“Technology is king, but content is queen and she wears the pants”

Oliver Plauschinat

Interview with Oliver Plauschinat, Head of Business Development at Landau Media, a media monitoring company in Germany.

Hi Oliver, great to have you with us. Can you tell us about your background and your current role at Landau Media?

I studied business administration and wanted to do something with marketing, but ended up in the PR industry via market research. Over the last 20 years, I have worked in the field of research and analytics at various communications agencies and PR service providers in a management position. I spent almost 10 years at Kohtes Klewes – better known as Ketchum, as Head of Research. For more than three years I have been building up the new business unit C Solutions at Landau Media.

What makes Landau Media different from other media monitoring companies in Germany?

Good question, which our clients can certainly answer better. The offers of media monitoring organisations and the technologies they use are becoming increasingly similar and – from the client’s point of view, more replaceable. That is also why price is becoming more and more important.

We want to give our clients a complete overview of the published opinion about them. To get there, we monitor print titles in Germany, but we also use various content partnerships in social media – Twingly, for example. We also have a direct partnership with Twitter to guarantee our clients a high level of coverage in social media, which is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve.

What are your greatest challenges ahead at Landau Media, when it comes to serving your customers media intelligence and developing your offer?

For media monitoring it is the timely monitoring of traditional media, especially print. The evaluation process is technologically more complex and time-consuming than the crawling of online sources. Even more challenging is the licensing situation for the digital processing and distribution of print media in Germany. On average, clients in Germany pay a minimum of 3.60 euros in licences for a print article in their press review – that is over 70% of the total costs. This inhibits product innovations in Germany and large companies in Germany are considering cancelling press reviews completely or focusing only on editorial summaries. Landau Media has signed independent licence agreements with almost 2,000 publishers over the past 10 years to be able to offer our customers an alternative, attractive licensing model.

As for analysis services, the biggest challenge is to produce analyses faster and more efficiently. To achieve this, manual analysis work must be reduced. The integrations of AI technologies such as entity recognition, NLP, and machine learning are also major challenges.

Are you planning on releasing any new technology-based solutions that will improve your services?

We consistently use a hybrid intelligence approach when we implement new technologies. We ask ourselves how we can achieve better results from the interaction between humans and technology such as AI. It’s important for us that the combination achieves results that neither humans nor technology alone can achieve. We are currently testing how we can automatically create press reviews from a combination of human and artificial intelligence.

What are the most common misconceptions that customers have when it comes to media monitoring?

They believe that we can provide them with all information and data in real time and almost free of charge, because they use Google to get free, quick information. They don’t understand, for example, why we can’t monitor LinkedIn automatically or why online news can’t be delivered behind a paywall.

I want to describe a second big misconception with the well-known quote: “A fool with a tool is still a fool”! According to Scott Brincker from chiefmartec, there are already almost 10,000 communication and marketing tools. What is missing is the empowerment among clients to work with these tools and to interpret the data and key performance indicators from countless analysis dashboards.

When it comes to the actual data behind the analytics you do, what kind of data or media not currently used can be interesting in the future?

The deeper integration of owned media and data into the monitoring and analysis process is important for our clients, but I see a greater potential in the use of search data in the future. By analyzing user and search intentions, via Ubersuggest, Searchmetrics or Keyword Tool, we can gain useful information on topic interests and developments, which we can compare and link with discussions in social media or with media coverage.

I would slightly modify the quote of content marketing: “Technology is king, but content is queen and she wears the pants.” What I mean by that: how great is the best AI if you don’t have media content to monitor and analyse automatically?

What big challenges do you see coming up for the media monitoring industry in the next 5 years?

Everyone in the communication industry is talking about big data and data-driven communication and what new opportunities will arise. I am also fascinated by this, but I also notice how access to information and data in the digital world is becoming more and more limited. To name just a few examples: we receive less and less data from Facebook and Instagram, and one of the most important business networks, LinkedIn, cannot be accessed for any data at all via API.

By Anna Roos van Wijngaarden

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