How to keep growth of digital advertising in 2018?

October 2017

Sanja Lalević-Cvetković, Media Manager at Direct Media, gave an interview for Netokracija.

With the growth of digital advertisement in Serbia, comes the need for a new cadre and with that, additional education and certification of the whole industry. Sanja said, in an interview with the Netokracija portal; commenting on the challenges that digital marketing agencies in Serbia face, including the new regulation that is coming to us from the European Union and touches upon trends for 2018.

Serbia has a very specific market where digital marketing is in question. There is no doubt, even though it is “big” for Balkan standards, our per capita consumption for digital media in relation to other countries is still very small. Nevertheless, in 2016. we marked a noticeable growth in digital marketing in Serbia, when the whole sector grew by 17,6% – making the market value of 23,7 million euros.

The AdEx research that Serbia has carried out since 2010, the year in which IAB Serbia was founded, showed us that this is the single largest growing digital advertising agency in our market since the research started. Even though we are lacking compared to European standards, Sanja points out that there is still a lot that we need to compensate for in order to get closer to the benchmark standards of investing – though; and  a growth larger than the European average is reassuring us that we are on the right track.

The key is to showcase the space that advertisement agencies have at their disposal, but also the possibility that that this space is offering, from ways of communication to effects and results of the presence of digital media.

Until now, the biggest increase for the market of digital advertisement in Serbia was achieved last year.

Until now, the biggest increase for the market of digital advertisement in Serbia was achieved last year.

Demonstrating the space for digital marketing, education and constant work – as with clients (advertisement companies) and publishers – represents one of the main tasks of the Serbian branch of IAB. And there are definitely tasks to be completed. With the start of the new year, IAB Serbia went through internal changes and as a part of those changes, Sanja was chosen as the new president of the assembly, which, de facto, means that the assembly is the largest organ of control over the association, and represents the needs of all the members of IAB.

New members for an even better quality discussion about digital marketing

“The main focus, in the agency environment, as well as IAB, is and will always be the support of initiatives that contribute to the growth of all the participants of this market”, stated our co-speaker adding that IAB, in Serbia today, contains over 80 regular members and participating members – significantly more than the case was last year. To the question from Nekrotacija: “What is the main goal of IAB and what can the agencies and companies that deal with digital marketing and publishing find under the “roof” of this association.” Sanja said:

Primarily, the space and possibility of education, as through organizational training, and through the preparation of informative and educational materials under the authorship of the global IAB. Our members are carrying out measurement and research of the local market, and the results and the conclusion brought Serbia into the European AdEx Report, within which we are getting a realistic picture of the level of development of our digital marketing, but also the dynamic of its growth in comparison to other European countries.

The fact that our member count rises every year and that there is more and more of those that want to contribute to the goals we have given ourselves shows us that we are still on the right track.

Systemization of knowledge is a prerequisite for further growth

IT is not the only economy branch that has been faced with a shortage in the profession field. One of the ways to stop this trend is institutional education, and certification of a level of knowledge of digital skills.

In 2017 and onward, the solution could be DIMAQ, a new educational programme that is being developed with the initiative of IAB Serbia; a project that would replace the IAB Academy, and something that will be realized in cooperation with LINK Group as an educational partner. Aside from education, there is also certification, the goal of which is to systemize and categorize the knowledge of the candidates, in order to make employment easier for the agencies themselves. In layman’s terms, the person that has acquired the DIMAQ should have a certain level of knowledge in digital marketing, which means making the process of employment easier to agencies and companies.

“It is one thing to talk about changes and digitalization, and another to really do it. On the level of IAB, we are working very actively on bettering the education, and in turn, creating programmes that could be the fastest in formal education that the candidates can expect”, said Sanja, adding that quality and applied knowledge is in the interest of everyone – how so for the agencies so for the brands and advertisers? “Through good systematization, we can expect even bigger growth of the market”, said Sanja, who in conclusion added that DIMAQ would show who has certain skills and knowledge that is needed for work in the industry of digital marketing.

GDPR knocks on the door

Touching on trends for 2018. Sanja is talking about the fact that more and more companies, with the help of agencies, or independently, are opening a way to efficient communication with their users through the use of data.

“Binding the CRM base with advertisement through all kinds of digital channels becomes a more current subject in these fields – in the way that once we talked about the possibilities of mobile and video” said Sanja, adding that in the coming period they will try to find answers for questions on how to personalize the message and in which way to place their existing or future consumers – without excessive breach of personal space.

General regulation of personal data security is becoming an increasingly talked about topic amongst publishers and advertisers in the region of the Balkans and Serbia.

General regulation of personal data security is becoming an increasingly talked about topic amongst publishers and advertisers in the region of the Balkans and Serbia.

The attractiveness and significance of this subject is contributing to GDPR, or the general sector for personal data security whose deadline for the official application is coming to an end very soon. The subject in question is the regulation that changes the ways business of all kinds deal with gathering and processing personal information on the EU level. These regulations will eventually encompass Serbian advertizers and companies that are gathering data of citizens of the European Union.

The thing that is significant to us is the fact that the regulation relates to all the markets that the citizens of the EU have access to. This means that it relates to companies that gather and process data of the citizens of the EU. Be it a Serbian company with branch offices in Croatia or Bulgaria, or a local portal that shows geographically targeted ads to visitors from the European union – everyone will have to comply with the GDPR.

Looking back at the situation in Serbia, our co-speaker said that there is a new local statute about data protection and identity being prepared in order to comply with GDPR, lowering the eventual effects even for subjects that only do business locally.

“In the field of advertising, data is in large amounts gathered through cookies, but companies that use CRM for this purpose have to pay close attention to the new regulation,” said Sana, pointing out that currently we need to have a written declaration of each user whose data we use. In what way the new statute will define that – it is yet to be seen.

Being only one in a line of many points that all the participants of the advertisement market need to study is exactly why a committee for Legal and Policy was formed recently by the IAB, whose job is to work with statute regulations and legal questions related to GDPR regulations and e-privacy.