is a highly used channel, VML is looking for candidates who have a variety of experiences with it. This experience may include email marketing, blog writing, Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing, among many others. Talk about the two to three types of digital marketing channels you are most familiar with and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

      Helen's Answer

      "While working at advertising agencies, I have gained experience with writing emails and blogs and applying SEO to marketing content. I have found that email marketing is a personalized way to reconnect with past customers or reach out to potential customers who have shown some interest in a company's product or service. Blogs are an effective way to build a company's reputation on a particular subject related to its product or service. SEO helps potential customers find your content and ultimately a company's website. It is an effective means to promote the visibility of its website to the right audience."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "My advertising agency experience has given me opportunities to work with Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing. Social Media channels such as Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest provide a great vehicle for a company's well-developed ads to reach a large targeted audience. These social media platforms also make it easy for interested people to share the ad with their network of friends, thereby quickly increasing a company's reach even further. Email Marketing allows for a high level of personalization based on the data a company has collected. However, I have learned that both of these channels may not be appropriate for every target group or service/product. For example, users of some social media channels may skew younger, and if that is not a company's target audience, it may not want to use that particular channel."

  6. 6.

    VML enhances its clients' brand identities by creating designs that will leave an impression in their audience's mind. Can you describe how you've have helped a client to connect with their audience using their visual identity?

      Your interviewer may ask this question to find out what experience you have with helping to build on a brand's appearance in a way that will appeal to their buyer persona. You can answer by describing design conception and testing for various forms of content, such as logos, etc.

      It's not necessary to discuss actual design steps or tools to answer, but you do want to consider understanding the customer's identity goals and their audience as part of the planning and execution process.

      Helen's Answer

      "I recently worked with a client that wanted to revive their brand's visual appeal. I developed a good feel for the brand through many conversations, interactions with the product, and even their audience. As an account manager, my job was to help translate that feeling into words. I liaised between the client and the graphic design team to create a logo, color scheme and overall concept for the website, social media accounts, and collateral. Everything had to be consistent - our goal was for the audience to recognize instantly, even subconsciously when they came into contact with the brand's materials. I helped the client to involve other departments of their organization and their audience through testing and polls. The engagement and backing of the many people associated with the brand made this facelift a success, and once final changes were rolled out, they were embraced by most."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am often tasked with coordinating visual branding projects in my current position. To make these projects successful, I ensure that all materials and communications related to the project are delivered to the right parties and stored properly for future reference. While handling the project's administrative tasks, I'm essentially a second set of eyes to the designers and project managers. I speak up if I see something missing or not quite right, I help with reporting on information that's needed, scheduling conferences, ensuring we meet deadlines, and other details that may otherwise be overlooked."

  7. 7.

    When have you led a team in creating a new digital strategy campaign for your company or a client? What was the outcome?

      The purpose of this question is to find out what your innovative potential is. It's also meant to uncover whether you have the necessary skills to drive change and influence various players involved in evolving digital strategy campaigns.

      When you answer this question, it might be tempting to rehash overhaul processes you've learned from past situations, but this is not what you want to do. You'll want to talk about your ideas and actions that have driven change.

      Helen's Answer

      "I was once working on a large account where the client had been using the same strategies for a very long time. Their marketing team was all hard-to-convince, tenured employees who had success in the past. But as times were changing, they were losing traction. They didn't know what to do because it seemed their product remained the same, and as did their audience, but they were losing market share. They had been advertising on the same channels forever and somehow; they failed to notice their audience spending time on new platforms and adapting to new technologies. Rather than try to convince my clients with presentations, pie charts, and the traditional means, I gathered them together for interactive discussions. They all filled out forms about major purchases they'd made over the past five years, then shared them out loud. What we found from their stories was that in their personal lives, they had been receptive to new technology. For some reason, however, they believed their customers had not. Through this exercise, I connected them to the hard data I had to present and convinced them it was time to try new things."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As a marketing coordinator with a startup, I had noticed that our digital strategy did not involve enough paid promotion. The company was operating on a very tight budget, and the business leaders would almost immediately shut down any ideas involving inorganic growth without any consideration. Rather than trying to argue this point, I took the initiative and became highly active on our company social media pages. As a result, we were receiving double the amount of leads through them after just one month. I shared this information with the sales team first, and they immediately became supportive of making enhancements in this area. With their backing and proof from my initial efforts, I was able to convince our leadership that a small investment in social media advertising had the potential to double the influx of leads, and I gained their buy-in on making it part of our strategy."

