Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
It’s the end of the year, and business sheets are being finalized. Direct Media group can be very pleased. They have kept their ‘old’, and won new clients. Along with good performances this year also came awards for creativity and social responsibility. Perhaps there will be even more when tonight, at the celebrations of the Day of Serbian Advertisers, UEPS presents its awards for creativity.
We talk today about 2015 and its results with Aleksandar Jovanović, Account Director at Direct Media.
MEDIA MARKETING: After the Golden Sempler, Direct Media has also received an award for social responsibility. Although the year is at its end, it probably doesn’t mean the awards will stop coming, as we prepare for the UEPS awards tonight. How would you rate this year?
ALEKSANDAR JOVANOVIĆ: It would be too modest not to assess this year as successful. Whether we were successful or not, we rate it by the success of our clients, and they’ve carried out their marketing strategies, maintained their business and kept their leading position despite the difficult macroeconomic conditions, which haven’t been good for anyone. We have remained true to the Science+Art approach. We have placed every euro spent in advertising as an investment and at the same time we have found new creative ways of advertising, which has brought us stronger partnerships and new awards. We also have a long tradition of investing in the community through social responsibility projects. We participate in the humanitarian activities of our clients and we hope that in the future there will be even more joint CSR projects. All types of businesses gain meaning only in a more developed, richer and contented society, and together we should all cherish socially responsible practices.
MEDIA MARKETING: The Golden Sempler that you won for Telenor Bank has a special importance, because it’s a regional award presented by the industry. How much does it mean for a media agency?
ALEKSANDAR JOVANOVIĆ: It goes without saying that every agency wants to be recognized by the market for the quality of its work, and the proof of success – besides satisfied clients – are awards from prestigious regional festivals, such as Sempl. In its 14 years of existence, Direct Media has grown into a media system which, in addition to the activities of a media agency, also offers all other communication services based first and foremost on the innovative use of media. Since we operate in a region where there are many innovative campaigns, an award won in a competition with agencies that operate at a high global level gains even more importance.
MEDIA MARKETING: How did Telenor Bank react? It’s a completely new approach to communication and new technologies, and it took a lot of guts to accept the agency’s idea.
ALEKSANDAR JOVANOVIĆ: First of all I would like once again to thank Telenor Bank for the trust and courage they’ve shown with the Telenor Banker project, because it’s a pioneering venture in this region and it has also launched a new approach to the banking business. The client had access to all the market research that was not in favor of virtual banking (banking without branch offices), and they knew they needed something completely different to attract the attention of banking services users. We identified the main problem: people’s lack of confidence in virtual banking, due to their need for personal communication with the bank through branch offices and clerks. The conclusion was that we needed to bring a Telenor banker to life through a mobile app that would have information on banking products and would be able to match a real-life bank clerk at any time of the day. As it was a new bank, just entering the market, it was necessary that as many people as possible learned about the new player in the market, so we even promoted the Telenor Banker through a guest appearance in the country’s most popular talk show, Veče sa Ivanom Ivanovićem (Evening with Ivan Ivanović) on Prva TV, which, together with the host and his crew, helped us because they recognized how innovative this project was. The end result is over 100,000 satisfied customers of Telenor Bank after one year of operation in the market.
MEDIA MARKETING: Until recently, we usually looked at media agencies through their media plans laid out on excel sheets. Today it’s definitely a creative job that includes all aspects of creativity in communication. Is the role of the account director changing in all this? Is it becoming a job that demands more multidisciplinarity?
ALEKSANDAR JOVANOVIĆ: For long time now our work hasn’t just been about media plans, and one example of this is the Telenor Banker project. I’m not saying anything new when I say that we live in a world where habits are changing rapidly with the development of technology, which also affects the approach that advertisers and agencies take in targeting consumers. Communication with consumers today takes place at all possible points where they come into contact with a brand, not only through paid space in mass media (TV, print media, radio, OOH, internet, mobile phones), but when developing strategies you also take into account retail facilities, the official website of the advertiser, communication in social networks (of both the company and its existing and potential customers), email addresses and text messages with users, mobile apps, user services and so on. Therefore, our Accounts look at each campaign through a wider lens of channels of communication and we try to make the approach fresh and different every time, with efficiency as a major prerequisite.
MEDIA MARKETING: In the project The Young Leaders for Tomorrow, Direct Media nominated the largest number of young leaders. And all of them are just that. Does that mean that DM has opened its doors wide to young, talented and ambitious people and is enabling them professional development?
ALEKSANDAR JOVANOVIĆ: That’s right. This, however, is not a new practice. Since the establishment of Direct Media we’ve developed a system of attracting young, talented people who are provided continuing education, mentoring and the opportunity to develop professionally and progress in accordance with achieved results from day one. Information about this practice of ours is obviously far-reaching, and today more and more young professionals want to work with us. They quickly adapt to a system which, first of all, requires continuous work on oneself and a high level of professional ethics, and the benefit and satisfaction are mutual. New generations, especially millennials, are bringing new energy and the necessary innovations. We listen to their thoughts, we implement their suggestions and we trust their judgment.
MEDIA MARKETING: What are your plans for 2016?
ALEKSANDAR JOVANOVIĆ: We will continue with what has defined us as an agency from the very beginning – improving ourselves. Due to dynamic changes in the modes of communication, in recent years we have additionally focused on internal development, so since 2010 the number of training and educational programs for our employees each year has substantially increased. Programs for service improvement include all our regional offices because we want the quality of our services to be at the highest possible level at all times, from Slovenia in the north to Bulgaria and Albania. ROI is still imperative, so in that sense we are working on developing a new internal tool based on an econometric model that will allow us the most precise measurement of efficiency so far. And as before, we’ll listen to our clients’ needs, so that what we propose and put into action will always be more valuable for them.