When brand and journalism get into bed

Who doesn't know them, the wide-reach customer magazines of large retailers? Learned from the consumer, elaborately produced and seemingly omnipresent. Are these printed corporate media still relevant in times of digital communication, of "always on"? What are companies doing in the area of "owned media", where is the trend going at all and why?

Let's first take a look at what is generally understood by corporate publishing:

The German industry association Forum Corporate Publishing (FCP) defines corporate publishing as the "uniform internal and external, journalistically prepared transmission of information by a company via all conceivable communication channels (offline, online, mobile), through which a company communicates with its various target groups on a permanent/periodic basis. In addition to end customers, employees, dealers, suppliers, shareholders, etc. are also relevant target groups that are provided with the corporate information that is of interest to them."

So what was played out purely haptically 10 years ago now includes social and digital channels. Sure, every company naturally strives to control the information that is played out. While this can only be achieved to a limited extent with classic PR tools, in the field of corporate media you have complete control over the news that is disseminated (the buzzword "message control" has not only been on everyone's lips in recent weeks). Targeted information can therefore be used to build up a sustainable community in which values such as credibility, emotional connection and service benefits for the brand and company can be conveyed.

Nevertheless, a study by the DMV Content Marketing Monitor 2018 in Germany reveals something interesting: 60.9% of respondents state that content marketing accounts for less than 10% of their total marketing budget. One reason why content marketing currently seems to be something for small budgets could be that professionalization is not yet very advanced. For example, less than one-fifth of companies manage content marketing centrally. Individual employees or small teams are the most common. This is matched by the fact that nearly three-quarters of respondents (73%) see a lack of resources as the biggest difficulty in implementing a content marketing strategy. (Horizon 49, 2018)

The aforementioned 2018 DMV study also states that 40% of content distribution is still via print or other offline campaigns, with the remainder going to digital channels such as blogs, social media or native advertising. Printed paper therefore still occupies a considerable position in the 21st century.

Podcast marketing

Content marketers are increasingly turning to podcasts. They are comparatively inexpensive to create - 2 microphones and a recording device are enough - and can thus quickly occupy even the smallest niche. And the distribution effort by means of RSS feeds is also kept within limits. What used to be the music cassette in the Walkman or the radio station in the car is now the podcast that shortens our time on the way to work.

According to a survey by Bitkom, 22% of the population in Germany regularly listened to podcasts - with a clear upward trend. Advertising has a high acceptance rate here, as many regular listeners know that advertising finances the content they listen to.

Since content marketing is not about short-term sales growth, the podcast is an ideal format. The content can, for example, be told via storytelling as short stories before the actual content. It is important to always adapt to the host of the podcast, its subject matter and, of course, the audience.

Deutsche Bahn is already using this content marketing opportunity. On the podcast "Gästeliste Geisterbahn" we often talk about experiences in the Deutsche Bahn. Here, Deutsche Bahn lets the producer of the podcast speak advertising content that is packaged in nice stories. In addition, there is exclusive content via the company's own rail channels. This way, both benefit: The railroad is positively linked to the image of the podcaster and can communicate its content - and the podcaster gets more reach through DB's website and social media channels.

Let's move on to collecting data. This process is on everyone's lips and is subsumed under Big Data. In a nutshell, what Big Data makes possible in communication: We learn from the data stream when, how and with what content we should approach potential customers.

The huge, complex volumes of data that customers leave behind - e.g. product ratings, comments, time spent on a page, likes, etc. - are processed on "data management platforms" and made usable. This allows you to address your potential customers in a targeted manner without wastage.

Walmart collects 2,500 terabytes of unstructured data from 1 million customers every hour. That's 167 times the amount of books that are in the U.S. Library of Congress.

Walmart used Big Data in the U.S. to discover a teenage girl's pregnancy before her father did. The supermarket chain had identified expectant mothers as an interesting target group. For this purpose, the purchasing behavior of pregnant women was analyzed and products were identified that they bought more of (e.g., perfume-free body lotions) and goods that pregnant women no longer buy (e.g., cigarettes and alcohol). From this, the analysts determined a model that helped identify women with this buying behavior from the entire customer file. The young woman fell right into this pattern and was sent home coupons for pregnancy products, which was an eye-opener for the grandfather-to-be.

Especially in times like these, are you considering alternative channels to communicate efficiently with your customers? Are you looking for a communicative way "out of the box"?

#Now more than ever!

We look forward to your feedback! 


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