Aleksandra Kožul, PR and Digital Director, Novaston Marketing Consultancy

We Have Given Shopping a New Dimension

Novaston was established as an independent real estate, asset and property platform in which Novaston Marketing Consultancy operates. Among other things it was established to improve the concept of the retail park that exists in other countries

There is no universal solution nor a universal message that can be applied in all situations and markets. Only a true professional, after extensive analysis, can respond creatively to every challenge.

Thanks to your agency, we have been introduced to the retail park, which is relatively new to us. What was your primary message?

– The idea was for retail parks to become “open-air shopping malls”, because in many Serbian towns they are the only serious shopping centres, but also places where people gather. Novaston started from this idea that consumers want a place where they can spend quality time with quality, affordable shopping.

To achieve this, alongside standard campaigns we introduced other activities such as parties celebrating retail parks’ birthdays, various holidays, a summer season and periodic shopping days and weekends. Experience has shown that we have succeeded in this and that all the retail parks in our country including those that are planned, are organized according to this principle. We plan to use this concept in the region in future.

For each retail park, special tailored content should be designed, and communication should match the needs and desires of consumers and tenants, at the same time taking care of the brand itself

Is there a universal solution for all situations and facilities, or must communications be designed and adapted to the requirements of the micro-market and to a very wide target group?

– Each retail park is a channel that communicates for itself, and the way of communication depends on the location, micro and macro markets, target groups, and type of park. The situation is not the same if a retail park is located in a larger city where there is strong competition, so a stronger brand campaign is needed, or if it is in a smaller town but outside the centre, so you have to do things that will attract residents and change their habits of buying only close to home. All activities must be designed and shaped according to the market in which the shopping mall is located and the needs of the target group.

This kind of operating, approaching each client and every project carefully and with unique analysis and custom-made proposal, is what makes our company special.

Influencers are increasingly engaged by brands and companies to deliver key messages. Can they bring new consumers?

– We are seeing that young people today never let smartphones or tablets out of their hands, and spend their free time watching YouTube videos of their idols in whom they find inspiration. Audiences increasingly trust the content from influencers more than traditional advertisers.

According to research from 2018, as many as 94% of experts using this type of marketing consider it extremely useful, and 39% plan to increase investment in this form of communication in the coming period.

Companies should cooperate with influencers, but only with carefully selected, uncompromised ones. Only they can deliver key messages in a truly positive way to the audience, otherwise a counter-effect can be achieved

It has also been revealed that influencer marketing achieves 11 times higher ROI than traditional forms of communication. These results are evidence that it is important to work with influencers and that they can bring new audiences and new consumers. However, we must keep in mind that over time, their role changes and they face new challenges, like any other channel of communication.

Today, it is very important to carefully select with whom a company will work, because we have examples that the engagement of certain influencers had a counter-effect. For example, the Australian government faced such a situation when it decided to invest 600,000 Australian dollars in collaboration with social media influencers as part of its #girlsmakeyourmove campaign. The campaign was launched by the Health Department to encourage young women to be active.

However, it was discovered that some Instagram influencers, which were paid up to $ 3,000 per post, had previously worked with brands of alcoholic beverages and extreme diet products, which had a counter-effect compared to the one the government wanted to achieve.

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