Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Asja Dupanović
Millennial by actions, a creative by vocation, Instagram influencer wannabe and Head of digital department at McCann Skopje – Meri Shesho warmly welcomes and processes all new digital projects, clients and pitches of the agency. She has a BSc degree in E-business and MA in Marketing – which might seem like digital marketing always was in her stars, but the truth is that her love for advertising was born much later on, when she started working and discovered the magical world of creativity. She is the main initiator of all in and out-of-office gettogethers, often addressed as a Fashion Queen and known as a CrossFit savvy beer lover (some argue these two don’t go together, but this is what marketing is all about – making the unrelatable – relatable.).
MM: What inspired you to join the communications industry?
Meri Shesho: Recognized and acknowledged as the most indecisive person in the world, I didn’t know what I wanted to be(come), work or do when I grow up. So, it’s not like I’ve known since forever that advertising is my true career calling. When I graduated at E-business, I randomly came across McCann Skopje’s Cannes Lions Gold winner campaign ‘Check them’, I was ecstatic how a simple message like that one, can be delivered in such a creative way. I was fascinated by the possibility of being creative and paid for it, especially as I was always considered to be a creative person. Seven years later, I was hired by McCann Skopje and, a decade later, I am still in love with the advertising industry – in the meantime, I earned my masters degree in marketing, became a lecturer in digital marketing at two marketing academies, helped in establishing a separate digital department in a company and briefly even worked as a Client Service Manager. So, I got a taste of the whole marketing experience.
MM: What did you daydream about as a young girl, becoming what?
Meri Shesho: Depending of the time period, I went through all the professions – from a doctor to an engineer, from a lawyer to a web developer. But, I think what I remember the most growing up is watching all those crime TV shows and reading thrillers. So, the idea of being an investigative journalist stuck with me the longest – I suppose I was always attracted by solving mysteries and problems… and putting that in words in the best possible way. So, when I think about it, it’s only logical that I combined finding creative solutions to problems and communication into a career in the advertising industry.
MM: Changes happen on daily basis in the digital world but are not faster than you are. Which one of your super powers helps you most to swim successfully through the digital waters of the present day?
Meri Shesho: Resourcefulness. As you mentioned, the changes are constant – there are always going to be new information, new problems and solutions. I don’t consider a digital marketer successful in knowing all those things, because no one can. It’s more important to know how to find or come up with a solution, where to find the right information and expertise and how to deal with it. I agree that the knowledge of technology is important, but in order to be successful in this industry, as an advertiser, digital marketer and a leader, there are other crucial characteristics – creativity in finding new solutions and anticipating needs, wittiness and self-expression, successful juggling through projects, clients, networks, problems and knowing your way in and out of every situation. Because, at the end of the day, we are working and communicating with people: clients, end users, customers, suppliers… not with machines.
It also takes finding and having the right team, because no campaign or project has ever been executed by one person. And my team and colleagues rock and rule ☺
MM: The attention of the consumer is already extremely short. We have only a few seconds on our disposal for our message to be noticed. How do we get the best use of this short window of time and how do you envision the future of communication, both in the digital channels and in general?
Meri Shesho: Lately, we keep throwing around with big words and concepts like “machine learning”, “Big data”, “AI”, “Voice assistants”… and it’s great that they are in our foreseeable future (hopefully). But, I think the creativity will prevail – the creativity of finding ways to grasp those 2 -3 seconds of attention which we only have on hand. Of course, these tools can help, but only if you know how to convey the message and deliver it to the end, and the right user. Translated, this means that “the knowledge of technology” won’t be enough, but it needs to go hand in hand with creativity, media planning with content creation – and, expecting that more budgets will flow into digital marketing (fingers crossed!).
We need to understand that our future is Generation Z, and they are digitally born and raised, and used to the idea of everything being delivered to them instantly and on demand.
MM: What works better – being bold or human in communication? Which of the two approaches do you favor? Why?
Meri Shesho: In a world where political correctness starts to “kill” creativity and freedom of speech, where everyone’s tiptoeing and double checking every single word – you can be easily noticed if you state your message out loud, fiercely and fearlessly. Be bold in your statement, but do it with a kind tone. At the end, it should be all about honesty. Or, as we in McCann would like to say– “a truth well told”.
MM: What is it that you youngsters bring into the communications industry? What do you see as your biggest advantages and what your disadvantages?
Meri Shesho: Forward thinking, approaching issues from different angles and fearlessness of change. We are not afraid to change our job, our career, our partners, our home, a continent… we are not resistant to change, because we know we can work things out. So, experimenting, exploring new options, testing and finding better solutions comes easier to us.
On the other hand, the younger generation might lack experience and the old-fashioned way of communicating and handling clients, associates – everyone, in general. That “sense” can only be learned and earned with time, but it is a great part of what defines success in our industry.
MM: Can the creative industry change the world? What would you be changing?
Meri Shesho: Of course it can and it does, minute by minute. As time passes, the brands are our last hope in changing (and saving) the world, changing our mindset and inspiring us to be better with each other and to each other. Brands are loud and brands are being heard – but it is us who help in shaping that message, setting the voice and spreading it further.
And, as far as my wish for a better world and tomorrow goes – I wish people will get more educated on how to use the Internet and use it to learn and obtain more information, in order to make informed conclusions and decisions. Not the other way around.
We forget that we live in the best era – the era of information, where every information is easily reachable and available. And yet, we are too lazy to search for it, to do a little digging, to explore and learn new things. People forgot to be curious, to be hungry for knowledge and new experiences. They missed the point of the existence of the Internet – its purpose isn’t to impose your personal opinion on others and believe everything you read, but to develop skills and do some research, before you create your own standpoint.
MM: Do you have any free time? How do you enjoy to spend it?
Meri Shesho: Of course – some days less, some days more, but I always strive to take maximum advantage of it. I’m known for even my “me-time” needing to be planned ahead and organized by the minute ☺
I enjoy working out and tend to never skip a training. I love skiing, food-tasting, exploring new destination and everything that sounds different, adventurous and exciting. Most of the time. On other days, I just want to lay around, catch up with my favorite TV shows (quite a number of them!), read a good book or start some DIY project.