  8. 8.

    In your opinion, what is the most influential form of media today?

      Have a meaningful conversation with the interviewer on media influence. With so many forms of media out there, which do you feel is the most influential at the moment? Be sure to back your answer.

      Helen's Answer

      "I feel that the most influential form of media today is social media and online content. As a whole, the human race wants fast, easy to consume, entertainment news. Our rate of consumption is unprecedented, and the fastest way to access it is through online content sharing."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "There are many important forms of media today - so many, in fact, that people seem to be getting overwhelmed. I would still say that traditional media, in the form of television and the daily news, is at the top when it comes to the number of people influenced and the quality of the content."

  9. 9.

    Helping clients with their brand strategy is one of the first phases of brand development. How can your experience with brand strategies be of value when working with VML's clients?

      Ensuring a client has a strong brand strategy is one of the first steps in successfully helping it develop its brand. Therefore, it is crucial to VML that its team members have experience in this area.

      As you respond to this question, talk about what role you took while working on brand strategies in previous positions. Specifically, address how you can bring value to VML's client relationships concerning your experience with brand strategies.

      Helen's Answer

      "My previous positions have allowed me to work on brand strategy teams. My main role in these teams was providing analytical support for the strategic decisions made. In doing so, I was able to work with and learn from my teammates and also learn about the strategy building process. I am confident my experience gives me valuable perspectives on the process, which can help the strategy building phase for VML's clients run more smoothly. Also, my strong analytical viewpoint gives me a great foundation on which to make strategic decisions."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I had the fortunate opportunity to participate in a brand strategy team in a creative capacity. My role was to give input on how the company's brand was to be represented in advertisements and on social media. An important lesson I learned as part of this team is that members' roles are dependent on one another. It is important to understand the contribution everyone is making so you can better accomplish your tasks. I believe my ability to understand the various roles of a strategy team will help VML's client work more productively and efficiently."

  10. 10.

    What is an example of a market segment you've worked on in the past and how did it help the campaign you were working on?

      The interviewer will be listening for your expertise in this common area of marketing. To answer, you should briefly explain what the market segment is and how you put segmentation into action.

      While segmentation in marketing is essentially profiling, avoid providing any examples that might include sensitive or potentially offensive statistics that could make anyone uncomfortable.

      Helen's Answer

      "Market segmentation is all about organizing statistical data on potential customers for targeting. There are many different areas to focus on but an especially important area to consider is demographics like gender, location, education level, and various others. I worked on a campaign where we were marketing trendy handbags and had to ensure that I understood the group of people that would be interested in them, where they shopped, their preferred price range, how they'd use the product, and more. All of the demographic information gathered to create the segment helped me to decide on the right style, places, and times to market to the audience. It also prevented me from advertising to people that would likely not be interested in the products."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "An example of a market segment that I've worked on involved identifying customers based on their stage of the decision-making process. I worked to identify the point in time when potential customers give off a buying signal. To do this, I had to sort through all kinds of data to know if the customer wanted to move to the next step, what brought them to this point and how to encourage them onto the next step. Using this information to pinpoint characteristic behaviors, possible reasons for conversions, and reasons they may not convert, I was able to recognize work with programming to activate a sequence on our website that would commence after detecting these signals and facilitate the completion of purchases."

  11. 11.

    Performing market research helps us determine the direction a company should take to promote their products and services. What is a key point within this scope that research uncovers?

      There are many strategic decisions and tiers of elements within them that can be based on data gathered during market research. With a broad range of information in mind, your answer should include an example of a birds-eye-view conclusion that becomes the foundation or main driver behind a campaign.

