"Traditional companies can benefit from e-business as well."
Mr Kasten, is the digital transformation of media companies still underway or is it more or less complete?
JK: Not at all – digital transformation is in full swing at many companies and won’t be completed in future either, since the requirements are constantly changing. Particularly for classic magazine publishers, digital transformation on several levels is fundamentally important in order to remain viable in the media landscape.
What exactly does the term mean for these companies?
JK: Digital transformation of a newspaper publisher, for example, comprises numerous aspects – from the editorial system, which should support publication of contents via digital channels just as naturally as the classic print channel, through to the use of innovative solutions in order to achieve higher revenue from digital contents. ppi Media, a subsidiary of the Eversfrank Group, supports its international customers at all levels with suitable products.
Is digital transformation synonymous with the demise of printed material, then?
JK: Quite the opposite – new digital business models and technologies can encourage the sales of printed products and vice versa, and this doesn’t only apply to publishing houses and media companies. Traditional printing companies too can benefit from e-business, the internet and new digital technologies, as we can see from the example of Eversfrank. Print services such as "drookies®" – printed personalised product recommendations for people who have broken off online shopping basket purchases – or individualised and localised magazine covers are innovative services which promote the printing business.
What will be the new steps and challenges for media companies and SMEs in the area of digital transformation?
JK: In the first place, companies should focus on developing solutions which put the user at the centre and offer added value. The new ideas that emerge must also be constantly reviewed by prototyping and customer validation. The most valuable approaches can then be implemented as minimum viable products (MVP). First of all, however, it is important to create an innovative environment within the publishing houses. In addition, expertise in the "design thinking" method is needed in order to carry out the steps I mentioned efficiently. The companies in the Eversfrank Media group, by the way, are already implementing these steps.