September 10 2020  |  Industry News

Smart Project takes partners and participants on a digital journey

By Jas Ryat

Nadia Emelyanenko, CEO & Founder of Smart Project, believes remote technology will become the way of the future for travel retail

Based in Moscow, Russia, Smart Project offers a wide range of marketing works and services to drive business, increase brand reputation and support recruitment and training. With a general specialization in below the line (BTL) marketing within the travel retail industry, the advertising and promotion agency consists of a dozen in-office employees including account managers, project managers and marketing specialists and more than 100 field staff members.

According to Nadia Emelyanenko, CEO & Founder, Smart Project is experienced in leading every step of the marketing process from production and design to content and logistics. As a partner of the Moodie Davitt Virtual Expo, the agency will spotlight its offering of digital solutions next month. Since 2015, Smart Project has been a member of the Eurasian Association of Duty Free (EADF). One year later, the agency took on the role of official representative of Russia and CIS for the Airport Promotion Association (APA).

During this challenging time, Emelyanenko expresses her support of all participants within the duty free and travel retail market. Although facing a situation of uncertainty and experiencing a significant loss in revenue, Smart Project has been able to generate mutual support among the industry, protect its dedicated team of employees and staff members and maintain positive relationships with its partners by providing online training. It’s her belief that the impact of COVID-19 will soon become a memory.

Uniting operators & sharing knowledge

As mentioned, throughout the last several months, the team has partnered with a number of clients (and brands) to present virtual training sessions, programs and activations. The agency united operators from a long list of regions such as Moscow, Kiev, Borispol, St. Petersburg and Minsk to participate in a digital journey – a virtual tour of cities and countries across the globe. With the goal to add a new element for each digital journey, Smart Project developed online Q&A games, educational quizzes, contests and discussions. In addition to the games, many clients invited special guests to join in the fun. For example, Whyte & Mackay welcomed Richard Paterson, Master Blender, and Loch Lomond Group featured André de Almeida, Commercial Director of GTR, writer and blogger.

Free of charge for all participants, with the sharing and acquiring of knowledge a top priority, each session aimed to connect and educate people from across the country. Scheduled three weeks ahead of time, on average, 100 – 300 people tuned in to learn about consumer groups, brands’ inspiration and methods of creating fragrances and skincare and techniques to cope with questions in regards to the promotion of limited-edition travel retail products. In action since mid-April, over 40 training sessions have occurred, with participants from 12 Russian cities. Emelyanenko says that representatives from leading beverage, beauty and lifestyle brands have trained 1,000+ travel retail employees.

A snapshot of the future

When asked about remote technology becoming the way of the future for travel retail, the CEO & Founder explains that we already live in a digital world and concepts like remote working and learning lend to the applying of virtual tours, online consultants and new technologies in order to attract consumers and drive sales.

“[For many people, it is easier and more available to make an online order or purchase and use zoom or another form of online communication to discuss, negotiate and train.

Remote technology is going to be the way of the future for travel retail and I think that most of the customers are already ready for this. We also need to keep up with them and adjust to this world, situations and customers’ demands, offering them new solutions and gadgets,”] she adds.

Looking ahead, the team is excited to continue its tradition of catching up with its travel retail family at TFWA via a digital format through its partnership with the Virtual Expo. Smart Project will be presenting its new advertising instrument – a digital program for brand ambassadors, beauty consultants and promoters to increase engagement on the shop floor.

To learn more about the agency and its services, please visit: www.smartproject.ru

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