Effie Croatia awards 2017 saw the biggest increase in the number of entries compared to 2016 – 40 percent! We talked to Darko Ivančević, this year’s Effie Croatia Awards jury president and Global Vice President for Staropramen within Molson Coors, about his view on efficiency in marketing and why an increase in the amount of entries benefits to all. And nevertheless, he provides an advice to marketers for success in 2017 and his predictions what could be “the next big thing” in marketing.
What’s your definition of effective marketing in one sentence?
In one short sentence, I would say that effective marketing is the ability to use all the company resources and knowledge and translate all that to products and services that will continuously delight our consumers and customers. In other words, I would probably describe it as a need to understand the market and different insights regarding our consumers, develop integrated communication and services that have the ability to attract the attention of the consumers and customers on their journeys with your brand – with the objective to delight them, but also to achieve your business objectives.
Moreover, what is – in your opinion – the key to effective marketing?
I have mentioned some of the aspects in my previous answer, but, to elaborate, on the basis of my business experience with great marketing results, for example with the Ožujsko brand, I have always emphasized two key success factors. First, total integration of communication, in marketing terms a 360 approach to today’s multiple channel that are available. There is also the effective integration of internal marketing and sales activities. One message with both pillars. Once you have internal alignment, the results will come. Another big key is consistency. Rome was not built overnight, so the big brands cannot be built that quickly either. They will never have the opportunity to become effective if they are not strong and consistent. I do not exclude one-shot marketing projects that can be effective, but I am a strong believer in the fact that our primary job in marketing is to build strong long-term brands that will create a “pull” effect in terms of sales and overall business performance.
According to Effie Croatia, the biggest number of entries comes from financial and insurance industry. What’s your explanation for this?
Yes, that’s true indeed. Financials and telecoms always apply with a lot of projects. I would say that they have quite a hard job since the relationship they have with their consumers is very often based on the functional benefits of services. So to make the emotional connection is a big challenge. On top of that, today’s consumers are much more educated and informed than ever, and financial services are under heavier scrutiny.
What is the biggest obstacle in creating effective marketing communications today? How has the approach to achieving effective marketing change in past 12 months?
The biggest obstacle is doing something while not having a clear strategy of what is next. That’s not even related to today’s trend, it’s a basic principle that should always be on the marketer’s mind. Another one is the ratio of using insights vs. foresights. That’s very connected with today’s fast pace and the number of changes. We are moving forward dramatically. You have some insights today, but they quickly become irrelevant. So I would say, respect insights, anticipate foresights, have a strategy, and do not fear to execute it. The last can also be a big obstacle if it is not done right; opportunities come and go away easily.
What trend (if any) did you notice among this year’s Effie entries?
Marketing is not only a creative tool, but has the important task of being an effective tool. That is the biggest trend. And that’s why we have an increased number of entries. I would say with increased quality of business cases, from big brands, but also from smaller companies. We can be satisfied with the increased marketing dynamics on our markets, and that’s good for overall expertise.
What is the one thing you would advise marketers to invest in 2017?
Invest in a clear understanding what you want to do with the brand in the next 5 years – what each brand stands for, and be consistent. Once you have that basic principle taken care of, it will be easier for all to make executions and projects that are coherent with the communication trends. And not only to consumers, but also to customers.
Finally, what would you say will or should be the next big evolution for marketers over the next few years?
As brands are moving forward, I believe that there are two big areas for “next-level” marketing – one is the next level of experiential platforms. People today want to experience, not to read or see. The fast evolving technology can enable us to do this. Another one is corporate social responsibility. Big brands must include these practices. Of course, the challenge is to have that integrated into the brand strategy. I am expecting to see more of that in the future.