In order to understand the complex dynamics of that journey, agencies need to employ hybrid minds, says Vera Lloyd-Thomas, owner of KREATIVA NEW FORMULA.
How do you envisage the business climate for the functioning of agencies in 2016?
– I think politics and global contracts will dictate where the majority of advertising budgets go. Budgets will more and more go to digital media and digital communications platforms.
The falling purchasing power of consumers will continue to influence brand spending. The less they spend, the more demanding clients become! But this is a situation we have learnt to live with. So, every year again we take on the challenge.
Does Serbia have adequate infrastructure that would enable agencies to implement global trends and standards, and thus effectively service the needs of advertisers?
– I think that the creative industry, including those dealing with business consulting will, by the nature of things, follow the latest trends. And with the internet that shouldn’t be a problem.
It would be great if the communications industry was more interconnected via an independent industry organisation. Larger markets are more organised and industry interests are better represented.
We have tried to have that kind of organisation and there are good people still working in our common interest.
The truth is that common interest is hard to find. I believe this is due to the way our “market” was constructed, the involvement of agencies in politics, and other transition issues.
There are no golden rules, there are only individualised sets of solutions that are different for every client and are based on measuring the customer experience
Which channels of communication could be utilised to improve the efficiency of budgets intended for advertising?
– The essence of marketing is “customer centricity”, so there is no unique channel or strategy for all businesses. We decide on the channels once we determine the problem of a particular client.
What do you consider as being the “golden rules” of market communication?
– When I plan a campaign, I try to act as if there are no rules. There are only individualised sets of solutions that are different for every client and are based on measuring the customer experience.
What are the current issues of the profession and the future challenges that will have to be faced by local agencies in the fields of marketing communications and public relations?
– Our industry has to face the same challenges as other industries. For the digital transformation of the business that companies and agencies need to apply, some money needs to be invested in education, and economic uncertainty doesn’t make that decision any easier.
How do your activities differ from those of your competitors and what makes you stand out on the market?
– Creativity that can be measured: everything we do for our clients brings positive change to their business, which can be measured, from transitive measures like “awareness”, YouTube views (our TVC for Tempo had more than 400,000 views), up to direct commercial results in sales increases, leaps in market share etc.
Just look at the results of Societe Generale Serbia, for example. That’s “hybrid” thinking: business understanding that leads to powerful marketing strategies; a creative force that turns our advertising into content that people enjoy and like to share, and the overall result is positive for our clients.