Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Asja Dupanović
Hrvoje Pilić started his career in Degordian as an intern, and in just a few years became the head of its Performance Marketing department, as well as the agency’s biggest Arsenal fan.
He has transformed the advertising and performance teams at Degordian and now runs a diverse department with experts working on digital advertising, SEO, analytics, and conversion optimization for numerous clients. Although he has managed campaigns in more than 190 countries around the world, he believes you can never have enough of learning so he collects certificates as others collect stamps, and reads even more now than in his student days.
In addition to a good Excel spread sheet, he loves to watch football and eat bread with absolutely any dish.
MM: Why advertising industry? What attracted you the most to these waters?
Hrvoje Pilić: I believe that everything can be viewed as one big iterative testing, composed of many (smaller) tests running in never ending circles.
Advertising industry, and performance marketing in particular, give ample space for learning and testing, and that’s what attracted me the most.
MM: And what brought you to Degordian?
Hrvoje Pilić: I was brought here by curiosity and vision, back at the time when Degordian was still a small agency under a different name, still finding its place in the world. At the then iStudio I saw the hints of performance and data-driven mindset, which is something that still hooks me. I signed up for a job contest just to give it a try, and we immediately clicked. Ultimately, I was most attracted by the vision of the future which perfectly matched with mine. It still keeps me here.
MM: What does your position practically mean? What is your task in the agency?
Hrvoje Pilić: I run the Performance Marketing department at Degordian, which is made up of teams of specialists for digital advertising, analytics, SEO and optimization of marketing, or rather conversion optimization. While I was a kid, I loved Lego, and I’ve always loved to build things. And here, my job is to build a global story in the field of marketing performance with my team. We build a system based on people, processes, data and frameworks, where the goal is long-term and sustainable growth for all involved parties. We are not afraid of challenges and we wish to work on the most complex projects in the region and the world.
MM: You progressed to a position from where you lead an entire team of experts while you are still very young. How do you deal with the responsibility entrusted to you?
Hrvoje Pilić: Although it can be a great burden sometimes, I’m grateful for the responsibility entrusted to me, and I revel in it. It’s a nice feeling when you can help someone find their way, enable their progress and offer them your knowledge and experience.
MM: What is the greatest challenge, and the greatest pleasure of your job in Degordian?
Hrvoje Pilić: If I was to single out just one, then my greatest challenge is mastering time. Many today would like to have everything “overnight”, but real things and real results take time and patience.
My greatest pleasure is when I look back and see the fruits of our efforts, the ideas we successfully implemented. When it comes to projects, I enjoy when we have great freedom in our work, and when we collaborate with clients as partners. That is a win-win situation for everyone, and the only way which opens endless possibilities for mutual growth and satisfaction.
MM: Was there a project in which you told yourself: “Yes, this is it! This is the job for me”?
Hrvoje Pilić: I was lucky. I realized that at first sight. I love my job, so in every project I find something for myself. The project that most expanded my horizons was the one where we managed the campaign on a literally global level. Until then, I had no idea that Google and Facebook recognize more than 220 countries. I learned a lot in that project.
MM: Talent, perseverance, learning, working hard, the support of a tean… what is crucial for “navigating” agency life today?
Hrvoje Pilić: I would single out the insatiable desire for learning, openness to feedback, normal functioning in a team, healthy thinking and patience. I generally think you need a little bit of everything, and a little bit more of some other things. It is up to the individual to recognize (either on their own or with the help of a mentor) what are the things they need more of, and where they have the most potential and talent. Specialists today need to have solid breadth. It is important that a person recognizes their strengths so they can leverage and utilize them.
MM: What is it that you youngsters bring to the advertising industry? Do you feel less fear than your senior colleagues?
Hrvoje Pilić: Fear is a good thing, but in modest doses. I believe that the problem is not actually fear itself, but the reactions and decisions stemming from it.
People shouldn’t allow themselves to be paralyzed by fear. They should rather use that moderate fear to better perceive the situation they’re in.
I would like to see people having a more long-term view on things. They should look at things as iterative testing based on analysis and data, whose goal is continuous learning about consumer behaviour. This would considerably reduce fear and facilitate better decision making, and that’s what we should strive for.
MM: How do you see the future of advertising?
Hrvoje Pilić: It will be very exciting. The “digital” prefix is slowly disappearing, because that future is already here. I believe the industry will continue moving further toward the consolidation of major platforms, although there will still be niche players and disruptors.
I think that in the future there will be even greater emphasis on new technologies based on artificial intelligence, machine learning and neural networks. People will change the direction of their personal development, and greater emphasis will be placed on strategy and strategists, and on how to manage “machines”.
MM: And where will your ambitions take you further?
Hrvoje Pilić: I like the path I’ve taken. I do have big ambitions, but I’m moving step by step. I certainly see myself still in a role which enables me freedom in work, further growth and learning, testing, improving and organizing things. I believe such roles suit me best.
MM: Do you have any free time? How do you enjoy spending it?
Hrvoje Pilić: Of course I have free time. I’m a man who doesn’t like idling, so my daily schedule is usually timed to a second. If I was to put the weekly schedule on a piece of paper, it would turn out that I spend, on average, 36% of my time on basic life functions like sleeping, 31% goes on work and 33% on leisure.
I like spending my leisure time with family, football (both playing and watching. I’ve been an Arsenal fan for the last 15 years), and learning (because I can never sit idle, so I always read, study and research something). I also try to train regularly and running suits me the best.
I’ve been fascinated by mechanical watches for a long time now, so I like to study them. And I love to cook, though not (too) often.