That’s how advertising works today


(Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 3 2017)

Communication agencies face a Herculean task with digital transformation, because in order to accompany their customer’s digitalisation they first have to advance their own. The digital revolution not only changes how and where advertisements are now perceived, but also how all types of adverts are produced in general.

Just a short backwards glance shows how dramatic the revolutions have been. It has merely been two decades since a double-page ad in a magazine and a 30-second TV spot before the evening news covered the entire spectrum. A team from an advertising firm stood behind it, and placement was taken care of by a media agency. 

Today, not a single step of the job is carried out in the same way, due to a number of reasons. The individualisation of communication plays an important role. Digital media and the possibility of continuously gathering data have made it possible to monitor the wishes, requirements and user behaviour of every customer in an almost transparent manner. Therefore, the wishes, requirements and user behaviour of every customer can be responded to individually. While before there was one campaign for all customers, there is now an irreversible trend of individual campaigns for every single customer that has to be taken into consideration. The fragmentation of communication is also very important. Through which channels are brands still able to reach their customers? Countless digital media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and so forth have emerged alongside classic media, in which brands must display their channel-appropriate presence. They also have to ensure that they can be found in the first place, so they must constantly work on and optimise their Google search rankings. The final point is the automation of communication. Advertising is not just about the big idea anymore, but mostly about “Time-to-Market”. Advertising has to almost be in real time and flexibly adapt to factors such as customer relevance, price and market situation. This can only be achieved through the targeted use of digital opportunities and by the constant further and new development of programmes, systems and platforms that help to quickly, efficiently and effectively realise and produce outstanding ideas. These three massive revolutions in communication present tremendous challenges for agencies, who can only meet these if they think, act and structure themselves in a new way. The Kontrast Communication solutions agency from Düsseldorf did just that and successfully survived its own digital transformation. The end result is an agile working agency which realises creative added value for their customers quickly, efficiently and flexibly through innovative digital products. To achieve this, they systematically use the newest technical platforms and also develop their own innovative tools. 

Nowadays, communication has to produce increasingly individual messages in a targeted and at the same time continuous relevance-optimised manner, while distributing these messages across more and more channels in real time. Kontrast Communication developed spheer in order to solve this challenge. It provides companies that have complex structures and comprehensive content marketing with a central solution for the creation, management, distribution and monitoring of their contents. The product combines the capabilities of a content management system and the management of an asset management tool with an intelligent and cognitive engine. It is therefore able to create and immediately publish relevant content across various channels at any time. One of spheer’s elementary components can also be used on its own in order to generate content purposefully and efficiently: the Natural Language Generator. This trainable text engine creates new texts for newsletters, social media, e-commerce etc. through editorial source texts, structured data and semantic rules. The NLG teaches itself and creates texts which cannot be distinguished from texts written by a human. On the contrary, extensive research shows that NLG-generated texts are perceived to be more objective and comprehensive.

Kontrast Communication is a pioneer in the use of censhare in order to manage all types of information and translate it into communication. The holistic asset management tool integrates all kinds of information such as images, texts, articles, product information, advert messages, customer data, deadlines etc. into a system, organises contents and automates the corresponding processes for the cross-media publication of contents. All templates, layouts, structures and user accounts are saved and managed in a central database, where they can be accessed by both the customer and the agency at any time, enabling unprecedented efficiency, speed and transparency in cooperative work, even during complex and time-consuming jobs. Kontrast Communication individually configures censhare for every single customer according to their requirements and goals, determining the optimal system implementation into the customer’s workflow and organisational structure together with the customer. 

The OTB is a further example of a relevant digital product. The Düsseldorf agency developed an Online Toolbox for the distributor network of its client Vodafone. The OTB contains increasing communication measures for local marketing and a points-based success systems which allows points generated through closing contracts to be exchanged for sales-boosting activity packages. 

These are just some examples of how Kontrast Communication systematically uses its own digital transformation in order to continuously expand its range of offers with innovative digital products. The challenges of the modern communication market can only be met with these offers. But not only their use of these offers, but also their development, evolution and individualisation give the agency priceless added value, because the developers know the ins and outs of the products and how to make the most of their opportunities. These tools can be optimised towards the needs of various market situations and customer requirements in close cooperation with the agency’s project managers and consultants. The input from the creatives results in new approaches and opportunities through which to generate creative added value using digital opportunities again and again. The continuous exchange between technical developers, consultants and creatives creates a forward-looking dynamic which combines creativity and technology in the best possible way. Ultimately, this also creates the knowledge the agency needs in order to accompany their customers through their digital transformation. Be it with the consultation, the cooperative use of suitable tools and platforms or the development of specially-designed and exclusive programmes and applications. Kontrast Communication recognised early on that digital transformation is not a risk, but rather an opportunity, as long as it is approached correctly and its opportunities used in a goal-orientated way. Their product, knowledge, structure and staff make the agency the ideal partner for all customers in the digital transformation of communication. 

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Kontrast Communication is an owner-operated solutions agency founded in 1991. With approximately 150 employees, Kontrast provides a comprehensive portfolio of communication solutions across all touchpoints, from classic campaigning and digital solutions to highly individualised customer solutions.

Kontrast Communication Services GmbH

Picture credit © pchyburrs/Getty Images

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