"It's hugely important to have a handle on reprocessing data and processes"

Communication is much more than content: According to digital consultant Marcel Vogel, data and processes are just as important as good content. An interview.


Werbewoche.ch: When the keyword communication is mentioned, many companies first think of sending out messages - and of the content of these messages, the content. However, you - and your company Stämpfli - say: The preparation of data and the processes for successful communication are at least as important as the corresponding content. Why is that so?

Marcel Vogel: Communication today is digital. Even for the print channel, everything is prepared digitally right up to the end, when the ink is put on the paper. That's why it's enormously important to have the preparation of data and the processes under control. The same or similar content is often used for different channels. Here, too, it is helpful to be well versed in data and processes. But a good process is no substitute for good content. So you need both.

What challenges do companies face that have problems with "communication or information management"? What questions do they come to you with?

This is very individual. In many cases, customers want to expand their communication with a new channel, for example with an online magazine. The more channels a customer serves, the more he can benefit from good processes. So the focus is often on questions around expanding communication while saving time and costs.

You offer companies support, be it process consulting, process design, implementation, maintenance or even further development, in various systematic areas. Which systems does Stämpfli focus on in particular, and where do you have the greatest expertise? 

We offer various systems for system-supported communication. In the editorial area, we offer our editorial system Stämpfli EditorBox, which supports editorial processes and playout to various channels - be it a printed magazine, be it playout to an online magazine. Our editorial system can easily be supplemented with our image database Stämpfli Elvis. Elvis is used by various customers as an image database, even without an editorial system. For the efficient management of product data and the playout of this data in various channels, we offer the integration of the PIM system ContentServ. A PIM system ensures that product information is the same on all channels - i.e. web store, data sheet, catalog and so on - and thus relieves a product manager of a lot of work. It also increases the "time to market" of products and massively reduces the error rate.
Our SMART_Lab web-to-print tool is ideal for the efficient handling of marketing processes. With this system, our customers can independently implement campaigns through to printing and shipping or order the required promotional items via the integrated web-to-print portal solution - regardless of whether the output is digital or analog.

Last year, m&k produced a special issue for Stämpfli. Even then, it was striking how broad the range of services offered by Stämpfli Kommunikation is. Where would you place the area of digital systems within your company? And: Will you continue to grow here? 

Technical possibilities and changes in user behavior have increased the number of channels to be served. The networking of the various channels, based on the customer journey, has also significantly increased the complexity for marketing and communications departments. As a result, digital systems are steadily gaining in importance as a means of simplifying work and increasing efficiency. Above a certain level of complexity and a certain company size, a modern marketing or communications team can no longer do without system-supported processes. We therefore see significant growth potential in this area. Generally speaking, we at Stämpfli Kommunikation believe that a modern communication strategy is characterized by targeted communication on different channels and touchpoints - both digital and analog.

Finally, can you give us one or two tips on the simple steps companies can take to check whether their communications processes can be systematically improved; whether there is a need for action?

A conversation with us is worthwhile in any case. Complicated processes often creep in with our customers, which are then no longer questioned and thus not noticed. It has always been done that way, that's just the way it is. It's only when you talk to external people that you can identify such processes and think about how to optimize them. The solution does not always have to be a system. Often, a few small changes are enough to optimize a lot. Specifically, the following questions would be worth asking: Are all responsibilities and process steps clearly defined? When was the last time our process was reviewed holistically and, if necessary, optimized? What new possibilities are there for implementing such a process? And finally: Where can we save time and money through process optimization?

About the personMarcel Vogel is a digital media consultant at the traditional Swiss company Stämpfli Communication.

Disclaimer: This interview was created as part of a content collaboration.

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