Digital is an absolute need in the media world

October 2017
Advertiser Serbia

As part of a series of expert author articles named “DIRECT MEDIA Insight Hub”, Igor Černiševski, Digital Group Account Manager at Direct Media gave an interview for Advertiser Serbia.

Explain the current position of Digital in the conglomerate of media channels, from the global and the domestic (Serbia and the Southeast Europe (SEE) region) perspective.

Digital is everything today. We live in a digital world and digital is an inseparable part of daily life. We live in a time where we are all surrounded by digital devices and screens, practically throughout the whole day. If we look at the data of developed markets, we can see that in the most developed markets digital represents the largest media. For example, in 2016 the value of the digital marketing market in the US was 72,5 billion USD, while the value of TV marketing was 71,3 billion USD. When we look at these numbers, the value of our (Serbian) digital market of 23,7 million EUR isn’t comparable. If we turn that into investments per person, the picture becomes even clearer, with investments of around 230 USD per person, compared to 3 USD in Serbia.

But, let’s look at some of the markets that are closer to us, For example, the Poland digital market was worth 833 million EUR in 2016. The picture isn’t that different regionally, although it is significantly better in Croatia and Slovenia.

.How do we do business in this kind of environment? One of the basic characteristics of digital is that it is essentially global. Digital in Serbia or Croatia shares the same kind and complexity of work, as in the markets in, for example, the US or Norway.. The technological differences are small, only a few of the things don’t function on our market, like for example Google shopping ads. The biggest difference is in the data and tools that aren’t available on our markets. Because of this Direct Media is, exactly because focusing a large part of their efforts into development of digital tools that will enable us to be on a par with more developed world markets. Our focus is on additional reach of digital in comparison to TV advertising, defining points in which we can get to the target audience, and to make content segments that are in accordance with the characteristics of the target audience. Aside from that, we are trying to better follow data and develop the integration of advertisement in CRM (Client/Customer relationship management) client systems, personalized advertising and following reactions to said advertisements that we serve in real time.

Based on all this we can come to the conclusion that digital is an absolute need in the media world. Its relevancy grows every day, and the rapid development of technology is always giving us new ways of connecting with our audience and enabling us to relay a real message, in the right moment, and in the right place. That is the basic advantage that digital has compared to traditional media.

Representing media, planning for Digital as a new media channel

I wouldn’t call digital a new media channel. Digital has for a long time now been an integral part of the media mix, and according to its complexity in the sense of its channels and format, it is practically equivalent to all other media combined.

In order to talk about the quality of digital planning, it is necessary to talk about it within the context of the whole campaign; in order to choose the right channel, format and way in which to relay the message to the target audience.

Each of the digital channels has its specifications and allows us to cover a certain segment of the target audience, in accordance with given goals of the campaign. If we are talking about biggest reach then direct buy, GDN, Facebook and Instagram are our first choice. If we are talking about performance campaigns, the most relevant are SEM and programmatic. We have to keep in mind mobile platforms because 60% of opened pages on our market occurs on small screens. Video has become unavoidable, especially for awareness, and as a format that best relays a message. But the choice of channels and formats isn’t always exact; the experience of the planner is what contributes to creating the best quality media plan.

In what way did Direct Media, as one of the biggest regional media agencies/systems respond to the new conditions of doing business which are being dictated by the digital revolution

Digital not only influences the media business, but every segment of our lives.

It is estimated that the level of technological development in the last 10 years is equates to the magnitude of all technological development in the 50 years before that. Our work comes with a need for constant change, sometimes, literally on a daily level.

As a system, we recognized the need to adapt our business to these constant and rapid changes. On one hand, we are constantly following the state of the global and local market: we are actively involved in work with the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) Serbia, in order that we can maintain highly active participation in the ongoing events of the digital market in all of its segments. On the other hand, we deal with internal processes. It is necessary to understand that the drastic development of digital as a technology has imposed a need to constantly be ready for change.

Adapting to digital business isn’t a process that can have fixed goals. None of us know with certainty what will happen in the next three years, not to mention an even longer period. A basic goal is to develop adaptable structures, processes and teams, in order to quickly and efficiently answer every eventual change, no matter what it may be.