George Malchev: “… Digital just opens more possibilities.”

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George Malchev: “There have always been and there will be 4 consecutive steps – target users and value, strategy, content and channels. Digital just opens up many more possibilities.”

George Malchev- entrepreneur, consultant, managing partner- Xplora.bg

Lately a lot of people absolute the content as an approach to reach consumers. Is this the right approach according to you?

It is correct as it was before to absolute the number of fans – “my fans are more than your fans.” Content is only one element of marketing communications.

We always start with the specific target users and the value that will give them. People have real needs – related to real pains and benefits they have. And the solution is what gives value to them. Only then we can talk about strategy for these target users. Our strategy depends on what kind of people are these and how we give value to these target users. Only then comes what is the right content, and then follows in which channel and how it will be delivered.

There is no point to shout loud even to our most accurate target users that we give mortgage loans. Because these people will not remember the bank behind the fun advertising or behind amusing message. Or funny post on social networks. I’ve done this experiment in 13 courses and last – to an audience of 200 people. All remember the message, no one can recognize the bank. And the ads were on all channels at least 12 months.

And which one is the working approach?

To recognize target consumers with their needs and desired effects. And be aware of their digital behavior. Currently, 45% of people over 55 have access to the Internet, according to Google Consumer Barometer for 2016 . And if you do not offer them something that has a price higher than of mineral water or chocolate – they will ask anyone with Internet access, or they themselves will check online.

Can you give some examples of working approach?

One of my favorite examples is Lidl. And from our customers – I would mention Toyota, Medix, Walmark, Izikredit, BLD Homes. The fact is that at the moment these four elements – target users and value proposition, strategy, content channels – are connected, users can be targeted much more closely and more personalized, feedback is faster than ever and tests and adjustments are possible very quickly and at very low costs.

Personally, I enjoy when I see a well-made advertising or even post to social networks. And then trying to figure out whether this is part of a clear and properly implemented strategy. And vice versa – when I see a major communication platform as You Lead, New beginning – New plans, the Best of Bulgaria – the best of Europe, etc. – To see how all the elements will be implemented. I advise you often to find, track and analyze – someone has given a lot of money to invent, to create, to advertise. And you have an opportunity in real time to keep track of so many interesting marketing communications. In real time, and in their development.

Traditional channels are working, and will continue to work. They are excellent to remember that the company offers something or start your user path. The difference is that now people know they can easily through digital channels to receive free, or nearly free much more information about whether or not they will get value of a product or service. This is because their whole experience, for 1 to 10 minutes they can form the most appropriate for their decision – whether to make an insurance whether to buy 5 units of a product, whether to test a product or service, whether to go to an office or shop to express interest or buying.

And here comes the connection, and the need for content marketing – content must comply with the strategy for presenting the true value for the target consumer for the pain and the benefits that users will have. And – content can move the user one step further on its path to purchase and / or development of loyalty. But can also allow users to self profile themselves, which you as a business to communicate more correct them – to see whether you have the correct assumptions whether “you receive” with the current strategy and approach, and find and do funnel sales and loyalty of your target users.

” the most capable and knowledgeable people search for more learning ” Pepa Vassileva, Managing Director BEIED

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BEIED and Triple Pro start Content Marketing program. What made you run such training?

It is marketers to learn and develop their skills to create valuable content if they want to be heard among the sea of ​​messages. Consumer becomes increasingly difficult to be captured through standard forms. The need for such training increases, because this type of marketing occupies more areas. The topic is useful, represented by proven industry practitioners and presented in a highly interactive way.

You work many years in education. What are your impressions of today’s participants in the courses?

The common thing has always been that the most capable and knowledgeable people search for more learning. Intelligent people look alike. Today and years ago they are highly motivated to improve and be on time. Corporate trend is that more and more Bulgarian companies sponsor their employees, which is very positive. Middle management becomes younger, which results in different personalities and ideas in the class room.

Is there a current tendency in the training, which is visible in our country?

They are looking for practical training, the latest tools, speakers from the real business … Skills immediately to be implemented. Our programs are updated annually to reflect new approaches.

Today’s marketers – what they have to know?

That they will have to learn constantly. This is a very dynamic discipline. They need to keep their curiosity and courage to experiment, but also their persistence and patience in pursuit of the strategy.

What do you want to wish to the new group?

I wish them exciting and worthwhile journey. They’ll meet new friends ,will exchange valuable experience, knowledge, ideas. Let be open to the new.

“The digital creative is not as chatty and static.” Krassimir Dobrev

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What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing is a communication process of creating useful and valuable content to attract, retain and engage a clearly defined audience in order to change or reinforce consumer behavior.

What is the most important in the creation of useful content?

Useful content is based on basic human needs and it is not just to spread messages but to create experiences for people. Unlike traditional, digital creative is not as chatty and static. To become successful, it must be social, to interact with people in human language and in an invisible way to penetrate in the daily habits of the target audience.

How do we move comparing to the global trends in digital marketing?

There is definitely a change in the attitude of advertisers towards digital advertising. There is a positive trend in which more and more large companies and advertisers pay special attention and additional resources for online marketing. In addition, brands invest in trainings of employees in order to reflect the opportunities that offers them the digital world. This facilitates advertising agencies in the conversation with customers to find a common language.

