The most important element of advertising are the people working in it. Mona Opran has a lot to say about the people of Centrade|Cheil.
Digitalization has transfromed whole industries, including advertising. How has it affected the agency structure?
Four years ago we had the first structural transformation that was based on industry digitalization. Back then, we challenged the traditional structure and created integrated breed of advertisers: brand + digital + BTL across disciplines, from accounts, to planners and to creative. It proved to be the right direction, as consumers don’t think in channels anymore. People take note of what they see and they act on how they feel. For our clients, this is the moment of truth.
Today, digital is embedded in our lives, digital is not only a channel, is not a discipline but is an integrated part of how people relate and communicate daily. We consider ourselves a digital agency … and more; we give a full consumer journey proposition to client, pushing on those pressure points that bring value to client business. The next step is to steer the agency towards a data-driven creative content, using technology to identify and build on most valuable interactions thus generating measurable results.
A digital world needs digital experts. What are the most important factors when hiring and training people?
We take hiring very seriously. We have a strong and united team, and no person is more important than other. Because each of us has an equally important role in building the business, we are very transparent in what we are offering and what we are asking; we have clear objectives, measurable KPIs, and evaluations. We try to keep subjectivity at minimum and chemistry has an important role as well.
Talent management is extremely important. Part of a manager’s job is to identify and nurture talent. Our HR strategy is very much linked to talent growth with the agency’s strategic direction. We have trainings across disciplines, we attend various conferences, and we have tailored programs for individuals. In addition to this, Cheil is a specialized network that is relentless in communication innovation. Regional workshops provide an efficient tool to build competences across all countries.
Let’s put aside business for a moment. Are there other important areas for Centrade |Cheil?
We are part of an industry that has the potential to do good. We have historically connected to the community we live and work in, either as individual volunteers or through agency services. Professionally, our CEO was the founding member of industry associations in Romania (IAA and UAPR). Today Radu Florescu and myself continue to get involved in raising the industry bar as active board members of both associations.
As an agency, we stay close to helping associations by supporting the local community and linking NGOs with our / industry clients. Our current projects include United Way, Professional Women’s Network, Junior Achievement “Make a Wish” and “AcademIAA”.
Overall, we try to unite people interest with company values and with trusted associations thus driving all passion and skills in a collective way.
It’s not easy to be always on the top. What gives you personal inspiration in your work?
My first inspiration point comes from the simple fact that I love my work – as they say, if you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life. I see our industry as an instrument to building qualitative relations: between people, between brands, between needs and solutions; often things happen because people or brands don’t know how to communicate and how to build a relation.