AME's Grand Jury are experts in creating results driven work on behalf of global brands. As award-winners themselves,their stellar reputations and commitment to creative and effective work set the benchmark for innovation. Their high standard of excellence and global perspective ensure entries are reviewed with utmost attention and based on an international view of industry standards and trends.
2021 AME Grand Jury member Anja Petrovski serves as Marketing Director at Audi Volkswagen Middle East\Dubai. She brings16 years as an experienced marketer who has specialized in digital, content marketing, social media and advertising to this year's jury panel. She launched her career in Publicis Belgrade, working with big brands like Coca-Cola Company and L’Oréal. She joined Memac Ogilvy Dubai in 2011 and shortly afterwards started her career on the client side in Volkswagen HQ office in Dubai.
In the interview below Anja shares her thoughts on what mediums will take the lead in 2021, the e volution of brand positioning, values, and tone of voice during COVID, how the change in medium consumption has affected the marketing mix, and much more.
AME Awards: Why are effective competitions like the AME Awards important?
Anja Petrovski: Agencies and clients have definitive goals such that in everything they do, the result should be effective. Platforms for exchange are vital because they make the difference in the varied point of view concerning a new channel, platform, or medium. Being a client, I can vouch that creativity is essential in keeping people in the agency engaged with ensuring their brands are effective and successful. If it provides a resolution to marketing issues and supports a joint work between strategy, creativity, and branding, we will get amazing results. It's wonderful how the AME awards promote the best from both worlds.
AME Awards: How has the brand's voice changed since the pandemic confinement measures? Speak to the evolution of brand positioning, values, and tone of voice during COVID.
Anja Petrovski: I believe the very first thing we learned in the year 2020 is that empathy is indispensable. The global pandemic brought about worry and anxiety, which led to people having little to zero tolerance for brands being self-centered about their products. Indeed, people still have needs for products and services, but they don't have the patience for irrelevant information. They'd rather have straight-forward, to-the-point information that gives answers to their possible questions.
Messages that take much of our time is not tolerable anymore. Instead, those that focus on the customer's needs, without boasting about the effectiveness and assurance of a product or service are now acceptable. Customers want brands that can communicate their message proactively with a sense of purpose, and a sense of nostalgia. Brands need to concentrate more on significance, legitimacy, and social awareness. This will reduce the negative impact of the pandemic and amplify brand fidelity.
Irrespective of how digital-savvy you are or your level in the industry, it's crucial to understand that the effects on consumer behavior are frequently changing, much of which will be constant. Maintain a vibrant advancement of your brand and ensure your products, services, marketing plans and messaging are in sync with the changes.
AME Awards: What will advertising look like next year? What brands have evolved and succeeded during this year and why?
Anja Petrovski: The year 2020 was a year of conflicting emotions. The chaos of COVID-19, the setbacks and unparalleled recovery left an immense effect on people's feelings. But despite all the pandemonium of COVID-19, a lot of brands experienced a colossal system of digitalization without anticipating it. It affected the way brands promote and sell their products and services. Offline businesses had to drift towards the direction of an e-commerce incorporated website to still reach their target audience during the lockdown. B2B companies had to develop new methods of generating leads as some of their main lead generating channels like face-to-face meetings, tradeshows, and conferences had been canceled till further notice.
It's safe to say 2020 was a digital year; the year of digital sales, digital events, and digital-only marketing campaigns. Even though long-form content is still considered handy, the real rising star formats were webinars, video interviews, live chats, and short-form content on Facebook and Instagram. There is no novel or revolutionary groundbreaking change, instead, these are approaches that center on the customer; prevalent tactics that companies have known about but chose to bypassed or ignored.
AME Awards: Media consumption has changed dramatically how has this affected the marketing mix?
Anja Petrovski: Firstly, digital media has successfully attracted the attention of advertising dollars from outdoor and print media. Highly targeted publications with the highest amount of traffic will survive the pandemic outbreak. The mediums with the largest usage are mobile, social media, and video channels. Use this to aptly alter your media mix.
Although the pandemic has disrupted conventional income streams, highly involved audiences have provided an opportunity for media houses to increase their fan base, and advertisers to expand their scope. The pandemic has caused a change in the business model in the media industry, much like other industries around the world. Associated engagements on social media platforms as well as online traffic and digital advertising revenues have seen significant growth.
AME Awards: What mediums will take the lead in 2021 and what will take a backseat?
Anja Petrovski: Marketers have to maintain flexibility and attentiveness. This is because, marketing has seen a major change in consumer behavior caused by COVID-19, most of which is perpetually modifying our businesses and industries.
Pivotal changes in digital business, such as the use of virtual events and experiences, may become permanent. And even though they started out of necessity, ROI and convenience will be the main reason they will stick around.
Social media will become a major medium for purchase, instead of just information and connection. The audio and podcast space is flourishing and content preference will modify to user-generated content that will resonate with the audience fervently.
AME Awards: Why did you agree to participate in this year's AME Grand Jury and what do you hope to learn by viewing entries into this competition?
Anja Petrovski: Being a part of various jury duties has helped condition my mind to work with very intelligent and skilled people all around the world. Witnessing certain cases has made me think of solutions I naturally wouldn't have thought of.
AME Awards: What advice or guidelines would you give to potential entrants on earning an AME Award?
Anja Petrovski: I'd advise them to start with the end of the procedure and find out if it's effective; if the idea will ultimately yield results; if it's new and good enough to stir emotions; how exceptional, brave, bold, and committed it is to achieve the final goal – creative and performance results. All entrants should confirm the content they're creating and their communication are both relevant and perceptive to the situation at hand. They should be able to answer the following three main questions:
1. Is my content genuine?
2. Does my content address a specific problem for the audience I am planning to address?
3. Is my content significant to the current environment?