Direct marketing will soon also be possible via data ski goggles and smart watches. Photo: Ski amadé

Direct marketng

Mistakes and strategies

Brand communication is dead; interactions with customers need to be organised rather than generated. Jürgen Polterauer explains how direct marketing works in the digital age.


“Digital solutions are underdevelo- ped in the Alpine region and there is a risk of market newcomers from the UsA or Asia supplanting local companies through disruptive business models” – as part of the Digital Day in Wattens, Jürgen Polterauer begins his presentation with this assessment. The founder of the dialogue forge in Vienna, the market leader in the area of direct marketing in Austria, talks about mistakes and strategies by and for cable car companies in the digital age.


“Two current developments could have a dan- gerous impact on ski resorts. on the one hand, booking.com plans services well beyond accommodation businesses – Austria is the test market for this. on the other hand, Chinese investors want to es- tablish a Chinese marketplace in Austria, where Asian customers can find eve- rything from accommodation to souvenir logistics,” Polterauer says.



Visitor communication is undergoing a revolution; brands need to redefine themselves and to develop in step with consumer needs. “Sports equipment manufacturer Adidas is a good example, having joined forces with hard and software provider runtastic,” the expert explains.


Customers can use the runtastic app to interact with the brand. Adidas – without classic marketing activities. “Brand communication is dead. Two thirds of interactions have to be organised rather than generated,” Polterauer explains the change in direct marketing.

Expert Jürgen Polterauer. Foto: SI/surrer

Mistake 1: lack of agile processes

For digital direct marketing, user data are the new currency. However, companies first need to adapt their decision- making structures and data streams. “Agile working is essential. The customer demands brands that constantly adapt touchpoints and digital products to leisure patterns,” Polterauer says. Even ski resorts need to experiment continuously and take a variety of approaches at the same time.


“Kill off failures consistently – and scale-up successes just as consistently,” the expert insists. 80 percent of German companies regard agile working as essential for survival but only 40 percent consider themselves prepared for it.

Mistake 2: Centralisation

Cable car companies might often believe that they would first need a central data base in order to undertake direct marketing together with other ski resorts and tourism businesses. however, according to Polterauer, that is wrong: “never out- source the brain, only the hands!” Data sovereignty must always remain within the company, whereas the interface can be outsourced.


“Never think of centralisation, but rather of networking,” he summarises; customer intelligence, i.e. knowledge about visitors, is the most valuable thing of all. “The more of it we collect, the greater its value over time. on average, it takes three years to gain a 360-degree view of a consumer,” Polterauer concludes. ts