Q&A with Gerhard Louw, International Media Management & Digital Transformation, Deutsche Telekom

Gerhard Louw has been with Deutsche Telekom AG at the headquarters in Bonn, Germany for more than 9 years. As Senior Manager, International Media Management & Digital Transformation, he is responsible for steering and coordinating the international media function for the Deutsche Telekom Group across its 13 national telecommunication companies in Europe.

Q: Why should agencies/advertisers enter the World Media Awards?
Gerhard: Awards are always a great opportunity to see the best work. In the case of the World Media Awards it´s more or less the only place where you will see strategy, creativity, media and content all coming together for the biggest brands on the planet. The fact that it the campaigns have to be internationally successful, definitely adds to the challenge! Seeing the best work also means an opportunity to compare how your own work is stacking up. Lastly, it´s also a chance to win an award or two. Try and beat that!

Q: What will you be looking for from the entries?/What will make a winning entry?/What does great branded content look like?
Gerhard: The 2017 entries should show how art & science work together to bring great communication & business results. As a judge I´ll be looking for that difficult-to-describe combination of consumer insights, brand strategy, ideas, creativity, usage of data, media channels and content. All in perfect harmony and in a way that shows the audience reacted with a “yes, yes, we like.” So results to prove the success should definitely not be missing in each and every entry.

Q: Why should advertisers use branded content – what is it best suited to achieve?
Gerhard: Branded content can be a great alternative and/or a great complement to traditionally paid advertising. One thing is clear – it´s definitely not easy to create great content! Branded content works best when it is natural, when it fits. That means it should seamlessly integrate into the environment where it is appearing, it should fit into the style, look and feel of its surroundings and come across to the audience as authentic and credible. And have an impact. That´s quite a list…

Q: Does branded content have to work harder than editorial?
Gerhard: If so, how do you make that happen? No, I don´t believe it should work harder, but just as hard as editorial.

Q: What are the biggest challenges in planning and implementing an international campaign across four or more international borders?
Gerhard: The biggest challenge is balancing everyone´s interests, especially on the advertiser´s side. In the end it comes down to the question of how to balance economies of scale and relevance. On the one hand economies of scale enables advertisers to produce campaigns and content once and then use it over and over again. On the other hand, the content needs to be locally relevant and makes business sense. Efficiency & effectiveness in one go.

Q: How do you balance what needs to be carried out from head office and what needs to be carried out locally in international content campaigns?
Gerhard: There´s no magic or easy answer to this and this will be different from advertiser to advertiser. The best way is to simply try and try again. Involvement of at least a few key markets/countries in the entire process to bring in the local perspectives is a prerequisite for success. For regional or global brands, some degree of control and involvement from the head office is inevitable. The question for each advertiser to solve individually is: how much?

Q: What made you want to pursue a career in media and marketing?
Gerhard: The glamour (okay, it was looooong ago), the fact that we barely wear suits (luckily still relevant) and the fact that we don´t stare at Excel-sheets all day!

Q: Describe your ideal client.
Gerhard: Myself!

Q: Which industry buzzword would you ban?
Gerhard: Programmatic

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
Gerhard: Still in media & marketing!

Deadline for entries is 16th February 2017 – ENTER NOW

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