Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
After the publishing of the last Diary, I got a lot of positive feedback on my decision to continue writing it. Ivan Stanković wrote that he is delighted to see Methuselah has zombified once more, but he is worried about my health due to the large amounts of coffee I drink, and my weight, due to abundant lunches. One young reader noted that I do a lot of work for a Methuselah.
Vedrana and I left Zagreb in the morning and head to Ljubljana. I didn’t know whether there would be crowds on the border with Slovenia, and the first meeting in Ljubljana was scheduled already at 09:00hrs. Luckily there were only two cars in front of us. We travelled quickly, had a breakfast worthy of royalty at the Otočec castle, and arrived in Ljubljana on time to prepare for the meetings.
First I went to visit the content agency PM, Poslovni Mediji. At Weekend in Rovinj I met Primož Inkert, co-founder of PM, Poslovni Mediji. Since there were only ten days left until their content marketing conference, the POMP Forum, I did an interview with Primož and announced this event – the most important content marketing conference in the region. Primož invited me to visit their agency when I’m in Ljubljana. And here I was, in their beautiful offices that they are reasonably proud of. A big agency, for us who still look at content marketing somehow from the side-line. I also met Igor Savić, the other partner and director of PM, Poslovni Mediji. During our conversation I tried to learn more about content marketing, which should become a serious business for us. Primož and Igor are great hosts, they were very open and answered all my questions. We arranged some collaboration next year. We will probably launch the “small” school of content marketing on the portal after the New Year, and then continue with examples of good practice, and from the middle of the year we will dedicate ourselves to announcing and promoting the POMP forum that is traditionally held in September.
I went to Pristop for a meeting with my friend Sašo Dimitrievski. We’ve been planning a serious interview for a while now, and it was the time to mull out the topics and get started. Sašo is always a valuable source of information on digital trends, and trends in general in our industry. Digital transformation is wiping the boundaries between industries, including in the marketing / consulting industry. It is necessary to change business models. The trend is that large global consulting companies buy digital and creative agencies and thus integrate counseling, digital and creative ideas. This is the process that Sašo now leads in Pristop. For the starting point of our interview, I took the theme of the panel Sašo moderated on this year’s SOF, titled “Are you ready to put your money where your mouth is?”. The theme is very topical, as was shown by the panel at the Weekend Media Festival entitled Goodbye Mr. Sorrel, where Sašo also participated.
From Pristop, I go to meet Mitja Tuškej (Direct Media Ljubljana and Formitas) for a coffee. He tells me some exclusive news. Ascanius Media has taken over Direct Media agencies in Slovenia, Croatia and BiH. At first I thought the agencies were sold, so I wrote the headline of the breaking news in line with that. But that’s not the case. Ascanius Media from the Netherlands was the former owner of the complete DM network, so the agencies in these three countries were re-acquired by the old owner. They will also act as Direct Media affiliates, co-operation continues and, as far as work is concerned, everything remains the same, only thing that changes is the ownership structure.
We then left for Portorož, where we were to attend SEMPL. Just to make sure that my friend Ivan Stanković doesn’t worry himself sick about my weight, we stopped along the way for a light lunch: a soup and salad.
It seems to me that we were the first to arrive at Hotel Berbardin, just after the organizers. Lobby looked like a construction site. SEMPL scenography was being set up- big screens and all the other tech that creates the atmosphere of a big event. And SEMPL has been a big event for years now. All that I saw and heard in Portorož could make this the best conference so far. And not just in Slovenia. Kudos to Valerija Prevolšek and her team.
I don’t pay much attention to the lectures at conferences and festivals. I try to make as many contacts as possible, to get as much information as possible from people from different markets in our region. So in the morning, immediately after breakfast, I went to the hotel terrace where you can meet many interesting people. I first ran into Tomaž Žontar from Europlakat and his wife Darja, who works in Ascanius Media (until recently Direct Media Ljubljana). With them was Bojan Popović, a guy whom Mitja Tuškej told me the day earlier will take over the position of CEO at Ascanius Media for Slovenia. It’s always interesting with Tomaž. He’s got a good sense of humour and always tells me something new about OOH, which I really love. I like outdoor advertising and I think it is the media that will most easily survive the transformation of the media industry, because it is adapted to digital technology.
I listened to several lessons, but will comment only on the two that most interested me, because they are directly connected with my job. That is the great value of SEMPL – everyone can find something that interests them.
The first was a lecture by Robert Petković, head of analytics at the Bruketa & Žinić & Grey agency, titled Web Analytics – Raiders of the Lost Metrics. Robert is a popular lecturer on analytics at leading European conferences. In his youth he was an actor, so he raised the dramaturgy of his lectures to perfection. Top Lecturer. Excellent English. He talked about how we rely on data in the digital age, and almost every website has some analytical data. Their use is simply misleading or incomplete because the collected data we get and analyse actually lead us to misunderstand consumers. We are all mostly oriented to attracting more users, but little or no attention is actually given to them, and if we don’t have identifying data about them, we don’t need their numbers at all. That’s why Robert, in the middle of a lecture in English language, exclaimed in Croatian: “Ma jebali vas useri”. (“Man, screw your users (count).”)
I also stayed for the next lecture by Anja Rus, Digital Advertising Specialist at the Red Orbit digital agency. Her lecture was titled: Building optimized post-click experiences. Anja says most of the advertising budgets are wasted. We invest A LOT into strategic campaign planning, brainstorming for most creative concepts ever, segmenting users, designing attractive banners and catchy ad copies in order to convince users to click on our ads. When they finally do, we bring these hot leads to our mediocre landing pages. When it comes to converting leads to customers, a marketer’s most valuable asset is a targeted landing page which needs to be built right. „Find out what are the key elements for building an optimal post-click experience that will boost your conversion rates and make your digital advertising more profitable,” Anja Rus says.
After the lecture I went with Anja and Robert for a juice (not coffee for once). We were joined by Andraž Štelec, founder and director of the Red Orbit. Since Robert and Andraž are old friends, the talk smoothly goes in the direction I wanted – portals, analytics, digital advertising … Red Orbit is one of the first real digital agencies in our region, Andraž is full of experience and information so we agreed to meet tomorrow for the first morning coffee and an interview (God, help me and give me the strength to transcribe all the interviews I have made on this trip and to make them into interesting stories when I return to Sarajevo).
The gala award ceremony was to be held in the evening. We enter the hall that looks perfect, as befitting of the twentieth birthday. There were 12 gold prizes and one Grand Prix. All great campaigns. The audience in the hall followed every winner announcement with a great applause, the award winners were delighted, smiles everywhere – after all, the Semplers are among the most prestigious prizes in the region. It’s not easy to win them, and when you do, it’s definitely a cause for celebration.
And then, a birthday cake for the grand finale – big enough for everyone to take a bite, and the congress hall was packed to the brim. Once again, kudos Valerija Prevolšek.
After the awards, everyone went to the party at Tivoli Club. Vedrana and I give that part of the festival a wide berth, opting for bed instead. We were to travel to Sarajevo in the morning, which would take eight to nine hours of driving.
Tomorrow morning, at breakfast, I was approached by Dolores Podbevšek Plemeniti, marketing director of the Delo newspaper from Ljubljana. We occasionally exchange information, but this was the first time we met. She invites me to come to Ljubljana on the 9th of January for the marking of the 60th anniversary of Delo. I accepted the invitation with great pleasure.
Breakfast with Andraž Štelec, will yield an excellent interview. After that, I started preparing for the trip to Sarajevo.
SEMPL was great, another very positive experience.
Sarajevo, December 12, 2018.