Jasna Dugalić, Account Director at Direct Media:

Ever Stronger Partnerships

There is a lot of talk about "what is the key to a successful relationship between agency and client"

Jasna Dugalić

Jasna Dugalić, Account Manager at Direct Media, answers questions clients asked most often in 2017.

Agencies are indicators that should point out to their partners the changes that are happening in business and our industry, and at the same time offer the most effective solutions to adapt to new business conditions, for the benefit of each one of over 500 partners.

At the end of 2017, Direct Media had 16 successful years of cooperation with more than 500 clients. How did last year look in terms of cooperation with clients, and what did they ask most over the year?

– Year after year, our partnerships are getting stronger, and they are based on honest relationships whose goal is first of all the benefit to our partner. Our interaction with clients is everyday, fast and warm with results an imperative. Some new clients wanted to get to know us better last year, so they asked us what sets us apart from other agencies, and some clients with whom we have been cooperating for a long time were interested in communications and advertising trends in general. Mostly the questions relate to changes in the digital advertising world, which social networks will survive, how much they can rely on influencer marketing, whether to invest more in digital this year in view of its growth. They also asked us how we recruit new staff, how big our creative team is, whether to invest in socially responsible campaigns.

Digital has deservedly gained the status of an equal in the media mix, but its time is only just coming. Last year, we still stuck to the traditional communication channels and television as a dominant medium, but this doesn’t mean that there were no bold steps in digital media and campaigns based on more innovative advertising platforms, native advertising, mobile and influencers

Direct Media is a specific agency in many aspects. Could you single out in one sentence your comparative advantage, the one that distinguishes you from others?

– The best knowledge of the media and communications, the greatest media power and expertise in the field of strategic campaign planning. • How did you advise your clients on whether to invest more in TV or digital? – There is no single answer to that question. We treat the channel through which a message is delivered accroding to the goals of the campaign. Digital has deservedly gained the status of an equal in the media mix, but its time is only just coming. Last year, we still stuck to the traditional communication channels and television as a dominant medium, but this doesn’t mean that there were no bold steps in digital media and campaigns based on more innovative advertising platforms, native advertising, mobile and influencers.

You are increasingly present in the market through creative solutions, and last year you built up up your creative department. Have new clients given you a new creative driving force in 2018?

– Definitely this synergy happened through the new clients we acquired. Some of the solutions we have used in new campaigns are those that have received awards both at local and regional marketing events. But creativity in placing an advertisement in the digital media age has been gaining importance for a long time. So we as a former media agency, and now as an agency that offers integrated communication services, win awards at festivals of creative achievements. Although there is still a diversification of advertising agencies, it takes a back seat to what clients need, and that is for their message to be seen, and then to win the hearts of their consumers. The task of our creative department, as an answer to a client‘s brief, is to always find a functional solution, so the one that ‘works’. Sometimes it’s a functional campaign would be one like Štartaj Slovenija, which gave a boost to Slovenian businessmen and, with them, many of the consumers of Spar, the client of our Ljubljana office, and sometimes it’s a simple but efficient mobile application.

Jasna Dugalić

The Direct Media Academy, which has long been an internal educational programme for staff in our network, has been open since last year to all interested participants. We simply want to share some of our expertise with colleagues and to strengthen our brands and the whole market through better communication

We have heard a lot about predictions in digital advertising for 2018 and new communications trends in general, and that is something that interests your clients too. How do they react to them, do you educate them and in what way?

– Agencies are lighthouses that should point out to their partners the changes that are happening in business and our industry. It is important to know your partner well, and to have a relationship of mutual trust to know whether you need to work on additional education. We have specialised training and tailor made workshops with partners that deal with specific and always hot topics of our work. In addition, we are active in all professional associations in which we discuss new developments on the market, we comment on ongoing issues in the professional media, and this is another aspect of our contribution to the education of the market. In addition, this year for the first time we have students from our partner companies at the Direct Media Academy.

What is the idea of the lectures at the Direct Media Academy and will you organise a new cycle of this educational programme this year?

– The DM Academy, which has long been an internal educational programme for staff in our network, has been open since last year to all interested participants. We simply want to share some of our expertise with colleagues and to strengthen our brands and the whole market through better communication. This year, DMA will have the stamp of innovation as a necessary factor in every business in order to preserve its leading position. The event will be held in May, and our lecturers will join forces with foreign experts. Over a four-day programme we will cover all the relevant topics of modern communications and I am sure that we will be able to give answers to many current issues of the profession also thanks to our guests, experts who will bring new and fresh insights into our market.