      Helen's Answer

      "One key point that can be considered while conducting and assessing market research is the position a brand already has from the consumer's point of view. This information is important because a company can build an entire campaign aimed at capitalizing on this position. This can mean building on already established roots to solidify market share and disqualifying any competition from occupying the same slot. Understanding the customer's perspective of a brand also provides opportunities to strengthen the bond between them and the company, as well as seek out new, similar customers with similar mindsets and needs."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Market research is great at helping a company before they build or launch a new product because it can show if there is any place or demand for it before determining investment. For example, if your product is similar to the one that's already available to consumers, what would make them elect a new product over the one they're already familiar with? Market research can tell you if they aren't satisfied with the prices, packaging, quality, or other aspects of the product that you can improve upon. Not only can the offering be conceptualized into something more attractive at this stage, but a strong value proposition to go to market with can be developed."

  12. 12.

    What have you done to increase your knowledge and experience working in consumer advertising in an agency environment?

      VML appreciates employees who take the initiative to continue their professional development. Although external sources offer value, hiring managers want to see that they have the drive to find learning opportunities within the work environment regularly.

      Describe times where you took steps to learn something outside of your specialty or department to expand your knowledge about consumer advertising. It is acceptable to mention resources external to the agency; however, be ready to share examples within the work environment.

      Helen's Answer

      "Throughout my consumer advertising career, I have learned the importance of understanding the different aspects of this field. I have taken steps to better understand my co-workers' roles in different departments within the agency. Continuously working in cross-functional team settings is very beneficial. However, in doing so, I make sure that I understand the individual and departmental roles at a higher level of detail. I make an effort to ask thorough questions, and if things are still unclear, I meet with a particular co-worker or department individually to better understand their role in the client project."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I make professional development and training a priority by carving out a portion of my weekly schedule to devote to learning experiences. Sometimes, this time may be used to attend seminars, conference or to read industry journals or blogs. Other times, I find opportunities to meet with other team members outside of my department to learn about their responsibilities and roles in client project teams. I believe understanding the other roles on a client project team helps me do a better job executing my responsibilities as it gives me a holistic view of the project and process. It helps me understand how my role affects others and vice versa."

  13. 13.

    Brand development is a continuous process. At VML, we help our clients with brand tracking efforts. Describe your experience with the brand tracking process.

      Brand development is ongoing as clients' industries and customer preferences change. Tracking brands allow VML's clients to monitor customers' and the general public's perception of their brand. In doing so, it allows them to make adjustments to the strategies they have in place.

      Talk about how any experiences you may have had with the tracking process, whether from analytical or strategic perspectives. Include a specific example of what you learned from the brand tracking process and how it affected the strategic changes made.

      Helen's Answer

      "I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to manage several brand tracking surveys. These experiences have allowed me to understand better the measures to track to ensure a clients' brand is healthy. With one particular client, we were able to measure the damage to its brand after a product recall took place. Through the data, I was able to define what aspects or topics needed to be addressed in a public relations campaign to mitigate further brand damage."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my past positions, I have taken a strategic role in working with brand tracking data. My experiences included opportunities to make strategic decisions based on learnings from brand tracking studies. Through one particular tracking study, we learned that customers did not perceive that my client had a strong bond to the community. Because of this finding, I initiated a campaign to highlight my client's work with non-profits in the area. I believe my ability to synthesize the data and translate it into actionable steps will help VML better serve their clients. "

  14. 14.

    As you may know, we help clients plan marketing strategies from start to finish. What do you believe are the critical stages of creating and implementing plans in digital strategy to ensure their success?

      Based on your experience, describe the different phases of digital marketing planning that need to take place from start to finish. You want to make your answer sound more conversational and less like you're reading a list. Answer each phase with just a couple of words, or one sentence each. Lastly, finish your answer with a brief description of which step is most important for your project to have success.

      Helen's Answer

      "The stages of planning for digital strategy include goal-setting to ensure your plan aligns the business objectives, assessment, market research, budgetary, and timeline planning. These stages are the foundation, and once your plan is in action, you will test and analyze results to make changes as needed. This stage is your monitoring stage, and it will be ongoing to ensure that you meet your goals. Lastly, I believe the first step, assessing business objectives, to be the most important."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When creating a digital marketing plan, I always start by defining goals. What are the plans for reaching them and how do they fit into the business as a whole? Next, audience research and planning takes place. This data drives decisions on advertising channels, content, and user experience plans. Market testing to see how the audience interacts with apps and ads typically will move me into the next phase of finalizing the plan, scheduling benchmarks, etc. Once it's in place, the last steps are to measure and analyze results."

