Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
Publicis Groupe is one of the world’s most influential holding companies in the advertising industry. There are dozens of large agencies under its umbrella: Publicis, Saatchi&Saatchi, Leo Burnet, Zenith, Starcom… Two years ago, Maurice Levy, the then President and CEO of Publicis Groupe, decided to put all agencies in 90 countries under one roof, under the name Publicis One. As Publicis Groupe had several agencies in all countries around the world, all of them, in terms of management, were placed under one roof.
The agencies have kept their names, their competences and their people, but in a way they have all become one. This, on the one hand, brought great savings, and on the other, united the scattered creative power. And the results are fantastic.
We talked about the results of Publicis One in the Adriatic region in the first year-year and a half, we talked about concrete examples and successes, of digital, of Marcel, and some other interesting topics from the communications industry with Anđelko Trpković, CEO of Publicis One in the Adriatic region. Since there were a lot of interesting topics for this interview, we will publish it in two parts. Today we bring you the first part, and the second will be on the portal tomorrow.
Media Marketing: Let’s start from the present. What is your view of the Publicis One in the Adriatic region? What is most important?
Anđelko Trpković: The most important thing is the change that took place last year when we formed Publicis One, a specific management model in which we said that it is our greatest interest to link all the talents and resources we have throughout the entire region into one management system. We managed to implement it through daily contacts between our four most important offices in this area – in Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade and Skopje. Such level of communication was not the practice before. Over a period of one year, people working in different agencies got to know each other. I think that the communication which is accessible to all of us (mobile phones, emails) was an obstacle to getting to know some people. We have their email addresses, we communicate with them, but we didn’t have the opportunity to actually meet them. We started this year by gathering more than 40 creatives for three days in Belgrade on a fantastic training. For the first time, they were able to really meet, get to know each other, and get an idea of who’s doing what in the region.
Media Marketing: Why was that the first time, when they’ve been working in the same network, and belonging to the same family for so many years?
Anđelko Trpković: Well, because there was a clear structure within each agency before. Everyone fought for their own place in the market, and reported to the group about their results. We are now making a report for the entire region, and we have a common interest that all the work we do is done in the best possible way. There is no more selfishness that once existed. This model has enabled us to overcome selfishness and to start looking at things the way it should be – with a wider image and greater possibilities. We need to know that a talent in a different agency is not a problem for me, because they could potentially take the client away from me. We rather need to be aware that this becomes a value for us, that will make us all together produce more and do better things. This has therefore allowed us to have a wider outlook on things, and to experience all the value in the company as our own. This is the biggest thing that has happened to us in the past year, because we – I personally and all the other people working in the agency – have been given the opportunity to get to know the value of other agencies in the region. At one point we became all but open competitors to each other, and now we are first and foremost associates and friends, and only then people who are working on the realization of the same or similar business.
Media Marketing: Every agency within the Publicis One framework has kept its identity, its competencies and its people. What is then the specific tie that Publicis One brings?
Anđelko Trpković: The most important thing is actually our ability to offer our customers the best team to meet their needs. We have, for example, two offices that are very good for working with clients from the telecommunication industry. If a need arises for a telecommunications client – since they usually work in multiple markets – for example VIPmobile or A1 in Slovenia, wants to work with us, it is logical that the team working for VIPmobile or A1 in Belgrade will also work on this account. If we are doing something for T Mobile, since the Macedonian office services T Mobile in Macedonia, and if we get the chance to work with T Mobile in Montenegro, Albania or Croatia, it is obvious that we will use the knowledge we already have on certain markets and try to transfer them to another market. So, for us, the most important thing is for our clients to realize that we look at their needs, and find solutions within the full knowledge base we have in the region. It’s no longer as it used to be, where solutions were sought within one office, or one floor, depending on how big the office is.
Media Marketing: You just mentioned all countries from the Adriatic region except Bosnia and Herzegovina. When will you open an agency in Sarajevo?
Anđelko Trpković: We have a Representative Office through which we operate in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where our business today is mostly tied to media clients. In time, we will certainly be in a position to develop creative business in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our start there cannot be something small, and we cannot afford to allow ourselves to enter a market and struggle the way start-ups do. We are not a start-up in the Adriatic region, and we will never be that. Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a market, will open up for us when one of the big clients says: “We are ready to start talking about whether you can participate in the pitch and if you win, it is clear to us that you will form a new structure in Sarajevo to service our needs.” Hence, we aren’t asking anyone to directly negotiate with us, we’re just asking to be invited to a pitch. There are a lot of companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina that I respect because of the way they succeeded in positioning their business, and the way they present it to others, showing their skills in the aspect that I find the most important – to show a craftsmanship approach to business. I believe that the time will come when one of the successful Bosnian-Herzegovinian companies will invite us. I don’t believe that it’s just clients who choose their agencies. Agencies choose their clients also.
