Aleksandra Radujko, founder and executive of New Media Team, talks about the development of her career, her own rules of success and imperatives of a new epoch which demands innovation and authenticity.
First of all she believes in projects which carry strong message and value. She is perfectly familiar with strategies of a brand, of ways towards the people who need to recognize it and make it a part of their lives. Aleksandra Radujko reveals her own experiences which are caused by a serious career and true education.
The New Media Team Agency which you have established this year is celebrating nine years of existence. What was the biggest challenge for the creative industry in 2009 and nowadays?
When we founded the company everything was different. At that period we were sending announcements via fax and out of most importance was that Beta, Tanjug and Fonet get materials. Then, the agencies were retyping and that was the method from which our news was originated.
We were watching the main informative shows in the evening, afterward, we rushed to collect tomorrows editions of daily newspapers in order to see in which manner were our clients presented.
This is how agency everyday business looked like only ten years ago. Of course, nowadays everything is completely different. The fact that communication channels are changed so much that you have so much more than in those days, ten years ago, from one point of view it provided us with having a bigger choice on how to present our announcements, but on the other hand, it leads to a one single general noise in which messages from our clients aren’t that specific, diverse, creative and different – they are merging in the multitude of others.
Because of that, nowadays, it is more than necessary to be creative than ever, to draw the attention of the public to the work of our clients. That is very challenging innovation is forcing you to find new ways but on the other hand, it may require the use of great effort. That is the charm of this work – it is mandatory to be different, better and to make a difference with everything we do.
You have graduated from The Faculty of Political Sciences – field of social policy, nevertheless you have dedicated your professional life to journalism, PR and marketing field. How did everything start?
When I look back to that period, I would say that I have circumstantially chosen that particular field, yet I do believe that everything happens for a reason. I am a part of a generation of young people who were studying during the turbulent 90s, due to general terms and insecurity of having enough money to study, my parents have directed me towards specialized school instead of high school, to be more accurate – dental high school. For that period I can say that it was the hardest in my life because I was studying something I was not interested in and for what, eventually, I wasn’t talented for. My motive was Faculty goes after, but that unfortunate year of 1999 there wasn’t an entrance exam, I had to make another compromise and choose the field of social policy.
I loved social policy and graduated with delight. After everything, social policy provided me with an understanding of various themes I have emotionally engaged. Today I use that knowledge in multiple campaigns which are socially responsible or directed to the improvement of standings groups without influence in Serbia. Simultaneously, in the period when I started studying I also begin working for the national television Pink, department of informative redaction. From that particular day, until these days I have been committed to communications which are representing the essence of my everyday life.
Your agency stands behind countless important and socially responsible campaigns. Is the consumer society aware and to what extent?
We are a part of consumer society. As much as we are aware and conscientious, so it’s our society. I consider that we are becoming aware of various subjects and that truly makes me happy. Today, that period of changing is happening mainly when we talk about our life culture and habits – in terms of what we eat, do we exercise and how healthy we live. We should continuously question our interactive patterns, but also the roles we have in society because everything put together directly impacts our behavior as consumers. That’s the only way of growing and learning from our mistakes. Of course, we have a lot of work to do in front of us, but I am an optimist because I know we can and I see great potential in upcoming generations.
Is the investment in consumers loyalty actually an investment for brand development?
That is a great question but I would say that for sure, it is the main investment in brand loyalty with the consumer. I think that today, consumers are in front of a big challenge because sometimes they have to, consciously give up certain shopping due to a limited budget, so that will be the reason of buying frequently products which weren’t their first choice. On the decision what will you buy between two or more products from the same category, it will have an influence the fact how much money do you have in your wallet at that moment. But in that very instant when we are ready to put aside more money for the right brand – that’s when the focus is on the quality of the brand itself. Therefore every trade player has to work mainly on its quality in every sense because I do believe that the market knows how to recognize and appreciate it in long-term.
What kind of project do you prefer?
I prefer project which are good, which are carrying values and good point. Projects which will make us do something good in a proper way. Certainly, I am engaged towards commercial topics which are oriented primarily to sales, and I don’t have anything against it, but I always look forward to certain campaigns engaging us in a project with good cause for certain groups or common community.
So far, what will be the project you feel most proud of?
That will be very hard to tell. I am proud of a series of projects which have a signature of the New Media team agency. I may highlight collaboration with Novak Djoković, he will definitely the most valuable brand not only in Serbia but also worldwide. Together we have great accomplishments during these years and I am looking forward to great ideas which I know are ahead of us. Also, I am very proud of many great campaigns we did for Opel, British American Tobacco, Heineken, Adidas, Reebok, Vojvodjanska bank, BIG shopping mall, and many other clients during this past ten year behind us.
To what extent does marketing inspire customers, initiate a desire for change and does it arise an outsider feeling?
Today, marketing is communicating with customers trying to understanding the compound change which the customer has experienced. These days when everything has changed, when our lives are a sort of Instagram life, when we all have the need to present ourselves in a different way, more beautiful and perfect, than we already are, when the whole ambient of social networks which we are a part of is urging us to one strange sort of identification, marketing is trying to find a path to us, through our true selves. That is a difficult moment because it opens a rhetorical question – who are we today? Are we an image what we really are, or what we want the others to see in their perspective. Are we ready to use a product which expresses the way we truly are or what we want to be? Because of this, the whole creative industry runs through one sort of transformation in which is seeking for the authentic, the best solution for every customer, and today, marketing is trying to send a clear message – be yourself, be proud of the way you are. When you take a look at all those campaigns over the years, they are all sending that exact message.
Forecast for the 2019 year is an increase of micro-influencers. Do you think that that direction will become popular here?
Most certainly will, and I am looking forward to it, for our clients to start accepting and to estimate the worth of quality of micro-influencers rather than macro because I think we will restore the true meaning of influencers. These days they become some sort of a shop window in Knez MihaIlova street in which you don’t know what to expect. Of course, there are exceptions. From the brand point of view, we must learn how that window should look like and what sort of messages and values it must send to followers. Increasing needs of clients, with a limited choice of influencers, contributed to a lack of authenticity, due to overly engagement in a short period of time.
Many times I have tried to convince our clients not to do certain campaigns with particular people, only because of the numbers they might be expecting, but to put the quality of communication and authenticity of the content at the forefront. I believe this is a priority for all of us – aspiration for the quality of the content not only the reach itself.
What was the worldwide campaign which left the biggest impression on you?
I would like to distinguish one smart, simple and overall original campaign. It is a brand, Stabilo, a brand who reminded us all the easy and right ways to creatively point out all key messaged. The left a big impression on me.