Oskars Lakšēvics: MANAGING DIRECTOR, TBWA\Latvia

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Oskars Lakšēvics has over 14 years of experience in the marketing and communications field, first as a journalist and then as a PR consultant, where he represented companies in both the government and private sectors. In 2014 he jumped to the field of marketing and advertising by becoming the Managing Director of TBWA Latvia. Oskars has shown high efficiency in development and implementation of marketing strategies and campaigns for local market leaders as well as international companies in Baltics, European countries, Russia, CIS, Asia, US.

How did you get into the industry?

I began my career as a journalist more than 14 years ago, after which I moved over to the PR industry.  After a decade of working there, I accepted an offer to join TBWA/Latvia as business development director.  Soon I was promoted to managing director and became a member of the company’s board.

Any emerging industrial trends?

We have seen that rapid expansion and development of technologies has left an irreversible effect on the industry.  For instance, clients have begun to adjust their budgets so as to provide more and more financing for digital communications.  Some of them already have bigger budgets for digital communications than ATL.

Technologies allow clients to work on a 24/7 basis, and clients are used to very quick services.  They demand that companies act equally quickly.  This is a chain reaction, and it is logical that clients demand the same from us.  The speed of digital expansion has had an effect on the advertising industry.  We have to be faster than ever before.  Even more, the speed of the public agenda has changed our co-operation with clients.  The industry worked in the same way for many decades – the agency received a brief and delivered the campaign.  Today we don’t always have time to wait for the brief.  We have to be proactive and act in line with the speed of our surrounding culture.  This is why the TBWA network has launched the new “Disruption Live” tool.

Any opportunities or challenges in the industry?

There are three big pillars for our business – creative excellence, a strong strategic vision and timeliness. Technologies have very much sped up the rhythm of life, and response time is of great importance.  Thousands and thousands of news items appear every day, and the things that are important today may not be important tomorrow.  We must act quickly.

Any inspirations behind your business idea and your vision?

We are moving away from being an “ad-man,” instead becoming a “math man.”  It is likely that everyone in the industry has heard two magic words – “big data.”  We have come to the point where data are of great importance in terms of customer insights, consumer behaviour, statistics and other types of information that are of importance.  80% of the data in the world have been created over the past couple of years, and the percentage will increase even more quickly in future years.  This is why we need an effective tool to help us during times like these, and we do have such a tool within the TBWA network– Disruption Live.

What’s next for your business in the near future?

TBWA/Latvia underwent a relaunch two years ago.  We took a risk and hired key personnel for our agency, choosing people who had never worked in the advertising field before.  The industry often discusses “thinking outside of the box,” but the fact is that if someone has worked in the industry for 20 years or longer, then it is very difficult to think outside of the framework that one has set up for oneself.  It seems that we made the right decision, because the agency has grown both in terms of its business operations and the talent of its employees.

What are your key initiatives for the success of the business?

We’ve done our homework.  We have hired new and talented employees, we have implemented a new approach and business model for new challenges, and we have the very powerful Disruption Live tool.  This is an operating model that always makes it possible to identify and use current trends and cultural triggers in everyday brand communication.  This is how the agency and its clients can stay in sync with culture and transfer this knowledge into action and creative ideas.

Your most difficult moment in the business and what you learned?

I am still young and relatively inexperienced in the industry, so I assume that my hard times are still in future.

What is the ideal experience for your customers and clients?

We appreciate two things – trust and long-term relationships.  Trust helps us to do our job at the highest level, while long-term relationships are essential if we are to understand the client’s business down to the smallest detail.  Most of the top brands with which we are partnering have been working with TBWA/Latvia for many years.

How do you motivate others?

I do two very simple things – I lead by example, and when I notice excellent work, I say “thank you.”  We are all humans, and we need to be noticed if we are to reach new and ever new heights.

What career advice can you give to those in your industry?

Never stop expanding your horizons, always find gaps in your self-development and fill them up, and develop the ability to listen: to clients, to colleagues, to industry professionals and to others.