Maja Anđelić, CFO, I&F Grupa

The Only Constant is Change

The only constant, it is said, is change – and that’s never been truer than it's been in the worlds of advertising and business consulting over the past few years

We’ve all witnessed a mutual spillover of the services offered by both – agencies threading their way into a world once occupied only by consultancies and the latter acquiring creative competencies from the advertising world.

While big consulting firms are recognised for their analytical skills and tech achievements, agencies still have their own ace in the hole – the culture of promoting creativity. They are like the right brain and left brain skills, and we all know that we need both sides. As such, instead of being competitive, business consultancy and advertising should be collaborative. Collaboration is the key to getting the best out of their expertise.

Today, the consulting and advertising worlds are coming as a reflection of the actual marketplace. Business models are disrupted by the digital revolution, which places companies under pressure to seek different engagement models with customers, to introduce new services and experiences powered by technology, driving them to transform their marketing operations.

Communication agencies need to continuously express their creativity by launching new products and services. In today’s world, where every interaction with the customer matters, information about customer behaviour can be either a superpower or a lost opportunity. In order to use such information constructively, agencies need to further develop organised and predictive data analytics to optimise business performances. In parallel, agencies need to strengthen their IT competencies to build a competitive team able to provide unique software solutions and support digital transformations.

Communication agencies need to continuously express their creativity by launching new products and services. In today’s world, where every interaction with the customer matters, information about customer behaviour can be either a superpower or a lost opportunity

At the same time, the role of companies and brands in a modern society is increasing every day, and we, as I&F Grupa, have recognised that. Our agencies have historically provided brand consultancy and been involved in business design services for our clients, although we still need to work on changing the perception in the eyes of companies and the public.

McCann Beograd has created new products for the telecom and food industries, in order to help them improve their business results. Within some of these products, we managed to achieve a strong corporate social responsibility impact.

When it comes to digital, we are proud of a project through which McCann Beograd developed an application for the Museum of Contemporary Art that enabled art lovers to enjoy the artworks while the museum was closed. This is how we use technology to raise social awareness of art in modern times. A couple of years ago, who would have even thought that an agency could provide these services on its own?

Recognising the importance of sustainability, our Nordic agencies, Scandinavian Design Group (SDG) and Mc- Cann, developed a very specialised and unique business consultancy tool that helps our clients distinguish their brands and increase profits while creating a better world for the planet and the people.

Recalling the first lines of this article, we can say one thing for sure: clients today require expertise at every single step of their business transformation, and we, as an agency, need to find a way to respond to that requirement, either by developing our own competencies or through a partnership with business consultancy.

The world is changing, and we need not only to address changes but to initiate them. This brings us to the most important quality of the future – agility.