MIROSLAV ŠUTIĆ, Director of Partner Research Solutions: THINK GLOBALLY, COMMUNICATE LOCALLY (OR MAYBE IT’S THE OTHER WAY AROUND)

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Although, by nature of things, we are going to lag behind wealthy and developed countries for years, the process of ‘globalization of individual communication’ will undoubtedly change the general map of all communication directions

Although we often focus on motivational communication or the one that propels us forward, every time we think about communication in general, we cannot avoid also thinking about a phenomenon called ‘the global village’ without which it’s literally impossible to understand the present. Although it has been 50 years since this syntagm was concocted, it has become clear that into opportunists, and the opportunists will turn in conservatives with new inter-categories probably emerging. Let’s not even get into other segmentation criteria. The democratization of overall communication will bring the biggest changes, while communication will become fully available and simple to use for the most part. Although, by nature of things, we are going to lag behind wealthy and developed countries for years, the process of ‘globalization of individual communication’ will undoubtedly change the general map of all communication directions. When the awareness about the possibility of marketing your own viewpoint at the global level becomes stronger, the old archetypes of behaviour will inevitably grow weaker, while the space for imposing “planned” viewpoints will gradually diminish. This will be the real challenge for everybody whose task is to create viewpoints and actions of smaller or bigger groups of individuals with the view of, let’s say, increasing consumption. Undoubtedly, communicators will change too. They will acquire new skills and expand the field of innovation and creativity. Personally, I hope that analysts won’t lag much behind. Still, from today’s perspective, all of this looks very complicated and almost unattainable, especially for ‘the conservatives’. Luckily, the dynamics of change will be determined by new generations who are going to view this as their natural environment, and who are, probably, going to take care themselves of the ‘horrible’ changes that years ahead bring. its unidirectional nature failed the test of time. As much as the idea of globalization pretended to make us all similar, the practice showed that similarity is possible only up to a certain point. Global, local, and individual all co-exist. And they will continue to co-exist even more. At the end of this road, individual (personal) will become global. However, we, in Serbia, seem pretty far removed from these (global) trends. The collision between global and local in our part of the world is far from being resolved. Our favourite division into two Serbias could be applied here – there is the Millennial Serbia, which is fully integrated in all global trends and value systems, and then there is the Other Serbia, which is desperately clinging onto old archetypes, failing to understand what hit it while, with one leg, is firmly standing in the time of Socialism, and, with the other, is shyly and reluctantly stepping into the unknown (which, by default, must be also bad). Consumer and public opinion researchers, to whom I belong too, are carrying this burden whenever they have to interpretambiguous, irrational, and fatalistic views and doings of people in Serbia. Those professionals who want to motivate (evoke positive emotions) and move to action consumers, voters and the public in general share the same, if not bigger woes with us. “The sheep”, that are mudding our waters, are popping all over from digital media which have overwhelmed the Millennials. Although, picking the media to communicate with the Millennials is not that difficult at all, they make up only ¼ of active consumers (or voters). The problem that communicators have is that digital media are undoubtedly conquering the middle-aged generation which makes up a half of all active consumers. Digital media are also starting to have a serious impact on the older generations, i.e. The remaining brigades of active consumers for whom digital communication culture is unacceptable (and incomprehensible). So, not only does digital communication needs to take into consideration three different lifestyles, but also communicators simply have to pair different media together in at least three different proportions and three different ways of consuming other media, which in turn, should be in opposite correlation to the consummation of digital media. I dare not imagine what would happen if the population were to split in more groups of different lifestyles and consumer behaviour formats. Today, as things are, communication is an already complicated and demanding skill. In five years’ time, we can expect for the digital media reach to be even wider and deeper for all ages. Does this make the job of (productive) communication easier? Hardly! On one hand, the domination of digital technology will lead to geometrical progression of communication (plat)forms which, in turn, means further diversification of communication content. At the same time, the segmentation of the population according to their age will be much more complex – the Millennials will gradually mature.

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