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VML Interview
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30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Published May 8th, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
In your opinion, what are the most significant factors to a successful brand design?
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How to Answer
The interviewer would like to know that your approach to brand design aligns well with the method used at VML. Your answer could include your thoughts on proper audience targeting, consistency, or having a clear brand objective. Be clear about what you think are the essential components of successful brand design.
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Top 30 VML, Inc. Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
In your opinion, what are the most significant factors to a successful brand design?
The interviewer would like to know that your approach to brand design aligns well with the method used at VML. Your answer could include your thoughts on proper audience targeting, consistency, or having a clear brand objective. Be clear about what you think are the essential components of successful brand design.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe the most significant factor to a successful brand design first has a targeted audience. In my opinion, most of the brands' success is only possible because of customer engagement. For that reason, it's essential that a brand speaks directly to the customers it wants to acquire."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I look at three main factors when it comes to brand design success. One, a brand that allows for consistent messaging across multiple channels and platforms. Two, an incredible and memorable brand slogan and three, a brand story that emits value and trust."
2.
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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 #2
"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."
3.
Research is an integral part of the brand development process. What is your analytical experience as it relates to brands?
VML is looking for candidates with some level of brand analytical experience. Your experience may be related to any phase of the process, as long as it is relevant to brand development or brand evaluation.

Some areas brand analytics come in to play is in identifying target audiences, developing creative and selecting channels. These are examples, and your brand analytics experience may include other areas.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am excited about the possible opportunity to put my brand analytical skills to use to meet the brand development needs of VML's clients. My previous projects have allowed me to gain extensive experience in evaluating and monitoring clients' brands. Through my analyses, I have been able to identify opportunities for clients to improve their brand positions. My brand analytical experience helps me identify what measures need to be looked at to make careful brand development decisions."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As an active team member on a brand development team, I was tasked with making recommendations on target customers and providing analytics to support them. While working towards developing my recommendations, I learned the importance of 'telling a story' through the analyses. The ability to look at 'the numbers' and build a 'story' is an important skill to have in the Brand Development process as it can help VML's clients make the necessary strategic brand decisions."
4.
What is an example of a small detail that can make a big difference in marketing?
Answer with a conclusion from marketing studies or with an example from your direct experience. You can talk about colors, shapes, packaging materials, and other appearance-based elements that sway consumer decisions about products.

Don't provide an abstract example in your answer; the preferred response will involve something tangible that influences consumers after interacting with products by seeing, hearing, or touching.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"One small detail that makes a difference when marketing a product is color. Whether it's through online advertising or the packaging it comes in, it plays a large part in helping customers get the essence of the product before they try it. For example, if a company is marketing grape soda, I would advise them to make the packaging a shade of purple that is commonly associated with grapes. If the grape soda comes in an orange package, this will repel grade soda lovers. First of all, they may not even notice the grape soda in the orange package since grape soda is seldom if never, associated with the color orange. Next, if they notice the grape soda in the orange package, they may suspect it won't taste like grape. They'll likely err on the side of caution and pass on the product. This example shows how something small is a big deal and can be the difference between product selling or being ignored."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Some studies show that attention to aesthetic detail can change the experience that a customer believes they'll have with a product. There was once a study where the same hand lotion was given out as free samples on two different websites without any mention of its brand or quality. It was of mid-grade quality and packaged in a simple white and black tube. One website that offered the lotion had an elegant design for luxury shoppers, and the other was a closeout site for discount shoppers. When surveyed on the samples, customers that received the sample from the luxury site described its packaging as modern with clean lines, and they reported the product itself was light and refreshing. By contrast, customers that received the sample from the discount site reported that the packaging looked dull and that the product itself was watery. This study was proof that the websites' appearances had a lasting influence on the customers' perceptions and whether they believed that they'd received a high-quality or sub-par product."
5.
Do you believe paid social campaigns are useful, and if so, why?
The interviewer asks this question because as social media platforms mature, they have started requiring payment to allow companies' targeted audiences to see their content. Some marketers have expressed dissatisfaction with this trend and refuse to adapt to it, but others have embraced it, recognizing how it can further enhance their targeting and reach. As a progressive marketer, it's essential to know why paid social promotions are helpful.

