We live in a decade of change, adaptation to digital communication, sophistication of marketing and all professionals in the creative and communication industry; however, the change in the coming era will develop at the speed of light.
The Balkans are turning into a hotspot of exponential growth of the Digital Marketing sector. On 3 June, an event of regional importance proved this trend. The tenth edition of Digital Day Lite took place in Belgrade. Traditionally organized by the IAB Serbia Association, the conference broke a series of records in terms of audience and media sharing. Among the guests and keynote lectures, Gerton Bejo, Vatra’s CEO, was there to speak about the challenges that make us grow more.
The event took place in a thriving context. The marketing industry and the advertisers in Serbia, especially in Belgrade, are turning their eyes to the advantages of the digital world. Serbia is becoming a regional champion on digital marketing. To be more precise, last year, Serbian digital marketers have spent a little over 56 million Euros on digital advertising. This market has grown by 19.5 percent, which places the country in third place in Europe. In a decade, the market has increased as much as six times.
In its tenth edition, the goal of Digital Day Lite was to analyse how much the digital industry has changed in the past decade. Unlike a few years ago, when we used to wait for 3-12 months to calculate the effectiveness of a classical campaign and had indicators and other terms for measuring audiences and results, we now have every reaction and feedback in real-time: from print media sales, audience share, etc., now KPIs are clicks, outreach, impressions, engagement, and through digital marketing, we can calculate ROI in real-time.
Are we witnessing an unprecedented revolution? To answer this fundamental question, the conference was marked by panel discussions, four keynote lectures, and two case-studies of representatives of leading global and domestic digital companies.
Among the brilliant speeches of top market experts from TikTok and Burger King UK, guests in the hall and viewers online also enjoyed a lecture from Gerton Bejo. He stressed that nowadays, agencies are under pressure to have the following two skills that go hand in hand with each other: to be technical and creative.
“Neither of these can be done without the other. The transition of traditional agencies faces a challenge, which requires creative people to be able to embrace technology because designing and digital agencies are now accountable to the main query to ROI. Pressure has moved towards Graphic Designers too because they need to upgrade fast with techniques and technology to keep the line. Today universities are not capable of building long-term educational programs for creatives due to fast changes in technology and fast implementation, so now they leave the progression of the creative industry mainly to self-learning, self-taught. Now, the content aims to “target” an audience that has no longer privacy since the network is like a “supermarket” with no doors or limits: it’s called social. Now, there is a change in the design, and it is related to the senses. The design once was static, and everything was absorbed through one sense: sight. Now, design involves evoking all the senses through sight, audio, movement… Content has only one purpose: to `attack” the senses.
With everything happening right before our eyes and at breakneck speed, a particular challenge is the adaption of different generations to the new codes and conditions. At Vatra Agency, there are employed digital native staff and staff coming from a previous generation, who are educated with traditional methods. This diversity is turned into an advantage. The “confrontation” of generations with each other, mostly at the pace of time, has produced more creativity and quality for our customers.
The more time passes, the faster changes occur, the more people who want to be challenged will have such challenges in this new decade that has begun.
Meanwhile, agencies need to get off the “reptile mode”. To respond to the dynamics and the unceasing empowerment of technology and everything else that this development will bring about (positive outcomes or otherwise), the expected change will pose strong challenges. In order to survive, marketing agencies will have to transform into gigantic production machineries of design, services, and content providing.
The occurrences of the past 10 years regarding change are expected to take place at a far shorter time in the future. Possibly, in the upcoming years, the evolution dynamics will make us experience an entire decade within a year. As never before in human history, the concept of time and space now has a different meaning.
Are we ready for it? Maybe yes, maybe not. Regardless, we are well aware that changes may occur at any moment, even as we speak; many things out there have already progressed.
Many agencies have chosen to move out of their comfort zone; several are still in survival mode, while others have moved on by navigating the future. Thus, in order to explore the human within us (the agencies of the future), we will need first to “fight the reptile” within us (the agencies of today).
One thing is for sure: the more and the faster the changes take place, the more people who wish to be challenged will face unimaginable and extraordinary battles in the new “future” that has just begun for all of us, for the likeminded, humanity too (our audience).” – said Gerton Bejo during his lecture.
Right after the event there was a regional and international impact in the traditional media (TV & Radio) and across the network. Several media outlets, like Progresive Magazine, which considered VATRA “as leading digital marketing in Albania”, wrote about this event. Serbia Business and BiznisTelegraf, which published very accurate and detailed accounts of the event, dedicated a space to the lecture of Bejo.
The news about Digital Day Lite was written in 5 different languages. Among articles in Albanian, in English, in German, or Serbian, there were also accounts in Portuguese. The event was reported by journalists from more than ten countries and by countless online outlets with domains from all over the Balkans.