Armine Zakaryan, the Director at Deem Communications

Before diving into this article, I’d like to briefly introduce myself and why I’m the one behind these words. I’m Armine Zakaryan, the CEO of Deem Communications, and I’ve had the privilege of being part of this unique “human-first” company for the past 14 years.    With over two decades of industry experience, my journey has taken me far from Armenia to work abroad. Still, I willingly returned to Yerevan, with my most recent stop being the United Arab Emirates. Why? Because, in my heart, no place allows me to truly be the professional I would like to be like right here in Armenia.   Change is an inescapable facet of our world. It takes many forms, from technological advancements and shifts in consumer behavior to economic fluctuations and unexpected global events. Following the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing uncertainties around the globe, especially in Ukraine, Karabakh, and now the Middle East, which have impacted the volatility of our business environment, adaptability is the linchpin for survival and success. And when change happens in a small country like Armenia, with too much going on inside and out, it can be overwhelming. Whether a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) or a towering corporate giant, the ability to respond swiftly and effectively to changes in the marketplace (technology and consumer preferences) is the key to remaining relevant and competitive. Drawing on my experience and our success at DeeM, embracing a human-centric approach to running the business, I’d like to share a few strategies we’ve implemented to navigate the challenges of uncertain times in Armenia. Our approach has proven effective in weathering many storms.

Foster Learning Because Guessing Is Not a Strategy

A human-centric company is one that puts its people first. This means creating an inclusive workplace culture that values learning and growth. Invest in employee training and development to keep skills and knowledge up-to-date. Embrace technology and digitalization to streamline processes, enhance customer experiences, and stay competitive in this rapidly evolving tech-driven world. Provide opportunities for employees to learn from each other. This can be done through mentorship programs, peer coaching, and team-based learning activities. Companies can also encourage employees to share their knowledge and expertise with others through blog posts, presentations, and other forms of knowledge sharing. In fact, our collaboration with “Life in Armenia” is part of our learning process; at least that’s how we see it strategically!

The team

Stalk Your Audience the Right Way

One client once said that DeeM’s ideas “scare me because they’re so bold and risky.” But we’ve found that when we analyze the market and think outside the box, we often reap the rewards of taking that calculated risk. Regularly conducting market research to stay closely connected to our target audience is a priority for us. Understanding their evolving needs and preferences is essential, enabling the company to adjust its offerings accordingly. We have continually reshaped our offerings from the types of event management to consultancy and design work.    I’ve learned that we better communicate our ideas to our clients by understanding the current market position in contracts with their actual needs. We assess what they have on hand and study what they want to achieve with the given communications campaign so that we make effective decisions to achieve them. Market research helped DeeM adapt and pivot over time to focus on different aspects of the communication industry, from event/project management and PR to social media and awareness campaigns and strategic communications.

Take a risk

Bungee Jump into Business With Safety Ropes Tied

We’ve come to learn that circumstances are such that they can change drastically overnight, it’s essential to have a comprehensive risk management strategy in place, as part of the overall company strategy. This strategy should anticipate and address potential challenges related to market fluctuations and external events. For example, despite the challenges of COVID-19, DeeM remained committed to keeping its team connected and engaged. In short, we worked remotely for a year and even kept the team spirits high like the virtual celebrations of Easter by cracking eggs online and keeping the spirit alive. During the New Year celebrations we played virtual Secret Santa and used the growing digital services in the market to send gifts to each other. We immediately enhanced our digital project management tools to maintain the quality of our service provision. Clients did not feel any interruptions to their business. As the pandemic ended, we understood the needs of the workforce and created opportunities for the work-from-home options as part of our internal policy. This hybrid model provides flexibility and supports creativity, essential to DeeM’s success.

