Media Zoom is a full-service advertising agency from Constanta, with a wide range of expertise, including creative, design, brand strategy, communication strategy and more. AdHugger met with Cristiana Dima, owner Media Zoom, and talked about the Romanian advertising market in 2018 and 2019, its challenges and trends, the agency she is coordinating and also about a possible new crisis.
Therefore, we continue the 2018-2019 series in the Romanian marcomm industry started with Simona Ionascu.
How was 2018 for the agency?
With smaller budgets, and higher demands from customers we have succeeded to have an 50% growth ;-).
How was the pitches situation?
Our agency has been invited to more pitches than was the previous year. Most of the time we got in the final top 3. We won some, we lost others. We accept the fact that we cannot win every account we put ourselves forward for. It’s part of the business. But the work that goes into preparing a pitch never constitutes wasted effort.
How would you characterize the local communication industry in 2018 in terms of budgets, campaigns, creativity, etc?
If there are less than 10 local companies that have comm campaigns, we can’t say that we have a local communication industry. The campaigns you can see in Constanta are those of the national/multinational companies.
The local companies do not understand yet that they have to invest in quality campaigns, that they have to invest in design and that they have to work with a specialized team.
What were the most important changes & novelties in the agency in 2018 and how did they come to happen?
Mediazoom has started moving from the traditional hourly or project-based billing to subscription-based business models. Moving to a subscription billing model gave us more flexibility in choosing the activities that are likely to give results rather than just those that spend more time. The costs per campaign decreased but increased the numbers of campaigns. That means happy customer, long term relationship.
What were your main challenges in 2018 and how did you surpass them?
We have this challenge every year. We have to make the new customers understand why our price is higher than our competitors. And that is because of our academic studies and because of those more than 15 years of experience in the field and for those more than 8000 projects designed or implemented.
What were your most wanted services by the clients in 2018?
There weren’t wanted. There were proposed and accepted.
For the small ones we proposed branding or rebranding. We did that because the market is continuously changing, they have to clearly segment and differentiate their products and services and to be better understood or because they weren’t working on emotional level/weren’t standing out from the crowd. They understood that without branding, a company, product or service hardly exists, has no personality, is faceless, is invisible.
For the bigger ones we proposed integrated marketing communications and because they can bring the same communications tools together to reinforce each other and boost effectiveness, because everything supports the same message and image and that can reinforce their brand in advertising.
How is your agency positioning on the Romanian advertising market now?
Media Zoom is a team of creatives, writers, strategists, planners, developers and project managers. We’ve developed deep expertise in the core skills of branding and brand communications. We constantly work on our client relationships. Most of our clients have been with us for ages, and are regular visitors of our agency. And…they also recommend us to other partners. We are the kind of agency who disagrees the one night stand projects. We believe in long-term relationships.
What trends did you notice on the local market?
The tendency of the local company is to advertise as others do not as they need to. There is no strategy.
What do you wish for 2019 from this point of view?
I would be more than happy to see that they understand the importance of tailoring their own marketing campaign, with specific business goals to their specific target group.
What do you wish for the local industry this year?
There are a lot of companies without a marketing specialist. I recommend them to partner with an agency because of the multiple benefits: cost, expertise, efficiency, productivity, results. That’s the way we can enjoy looking at great local marketing campaigns.
I would also like that companies would implement more and more experiential marketing activities, because it offers four major benefits, including social media, publicity, increased brand affinity, and creating buzz around the brand.
Do you believe a second economic crisis will come?
History shows that there are two things we can be sure of when it comes to economic crises: there will be another one, and the next one won’t be the same as the last.
If so,how will it impact the Romanian marcomm industry?
In recession periods, communication and marketing budgets can contract, but I do not think that this time it will be like in 2009. I like to believe that Romanian business owners understood that marcomm plays a strong role in the economy by helping stimulate economic growth. In a country in which consumer spending determines the future of the economy, marcomm motivates people to spend more. By encouraging more buying, advertising promotes both job growth and productivity growth both to help meet increased demand and to enable each consumer to have more to spend.
What have you learned from the last crisis and how prepared are you for a new one?
As I said in the last interview Media Zoom started its activity during the 2009 crisis. We entered the market with competitive, well-calibrated prices that brought us customers, we managed to make a profit even during the crisis and to grow every year. If you work hard, if you act like a partner for your customer not like a provider, if you use creativity in developing campaigns there is no chance to fail.
The prognosis of a new crisis does not scare us because we had 10 years to develop strong business relations both with customers and providers. We’ll all be in this, we’ll support each other. MediaZoom’s team members have more than 15 years of experience in the field so this will be a big advantage for us because our experience will bring results for our customers.
Are clients open to creativity?
Only a few and I will explain you why. Creativity means change. Change come up with fear of the unknown, of failure, of being different and of losing control. These fears lead to uncertainty if it is the right solution.