Belgrade is becoming an important point on the map of the creative industry. Talking about the future of this growing branch of the economy has brought together leading names in the marketing world operating within European and American McCann agencies. The two-day conference, held for the first time in Belgrade, discussed the challenges ahead of marketing by accelerating technological progress, as well as the impact of local cultures on branding campaigns.
Srđan Šaper, a founder of I & F McCann Group and host of this event, said that this was an opportunity to exchange experiences and opinions on the future of marketing.
“This meeting is important not only because it puts Belgrade on the map of the world’s marketing scene, but it also helps the development of creative industries in Serbia and the region. In Serbia, the creative industry already participates with 7 per cent of GDP and employs tens of thousands of people. Digitalisation gave the creative industry an additional impetus and is important for the development of the whole region. When we talk about the future of marketing, it is where the past is – in creativity. What ideas will be better, or if they move emotions, that will make the campaign better,” said Srđan Šaper.
Nanet Dufour, Chairperson in charge of managing global clients from McCann Worldgroup New York, says that it is a significant advantage to be part of a large global family agency such as McCann.
“We are a global network, and we are connected and learn a lot from each other. Knowledge acquired in one place is transferred to all our agencies. That’s why we are also important for global brands because they need our connectivity and knowledge from many different markets. Consumers look for a local approach. If you understand the local culture and the role of the brand you are working for, then you can make effective marketing campaigns that deliver results. You need to have local insight and global breadth, “concludes Nanet Dufour.
Mark Lund, director of McCann Worldgroup UK, points out that local approach and local knowledge are becoming more and more critical and that global brands are continually thinking about how to make their message visible enough in local markets.
“Much has changed. The number of channels and ways you can access consumers has increased multiple times thanks to social networks and digitisation. Everything is much faster and more complex than before. However, in the end, the idea is what has not changed, and it will never change. You have to have a good idea. A good idea has remained the key to success,” Lund said.
When it comes to the future of marketing, Lund adds, it is clear that we become more informed because we live in the data age, but that it takes knowledge and strength to process these data.
“I think the data will strengthen, not replace human empathy and creativity. Brands are important to us because they represent a set of values that we want to share and make them part of our lives. Good marketing is reflected in the design, pictures and storytelling. These are essentially human skills. Creativity will continue to be at the centre of what we are dealing with,” Lund points out.
The I & F McCann Group has shown that our city and region is an essential point in global marketing and that business challenges are the same regardless of the company’s market operations.