Jasmina Stojanov, Owner And Director Of The Nova Communications Marketing Agency: Customer Is A Brand

A manufacturer is someone who has to adapt to the new deity, the customer-brand, and to meet their needs, both natural and artificially created

Jasmina Stojanov is a successful businesswoman, owner and director of the Nova Communications marketing agency. She talks about the recipe for success, crisis PR and new trends in advertising.

How much power do marketing agencies have in Serbia?

— It depends whether the owner of the agency is someone who is also involved in politics and who wants his company to serve their political interest. There has been a lot of talk about the relationship between agencies and media influence. If being able to put pressure on the editorial policy of the media is power, then – yes! Some agencies have great power. I prefer to see agencies as a factor in the power to provide better quality marketing services for their clients. Since I have no political ambitions, the agency I run has the power to provide the strongest possible marketing impact for my clients relative to their marketing budget.

How do you, as a communications expert, define the ethics and aesthetics of this new age?

— I am not sure that the age we live in is new in relation to the ethics and aesthetics of business. Yes, the
competition is fiercer and often unfair, but it does not significantly change either ethics or aesthetics; it only hones in market relations a little bit more. The Internet provides a momentum that changes business more dramatically than
we are often in a situation to understand. The Internet, first and foremost, changes its users, i.e. each one of us. It changes habits, lifestyles, relationships among people and consumer habits, which, in turn, has to change the client’s attitude towards the market and customers. The most important change we are not aware of at all is that brand is no longer a brand anymore. Now, a customer is a brand, and a manufacturer is someone who has to adapt to this new deity, the customer-brand, to meet his needs, both natural and artificially created.

What is your opinion on creating and solving crises as a part of creating communication?

— The only really good and effective way to solve a crisis is to prevent it. If you do that, all that is left to do is ironing out, patching up and removing stains with more or less success. The paradox of this lies in the fact that the best PR experts, namely those who can anticipate and prevent a crisis, are at the same time the ones who are paid the lowest for their job. Why? Well, because the client is not even aware of what they have just avoided, and they do not have gratitude that would translate into financial compensation for the PR expert who saved the client from the crisis. This is the Gordian Knot that shows the philosophical meaning of our work and is a topic worth discussing, as
far as I am concerned, i.e. as a businesswoman who has a very developed nerve for anticipating danger.

What are the biggest challenges that the PR profession faces today and how do you see it developing in the future?

— Amateurism is the biggest challenge of our profession. Amateurism is accessible and cheap. In terms of PR, clients often do not see what they are paying for, so it suits them to pay little for something that has no effect but looks nice. And that is until a crisis strikes… When it comes to advertising, the biggest challenge is the industrial approach, which forces you to cut down on advertising blocks that interfere with watching your favourite series because
they are indescribably boring. This is the fault of the agencies, but clients are even more to blame because creatively they keep our hands tied behind our backs, so to speak, since they do the same here as they do in Poland or Moldova.
The biggest challenge lies in the question will the classic media survive if we consider that advertising on them, which is boring and predictable, expedites their end? It is also an interesting topic for a future debate.

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