Worked in: Sarajevo, Bosnia; Prague, the former Czechoslovakia; New York, USA
If anyone has earned the mantle of Internationalist, it is certainly Sasha Savic. After childhood and early years spent in Eastern Europe, he transitioned to an extraordinary career in the US managing international media for many of the Top 100 Global Brands from such multinational powerhouses as Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Gillette, ExxonMobil, Intel, and Mastercard.
Known as a strategic thinker who deeply understands clients' needs, Sasha has become MPG’s first Chief Commercial Officer, tasked with building revenue at several entities under the Havas Media umbrella, including MPG, Havas Digital and Havas Sports & Entertainment. He reports to Maria Luisa Francoli, Havas Media's N.A. CEO
Name an innovative idea or business solution for which you are most proud. I’m most proud of my design and deployment of the real-time communications model for Havas Media clients. The convergence of media and technology (including digital) has enabled us to create a continuous, instantaneous feedback loop—although the sheer volume of real-time data can be overwhelming. Yet we have been able to create a model that synthesizes this data succinctly, allowing us to translate it into business results for our clients.
Dictionary definitions aside, how would you characterize innovation in the work you do? “Innovation is the best way to stay in, and grow, your business. The lack of innovation is the easiest way to lose a client.”
Why do people see you as an innovator? Throughout my career, I have never been afraid to challenge the status quo, and I am naturally curious. How could we do things better? What can we learn from successful companies in other industries? What haven’t we thought of yet? What need does our client’s product fulfill for their consumers? By constantly questioning, you’re able to avoid standing still and getting too comfortable working a certain way. Last summer, I had the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of attending professional film school at the New York Film Academy. The lessons I learned there about storytelling and context have been invaluable to the work I do with our teams and our clients, and I believe were unlikely to have come from within our industry.
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today? Innovation plays a central role in our marketing strategies for clients. It is an integral part of our work, including new ways of targeting, measurement, and content distribution. Additionally, innovation enables us to constantly search for improvements and optimizations of our marketing plans.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? Some of the biggest challenges are money, battles over ownership, and potential lack of investment across the network. However, we are fortunate in that we generally do a good job of getting the right buy-ins for big-picture ideas from the start, which makes activation less difficult.
Any other interesting aspects to your international background? I have traveled to more than 60 countries (and counting) around the world. Before coming over to the agency side of our business, I started the first independent radio program in the former Yugoslavia. I also worked as a radio DJ and TV host.
I am passionate about conservation issues related to Atlantic Salmon rivers around the world.