If you take the position that paid ad campaigns are not useful, your answer will be considered to be wrong. While paid campaigns don't always deliver perfect results, sponsored content will ever gain priority over that which is not.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Organic content is less visible on social platforms than ever, and while having a good audience and engagement helps increase your content's visibility, it's almost impossible to achieve the same results as before without. A paid campaign is useful in restoring that visibility. It can also be beneficial to run paid campaigns because the social media platforms provide tools to analyze their progress, make adjustments to them as you go, and monitor your ROI."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In recent years, it has become clear to marketers that social media platforms want them to pay for advertising. Algorithms set by the platforms often do not allow a company's content to be seen on their audience's feeds without paying for it to appear to certain members. Now, this is where a company can benefit from paid advertising the most. With a paid campaign, they essentially tap into the platform's data on their users by specifying the demographic to whom their content will be visible. This approach enables them to engage only with people that are likely to be interested in their products. It also helps them to be seen before their competitors who have chosen not to run paid campaigns."
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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 #2
"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.
Describe your experience working with digital advertising.
Before getting into the details of your technical experience, hiring managers would like assurance that you know the area of digital advertising. In your response, share details about projects or jobs where you were exposed to digital advertising, but also make an effort to describe your knowledge in this area.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My work experience includes working for a couple of different agencies that offered digital marketing services to its clients. While working at these agencies, I worked closely with the Account Managers to understand the clients' marketing needs. There are many technological tools in this area that help clients better target, deliver and manage their digital advertising. With an increasing number of options available to companies looking to advertise through digital channels, it is crucial to have the right tools to manage the process."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In a few of my previous positions, I had the opportunity to work with the Marketing department to help develop digital advertising campaigns for our company. I contributed to the technical requirements of the campaign project team, which included evaluating the right tools for campaign execution. Working as part of the team, I learned how complex digital advertising could be and the importance of using the right technology for each step of the process. This gives the digital advertising campaign the best chance at meeting its goals."
8.
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?
To answer correctly, think of what so much of marketing is rooted around, to begin with - getting to know the audience or consumers' needs. All of the research and data put together to understand an audience is telling of what marketplace demands are, and this data should be used to support other areas of your business to meet consumer demands.

Your answer will show how well you understand the importance of cross-functional cooperation. Don't neglect to provide examples of other departments or areas of business that a marketing group's research and findings can support indirectly.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In many cases, a marketing team is engaged during conception stages of a business or product and continues to provide feedback after its launch and during update phases. This process is because much of the data from the consumer is often collected and analyzed by the marketing team whose job it is to understand and reach them. They have insight from third-party sources, consumer surveys, data from their campaigns, etc. Providing this as structured feedback to their counterparts in other departments like product development, sales, and others, the marketing team can help continually tweak offerings to ensure they are as relevant to the market as possible."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As the marketing department researches, it gains exposure to a multitude of consumer opinions within the marketplace. As they break this data down, they can provide helpful insight into other groups in their organization that have control of making adjustments to the products and services where it would be most helpful according to their findings. One example is when a marketing team found that inbound prospects had come to the company after using a competitor and were seeking better options because the competitor's service was slow and unreliable, they partnered with their own company's customer service department to ensure theirs would be faster and more reliable by comparison. After gaining commitment from the customer service team, they were able to advertise a superior, guaranteed response time. By doing this, they met market demand and gained market share in their segment."
9.
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?
Hiring managers at VML would like to understand better your experience working in consumer advertising. Your response to this question will help managers determine if you are a good match.

Talk about different projects or roles you have had working for advertising agencies. Projects or tasks can include writing, creative or media buying. When talking about your experiences, mention what skills you have attained through your various roles.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"While working at a few different marketing agencies, I have taken on various roles including writing and project management. My writing experience has helped me develop my communication skills across different mediums including print, radio, television and digital. My project management roles have allowed me to gain a holistic view of consumer advertising. As a project manager, I was able to understand better the process of developing consumer advertising campaigns and the role of each group within the
agency."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My advertising agency experience as it relates to consumer advertising includes roles in media buying and the art department. My work in the media buying department allowed me to understand better the different advertising vehicles available and the factors to consider when choosing media. While working in the art department, I learned how the creative needed to be tailored to the media vehicle and target market to deliver the message to the end consumer effectively."
10.
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?
It is vital that team members at VML understand the purpose and importance of a well-defined content marketing strategy. Hiring managers at VML want to see that you know effective content marketing builds more than awareness of a client's brand.

Convey your understanding of the purpose of content marketing which is to build a positive reputation for a client's brand. Also, stress the importance of making a connection with the target audience.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have witnessed firsthand the importance of having a solid content marketing strategy in place. Content marketing allows you to make a connection with your target audience through educational information. A company's ability to provide content valuable to readers boosts its reputation as an expert on that particular topic. The content should be related to the products and services the client offers. Also, clients should tie their offerings into the content without losing the authentic nature of the piece by taking a strong sales tone."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Content marketing's purpose should be both to increase the visibility of a brand and to build up a client's reputation. Also, companies should look to create value for the audience by providing educational information. The value provided to the target customers creates a connection and builds up the company's reputation from their perspective. Content marketing takes brands a step further beyond awareness."
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