Joanna Zhang

General manager, Publicis omni-performance, China
Publicis Groupe

Being promoted once every year for the past 14 years is no easy feat, but one that has seen Joanna Zhang rise through the ranks from account executive to general manager, benefiting her with experience that helps her better manage team members at all different levels. 

Her eagerness to learn and be ahead of the curve is unprecedented. Zhang not only completed a doctor’s degree while still working, she consistently strives to be the first to understand new media. Zhang was one of the first Facebook marketing practitioners in 2011, Tmall EC in 2013 , WeChat ads in 2015, and Douyin marketing in 2018. All these pioneering attempts gave Zhang and her team the opportunity to take the lead.

Furthermore, Zhang built Publicis’ Douyin business team and Douyin supplier system from scratch. After just one year of development, Publicis had become the top agency for Douyin marketing. Zhang was instrumental in winning the Douyin business of Danone’s new products, and made this case into the first AI innovation case. Following this, numerous wins followed with a 100% success rate. These have included assisting L ‘Oreal and P&G teams to break through the bottleneck of Douyin marketing, as well as helping Lancome’s Douyin service move from a turbulent period to a stable service period.

Continuous learning is Zhang’s life creed. As a leader, she promotes lifelong learning among her team as well. Namely in the form of a weekly sharing session, where each group crafts a complete presentation on a variety of topics, emphasising expertise, logical thinking and the latest industry developments. Each presentation is shared between teams in different cities.

Zhang produced the industry’s first AI short video marketing case – a case that was featured in Douyin’s agency conference. For customers, it improves the industry’s ability to produce short videos, improves the life cycle of customers’ high-quality short videos in operation and delivery, and reduces the cost. It has also helped Publicis to win a lot of new business opportunities.

As a true pioneer of Douyin marketing and Publicis’ short video business, Zhang has proven herself an innovative leader with a thirst for new knowledge that she continuously leverages to help Publicis stay ahead of the market. 



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