Jovana Zatarakoska works in the market research and consulting department as a senior expert for quantitative and qualitative research at the Skopje-based agency Market Vision. The company considers her a real gem and she got that epithet thanks to her elegance and grace in everything she does. Behind the always communicative and smiling colleague, they say, hides an outstanding analyst and psychologist, organizer of research projects, but also a creative person who contributes to ideas and solutions. Jovana especially stood out working on projects for clients such as DM, Deutsche Telekom, Avon and different state institutions and agencies such as AVMU, AEK and others. As a graduate psychologist, she enjoys insight into the essence of consumer needs and behavior.
MM: Where does the motivation to enter the world of communications come from? As a child, did you dream of becoming a senior expert in quantitative and qualitative research?
Jovana Zatarakoska: Yes, yes, yes, I really enjoyed playing with the calculator and asking everyone about anything and everything. Hahaha, I’m kidding. I think I gradually entered it and fell in love with the world of marketing communications, consumer and market research. During my studies, I worked part-time as an interviewer and got into the essence of marketing by reading questions, guessing reactions and answers. I saw a connection to what I was studying and was even more motivated. Namely, psychology is a science that strives to explain human behavior, its impulses, etc. The questions are very important – how they are conceptualized, how they are asked, in what environment, at what moment, etc., all these are factors need to be taken into account if we want to get honest answers. There are no correct or incorrect answers in the surveys.
MM: And, do you regret that decision now?
Jovana Zatarakoska: Not at all, because I work in a department that is very important for all other marketing activities. If you have accurate and quality information about the market, about competition, about the attitudes and habits of your target group, then you will be able to set the right goals in your work, strategies that will not take you in the opposite direction, right? You can have great advertising, but your perception of a product may not match the perception of other people. Maybe it’s about tastes, maybe it’s about the “obsolescence” of the product, so it needs re-make, etc. All in all, this is a very dynamic, challenging job that brings satisfaction because, if you have done your part of the job well as a researcher, other marketing sectors will be able to do their job even better.
MM: Many see research jobs as something dry, but you have a passion for this business. What is it about research that inspires you?
Jovana Zatarakoska: I think I mentioned a lot of things that make this job interesting, but I did not mention that the research involves a lot of hard work on the control of questions and answers, cross-analyzes and the like. In addition to working with databases, with data and statistical variables, there are also focus groups, interviews that are interesting because they reveal how unique or similar we all are in some aspects.
MM: You are a graduate psychologist but also a creative person, always ready to jump in with advice and a new idea. Is there any advice I would share with other young leaders?
Jovana Zatarakoska: Believe in yourself, be brave and do your job well, be open to new things, to advice and customer requests. It is always appreciated, because this job is very dynamic and through it you meet different types of people, different activities. Do your job but don’t forget that marketing is teamwork. And to be exceptional, and your client satisfied above all expectations, you need to have an “ace in your sleeve” and dedicate the time and the budget to go above and beyond the client’s brief.
MM: Change is the only constant, and young leaders should be at the forefront of change in our industry. What would you change to make the industry better?
Jovana Zatarakoska: I would encourage the cooperation of educational institutions with companies, so that they can help and develop each other. But it is essential to have healthy market competition, for quality to come out in the first place. Young leaders should strive for quality and demand top quality from their associates because creativity knows no boundaries!
MM: What is the most important lesson you have learned in this industry for you?
Jovana Zatarakoska: The devil is in the detail – be consistent and precise, pay attention to detail, because details can make a big difference in our business. To be competitive, you need to follow trends, be up to date with everyday events and exceed customer expectations. Also – good cooperation with the client is very important.
MM: Is there something you still want to achieve in this industry, some unfulfilled goal?
Jovana Zatarakoska: I worked on many different projects, but most of them were from the business sphere. I would like to dedicate myself and give my maximum in a comprehensive research project on a social topic, the results of which would be the basis for creating new policies to overcome social problems, such as improving the lives of children and youth, women and marginalized groups.
MM: What do you dedicate your free time to?
Jovana Zatarakoska: I often attend theater and opera performances. I actively practice Pilates and try to spend as much time as possible with the people I love in a relaxed atmosphere and with good music.