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Andrei Zinkevich: a digital marketer’s point of view on Split’s tech community

Split Tech City

Split Tech City

14.07.2022.

As you already know, we have gotten into this habit of periodically sitting down for a chat with Andrei Zinkevich. 🙂

A Split Tech City volunteer, a digital marketing expert with over 15 years of experience in the field, and the co-founder of Fullfunnel.io and ROIplan, Andrei already shared his insights about the lifestyle changes he experienced upon moving to Split.

Therefore, it’s time for another topic! This time, we will discuss the local tech community.

Its good points, as well as some things that Andrei noticed with his keen marketer’s eye – things that could be improved for the benefit of everyone in the community. So, without further ado – on to our chosen topic!

“As we all know, a large majority of the people in the tech industry can work from anywhere. This became particularly obvious after the pandemic shifted the way people work, but it was also a fact before this global shift happened.

The tech professionals also relocate really fast. The demand for high-skilled workers in this sector is high. Therefore, this requires good business conditions. Without them, they will seek opportunities elsewhere.

The first thought is that governmental institutions need to provide an added value to the tech companies to achieve retention of talent and to draw new skilled workers here. But how to achieve that?

By leveraging the potential of the existing community.

What is really great here in Split is that you have a local tech community that is very well connected and full of people who are passionate about it.

Starting just from Split Tech City as an NGO, a lot of buzz and energy is created with content about the community, as well as numerous events – educational ones, as well as those that create connections – for an audience that spans everyone, from industry professionals to students.

This all is done really well even without the support of the government, but exclusively with the support of the local community that also directly benefits from its membership in Split Tech City.

Additionally, you have started to promote the city’s tech scene worldwide by creating content in English to showcase the vibrancy of the local tech community, as well as provide information about it to anyone who is looking for it.

When I was moving here, finding any information that wasn’t related to tourism was much more difficult.

However, to really spread the word worldwide, a solitary effort often isn’t enough. You need momentum. Enough people need to spread the word about it, to increase awareness of what is going on in Split.

Because that awareness will create demand. People will want to move here because they will be aware of all the benefits life in Split brings. And this leads me to the biggest drawback I’ve noticed here: passivity.

What I’ve noticed as a marketer – and here I must say that this is just an objective observation, nothing more – is that a lot of people here are very passive about their own growth.

Yes, they’ve created stable businesses, they have enough income and companies that are considered successful, etc. And, potentially – that may be enough for them.

However, this passivity actually influences the entire community.

Without marketing, without working on putting the word out there to draw skilled workers to consider coming here, the focus primarily shifted to students. This is not bad, but it is not sustainable, either. You need seniors to guide those students. So, you need to attract high-skilled workers, as well.

This means you need the type of marketing that will attract high-skilled people by highlighting the benefits of living in Split and working for companies here, as well as real, tangible opportunities for growth. Not just empty phrases in a job advert.

Of course, passivity isn’t just a local problem, it’s present globally. Even though we logically know nothing is permanent in this world and that constant change is actually the only permanent thing – nothing ever stays the same – we are still at fault for staying within our comfort zone too often and stopping the progress of positive change in order to avoid the possible negative one.

What everybody here can do to change this comfortable passivity is to leverage what they already have in the local community.

For example, if Split Tech City already exists and you are its member, leverage its platforms to spread the word about your tech expertise and specialties.

Start using the channels where your target audience is – high-skilled workers or potential business partners. You have to give them a reason to choose you.

You have to give them that benefit that will win them over.

Aside from nice weather, and the historical and natural beauty, Split also has a vibrant tech community. Showcase that by spreading the word about it. Turn it into the benefit I’ve mentioned.

You also need to work on employer branding and community building related to your company. That is another way to attract the right people.

When enough community members do this, momentum will be created. That’s unavoidable.

And we all know that any kind of momentum created in the private sector has the power to be noticed by the government and influence change.

If you want to improve the entrepreneurial mindset here into one that is more active and globally oriented, don’t wait for the government to make the changes, start making the changes yourself.

By building upon what you already have – and that’s a lively tech community that keeps growing daily.”

We’ll leave you to reflect on Andrei’s insights about the local community. You’ll have some time until our next chat with him which will be all about his specialty – marketing! 😀

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Split Tech City

We are the first formal association of Split’s tech community which includes companies, associations, institutions, meetups, and individuals.

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