Markedu has set out to interview direct & digital marketers who innovative our industry in some shape or form.
In this interview you can meet Matjaz Vracko – the President of the Slovenian Direct Marketing Association
» Read the interview with Brian Mdluli of the Association of Direct Marketing South Africa
» You can see an interview with Marian Seitan of the Romanian Direct Marketing Association here
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1) Please tell us about yourself; what is your current job role and what have you done before?
Chief of direct sales and bookclub department in Mladinska Knjiga Publishing house and also the President of the ZDMA – Direct Marketing Association of Slovenia
2) How is direct marketing developing in Slovenia? How do you see the future in terms of media mix and spending? What about integration of digital?
It is quickly developing, especially digital formats (web, mobile…). Due to the recession some big players are thinking of quitting the market. The economic situation has influence, average response rates have dropped, good and the best customers segments are doing the same, but quite big influence is on average and occasional buyers. They are more careful (think twice before buying).
3) In your opinion what do you believe are the three biggest direct marketing challenges for direct marketers in Slovenia today?
- Building strong relationship with customers
- Providing excellent customer care
- To stay relevant (so the stories and communication with customers »touchpoints« are useful, relevant to end user, have added value
4) When thinking about skills, which are the skills that you believe are most important to develop for the modern direct marketer?
Flexibility, not to be creative when there is no need to (stick to the basics of direct marketing, use creativity when building stories), to be a good storyteller, by the nature has to know the facts, economy, figures, plans…
5) Imagine that you were taken to the High Marketing Court by a brand-aficionado accusing you of practicing response marketing in a society where branding was seen as the norm. What would be your defense?
6) Will we be using stamps for direct mail letters 25 years from now?
No, we actually don’t use them nowadays.-))) Maybe 25 years from now they will be retro and trendy.-))
7) Do you have any examples of great direct marketing work that generated massive Return on Marketing Investment?
Yes, quite a lot.-))
8) How about data privacy. Are you taking steps to decrease the amount of unsolicited emails being sent by Slovenian marketers?
We are really careful and do things by the book. Slovenian regulation is even more strict than the EU legislation, so we put a lot of effort to ensure compliance (in terms, rules, keeping the data, deleting the data). For example: each customer, who want to block his contact in our database get from our company in 14-days period from his call or letter by post in which we notice him/her that he/she was deleted from our database etc.
9) Is direct response advertising in Slovenia common?
We have international player TopShop/Studio Moderna who is really one of the top players in the EU.
10) What is the single most exciting development in direct marketing you have seen in the past 12 months?
Well done triggered campaigns (if it is done really smart: timing, story …) the results can be really awsome.
11) When comparing direct marketing skills in Slovenia to central and northern Europe, what is the status?
I would say that we are on the same level:
- Our market is small (2 mio people) so we have to test and play our game in the niche markets (5.000, 10.000) so we developed really strong segmentation.
- A lot of slovenian Direct Marketing professionals visit the DMA in USA and other European Direct Marketing Congresses, so we are getting up-to-date on know how and trends
- The tradition of Direct marketing in Slovenia is long (ca. from 1970).