What does... "container" actually mean?

Benno Maggi explains in his column "What does... actually mean?" terms from the field of marketing and communication. This time he shares his thoughts on the noun "container".

Was bedeutet eigentlichFor people living in Switzerland, the container usually comes up in connection with waste. And for new residents, it makes their hair stand on end, because it also involves the fear of being suspected of putting the container out on the wrong day and/or filling it with illegal waste bags.

In the business environment, containers are known in particular in the transport and logistics industry as large, standardized containers with which goods can be flexibly transported on a wide variety of means of transport. For computer scientists, containers represent the solution to the problem of coping with increasingly complex applications and the associated strain on infrastructure, processes and the IT team.

And suddenly the container is also appearing in our industry. Why, actually?

Distinguish garbage from important

"We'd better make a weekly container for this" or "We have fixed containers for this kind of content" is what we've been hearing more and more recently in dialogs between clients and external agency teams. Is what the consultants have put together on the PowerPoint charts really so bad that it should be disposed of immediately?

Don't worry! If up to now only developers have combined their applications and their dependencies in containers, project managers have recently started to do so as well: They call short time slots for goal-oriented meetings and put together clearly defined packages for content on the individual channels - containers, in other words - so that entire days are not wasted in video calls and meetings and incompatible content modules are produced.
The reason for this is probably that those responsible for marketing and communications projects - like the programmers - also hope to save considerable resources. What is unfortunately forgotten in the process is that containers also need a little order at times. For example, that they take place on the right day, namely when decision-making authority is available. Or loosely translated: If the content-related garbage collection is not available or the wrong containers are chosen in order to store the right content in them, this will result in scolding. No matter whether from customers, bosses or neighbors.


Benno Maggi is co-founder and CEO of Partner & Partner. He has been eavesdropping on the industry for over 30 years, discovering words and terms for us that can either be used for small talk, pomposity, excitement, playing Scrabble or just because.

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