Ruxandra Serban (ERKA): “We want to develop even more for our retail clients both in Romania and France”

ERKA is an integrated advertising agency, operating in France and Romania, with a passion for Powerful Ideas and an obsession for performance. The agency’s representatives believe in strong ideas brought to life with agility in a meaningful and efficient manner. The agency was founded in 2004 in Bucharest and in 2016 in Paris. ERKA’s entire culture is based on the agile management. Its experts combine classical approaches with the latest technologies in order to create unique customer experiences. They work with ambitious and progressive customers in over 15 European countries and they believe that the East-West axis represents many strategic advantages in terms of conquering new markets, mastering costs and finding commercial partners.

Ruxandra Serban, CEO & Founder, talked here with Business Review about the agency’s 2018 and the perspectives for 2019, but also about her views on pitches and how the local industry is performing. AdHugger.net offers you a sneak preview of the interview. 

What type of clients do you want in your portfolio?  

I want clients who think smart, with long-term plans and who share the same values and developing wishes at least like us. We are going to build a support offer for the French agencies in 2019. We want to develop even more for our retail clients both in Romania and France.

My dream is to work for domains and clients such as healthcare, the European digital natives and finally for all the people who are ready to innovate and who are willing to change the world.

How is your agency positioning on the Romanian advertising market now?

According to Forbes’ latest top advertising agencies in Romania in 2017, we were on the 28th place (based on our turnover of 2017) with a market share of 1 percent. We are looking forward to catching a higher place in the top based on the fact that our revenue increased strongly in 2018.

What were the biggest campaigns you worked on?

Before speaking about our campaigns, I would like to say that I am a pragmatic person who likes to bring first solutions to the table before presenting the campaigns.

CORA

In 2005 Erka was young but in search for a project to match its powers upon. We aimed for a client that would challenge our skills and test our creative span. This is how our advertising path has intersected one of our first clients: cora Romania. At the time, cora was making its first steps in the market and the big plans needed a reliable partner to meet the year-on-year objectives.

We started by building together creative solutions for the in-store activities and outdoor promo and for the next 13 years we went from small activations to events with thousands of participants, plus cora.ro deliveries. We also started our collaboration on digital campaigns in 2016. Ever since, we had a visible year on year growth in traffic, purchases and overall revenue.

In 2018 the focus was to drive more purchases through all digital efforts, and currently, there is an increase of about 60 percent in purchases and in the overall purchase value compared to the first 9 months of the previous year.

Moreover, we have been organizing the Bucharest University Cross since 2004 and now we reached 24 editions alongside Cora Lujerului. The main objective was to promote a healthy lifestyle and sports among students.

Decathlon

Decathlon has been our key partner for years, 11 years more precisely. We provided them BTL, Brand Development and Digital Marketing services in over 10 Decathlon stores. Among other successful projects we established together, here are some examples:

Decathlon Loyalty Program

We launched a campaign that encourages Decathlon’s target audience to enroll in a loyalty program and discover different sportive experiences through a loyalty card and a digital platform. We have registered 815,000 loyal customers so far.

TROCATHLON

In-store campaign that is offering the public the possibility to renew their sport equipment by buying second hand articles from other people that want to sell them. The program is available in all Decathlon stores from Romania.  We had around 1200 sellers and 2400 buyers in 2018

Decathlon Order Site

As the number of stores grew, the needs and requests started to develop proportionally. This required a solution that would optimize the speed for ordering, the clarity in communication and a single order center for all the brand needs. And the solution came shortly from Erka, in the form of a print center application, that would guarantee the same quality, same colors, same materials, same support from our printing team across all country.

The application was configured with all the formats, graphics and specifications for the store representatives when they start preparing a marketing campaign.

Michelin

We created, implemented and maintained The End User Loyalty Program for Michelin Truck tires. The program is available in Romania and many other European countries such as Croatia, Serbia & Kosovo, Hungary, Slovenia, Greece, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Accenture

Another big campaign which is dear to me is the creation of an online platform for Accenture, named « The Hive / Tree of Knowledge ». The concept behind tackled all Accenture’s challenges, through a digital engagement platform. Starting from Accenture’s 6 core values, we designed & developed a fun & easy to use gamification app to incentivize and improve internal communication. The platform helped Accenture understand the psychological & social profile for all their employees in Romania. It allowed for different incentives to be offered to the employees who used it, thus increasing the retention rate.

The French commercial center Belle Épine –  in-store communication campaigns.  Like in the case of Decathlon, we brought in-store communication solutions. We created panels and signs in order to give information and direct the customers in the shop.

About author
Romanita is Communication Consultant and journalist and, during her career, was editor in chief for the Romanian edition of Campaign and worked for Strategic.ro, Smark.ro, IQAds.ro, Ad Maker, MediaWeek, Biz publications and was also producer of “Marca Inregistrata” TV show
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