Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
In recent days on a number of occasions we wrote about Direct Media Academy, an original concept of gathering employees of all Direct Media agencies in the region, in order to learn and share experiences. We conclude this story with an interview with Jovan Stojanović, director of Direct Media Serbia, and simultaneously begin a series of articles on topic Fifteen lessons that we have learned over the past 15 years, since the DM this year marks 15 years of existence.
Media Marketing: Another DM Academy has come to pass. Are you satisfied with the program and results?
Jovan Stojanović: DM Academy is one of the peculiarities of our system and what sets us apart from other agencies. With each year it surpasses expectations. This year’s academy, despite the strong competition in the previous ones, was quite possibly the best so far. We had a lot of high-quality speakers, European and regional experts in different areas, and the topics were as always current and relevant. DMA actually stemmed from the need to formalize that on which the Direct Media was born – primarily the expertise of people and the need to constantly upgrade our skills. Defining the goals and programs of education is a team of people from across the region with vast experience, who are deeply involved in this work. When all this is sublimated in a DMA, the results cannot fail.
Media Marketing: What has marked this year’s Academy? What do you consider most important?
Jovan Stojanović: From every Academy I carry an impression of our numbers, which is best seen in gatherings like this one. Year after year we grow as a system. This year we hired a lot of young people, milennials, and I would say geniuses, who have just graduated from university. We work with them, we recognize them as someone who can adopt the values of our system, including the one that we communicate through Direct Media Academy – there can be no progress without working on oneself. On the other hand, the way they perceive everything around them, including their approach to communications, is valuable for our work. This is a winning combination for the entire system.
What started last year as a small experiment has continued this year, so the clients were again with us in the audience. Based on the experiences from the previous two academies, I can say that this was yet another great move by the DMA organizers.
Media Marketing: Nikola Tesla had a ‘guest appearance’ at the Weekend Media Festival. The exhibit that Direct Media donated to the Tesla Museum in Belgrade has drawn great attention. How did you present it in Rovinj, and are you satisfied with the reactions of guests?
Jovan Stojanović: During two days in Rovinj, Virtual Tesla was seen by more people than in the museum environment so far, and this fact shows that the technology has made art and science – which so far still had certain geographic restrictions – more accessible than ever. A mobile app will soon be launched, as well as the VR version in English, which will make this exhibition even closer to the people, not only in our region but throughout the world. That was our objective from the beginning – by using new technologies, such as virtual reality, to remind of the Tesla’s values regarding availability, and the achievement of the purpose of technology for the benefit of the entire mankind.
It is a great privilege when, as a company engaged in communications, you can stand behind a project like this, and thus share the part of your success in business with the community. It feels even better when you recognize the basic principles of the great scientists in the values of the company of which you are part.
Media Marketing: Direct Media this year marks 15 extremely successful year of existence. Throughout it all you have been with the DM. In which position did you start your career?
Jovan Stojanović: I came to the agency immediately after its founding, when it numbered only several employees. As it usually happens – and as is proven to be the best development path in every profession – I went through all agency sectors and activities, from the Media Planner to Director of Account Sector and Media Director. The last seven years I have been privileged to lead a coordinated and professional team of people who work every day on improving quality, bringing innovation, and dictating the pace of the market. We have a system that grows with its employees, and people don’t leave it so often and so easily. A number of them have been here for more than ten years. In addition, we have an excellent cooperation with all colleagues from other offices in the region that have joined the network as it grew.
Media Marketing: A lot has changed in the business of media agencies during these 15 years. Can you state only the most important changes?
Jovan Stojanović: We have come a great way as an agency that has – I’ll say it without false modesty – paved the way to changes in the entire industry, changing itself along the way. We will try to sublime everything that has happened over these 15 years through the symbolic 15 lessons that we have learned during this period: about the job, about the complexity of arranging a media system that we have become, adapting to different markets, how we see ROI, what is Science and what is Art in our approach of communication and how to optimally combine them, why our people call clients partners, and many more things.
I believe that our experience will help younger agencies and advertising professionals to create and accomplish their mission, which will be more than just making a profit.
Media Marketing: How do you envision the future of your business at least in the next three years? In which direction will the media planning develop?
Jovan Stojanović: The speed at which the media and modes of communication are changing will certainly be a major challenge. To adapt to these changes and to place timely, personalized messages with the aim of real-time reactions, will be the main objectives of media planning. There are two directions in which I see the movement of media planning: personalization and the use of large databases that will lead to the development of machine learning, with the aim of creating integrated campaigns. Interesting and exciting time lies ahead: the effective integration and interaction of media intelligence based on human expertise and data analysis.
Media Marketing: Media of the future?
Jovan Stojanović: In a time when various chat apps are almost replacing email, it is clear that it’s all about digital media, and how to simplify the communication. Running away from the desktop, we have completely turned to mobile devices, while yet paradoxically we want to watch content in ever larger display formats, because the experience is just as important, ie. the quality of consumption. Although not yet in our region, the Internet has already become the leading platform for advertising in key markets in the world. Last year in our region it had an average reach of nearly 65%, which, after television, makes it the second most dominant medium, so its commercial future is unquestionable here as well. I think that advertising on digital in the region will explode the moment when televisions correct their pricing, along with the unstoppable trend of growth of internet users. Television will remain the dominant media in the region for some time, provided that the platforms on which we will watch it will be quite different. I recently heard a very nice, and in my opinion quite right, argument that our TV sets will die, but not the television.
Media consumers are slowly becoming the undisputed media editors of the content they wish to view, and there I see a chance for almost all the media, to try to impose themselves through Digital as the leading platform of the new age. Because gradually everything will become Digital – the TV, the OOH, the radio, and even the print in a certain sense. Nonlinearity and interaction, which digital offers by its nature, are something without which it will be impossible to imagine any media in five or more years.