ALLA MALINOVSKAYA: IF I ROBBED FORT-KNOX, I WOULD INVEST IN E-COMMERCE OR CONTENT-PLATFORMS
All interviews with Alla Malinovskaya, CEO of Solutions Hub Publicis One Ukraine and the managing partner of Vivaki in Moldova (part Publicis Groupe WW), is a flow of improvisation, although the conversation refers to serious things. The last improvisation took place during a breakfast in Chișinău. Having a cup of cappuccino, Alla told us about her work in the advertising field.
Dear Alla, when I met you, you were 80% involved in television, 19% — in billboards and 1% in digital (and that time it was unclear why you supported my beginnings in digital, then it even wasn’t allmoldova). What’s the share of digital you’re managing now?
My dear Pasha, we met each other, if my memory doesn’t fail me, in 1997. Then there was no Google, Facebook, iPhone, iPad and many other wonderful things that changed the world. During this time my work priorities and interests changed significantly. Today about 70% of my work and attention takes digital – and, this percentage has its own diversification. The other 30% are distributed between OOH (*** out of home, outdoor advertising) radio, press and TV. At the same time the main concern for these 30% is how to integrate them with digital.
You were at a conference about digital-marketing on September 14-15 in Koln. Was it all about everything or is it possible, for example in three points, to name the trends of 2017 – 2020?
DMEXCO is one of the most important event in the world of digital. It is at the same time a conference and an exhibition. This year DMEXCO was visited by 50 000 participants (!). Usually these days Koln is so overloaded that some visitors settle in Düsseldorf and get to the conference by train. Anyway, these difficulties didn’t stop anybody.
I can talk a lot about the conference, but if briefly, there are 3 main world trends:
— The future is about mobile — today there are already 2,3 billion mobile devices connected to the Internet, in 2020 there will be 11,5 billion;
— Video — the most demanded format by users — in 2020, 75% of content that will be placed through mobile will be video;
— Branded content— the future of advertising.
By the way, 2020 will come in 3 years.
I strongly recommend to all who are interested in the presentations from DMXCO, to visit their channel on YouTube, you can find there the most part of the video presentations.
The Western world of digital is developing very quickly, but Ukraine, where you work, and Moldova, where you work too, are in crisis. And, apparently, the crisis will not go away so quickly. How does the advertising market behave in crisis? Imagine yourself on client’s place. What strategy would you choose?
I would like to mention that we witness a revival in economy and in social life in Ukraine. It is hard to find the reason of such revival, most likely, this effect is observed thanks to the stabilization which occurred after really serious shocks. Following the results of the first half of the year, the advertising market in hryvna increased by 30% and will reach 20,6% by the end of the year, according to data given by the Ukrainian Advertising Coalition. For TV media channel, it is expressed by an incredibly high level of Sold Out, many clients have lost their bonus placements due to the lack of inventory. This is the reason of the growth of non-TV directions, like OOH and internet. Suppliers decided to raise the prices for their inventory before this year ends.
The market needs more video content. There is an intensive increase of paid search and SEO optimization. Experts of our group connect the increase of the demand for goods, growth of sales and, as a result, growth of investments into advertising, with a pent up demand existing on the market. Many clients make use of these circumstances and invest in advertising, aiming to increase their market share faster than the competitors. I consider that it is an advantageous strategy, and, as usual, the largest and systemic advertisers benefit from it. Raising budgets, they insist on the improvement of the conditions or on decrease of the inflation rate, optimizing in this way costs for promotion.
Can we say that Moldova is a miniature of Ukraine from the point of view of the advertising market, or these are very different markets?
Moldova and Ukraine are similar, but anyway look differently. Moldova lags behind Ukraine, although it can implement the same ideas which are already implemented by Ukraine. The market of Moldova is very small from the point of view of advertising and media budgets, but this fact has also a lot of advantages — it gives more opportunities to the local players. If Moldavian market was big and attractive for external investors, they would perform expansion, and would bring professionals and investors from the nearby markets. Locals, in this case, could expect only work places. For an active development it is necessary to pay more attention to the industrial moments, which are common for the main players — to create well-defined rules, standards, to work together on the problem of lack of human resources and to make the horizons of development to be seen for everyone. Moldova has a good potential. Is it possible to accomplish it? — This is a question to the participants of the market.
Which digital-trends are the most powerful in Ukraine? Which of them can be implemented in Moldova?
— The most important trend in Ukraine is to feel and understand well your potential or existing customers. It helps you to create an offer on any growing demand as quickly as possible.
Trend No. 1 — an increasing necessity for qualitative video content for advertising placement. There is a real battle for the possibility to target video placements with the opportunity to estimate the video viewership.
The trend No. 2 – the market of e-commerce, which grows despite all the difficulties. Now the leaders of this market are not the international giants, but local companies, who estimated at the right time the existing opportunities.
The trend No. 3 – an increasing interest in bloggers and video bloggers as the potential opinion leaders for their subscribers. Now the most actual topic is — who will be able to organize them all in a content platform, which will help to collect information about users-portrait, and to monetize this resource.
All these 3 trends can be easily implemented in Moldova.
Moldova idolized Facebook as an advertising tool. Is it the same situation in Ukraine?
I am afraid, I will upset many people if I say that in Moldova, as well as in Ukraine, leadership on social networks firmly is held by VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. Facebook takes the honorable third place, by anyway with a significant gap from the leaders. This is, by the way, a good example when subjectivity of our perception prevents us to see the reality. However, by quantity of active shares Facebook is the leader.
In Ukraine advertisers prefer to work with the first three leaders.
What do you implement from the Ukrainian experience in Moldavian business?
We successfully implemented in Moldova the NSP strategy— Neutral Screen Planning, or, in simple terms, one advertising message on the all available for the users screens within one advertising campaign. While implementing this strategy the aim was to combine offline video (traditional TV-screen) and online video (on personal computers, tablets and mobile devices). This approach generated lower costs to connect with potential consumer, the opportunity to raise the target audience’s reach and reduce the volume of advertising investments for clients.
Today, for example, it is possible to cover the youth audience by TV only for 50%-55%. For such purposes perfectly works the combination of the video on TV and on the Internet.
Also we implement for clients such type of placement as Programmatic. Our specialists are certified users of the Double Click; with its help we place our client’s advertising even on Skype.
If you robbed the Fort Knox now and would possess a large amount of money, in which directions would you invest them?
I would invest in e-commerce or in creation of a hi-tech content platform. The market of e-commerce is growing very fast. Also it isn’t always built according to usual laws of trade outside the Internet that gives chance to many non-core specialists. All large advertisers have already set the goal to gain more online sales on the annual basis. In our region most of them are planning to transfer 20% of all sales to the Internet, by 2020.