David Bagashvili: "The Future is in New and Digital Media"
Interview with Marketing Director at "Business Partner," David Baghashvili
Tell us about how you got into the field of marketing, and what factors played an important role in choosing this profession?
At the age of 14, I first heard the word “PR,” and immediately began searching for information that would help me understand exactly what public relations meant. Over the course of 3-4 years, I read many articles, translated and read e-books, I understood many things, many - no, however, I felt that this was the job I wanted, and was closest to my nature. I was most afraid of the routine, and never wanted to do something that wasn’t fun. I was in love with a few words: improvisation, freedom, and creativity, and it was impossible to connect those words to any profession back then, because you couldn’t find anyone who wasn't skeptical about this. Consequently, I no longer pursued banking and finance, and went where my heart and mind would go.
What challenges do you face as a leader in marketing, during a time of technological change?
Marketing is a field where you have day-to-day challenges, you are not just focused on yourself or your brand. Global competition is increasing, the market is constantly evolving, especially in technologically. The key challenge is to follow all the changes, know and analyze them, have the ability to adapt, be flexible and risky. Part of my job deals with traditional media, but we have long agreed that the future is in new and digital media, so the key challenge here is that we adapt our product to digital media.
What has changed in the field in the last 5 years, and what changes are expected?
First, we found the idiosyncracies of PR, marketing, advertising and sales, which makes me very happy, but we still struggle with our colleagues and clients in this regard. I think our sector is evolving in a good direction, as evidenced by the various international awards or investments that we have attracted in the field. As I said before, our field is growing, changing and constantly evolving, what changes there will be, I don't know exactly, but the changes I want to make, I can say. I want to become an active participant in global marketing, to go beyond Georgia with our brands and ideas, and to gain more benefits, both for the country and for ourselves. When you create a new product today, you don't just think about Georgia, because no one is keeping us from thinking globally, and the scale need to change very quickly, so that we can do business, even in other countries in the region.
What do you think are the most important qualities a marketing manager should have, and what is his or her role in the organization in general?
First, we are business consultants, and then marketers. Because we are focused on creating value for both the organization and the target audience, we do all this through the manipulation of price, product, promotion. Consequently, marketers need a deep understanding and a deep analysis of business models, without which it will always be difficult to get the results they expect from our service.
We need to be curious, strategically creative, organized, and most importantly, brilliant communicators. We need to be able to articulate the issues clearly and easily, and always have a strategy to move to a new stage. We need to know how to bring any form of communication to a particular goal, and that we are moving to positive results.
What do you do to keep the organization from falling behind on new trends, and keep applying innovative approaches to marketing?
In addition to television, I work in the hospitality sector. I consult hotels and resorts to discover their potential and improve their results. In general, tourism is growing, improving, and evolving very quickly, so special attention and preparation is needed to quickly adapt to novelties. In this direction, new tools often come up, or you have to create something new that can be useful. At the same time, I am working on a project on artificial intelligence for tourism, which will greatly simplify and streamline all the different communication processes we use to attract tourists.
What’s your organization’s business model, in terms of marketing?
We are facing a very simple model and task, the satisfaction and benefits of all the rings involved in the process, expressed not only verbally but also in numbers. Since our model is based on long-term communication and avoiding one-time relationships, so from the very first collaboration we are focused on our clients as much as possible, to make sure they are in the right place. These benefits that are always found in the numbers, and these are paramount, they are not just a financial indicator.
One word that describes your job.
Improvisation or force majeure, but I would say the first one, it sounds more positive.
The most useful advice you’ve ever received in your life?
I do not have such explicit advice, but I would point out those situations where it was said to be impossible, because of the pushback, I find this more motivating; if it’s risky or even if it goes wrong, this mistake is an additional opportunity for growth and development.
Think of a person who inspires you, professionally.
It's not a person, but the founders of the world's top brands, who tell us everyday that things are not as they are in the book. There are endless resources in these people, and with their help, you can discover new version of yourself.