Media Marketing: After more than one year of Publicis One, you’ve probably did some analysis both here and in Paris. How are the results?
Anđelko Trpković: Our entire region, when we observe it more broadly within the Central and Eastern Europe, has made the best result of all Publicis One regions in the world. It’s a fantastic thing for us to be part of such a successful story. On the other hand, when we look at the Adriatic region, we achieve results that are at the planned level. We are aware that in the Adriatic region we cannot make any huge leaps. For us, it is important that we have a steady growth in revenues and that by optimizing the way we do business and maximizing efficiency, we maintain the profit rate that ensures that we are never below the Group’s global average. So we don’t want to be part of a problem, but part of a solution, and we are trying to make our realization in this area better than the global average of Publicis One by at least one-hundredth decimal point.
Media Marketing: You were very successful in business even before you came to Publicis. Are you satisfied after these past eight years? Have you made a good decision when you chose to leave the great position of Director of the Belgrade Fair?
Anđelko Trpković: In life, I always fight for two things: I want the freedom to always openly say ‘yes’ and to say ‘no’. Publicis One provides me this opportunity – to be the one who makes the decision. And if I wasn’t satisfied, I wouldn’t be here. I believe that in life we have to strive to use the potential or knowledge we have in the best possible way, because time is an irreplaceable resource. There are some years in life when you have to prove yourself, there are years in life when you have to set some goals and try to achieve them. If you allow the time to pass you by, you won’t get a second chance. I believe that these eight years that I’ve spent with the Publicis Groupe have been an ideal opportunity for me to demonstrate what I can do in the communications industry, and I think that the results we have confirm that neither the Group, nor I, have made the wrong choice. A very important thing is that I feel good in all of this.
Media Marketing: Effie awards are the best proof of quality and efficiency of work in advertising. About twenty days ago, you practically swooped everything in the Effie Serbia competition, and among other awards took the first ever gold awarded in Effie Serbia competition.
Anđelko Trpković: We are very pleased to have the clients who have given us the opportunity to jointly make campaigns that even others recognize as successful. The Effie jury includes 48 people from the industry, and it is clear that when so many people have a common attitude and estimate that something is the best, then that opinion is really worthy. Effie is a competition in which creativity must have its own numerical value. We won five Effies, including the first Gold Effie in Serbia. That’s a huge incentive. All awards, of course, are flattering, but those that prove that the job you do makes sense have the greatest value. All the clients with whom we managed to win these awards (VIPmobile, Imlek and Banca Intesa) worked together with us on these projects. When a client doesn’t use their agency in the right way, the question that should be asked is whether the problem is with the agency, or the client. We have the good fortune that the clients with whom we work understand that we need a certain kind of freedom, that they should nurture this freedom and they should use this freedom in the interest of the benefits and business results of their companies. My message in regard of what would be a good way to get good results in communication would be this: keep your freedom, because otherwise you will only be a subcontractor. I think that creative freedom always brings the results in some way.
Media Marketing: Let’s apply this on a concrete example: VIPmobile, with whom you’ve made great successes over the past few years. NEO could become one of the iconic campaigns for the history books.
Anđelko Trpković: I believe that NEO is already a historic campaign. For me, the most important thing is how the NEO campaign actually came to be. The first brief included the idea to celebrate ten years of the existence of VIPmobile in Serbia. It is phenomenal when such a campaign arises from the idea of not creating a logo, which includes a nicely designed symbol of ten years, and where you say “it has been ten years since we are trying…” and then you distribute golden pins to people in the company who have achieved the best results. That’s something you’ve seen thousands of times. Every company celebrates birthdays. You rather take that ten year anniversary and say: “My greatest interest is to create a kind of product that no one else has created until now, and to offer a completely different solution to the market in which others are trying to do the same or similar things – unlimited communication, unlimited conversations, unlimited number of messages, for the first time in Serbia”. And thus you mark your ten years of work. That’s how a spectacularly iconic campaign is created. The product was excellent because it marked a decade of development and hard work. If there wasn’t for everything we did for VIPmobile in the previous years, probably NEO would not have happened. That campaign did not happen by accident, it was the result of past work, so if we talk about what the freedom there was, then the freedom was that we had the opportunity to influence the brief and have it modified, so we wouldn’t make some event that would include a presentation of an eye-candy logo, but rather a product that delighted the users. 300,000 new users appeared after the campaign, which is tantamount to moving a mountain in the world of telecommunications.
Media Marketing: Why don’t you work on the principle of sharing profits with your clients then?
Anđelko Trpković: Clients are the ones who decide on their business model. The moment they decide to change it, we will have the best answer for it. I think the entire communications industry is already going towards finding specific business deals.
(Tomorrow: Anđelko Trpković: I’m a digital agnostic! Instead of blind faith in information about digital that we are served daily, I diligently search for new possibilities of transformation!)