If you have chosen the brand value of “ground-breaking” for yourself, you have to fulfil this promise not only for your products, but also when it comes to your communications. Networked content marketing can turn companies into opinion leaders, but at the same time this involves changes that need to be mastered.

Development of the corporate design and creation of the Aareon image brandpool

The first steps towards content marketing

It all began with Aareon asking us to take over the international relaunch of their websites. But creating a corporate website from scratch takes time, and as is so often the case, time was the one thing that was not available to give new momentum to the established brand Aareon. So the idea was born to launch a pilot project with content marketing, with the intent of blazing a trail for further collaboration.

Every year, Aareon hosts the largest event in the housing industry, and we wanted to use this opportunity for their communications by focusing on the topic of digital transformation. So for the previous six months we sent a roving reporter through the country, who, together with a small internal team, packed an expert blog full of interviews, articles, videos and information graphics on the subject of digitalisation. They surveyed management boards of large companies in the housing industry on their digitalisation processes, and experts in digital progress provided their forecasts for the industry.

Kai Hedergott on his tour through Germany, searching for trending topics in the housing industry.
The expert blog with interviews, articles, videos and infographics around the topic of digitalization was flanked by an ad campaign.

A key success factor for further steps

The result? Aareon was ranked at the top with all desired industry keywords, the press picked up or adopted several blog posts, and the content reached an exponentially increasing number of readers in the industry.

What is perhaps even more important for further development is that the company learned editorial work through this pilot project and slowly reorganized established structures, resulting in the various disciplines within communication being brought closer together on a long-term basis.

Aareon editorial meeting

Impulse for new ideas

The initial success and ongoing collaboration have resulted in numerous other ideas, such as a web special with a sales focus that combines content marketing and product communication and has since been integrated into the website. One of the authors of the business magazine brand eins provides exciting introductions and new insights into the processes of the housing industry and convincingly introduces readers to Aareon’s range of solutions, supported by a variety of additional content and webinars.

Thanks to the target group profiles intensively analysed in the relaunch, the annual printed customer magazine has now been converted into a completely new digital version, which deals intensively with the future of the housing and real estate industry under the auspices of digitalisation and has thus evolved into a pioneering and defining medium.

But above all, the editorial processes work, providing a basis for implementing many more successful content marketing projects and continuing the desired course as an opinion leader in the industry.

Current trends in an appealing format
Pleasant reading on a mobile device
Aareon Smart News - the digital sales magazine

From content marketing to strategic brand management

The involvement with content marketing and the reorganisation of the topics surrounding the extensive product portfolio soon led to fundamental brand management questions. A method had to be found to present the different solutions in a clear and interlinked way, starting with the central ERP programs (Enterprise Resource Planning) and including various modern special applications and networked cloud services. A user-centred storytelling approach also provided support here.

By mapping the relationship between tenants, employees, service partners and the digital information from the buildings, we were able to develop a visualisation called “Aareon Smart World”, which quickly spread throughout the company and then throughout the industry. The basis for this was an intensive customer journey analysis, which integrated both the tenants’ life cycle and the comprehensive administration process of buildings.

"Aareon Smart World" - product overview

A good story as the core of the strategy

Ultimately, the company’s core story emerged, upon which a completely new, modular communication universe could be built. The company’s messages could now be aimed at specific target groups and various synergies could be tapped into in the development of content for online and offline communication. Texts, graphics, videos and presentations can now be flexibly combined using a modular system, and can be adapted to the specific application context. The internal effect was clearly noticeable: the brand architecture and product world were given a new structure that made it possible to anchor innovative products in the existing structure, and it was also easier for the sales department to tell a coherent overall story

Our core story provides helpful orientation for all communication activities.

Sandra Hendro
Divisional Manager
Corporate Marketing & Communications

In addition, the internationalisation of content was simplified considerably, which not only led to cost savings, but also to the professionalisation of the central marketing organisation as a whole. It is interesting to note that the strategic approach and the subsequent changes only became possible because Aareon was able to detect existing gaps in the complex requirements of their communication. A ground-breaking communication strategy is not created on the drawing board, but by courageous experimentation and step by step. You could also call it “changing by doing”.