24sata's Digital Takeover Conference in Zagreb confirmed its unique status in the region

This year's Digital Takeover took place (again!) at CineStar in Branimir Center, Zagreb, and hosted digital experts and decision makers from across the region, including more than 60 partners.

The biggest regional digital conference, Digital Takeover, was organized by 24sata and held at CineStar in Zagreb Branimir Center, bringing together 1,300 visitors from Croatia and from other countries in the region, including digital experts, decision makers, startups and some of the most influential companies from all over the region. With this year's conference, Digital Takeover has confirmed its status of a unique project in the region, and the extensive 11-hour program taking place in five halls consisted of a series of lectures, panel discussions and presentations delivered by leading Croatian and world experts.

The conference was opened by Boris Trupčević, general manager from 24sata. During the opening presentation, he announced the program of the conference that would take its attendees to the future. “Billboards are not the hottest trend in advertising today. Targeting, algorithms, content marketing, online video... These are the concepts that redefine how we talk to the consumers. And that is where we can see an amazing global growth. Today's world of marketing is more complex than a big bright billboard”, said Trupčević. He pointed out the importance that companies' top-level executives, who should be leading by example, have in the process of digital transformation, but also the importance of every person working for you―because the success or failure of the transformation depends on the people. 

Nenad Filipović, Digital Transformation Expert and Director of Executive Education at the IEDC – Bled School of Management said that “culture is both a major problem and a barrier because one of the main reasons why digital transformation fails is that people at the top do not have a clear vision why change is necessary and where it might lead them. And the reason they don't know that is because they're not familiar with their market.”

The following lecture, “The Future Business and Communication Landscape” was held by Johan Ronnestam, Sweden's leading branding expert, a Cannes Lions winner, inventor and futurist. He started by going back to 1971, when ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet, was created. At the beginning of the century, large companies refused to be advertised on the Internet, but the launch of YouTube in 2005 changed everything. Later on other things appeared, so today, we are witnessing the digitization of society and the all-connected world. “How can we get people to notice us?”―that is the wrong question. We need to ask ourselves: How can we get people want to notice us? Today, we have all the information at our fingertips. If you use your platforms to share interesting information with people, people will visit them. Only then you can start thinking about launching your products and services and about your earnings”, said Ronnestam.

During the panel discussion on digital metrics, Boris Trupčević emphasized, while referring to the investments in advertising, that global trends indicate that there will be a significant outflow of the budget from television because there is no other option, i.e. that digital will most certainly grow in terms of investments at the expense of television. One of the topics was also the programmatic advertising. Zoran Turković pointed out that the education of the market is the main obstacle for the digital advertising to fully blossom, while Igor Žeželj from Wireless Media added that the programmatic advertising is something that is undoubtedly coming.
When speaking about influencer marketing, Trupčević pointed out that it is a real phenomenon that is happening in Croatia as well. Influencers are becoming relevant to each audience segment, and we can see an enormous growth in video advertising in case of Joomboos. “I think we live in the golden age of video”, said Vedad Mulalić and emphasized that video is present on all the devices the users use to log in. 

One of the lectures was held by Jesper Laursen, founder of the Native Advertising Institute and Denmark's leading expert in content marketing. He stressed that the most important thing for native advertising is that the content is similar to the content of the media on which it is being published. He pointed out that the online audience does not want to be interrupted for no reason, but to be approached with high quality and valuable content, and that is why this kind of advertising works. He added that by 2020 investments in native advertising are expected to increase by 19% compared to 2015, when it accounted for 10% of the total budget for advertising. 

The last lecture was given by Kjell A. Nordström, professor at the Stockholm School of Economics, author of the bestseller “Funky Business” and one of the most influential thinkers of our time. “Today we are aware of what the technology can provide us, and what are its advantages and disadvantages”, said Nordström. He tried to answer what technology actually is. He said that “iPhone is basically human knowledge captured in a small box”. He also said that we are living in the matrix that controls us.

He continued this rather interesting lecture by saying that technology today is developing 10 times faster than at the time of the industrial revolution, and that the knowledge that we as a species have obtained has seen exponential growth, and yet every morning when we wake up we are more stupid than the day before. He pointed out that everything that can be digitized is becoming less important. Also, he highlighted that originality is a rare find in today's world, and everything else is merely a copy. “Almost every hotel and every car is the same. We copy each other and inspire each other, and then we fall off the cliff together. The conclusion is that it is necessary to restore the originality we had in the past and which made us successful back then", said one of the world's most influential thinkers and finished his presentation at the Digital Takeover.