Annual Report

dpa is turning into a Magic Marketplace

The new world of news and information is a “Magic Marketplace”. Magic Marketplace means creating the amazing and the unexpected. Magic Marketplace means leaving the mainstream and creating new ways to reach trend-setting solutions. Magic Marketplace means gathering and using extraordinary types of knowledge. For the future of our company, Magic Marketplace means mixing the right mindset with the right technology to move our business forward. Magic Marketplace is making the audience a part of the show, thus connecting dpa even more closely with its customers, partners and shareholders. Magic Marketplace means inspiration – both for our customers and for us. That is why we are developing dpa into a journalistic Magic Marketplace for Germany. 

There are two key elements to this marketplace strategy.

Magic Services: Everything new has to have something special, something inspiring that convinces our customers of the clear benefits involved. We share the most important indicators of success with our customers. They too are interested in generating more revenue and in lowering costs while at the same time boosting or maintaining quality. The magic aspect of this approach is the new way we support our customers. We don’t just want to deliver, we also want to cooperate closely in the production process and be partners in innovation. We want to be the co-creators for our customers.

Magic Marketplace: Our dpa ID marketplace is the fastest and most convenient way to make these services available. We understand the marketplace as an arena where dpa does not offer its services alone. In our increasingly digital world, customers are often suppliers, partners or part of a larger ecosystem at the same time. We created the dpa ID in order to get this to work. It is the networking key for everyone who works professionally with news. We see the dpa ID as defining the term “agency” in its most original sense, namely as a catalyst, bringing supply and demand together in a way that no one else can.

Magic Marketplace is a promise: Every project we develop must therefore answer the question “Is it magic?” We can answer with a resounding “Yes it is!” if the project meets at least one of our three implementation criteria:

  • The project is useful to our customers because it generates revenue and/or saves them money.
  • The project helps dpa to work more efficiently.
  • The project is an investment in technical progress, new market segments or employees who expand dpa’s capabilities.

On our transformation path we have identified ten particularly important building blocks.

  1. dpa is an independent news agency. This is the core value of the brand and our unique selling point for our public profile and quality.

  2. dpa is and remains the content supplier for Germany. This is the basis of our enterprise and it must mean that we strive to be a truly full-range supplier. The range on offer must include exciting products and services, technological solutions, consulting and assistance paired with product development and innovations. Naturally our customers expect the highest level of reliability and partnership in crisis situations, such as those we are experiencing in the wake of the corona pandemic.

  3. dpa is an innovation-driver and stimulator of ideas. We at dpa come up with the initiatives, take the first steps, arrange things and get people talking about them. Needless to say, this also applies to customers not yet able to clearly define their wishes or to those who have not yet identified a particular innovation opportunity.

  4. dpa is the proactive digital service provider for content and services. This also includes, for example, the creation of customer value in the key digital paid content segment. To be specific, dpa is creating a user-oriented product called “dpa Premium” which covers offerings behind the payment barrier that are not locally anchored. This is an example of creating something of genuine benefit to the customer.

  5. dpa is a navigator, identifying customer needs and relating them to their specific market environment and conditions. We structure the ideas by working closely with clients before guiding and developing them with input from dpa’s classic and innovative services.

  6. dpa dpa is an impartial carrier of know-how. Maintaining a broad overview of trends, products, benchmarks, success stories and problems is a specifically dpa attribute. This knowledge can be used to work for and with customers. It is the basis of dpa’s role as a problem solver. dpa has a unique and comprehensive insight into the target markets of its customers and the agency can offer custom-made solutions – dpa is an enabler.

  7. dpa is co-creator. The pure supply and service relationship is a thing of the past. dpa is becoming part of the customer system, it “merges” with it, becomes “integrated” and produces services together as a form of structured cooperation. This can include content, and products, but also technologies. dpa blends the ideas and opinions of clients with its own in order to bring fresh and innovative concepts to a business – and not for just one customer either. The process can be adapted to suit clients across the sector. If required, dpa can also take on the role of the customer’s alter ego, bringing together new insights from the “other side of the workbench”. We can transfer skills and know-how, helping customers to fill perceived portfolio gaps and to rapidly boost market performance. dpa’s role here is not just about interacting with customers, it draws on the links between individual dpa units and the entire company cosmos.

  8. dpa is a marketplace broker: In the Magic Marketplace, dpa does not have to own and contribute every proposal itself, but it can aim to mix home-grown solutions with established and new products, services, technologies from other players. This is done by the provision and curation of the marketplace. dpa contributes such basic services as access to the relevant customers, rights management, revenue sharing, documentation, formatting or metadata, without which no product, however attractive, can be made to function economically. In this way, dpa becomes a B2B platform for services and tools for customers from the media, business and social sectors.

  9. dpa is business chameleon. Our customers’ success strategies are becoming increasingly individualised. The same applies to the varied challenges they face. For each client, dpa has to alter its perspective, define the relevant roles and bring the right talents, profiles and tools to bear.

  10. As an organisation, dpa is learning all the time and it is not afraid of change or making mistakes. It can also design concepts quickly and cope with a wide range of scenarios and customer requirements. It sources the necessary skills and ensures these resources are kept available. When times are uncertain, we will boldly move forward hand in hand with our customers. dpa must become an open innovation ecosystem for all of its customers, with a permeable membrane open to both sides and a constant willingness to adapt and shape its own systems to suit different business environments.

Yes, this strategic approach is a demanding one. It poses an unprecedented challenge to management and employees alike but serves a lofty goal – to provide a consistently successful and vital service for informed democracy. In the coronavirus crisis this has become even more important and in the immediate aftermath it is bound to be more vital than ever before.

Sports, music, handicraft lessons and pets: During the Corona crisis, the staff of dpa and its subsidiaries managed to stay in touch in the digital #living room via Slack.

Peter Kropsch has been chairman of the dpa management board since 2017. Before that he was CEO of the Austria Presse Agentur APA in Vienna. Peter Kropsch is also President of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA).

Sven Gösmann is editor-in-chief of dpa. After working for the Rheinische Post and Bild, among others, he joined the German Press Agency in 2014.