It becomes increasingly difficult to retain user`s attention today. Are there working tools?

Visual storytelling remains a critical factor in keeping the attention today. We would not ignore the fact that consumers are online to be entertained. In this sense, consumers of social content are becoming more sensitive to content that mimics traditional advertising. This demands more context to the messages and campaigns that solve real human needs.

” We tell stories and listen to stories from the beginning of its life” – Desislava Boshnakova

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Why lately content marketing is so important tool?

The environment is changing, following the changes in technology and consumer behavior. And they, users already know how to avoid the traditional forms of advertising, but are hungry for authentic, adequate, useful and easily accessible content. So the content returned in communication. I do not think it is something new, just after the lack of content today we need content revived.

Are companies in Bulgaria able to tell stories in their messages?

Some are, others – not. More interesting is that some did not even try. Interesting story in communication with consumers is always a winning choice in the long run. The point is if you think about how it will work in the future. Because people, even if they do not realize, remember. And subconsciously, when they have a choice, always choose the product closer to their story. When there is no history it is more difficult to remember the message. Because we tell stories and listen to stories from the beginning of its life.

The role of creative thinking? Can we learn to be creative?

If I may paraphrase a line from the movie “Ratatouille” and it would sound like this: “Anyone can learn to be more creative.” Creativity is not talent and skill. And every human skill can be developed. The question is do we want to develop our creativity? We want you to be creative in different areas like tax avoidance, buying things that exceed our capacity, etc. Because creativity is a skill that everyone can develop, but also it needs an environment looking for creative solutions and facing the challanges.

What would you advise young marketing professionals?

Ask themselves: Is their work inspires them? If not, what occupation will makes their heart sing. Without this feeling, success is impossible, in my humble opinion. You have to love what you do, so you can be good to have a chance to become the best. Otherwise is a torture.

 

Interview with Radoslav Bimbalov,Creative Director The Smarts AA

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You will have soon your lectures in the new program of BEIED and Triple Pro – Content Marketing. Valuable content – is this today the key to the heart of the consumer?

Content really is becoming more and more important. But even more important is to try to involve the user in its creation. Make him think, create and build with us every brand. It is not easy, requires a very targeted actions and involve some risks. But worth it.

Is it successful the relationship between traditional media and the Internet?

Yet this relationship is not sufficiently equivalent. We often use the Internet just as adjunctive media and underestimate its capabilities to conduct campaigns as the main channel. At the same time we should not overestimate the capabilities of the network. Traditional media cannot be replaced entirely by online platforms, whatever a number of specialists in this sector are trying to say. The symbiosis between different channels is the only right way.

From your rich experience in advertising – what is the main trend in the world and in Bulgaria?

The trends are temporary and if you follow them blindly  you risk losing yourself, imitating various fashion trends . Currently in our country (and much of the world) is fashionable to look back – in design, style, sound. The difference is that our idea of ​​a romantic retro rests somewhere in socialism, and there it was equally boring and non-distinctive. I think this trend passed its peak and if brands continue to follow it will soon be in the territory of the total impersonality.

What would you advise young marketing professionals?

Be willing to learn more from their own mistakes, not only from the mistakes of those before them. Times change, users also. If something before didn’t work it doesn’t not mean it will not work today.

Interview with Olaf Guikema, Creative Director – TriplePro

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Soon you will give a lecture in the new program of BEIED and Triple Pro – Content Marketing.  Why content marketing has become so fashionable?

Content marketing is already dominant in the “analogue” world, but now its getting more dominant in the digital one, this is why:

From the consumer side: 

Consumers are getting higher standards in content, we see more pieces of content every day. By now the average person sees over 5000 marketing messages every 24 hours. Digital advertising is bad content in general so people learn to ignore it. Consumers are more educated about digital marketing in general. They don’t want to be tricked by clicking an ad which is on top because someone paid the most for it, or by seeing certain ads because someone collect their browsing data. They want to make their own choice, based on research and their emotion with the brand.

From the business side:

Content Marketing is the long term investment in contrast with the most important digital marketing channels being short term investment.  The traffic generated by content marketing is better quality because by its more genuine nature, it’s easier to convert the traffic.

In short: It’s what consumers really want, and because the consumer is king nowadays the result is that it’s cheaper than other channels due to its ROI .

How is Bulgaria compared to Europe in digital marketing?

Pretty good, historical, Bulgarians have always been very much talented in subjects like math and arts. So with the digital revolution, may people here became interested in programming and design. You see now that this industry is maturing here, with all the good things which come with that. Bulgaria can’t compare to Western Europe in terms like raw budget, but definitively in problem solving and design thinking.

Do you think that the companies operating in Bulgaria understand well the need of valuable content?

Not enough. We see that the early adopters in the market embraces content marketing and become successful due to it, the rest of the market will follow in the upcoming years. We believe that within 5 years Content Marketing will be the most dominant type of marketing.

What would you like to wish or advice the young marketing specialists in Bulgaria?

Never forget that you are an consumer yourself, look at your own consumer behavior and learn why you make certain decisions. Most people are just like you, they make the same decisions for the same reasons.