Milena Obradović, Lesaffre’s Marketing Manager: Communication, Trust And Respect

This is an exciting time for marketing because there are so many opportunities to combine channels

We have talked to Milena Obradović, Lesaffre’s Marketing Manager, about various sides of advertising and communication in the baking industry.

It is certainly a challenge to work for a company that has been operating for over 165 years and is a global leader in the production of baker’s yeast. What is your guiding idea and where do you find your inspiration?

— At a time when more than half of our country is online every day and bombarded with marketing content all day long, it is very challenging to engage in communications, especially when you are leaning on tradition, as is the case with our baking industry. This is an exciting time for marketing because there are so many opportunities to combine channels and increase our ROI. Of course, we use traditional media – print, radio and TV – but we have also directed a significant part of our capacity towards organizing or participating in seminars, conferences, trade fairs and similar events. We are, of course, active at points of sale, and we are especially committed to different CRM projects that are customized to the baking industry. Communication, trust and respect are the postulates of our B2B communication. Digital marketing remains one of the most important components of our communication strategies. We think it’s better to meet our customers where they spend most of their time; that is online. Both of our Facebook pages – Lesaffre Serbia and Pekarijada – have more than 10,000 followers, which is a remarkable result for the niche in which we operate. Of course, the content is different on these two pages and is tailored to the audience’s expectations. At Lesaffre Serbia’s page, we represent the company, the values we nurture, as well as the portfolio of products and solutions we offer locally and globally, while on the Pekarijada page, we address bakers and masters of this craft. This page serves for the bakers to get together and share knowledge and experience. With the support of the Union of Bakers of Serbia, Lesaffre Serbia traditionally held the Pekarijada national competition this year too for the best professional and young bakers.

Did the event meet all the expectations? What impressions did you get of the competitors?

— We can now proudly say that Pekarijada has grown into a traditional competition of the best Serbian bakers. Serbia has a long tradition of baking and we are extremely pleased that a large number of talented bakers have applied for the first two competitions, and that the interest for the competition continues to grow in this cycle of applications too. This year, before the Belgrade finals, we had a pre-selection in Niš and Čačak to give bakers from other parts of Serbia the opportunity to showcase their skills. Our bakers have shown a great deal of knowledge, but they are also highly competitive. I don’t think we will have any problems with the number of applications in the coming years. On the contrary. We have launched and are developing this competition to raise awareness that baking is not a craft but an art that requires years of experience, skill, dedication and of course, love.

The general impression is that crafts are not so popular with the new generations and that they have no future, but the proper way of communicating you have chosen shows the opposite. Is that the secret? What is your message to young people?

— Our message to young bakers is to learn from the older colleagues, but also to be open to innovation and to combine their knowledge with the recipes of the old masters, all with the aim of adapting to the needs of the modern consumer. As I said before, baking is not a craft, but a special skill that requires years of practice, commitment and refinement.

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