Interview with M.Kuhnert

Layout-intensive Content. Global Marketing gets smarter, faster, cheaper.

Günther Misof, The Business of Brand Management, spoke with Markus Kuhnert, founder, CEO and passionate Chief Nerd of BRANDGUARDIAN. Result: Interesting background information and solutions to automate global brand communication smart. Read more about it in our free e-book "The smart automation of global brand communication". 

G.M.: Your website is full of pretty impressive figures on savings and faster processes at companies like Henkel, Liebherr, Linde, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, Porsche, Siemens, Sto or Voith. What is your approach?

M.K.: Savings and KPIs are becoming increasingly important, especially on a global scale. The success of our solutions is clearly measurable - which is why we place them at the forefront of our communication. When CMOs are asked about their most important goals, it's not about digitization or the often-reminded tearing down of silos, but about more effectiveness, output and speed in marketing communication. They need to automate processes, achieve a shorter time-to-market and make collaboration internally and with their agencies, service providers, dealers, etc. more agile - globally. In addition, they want to regain data sovereignty and significantly more independence from agencies, service providers and marketing technology providers - we offer all this in an easy-to-use solution and technology.

G.M.: That sounds good, of course, but what exactly is your playing field? And how do you differentiate yourself from disciplines like marketing automation?

M.K.: Everything that simplifies, automates and accelerates processes is very much in demand - especially when there are measurable and verifiable successes. However, most marketers optimize in the same areas such as e-mail marketing, online advertising or e-commerce. Here, automation is quite simple because it involves simple content and few people involved in the creation, approval and delivery of the communication medium. In addition, the marketer has a wide choice of mature, so-called marketing automation solutions. 

Our playing field is the optimization of all collaborative processes involved in the design and distribution of printed or PDF materials - i.e. product packaging, manuals, technical documentation, advertisements, brochures, trade show and POS communication, annual reports and much more. We summarize this huge, enormously labor- and coordination-intensive area under the term "layout-intensive content". We support our customers in rolling out layout-intensive content much faster, cheaper and guaranteed to be brand-compliant! This is next generation marketing automation.

G.M.: Your solution one2edit expands the possibilities of InDesign, after all the top dog in the design of marketing communication. Why is this necessary?

M.K.: In addition, a short excursion into the usual way of working: Adobe InDesign and Illustrator have been used as the solution and industry standard for over 20 years. Content (simple content) must be transferred manually from Word, Excel, e-mail, etc. to InDesign. Result: Highly specialized designers and creative professionals spend a lot of valuable time with dull copy and paste. They are also guardians of all designed content. If the marketer wants to take a quick look at the interim status of the packaging design or even change a word in the brochure, he can't do it himself. He has to ask the designer to create a PDF for him, which he can add comments to, which he then sends back by e-mail so that the designer can change the word. This is Stone Age collaboration! 

Do not misunderstand: InDesign has enormous strengths as a layout and design tool for desktop publishing. It is also right and important that few brand and design professionals watch over the corporate design and thus create a strict framework for successful brand communication globally and at all touchpoints. BUT: InDesign also has a number of weaknesses that increasingly hinder contemporary processes in global marketing organizations. A real bottleneck and brakeman, which originates from a time when a usually central advertising department together with an agency determined marketing communication alone. And the demands on agile publishing will continue to increase:

  • More Process Participants: Effective and efficient collaboration opportunities are becoming increasingly important, if only because of globalization and decentralization.
  • More Sources: The number of relevant data and file sources will continue to increase in the future - the trend alone to integrate user-generated content into marketing communication in real time presents enormous opportunities, but also challenges in the area of LiC management
  • More Personalisation: Customers expect an increasingly individual approach - even in classic mass media.
  • More Variances: Products are becoming increasingly individual. Configurators can be used to design many products completely to your taste. This requires corresponding individual marketing materials in real time.

Since years one2edit™ is an established software for publishing and media management that not only compensates for the described weaknesses of InDesign, but also enables collaboration and automation to a mostly unexpected degree. The software is deeply integrated into InDesign, works browser-based, out of the box and can be used by any authorized user worldwide without training thanks to its adjustable range of functions and UI. You can define any desired processes, such as approvals, with the lean workflow engine. one2edit™ automatically notifies users in the next process step as soon as the current one has been completed: everyone knows what they have to do and the process continues immediately without delay.
And because the intelligent tool is not an add-on program but a comprehensive solution, one2edit™ is integrated directly into brand portals and linked to DAM systems. With more manpower, you can no longer improve time-to-market. Only with smarter processes and automated content transfers.

G.M.: With a wizard, you can also use a rule-based layout-intensive content rollout - trainees-simple, as you call it. How does that work?

M.K.: Marketers simply store their brand specifications as a set of rules. one2edit™ reacts flexibly and ensures a uniform appearance by offering users only rule-based and sensible design options. With a wizard, literally anyone can click together rule-based communication tools - 100% on Brand! All users have to do on site is select the desired equipment or feature from a drop-down menu. The Wizard has a decision tree that offers only meaningful, correct combinations. The result: local, print-ready communication media that fully comply with the CI!

The MICROSOFT example: Global production of Microsoft product packaging has long been a costly and lengthy process. After all, the group sells operating systems, applications and hardware products (such as Surface, XBox and Games) worldwide. A packaging wizard was developed on the basis of one2edit™: an easy-to-use web interface that allows users to configure packaging very easily on site. Result: Microsoft has reduced the 22 local agencies to one central partner. The time-to-market was accelerated by a factor of 5!

G.M.: Thank you for the interview!

The Business of Brand Management ( a platform with the goal of looking at the relevant aspects of the brand and its management from different angles, providing insights, drawing the right conclusions from all this and thus giving the people responsible for the brand a practice-oriented decision-making aid.

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