As Managing Director at SevenOne Media, the ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s marketing company, 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.
Interview with Sabine Eckhardt
Content marketing, i.e. advertising that prioritizes high-quality content and stories, was one of the major buzzwords of 2014. SevenOne AdFactory is one of the biggest players on the German market. How important is the topic for you?
Sabine Eckhardt: We now talk to advertisers about content marketing on an almost daily basis. Interest in it is growing palpably. A 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 Eckhardt: Sales campaigns achieve quick, measurable results, but are not very sustainable. Many companies now recognize that brands cannot be strengthened in the long term on the basis of prices alone. On the contrary, 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 appeal to consumers’ emotions and inspire their long-term loyalty to a product.
What does this development mean for your position as a marketer?
Sabine Eckhardt: Given the fragmented media landscape and dynamic technological development, customers especially expect guidance and individual support from us. We have evolved into a concept marketer and advise companies intensively.
»TV advertising is demonstrably worthwhile.«
Are the media agencies not responsible for that?
Sabine Eckhardt: 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 Eckhardt: 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 Eckhardt: 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.<