“Crisis and budget cuts have been a problem in recent years, but another is the proliferation of small and often unprofessional ‘agencies’ that have become unfair competition by dumping prices”, says Jasmina Stojanov at the beginning of this interview with CorD. But, she adds, “the market has nevertheless stabilised”.
“So clients operate in more stable business conditions, they can plan their activities in the long run and with greater certainty, and this opens room for marketing agencies to provide better quality work. Political instability in the last twenty years has been an additional aggravating circumstance in which Serbian agencies have been working, unlike colleagues from other countries in the near and far surroundings. The course of political stability, the one that many ignorant people pejoratively call ‘stabilocracy’, is a sine qua non for our business so it needs to be supported in full force.”
Is it easier for the company’s creative team to work with clients who already have a clear marketing strategy, or with those who leave your agency the initiative?
– It is good when a client correctly defines its problems. The client, therefore, should be a patient who knows exactly where it hurts. Unfortunately, sometimes the client behaves like a patient who has found the medicines he needs on Google, but this is a wrong approach in marketing, as in health care.
The client who knows what kind of medicine he needs usually makes mistakes and valuable time is wasted disabusing him. Again, on the other hand, trust between the client and the agency is necessary, it is necessary for the client to know that he is in safe hands, not in the hands of some quack doctor, or more precisely quack marketer, of whom there are plenty.
A good agency must provide the client first and foremost with a good marketing strategy, and then ensure that the greatest impact is achieved with the smallest budget, that is, the greatest benefit for the product, whether it is goods or services. And now this is a challenge for the client – whether he will choose an agency that will fulfil his wishes or one that will propose the most effective solution.
I am a fan of the second approach and I try to make my NOVA Communications a partner to the client, not in fawning or mutual flattery, but in detecting risks and opportunities in the market and in timely response: avoiding risks and exploiting opportunities. And all this in a way that fully takes into account the client’s needs and is cost-effective.
A good agency must provide the client with a good marketing strategy, and ensure that it has the greatest impact with the smallest costs
How sure can you be in your strategic planning in this environment of rapid technological development but also lack of market predictability?
– Plans are often one thing and reality another. We all would like to have clients with whom we can plan for the long term. It would be useful both for clients and for us, but it often happens that the circumstances require a different, guerrilla approach to certain situations.
At Nova, we are prepared for both options. My agency was established in the mid-1990s and we learned to work for the benefit of clients in the most varied market conditions. This experience is precious, and we share it generously with those we work for. In addition to professionalism, transparency and expediency, I see it as the main quality of the agency I run.