Market Landscape

What are the major corporations across sectors that have decision-making units based in the region?

Bulgaria is a small market and most HQ and decision makers are based outside the country. This makes the process of making a direct approach towards them difficult, requiring other instruments for communication – third party connections, networks connections, etc.

What are the “hottest sectors” for start-ups?

The hottest sectors for start-ups in Bulgaria are: Fintech/ICT, product development and services.

What kind of sectors are the rising stars in the local economy?

Surely a rising star of the local economy are our outsourcing and R&D centres.

Communication Environment

What holds sway in your region – traditional or new media types and influencers? How is that changing?

Due to the size of the Bulgarian market and limited budgets, United Partners is exploring innovative marketing solutions and following trendsetters on a global level. Influencer marketing – working with local and global platforms for identifying micro influencers, social media listening and reporting – using local tools to better identify news and topics in the local language, virtual press-rooms – for UP and clients, conversation to commerce methods to bring business value to clients, inbound PR and marketing solutions to grow both UP and the client’s businesses. Other web-based tools to improve the connections between the clients-agency-target groups are taking place in the everyday life of operations in UP. We will still explore traditional media, but via innovative ways and tools (e.g. Prowly).

What is the influence ecosystem – the media, analysts, consultants and non-traditional influencers (bloggers etc). And where to start in this ecosystem?

United Partners focuses its attention on influencer marketing by means of the development of their own influencer rating platform and influencer mapping for different sectors, based on client needs. The main goal is to provide a structured and reliable approach to clients when working with influencers – bloggers, vloggers, other KOLs. Based on its experience, the agency is putting more efforts into micro-influencers, where ROI is more visible and measurable, and end-target consumers are more engaged with brand/company’s messages and products. One of the innovative methods we apply is Conversation to Commerce, where content creation and presentation to TGs is structured via reliable sources (media, blogs, e-commerce websites), content is well planned and shared via owned, paid channels, endorsers share it via their own channels in order to boost engagement with the product and the message and bring both real and business value to the client.

What kind of stories tends to dominate influencer/media attention? What type of stories receive little attention?

Influencers’ attention is mostly occupied by consumer/retail topics. Traditional media are interested in corporate news and less in terms of products. It is getting harder and harder to get their attention without spending at least part of the budget on them. Political news still determines the daily agenda of traditional media.

Communication Tools

What communication tools are the best to use in your market – media relations, social media, employer branding, events, content marketing, etc.?

Social media, employer branding, content marketing and a creative approach are the rulers of the integrated communications nowadays in our practice. Offline events and traditional media relations such as press releases are still valid and useful but clients are looking for different approaches and ways to attract customer attention, especially digitally.

What kind of communication software are you using in your daily activities? (media and social media monitoring, CRMs, knowledge management, project management, news distribution software, etc. – give names ).

Media monitoring:
• Sensika
• Media Zoom

SML:
• Sensika
• Sysomos
• Neticle

Project management and accounting:
• Zoho Projects | Zoho Books

Press room:
• Prowly

Inbound PR and marketing:
• HubSpot

Influencer marketing:
• Ghostlamp (international)
• RevTag (local)
• Ingluencers.bg (local)

Content and social media:
• HeyOrca

Internal policy updates and onboarding:
• Telentlms

Calendar:
• Google Calendar

Examples

Do you have any “horror stories” or anecdotes that demonstrate contemporary PR/communication practice in your region?

A global corporation operating in the field of fast consuming goods, with established corporate and procurement policies which forbid budget reduction pressure on subcontractors, sent us in a written request to lower our service fees. The example demonstrates the levels of respect that ‘big players’ have towards our market and the lack of regulations in cases like this.

 

The characteristics of Bulgarian market prepared by: United Partners