DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions’ Account Manager/Innovation Lead Nenad Ilić talked to Media Marketing.
IAA YP is a place that means a lot to the young marketers community and people interested in this industry in general because it allows young people to execute different projects and set things in motion through connectedness and senior colleagues’ support.
You moved from the finance world to the agency world. What appealed to you about the field?
That story is long and complicated. So much so that it could warrant its own article. 😊 But yes, what you said is true. After graduating in auditing and financial management and a relatively brief stint in this area, I moved to the agency and the world of marketing, brands, and communications. To be honest, at that time I had no idea what a full-service agency actually does and what my job would entail exactly. So, I don’t have a precise answer to your question about what appealed to me about this field, but I can tell you what made me stay in it. I know that one sentence in the interview invitation was enough to draw my attention: “We’re looking for someone who loves numbers to pair them up with marketing.” The work’s dynamics and diversity, great environment, and lots of room for learning and progress are what kept me and still does.
You obviously chose well. Your work and efforts were recognized in the industry, and you were made an IAA Young Professionals board member. What should young people in this industry be held responsible for and how important is their networking?
IAA YP is a place that means a lot to the young marketers community and people interested in this industry in general because it allows young people to execute different projects and set things in motion through connectedness and senior colleagues’ support, as well as express their views and develop new ideas and good practices. Networked through the YP extension, we have a space and platform to fulfill — most importantly, without the constraints set by clients and agencies — all the colorful and “unattainable” dreams that we casually and timidly talk about because we know that as soon as we say them out loud, someone will say that it can’t be done for this or that reason. Our responsibility is to make sure we don’t miss this opportunity!
What is crucial for young people to make it in the communications industry?
The formula is the same in every industry: commitment, responsibility, and perseverance.
Young leaders should be spearheading changes that will shape the industry in the future. What changes would you make? What kind of future do you want to see for this industry?
Personally, I’m not partial to the direction the industry is taking right now. On the one hand, we talk a lot about personalizing and targeting everyone individually wherever and however we can, just to send the message. On the other hand, we completely ignore those same individuals and whether they even want to see those messages every time they open the fridge door or cut up an orange. Brands and big corporations are not the ones that should dictate what young people should do and how, but vice versa. Brands will never do things that make life better without having a serious underlying interest colored with numbers. Conversely, young people are the ones with many times greater power, not in money, but in the desire to do things differently! The world’s problems are increasingly bigger, and if we don’t move quicker to change things, we might find ourselves in a place where it’s too late for change.
What your take on the relationship between the media and agencies in Serbia and what do you think is key for advancing this relationship?
Although we do share the same objective, it seems to me that we’re kind of sitting on the opposite sides of the table. I’m seeing a lack of collaboration and partnership between these two sides, which is obviously a bit of a paradox since agencies and the media are the ones that should together help clients to reach their consumers with their messages in the best possible way.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your work?
People and working with people have most definitely always been challenging. Every individual moves through life in their own way with all their features, traits, and worldviews. Infinite different personalities, each special and different from the next. Forming a strong and balanced team while keeping the uniqueness of each member is my biggest challenge right now. At times, that can seem like rocket science, but I do believe it’s possible.
And what is the biggest lesson you learned so far?
That every problem gets solved at the end of the day.
Do you have any hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I like to spend my free time — which I have increasingly less and I don’t like it at all — in a relaxed setting with the people I love, friends, and family. I take every opportunity to travel, and I use marketeering as a way to get away from everything, at least for a moment.