As CCO and member of the Executive Board Sabine Eckhardt is responsible among other things, for developing new business fields. With her teams at SevenOne AdFactory, she has also been implementing 360 degree communication concepts and special advertising formats for the past five years.
Content marketing, i.e. advertising that prioritizes high-quality content and stories, is one of the major buzzwords in the industrie. SevenOne AdFactory is one of the major players on the German market. How important is the topic by now?
Sabine Eckhard: We now talk to advertisers about content marketing on an almost daily basis. Interest in it is continuously growing. A proper paradigm shift is happening right now: Customers who three, four years ago were fixated on price communication are now pursuing more holistic brand strategies.
What caused this rethinking?
Sabine Eckhard: Indeed sales campaigns quickly achieve measurable results – however, they are not very sustainable. Many companies now recognize the necessity to strengthen their brands in the long term. But by price communication they reach the exact opposite: sales pressure rises and suddenly the product finds itself in a fatal discount spiral leading ever further downward. On the other hand, storytelling is a very effective tool to boost brands positively, appeal to consumers’ emotions and create a permanent bond to the product.
»TV advertising is paying-off demonstrably.«
What does this development mean for your position as a marketer?
Sabine Eckhard: As a result of digitalization, the entire industry is subject to extreme dynamics. Channels and platforms are changing constantly, and new players and formats are being developed overnight; advertisers must have these new developments on their radar, in particular if they want to reach young target groups. Our task is to consult our customers in this matter and to offer them communication options on the relevant platforms. This dialog often results in formats that are both innovative and efficient at the same time, and that include media such as Facebook or Instagram in addition to our own platforms.
Are the (media-) agencies not responsible for that?
Sabine Eckhard: Our customers know that our TV stations allow us to rapidly establish a wide reach for their brands and to produce high-quality, individual branded content. This is why they come to us, be it independently or with their agency. Together, we develop a coherent concept, a story that does justice to the brand and fits into the programming environment of our station brands so we can ensure a positive image transfer. Because we know one thing for certain: Every successful brand tells a story. Our strength is in staging this story.
How important are such projects for new customer business?
Sabine Eckhard: Many of our ideas are attractive for new customers, for example, concepts that include branded entertainment or product placement. We offer many innovative advertising approaches with which we inspire new customers, for instance branded entertainment and product placement. But those are just two elements that make us so successful in the new business segment. We have strong arguments for TV, which show that TV advertising is demonstrably worthwhile and that big impacts are possible even on small budgets.
What does this mean for your revenues?
Sabine Eckhard: We gained over 100 new TV customers in the last year alone, continuing the positive development of the previous years. Companies that previously advertised mainly in print media, such as in the fashion and beauty segment, are increasingly turning to TV. We are making their entry easier with intensive consulting and support. As well as complete conceptualization, we can also offer media planning and spot production ourselves. This service is particularly attractive to small and medium-sized enterprises.