Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Adnan Arnautlija
UM Zagreb is Croatia’s most effective media agency according to Effie and WARC benchmarks. No small feat, and the illustration of this is the fact that UM Zagreb is the only media agency that has succeeded in making its way into the company of creative, digital and PR agencies which traditionally and sovereignly rule these lists in Croatia.
Where lies the key to this success? How difficult is it to achieve it on the Croatian market and how will they defend their leadership position? And how much leverage do awards have in building relationships with clients? We decided to ask these questions to the Managing Director of UM Zagreb, Mario Lovrić.
Last time we talked to Mario was back in 2015, so we used this opportunity to find out more about the state of the media market in general and the directions for the future.
MM: According to Effie Index and WARC, UM Zagreb is the most effective agency in Croatia. What is the key to achieving award-winning effectiveness?
Mario Lovrić: Our experience shows that for efficiency in this business it is crucial to build a quality communication strategy based on high-quality data analysis, and to keep consistency over the long term while performing advertising activities. Of course, if we talk about a longer period of time, advertising solutions and advertising approaches must be periodically refreshed according to current trends, but always taking into account that there is a recognizable thread that connects them based on the strategy mentioned above. Overnight success achieved by accident and through some impromptu approach is almost always very short lived.
MM: What kind of a role do long-term relations with clients play when building effective communication?
Mario Lovrić: Long-term relations with clients are important, of course, but the true key for agency-client relations is the mutual trust. Agency will always produce its best work for a client that trusts her, and gives her the space to answer their business challenges from a position of expert authority in the field in which it operates.
Also, the agency needs to ‘feel the pulse’ of the client, understand the business interests of their company, but also the professional ambitions of every client personally. Time is certainly a helping factor in building such a trust-based relationship. We at the UM Zagreb are proud to say that we’ve been collaborating with some clients, such as Coca-Cola and Zagrebačka brewery, for more than 25 years now.
MM: You are the only media agency in top 7, otherwise populated by creative, digital and PR agencies. Why are there so few media agencies in the top, and what makes you different than others?
Mario Lovrić: I would dare to say that our business model, which is very result-oriented and focused on meeting the commitments we’ve undertaken, attracts those clients who have ambitious goals, and are looking for a partner that matches their business culture in order to reach those goals.
We love to compete, not just for festival awards, but in everyday work. I’m sure our clients feel and appreciate that, because it brings them results. Setting ambitious goals is in our DNA, which ultimately, together with quality strategies and dedication to implementing them, yields results.
MM: How is the state of media market in Croatia, and where would you place Croatia in relation to the world?
Mario Lovrić: We have to be realistic and admit that we still lag behind the more developed and larger markets in terms of opportunities in the media market, but there is reason for optimism, stemming from the increasing speed of transference of the latest trends to our market. I see the greatest room for improvement in the content being offered in the media, which are still not sufficiently “targeted” and we are often forced to address our messages to a too large population. Thus, our messages reach those who are not relevant, which causes the feeling of oversaturation with advertising.
MM: Is there something lacking in Croatia’s media market?
Mario Lovrić: In my opinion, the media market here is missing more options and advertising formats. At present, in some segments we have some technical constraints or we simply don’t have the option of wider choice. But as part of a global network of agencies, we have this great advantage because we have at our disposal emerging technologies from the strongest markets. I am optimistic because there are more and more new formats and new ideas on the media market, and I am convinced that progress will be increasingly more intense and that we will need less and less time to transfer the best trends from more developed markets to ours.
Also, I think that, in the sense of mentality, there is a general lack of a bit more courage to challenge the status quo and take risks. Just because we are a relatively small market, I think we need to be more open to new ideas, approaches and take risks, especially in advertising that can certainly be a generator of good business stories.
MM: What is the direction in which media market of Croatia will develop in the future? What are the trends that will shape it?
Mario Lovrić: Technology is changing the media environment at ever faster pace. Adaptation to all available new technologies will be crucial, as technology redefines interaction of the audiences with the media. In this context, it is important for an agency to recognize the opportunities offered by technology and to use it to achieve the business goals of its clients through communication. Traditional media such as OOH, TV, radio, are increasingly opening up to digitization, and therefore the static media environment that we once knew is becoming a thing of history.
It will be all the more important to know how to look at the broader picture and to identify how to build a brand image in this environment which has ever more stimuli for our brains. The world is spinning faster and faster, and as people say, we can’t see forest from the trees. In order to stand out in this forest, it is key to send the message with relevant content, in relevant format, and do so at appropriate time and in appropriate environment. Everything else, our brain will perceive as ‘spam’. Our job is to ensure that as few as possible of our clients’ messages end up in spam.
MM: How does UM Zagreb plan to justify its role of market leader this year?
Mario Lovrić: We plan to defend our position, not by “standing” in place, lulled and complacent with what we achieved. We are making considerable investments in tech, research, data, and we place great emphasis on education of our staff to the latest trends in the market. We work a lot on our corporate culture and organizational atmosphere, trying to create ideal conditions for our employees, so they could give their maximum for the clients. We are certain that our great effort in these segments will bring results.