  15. 15.

    VML helps companies to build brand identities that accurately represent their core values while creating a lasting connection with their target audience. In your opinion, what is the best way to build a brand across digital platforms?

      The interviewer wants to hear about your knowledge of digital loyalty branding from a generalized perspective, and about the experience you have in this area. You can speak to today's standard methods and provide your opinions on them supported by market research or past professional projects.

      Avoid specific aspects of branding that are not directly related to the question. When speaking of a connection with the audience, you should refer to the emotions a brand evokes and the resulting relationship to their audience.

      Helen's Answer

      "While researching online brand loyalty campaigns in the past, I've found the first place to start is by studying the audience and their preferences. Once I've learned these, I need to concentrate on advertising efforts where they spend most of their time online in their preferred formats. Next, relatable messaging raises their awareness and interest in the brand. For example, if I wanted to promote a new video game to the tween demographic, I wouldn't try to reach on lifestyle blogs or conventional TV. Studies show that this demographic, 10-13-year-olds that love video games spend a large amount of time on YouTube, SnapChat, and newer video and photograph sharing platforms that are emerging. In my opinion, finding the audience across various platforms where they already feel most comfortable is the best way to stay in front of them, generate and hold their interest."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my opinion, the best approach to digital branding campaigns online is setting the foundation of what our brand truly is. What is the heart of what we do and what is our message? Next, we must ask who is moved by our message, or who is our audience? What platforms and apps do they use and hang out on, online? What motivates them and how do they make decisions? All of the answers to these questions will allow us to build a strategy to catch their interest in our brand. To retain this interest and build loyalty, I've experienced that it's effective to take cues from campaigns that have already made an impact on our audience, while testing new designs, copy, promotions, etc. that are consistent with the feel of our brand, but we also need to keep things from getting stagnant, excite, and delight. Long-term consistency in our messaging and targeting to meet our audiences' expectations over a long period to build trust is crucial."

  16. 16.

    VML has worked with some of its clients on their content marketing strategy, which is an important aspect of brand development. What role do you think content marketing plays in developing brands?

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  17. 17.

    VML creates and executes marketing plans, but they are only valid if the products and services are relevant in the marketplace. What role does marketing play in ensuring that companies' offerings meet current consumer demands?

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  18. 18.

    Research is an integral part of the brand development process. What is your analytical experience as it relates to brands?

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  19. 19.

    In your opinion, what are the most significant factors to a successful brand design?

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  20. 20.

    What is an example of a small detail that can make a big difference in marketing?

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  21. 21.

    Do you believe paid social campaigns are useful, and if so, why?

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  22. 22.

    Describe your experience working with digital advertising.

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  23. 23.

    VML is looking for candidates with a variety of experiences in consumer advertising. What types of consumer advertising projects have you worked on in an agency environment?

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  24. 24.

    What are some traditional marketing methods, compared to digital marketing, that are still highly effective when incorporated and why?

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  25. 25.

    Storytelling has become an essential part of connecting with audiences of all kinds, and using it to market to potential customers is no exception. How can we use big data to employ this tactic in a way that resonates with their audience?

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  26. 26.

    In the early stages of strategy building, it is essential to evaluate a client's business both internally and externally thoroughly. When working on marketing strategies for VML's clients, what initial steps would you take to begin the process?

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  27. 27.

    What steps would you take to build lasting relationships with our clients and clearly communicate what we can offer to our clients?

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  28. 28.

    VML helps companies to establish an important aspect of their overall marketing strategy: positioning. How have you helped with a company's positioning strategy in the past?

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  29. 29.

    What should an agency not do when working through the naming and slogan creation process?

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  30. 30.

    Tell me about your experience in content marketing and why you feel a successful content marketing strategy is vital to an overall digital strategy?

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