Last year Oxygen became the first integrated communications agency in Romania to offset its carbon footprint and become carbon-neutral. The agency also launches a new department providing companies strategic consulting and communication services on sustainability. These initiatives are part of Oxygen’s commitment to contribute to the fight against climate change and support companies on their business sustainability journey. But this is only one aspect of the agency’s successful 2022.
BR sat down with Tereza Tranakas, founder & CEO Oxygen, and found out more about the agency’s past year, as well as her view on the marcomm industry and what to expect from 2023.
By Romanita Oprea
How was 2022 from a business point of view? What were the most important changes & novelties in the agency in 2022?
2022 was a recovery year for the entire marcom industry, after the drop during the pandemic. Our growth strategy focused on two main areas: investing forward in strengthening our capabilities and team with core talents and knowhow, and developing our services in new areas such as sustainability. We continued to focus on maintaining a balanced and healthy client portfolio, building long-term partnerships with our clients. And last but not least, we stayed true to our values in terms of people-centricity and sustainability, being the only carbon-neutral agency in Romania as well as the first to offer consultancy in this area as well. All areas of services grew in 2022: advertising & creative, social media, events, PR, digital strategic consultancy, employer branding etc.
If we look at numbers, we significantly increased our turnover compared to the previous year for both Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca offices, reaching an estimated 7.5 million Euros in revenues and placing us among the top 10 advertising & communication agencies on the market.
Generally, it was a very intense year in the marcomm industry with many projects and campaigns until the last days. Was it the same for Oxygen?
It was indeed a full year, where things moved fast and we had to balance multiple fronts. We are happy to say that with a growing client portfolio and a bigger team, we were able to deliver outstanding results on all client campaigns.
How has the Cluj agency performed? What do you wish for 2023?
The Cluj office doubled in size and revenue compared to the previous year. In 2023, as we’re entering the 5th year since our establishment there, we feel that our efforts are paying off and being recognized on the local market as a serious and reliable top player.
What did clients want the most in 2022? Do you see any changes in their approaches?
Partnerships, results and consistency. The market is growing more mature, with clients understanding the need and the benefits of building strong partnerships with their agencies, which ultimately bring better results. Measuring impact has never been more important, with clients having a tight watch over budget spent vs. ROI, as customers are becoming more conscious and selective.
What do you consider the latest trends that are arriving in the marcomm industry and why?
Some of the key trends for 2023 that will impact our industry include: customer experience across digital channels, checking off sustainability requirements, continued growth of influencer marketing, transformations brought by AI, social commerce growth and prioritization of customer & employee retention vs lead acquisition.
How has your sustainability approach impacted the business so far and what are your expectations for 2023?
In 2023, we launched our Sustainability department that undertakes projects both internally within our agency as well as for our clients. I am expecting this area to have a significant growth in the coming years.
What is the goal for the agency in 2023?
2023 marks 15 years since our agency was established. Our long-term aim is to continue our healthy growth, being among the leading agencies in Romania in terms of revenue and recognition for the quality of our services and at the same time, nurturing a balanced & sustainable company culture. Every year, we make a step forward in our evolution and this is my goal for 2023 as well.
Where do you see the Romanian marcomm industry compared to the European marcomm industry?
I see a strong progress year on year for the local marcomm industry, if we look at the campaigns that are being rolled out. There are still many things to improve compared to our Western European counterparts, but I feel we are ahead in many ways, compared to other Southeastern European markets.
Where do you believe to be our industry’s main problems and how can they be changed?
Talent aquisition and retention remain a challenge for our industry as well as many other sectors. Unfair competition especially related to price dumping, is something that we are witnessing, which is a poor practice that we should get rid of, at least when speaking of A-league agencies. This also has to do with clients choosing to pay the right price for the quality of the services, not the cheapest price.
How much of an important role are still having the consultancy and the strategy in 2023?
Strategic consultancy has always been important and more so, during years of economic and geopolitical uncertainty. Companies can rely on agencies such as Oxygen, with solid expertise in strategic communications and reputation building, to traverse turbulent times and stay connected to their stakeholders.