Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Alen Ćorović
We’re used to the fact that the Branding Conference always goes a step forward, promotes global trends and inspires new knowledge and ideas. According to the program and roster of speakers, this year we’ll enjoy a superb event again. The conference, to be held on 3 June in Sarajevo, will present lectures by skilled experts, including Sanja Partalo, a professor at Columbia Business School. Sanja will speak on the topic of how to build a brand in the digital age.
You live and work in the US. How connected are you with our market?
Honestly, not very much.
How did your engagement at Columbia Business School come about?
I gained my MBA at Columbia Business School, where I acquired great knowledge and was introduced to the college marketing curricula. However, marketing as a discipline has changed a lot in the last ten years. Many graduate business programs are outdated or incomplete. Due to my experience in this field, working with some of the most progressive and innovative brands, I realized that, globally, there is a serious gap in what today’s marketing students learn. So I put together a program to address this gap between the so-called ‘Marketing 1.0’ and ‘Marketing 2.0’, which was quickly accepted by the Columbia Business School.
You are one of the speakers at the Branding Conference, and your topic is Brand Building in The Digital Age. What are the important differences between creating an image in traditional media and on digital platforms?
Traditional media are focused toward push messaging. A message is designed and pushed through media channels, with the hope that people will perceive the brand in a certain way, and that they will take a certain action.
Successful brand building in digital media relies on identifying detailed insight into consumers, allowing the campaign to speak to the target audience in an authentic and inspiring way, struggling with the distrust that consumers have towards advertising and their ‘unresponsiveness’.
Digital in its best form (I emphasize that there is a difference between digital and digital media, as the digital media can easily act as traditional media and press on with push messaging), deals with creating content that is sought after, with the generosity that draws consumers and with the building of a community and participation in it.
What do you expect from the Branding Conference?
To learn and meet interesting people. The Branding Conference has an excellent team of speakers, and I look forward to listening to them and learning from their experience.
How would you comment on the phenomenon that in digital marketing clients primarily buy technology, while neglecting content?
That’s true. I believe that this happens for two reasons. First, it’s much easier to opt for investments in tech. There are more options (vendors / platforms) in technology than in content – if we look at the growth of start-up companies that solve marketing challenges, most of the innovators fall under the distribution of ‘media / ad-tech’ space. Solving the ‘crisis of content’ is still largely an unexploited opportunity, with very few players.
Another reason is that investments in tech are more comparable. For example, a client can easily compare two ad-tech companies and decide who has the right mix of attractive features for their company. That’s much harder to do when a client weighs their options for investment in content.
Therefore, the lack of options and harder choice are at the root of the reasons why we see clients investing in technology, and seemingly ‘ignoring’ the content side.
Marketing guru Seth Godin says that content marketing is the only marketing left. What does good content marketing mean for you?
Good content marketing is content that is authentic for the brand, designed to inspire and not to sell, and lives in the places and spaces where consumers naturally spend time. An excellent example of a brand that does all this properly is General Electric. GE’s content is sought after, which is one of the indicators of success that a marketing expert wants to see.
What do you consider the key challenges and opportunities for digital marketing today?
An opportunity that I pay a lot of attention to is the ‘crisis of content’ – brands need more and more content as they push the campaign onwards, but don’t have the right partners who can provide such content for a reasonable price. Most major brands work with agencies that are not sufficiently flexible in terms of their ingrained processes and cost structures in order to provide such content. This leaves the door open to new players who have innovative business models and know how to strategically use the content generated by users, in the name of the brand.
What would be your advice to companies that are just embarking into the world of digital marketing?
Be mindful of your decisions. Companies and brands have a lot of ways to get activated in the Digital. It’s easy to get too scattered and make investments that are not really wise. If you’re just starting, begin with the thought: Who is my customer? What does their digital and social behavior say to me? Where are they most likely to be open, in digital terms, to receive my messages?
What are your guidelines when you design and create a campaign for a client?
My view of what makes a winning campaign has not changed. Despite all the disruptions in our discipline, it’s still based on answering these three questions:
- Is it insightful? (ie. is it based on a good insight into consumers)
- Is it inspiring?
- Is it oriented towards a specific goal?
Are creativity measurement tools a fiction or a reality?
This is the million-dollar question! There are certain tools that can help you gradually improve your decisions of the A/B type. But ultimately, marketing is applied creativity, and if it works, we need to see its reflection in first place.
More information about the Branding Conference is available at www.branding.ba.