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My love for Marketing blooms after a 5-in-5 internship

An experience from 5-in-5 internship at VinPearl Head Office helps me to realize how I enjoy Marketing.

Our VinPearl Resorts pose (from the left: Ha Anh, Minh Do, me, Quynh Anh, Minh Nguỵet)

Last Saturday was our final presentation for VinPearl as part of our 5-in-5 internship.

Honestly, we started this journey, as team VinPearl Resorts, expecting to present such a top-notch solution that we would get hired instantly *big laugh*.

The reality was not so rose-tinted. As weeks went by, our team was getting super demotivated. We found ourselves finishing the slides 7 hours prior to the presentation, with little time left for rehearsal.

Here was the twist, we did not get to present at all. I remembered Ms. Ta Phuong, Assistant to VinPearl’s CEO and our judges, stopping us as we were about to begin and requesting to see all of our slides. Next thing I knew, she skimmed and scanned every single slide from each team and told us to redo it all. Her voice still echoed in my head: “You are here to become future managers, so we expect the best from you. Don’t present just for the sake of presenting.”

At first, I was not interested in the idea of having to come up with another area to suggest improvements and solutions for VinPearl. Little did I know, it was the best second chance we could have gotten.

Our team used the next few meetings trying to pinpoint a structural void that we could fill with our limited freshman knowledge. One word kept popping up: Marketing, Marketing, Marketing.

As someone who devoted my entire high school years to writing content, copywriting, and Scott Galloway, I felt guilty for not going with the Marketing department in the first place.

With a team full of Marketing-guru-aspirants, we finally managed to come up with three main problems to help solve with our GenZ mindset, namely:

1. Superficial content marketing:

We remembered scrolling through Vinpearl's Facebook page and get bombarded with all sort of fairly repetitive, seasonal promotions, discounts, and special offers.

"Will I care much about 200,000 VND voucher if I was to book a vacation for my extended family of 6?"

Maybe I do, but if I was earning five figures, 200,000 VND barely made a dent and most of what I care would probably lie somewhere else!

💡 What we proposed

📌 Create viral and shareable content by identifying customers' pain points (no violence intended). 

For example: Recycle that "Before - After" trend to give your customers a fresh preview of how they would turn out once leaving work and relaxing at VinPearl. 

📌 Target a group of consumers (the end users), instead of one customer (the one who is booking the hotel). 

Very often, the needs of young couples and kids are prioritized at the expense of grandparents, who would enjoy slow-paced activities that involve the whole family. Show them that you care! 

📌 Create consistent, convertible content by utilizing different forms of advertising such as carousel, video or give-away events on various platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok). 

2. Ineffective brand marketing

Cut out from our slides when we asked one of our judges if he could tell these two VinPearl's brands apart and he got it...wrong. 

Vinpearl is expanding with multiple of hotel and resort brands, each with distinctive offerings and signature themes. Sadly, the then Marketing plan failed to do justice.

💡 What we proposed

📌 Create a "KOL catalog" for every Vinpearl's brand that recommend KOLs and celebrities that fit a brand's image and could be hired.

Vice versa, brands should not invite KOLs who already represented other brands or failed to fit the standards, in terms of personality, image, and lifestyle.

For example: Vinpearl Resorts could consider inviting established couples with stable image and admirable lifestyle as their target customers are families and couples with a taste for luxury.

3. Lack of Marketing SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)

When we first started out, our first roadblock was checking if Vinpearl had more than one OFFICIAL Vinpearl's account on each social media platform as there were too many of them.

💡 What we proposed

📌 Create a standard Marketing SOP for managing social media platforms, including:

  • Setting up the same account name and biography for all social media channels.
  • Making a public statement that Vinpearl only uses one hat account for all belonging brands, except for Vinpearl Luxury.
  • Registering for blue check marks for other official accounts of Vinpearl. 

(It was much less theoretical and far-fetched in our presentation, I promise *smile*)

Anyways, our ideas were unexpectedly well-received by the judges. It was the best feeling to be praised for our work.

A team full of Marketing-guru-aspirants

Much to our relief and sadness, our internship had finally come to an end. Thank you VinUniversity and VinPearl for giving us this amazing opportunity; VinPearl Resorts for welcoming and guiding us from day one; my team for their hard work and determination; other teams for contributing to the success of this internship program; and myself for not giving up.

Looking back on last Saturday, I feel obsessed with Marketing more than ever…



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