Dress Up, Dress Down

Fast forward 2 years, this hybrid work model is a major shift in how we approach our work process. It has given our current team the freedom to organize their work-life balance while ensuring organizations increased resilience and access to a wider talent pool. To thrive in this evolving landscape, companies should proactively address the challenges and opportunities of the hybrid work model. This topic was extensively discussed during the “Great Resignation” session at our Generation N conference last year.  To further foster a human-centric atmosphere, we transformed our space into a hub with many coworking-style spaces and several private rooms for private conversations or quiet focus. It also includes a spacious and sunlit kitchen with additional lounge and cozy coworking areas with daily home made lunch offered every day. Raffi Niziblian, the Founder and Creative Director of DeeM, has taught me to use the workspace as a team building opportunity. I relish this message as I have seen him personally make meals, even the Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey for our community dinners. A culture I highly cherish and capitalize on as I advance the leadership of DeeM.


Artificial intelligence

The Digital Work Magic

Central to the success of the hybrid work style is the concept of digital transformation. As companies embrace the blend of remote and in-person work, technology plays a pivotal role in facilitating this transition. Digital transformation underpins the hybrid work revolution as companies increasingly rely on digital solutions, cybersecurity becomes imperative. Protecting sensitive data and securing remote work setups are essential components of digital transformation. Robust cybersecurity measures, such as multi-factor authentication, encryption, and regular security audits, are crucial to safeguarding company assets. Automation and artificial intelligence are streamlining workflows and boosting productivity. I believe that we must laugh with the machines, not at them to succeed. Routine and repetitive technical tasks can be automated, allowing employees to focus on more strategic and creative work. AI-powered tools provide valuable insights, enabling companies to optimize operations and improve customer experiences. It’s my opinion that AI shall not replace humans but rather augment their work. If everyone generates the same AI content, there is no place for originality and identity. This is where DeeM comes in. We are human-focused professionals that enhance the human-to-human approach.

Digital approach

Talk, Listen, and Scale Up

Communication is a two-way highway, not a one-way avenue. It’s not just about telling the team what you need; it’s also about listening to them and understanding their needs and perspectives. This is especially important in times of uncertainty and change when everyone faces new challenges and may have valuable insights to share. Digital transformation empowers employees by giving them the tools and information they need to thrive in their roles. Access to training resources, self-service HR platforms, and digital onboarding processes have enhanced the employee experience of our team, regardless of work location.

Customer-Centric Approach

Digital transformation has enabled us to embrace an enhanced customer-centric approach. It’s no secret that customer relationship management (CRM) systems and digital marketing platforms enable companies to engage with their customers more effectively, whether interactions occur in person or online. Investing in such platforms enables for growth and efficiency. The digital transformation is essential for the successful implementation of the hybrid work style, as mentioned above. It equips organizations with the tools and capabilities needed to adapt to the evolving work landscape, ensuring they remain competitive, agile, and resilient in a constantly changing world. As businesses continue to adopt the hybrid work model, their commitment to digital transformation will be crucial in shaping the future of work. Companies can successfully navigate the ever-evolving business landscape by fostering a culture of adaptability, investing in technology and talent, and staying attuned to market dynamics. Ultimately, I have learned that it’s not the company’s size that determines its ability to adapt but its willingness to embrace change as an opportunity for growth and innovation. 

Once a DeeM’er, Always a DeeM’er 

At DeeM, we never lose touch with our employees, except maybe in rare cases where parting ways is the healthier option. We cherish the memories of all our former team members as we reminisce by resharing photos from the past. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. When people leave us for other opportunities, they become ambassadors for our business, spreading the word about who we are and what we do. We have reformer employees in Germany, France, Canada, the USA, Australia and other countries. They are all potential sources of new opportunities and networks.    In conclusion, I reflect on all the changes and adaptations I have lived through within this innovative thinking agency that has never missed the chance to seize the moment and take the calculated risk in embarking on a new adventure and taking their partners, clients, suppliers and staff along. So you see, it’s all about communication. Do it right, and it will work for you!

DeeM birthday