“The Future Has Long Begun”
The world of communication is changing rapidly, with more and more media channels, new technologies, companies and brands repositioning themselves. How serious is this change?
It’s dramatic, and I don’t think everyone understands it yet. Some people on the company and agency side believe that everyone can rest again once the digitalization has been completed. But we are living in an age of constant change, so we will have to get used to the fact that the way we communicate and how we deal with companies and brands will always be changing.
What does this mean specifically for companies and brands?
Let’s take a quick look back. How did brands communicate in the past? They paid agencies a lot of money to find messages that are as precisely formulated as possible, which they then brought to the public with a high blast from the media, in the hope that consumers would find them appealing, funny or somehow compelling. This worked as long as the companies and brands had sovereignty over the content of their communication. But today, when social media enables every consumer to also be a broadcaster, it is evident that those messages no longer have the same relevance. And it’s clear that advertising alone no longer meets people’s needs. Consumers today want to get a sense for a company or a brand themselves; they have a good feel for what is genuine and what isn’t.
But this opinion-forming process cannot be left to the consumer alone.
Does this mean that traditional advertising is dead?
Well, there will always be a need for creative, disruptive communication, for the big campaign. But in view of the massive changes we are currently experiencing in marketing, conventional advertising will become less relevant. The balance of power between paid, owned and earned media is shifting, with paid media losing its significance. Why? Because an increasing number of communication measures are no longer based on the sender–receiver principle. These measures are often detailed, requiring new skills and a different kind of creativity.
It’s really not. On the contrary, we actually reduce complexity. You have to see it in a bigger context. For companies, complexity is a huge issue. More and more media channels, more and more messages, and more and more people carrying responsibility in the organization. Many companies respond by bundling communication units. But a new organizational chart is not enough; you also need a new way of communicating. A different angle. We don’t think in terms of messages; we think in terms of content. Content for stories, background information, details, service formats, etc. We prefer to speak of brand territories that allow for a better focus and are thematically driven. We see ourselves as an agency for brand content – in any form and for all relevant target groups of a company. From customers and influencers to job applicants and retail partners. And that brings us back to the subject of complexity. We at TERRITORY are at home in all these areas and are thus able to reduce our clients’ mental, organizational and financial investment.
So, it’s like a one-stop shop for everything. A few competitors make a similar claim.
For us, it’s not just an organizational notion; it’s a conceptual attitude. The agency of the future will always have to both think and create in terms of conception, production and distribution. And most of all, it must have the same perspective in every business unit; otherwise the common factor will be missing. In everything we do, we start at the content level.
Sure. After all, TERRITORY comes from the field of content marketing.
TERRITORY is still being categorized as a content marketer, but we have long been much more than that. We feel much more comfortable with the term “content communication.” We stand for a comprehensive view of communication. With TERRITORY WEBGUERILLAS we are one of the leading social media agencies. We have just won the contract for Lufthansa’s worldwide employer branding budget. We have a strongly growing media agency in our ranks. Through the combination of trnd and InCircles, we are probably Germany’s leading influencer agency. And we are steadily pushing ahead with our internationalization. At the moment we are massively expanding our offices in Barcelona and Budapest. Can I brag with a few statistics?
With over 1,000 employees, we produce over 900 web videos per year in our own studios for 28 of the DAX30 companies, publish around 8,000 articles, operate over 60 websites, and develop numerous direct mail, newsletter and social media campaigns. Why can we do that? Because we are an agency, but originally come from the media world, where frequent production is the rule. And that in itself is a skill that only few agencies can master.
Finally, let’s come back to the topic of “constant change.” What is TERRITORY working on right now?
We are closely monitoring all current developments and are considering what we can integrate into our portfolio and what opportunities we can harness. Currently, at the beginning of 2019, the following topics are particularly interesting for us: data management, automation and voice. Here, too, it is a matter of attitude. We should look forward to what’s to come.
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