Stephan Roppel, chief executive officer of Holtzbrink Networks' eLab in Germany, spoke about what traditional publishing companies can do to enable and encourage innovation in marketing and strategy.

He pointed out that a lack of long-term strategy and innovation has led to declining newspaper circulation. At the same time, internet use is continuing its steep rise, and advertisers are investing heavily in digital campaigns

“Are we really prepared as newspaper companies to really change what we are?” Roppel asked. “I'm a little skeptical.” But he said this change would be necessary to compete with digital natives – in the digital realm, you play by a different set of rules.

A traditional media organisation should begin by developing a sense of consistency, figuring out what makes them a consistent media organisation, and taking those elements across multiple platforms. “When you start something completely new, you have to think about what are the constant values, and what will be not sacrificed even if we do something very revolutionary,” Roppel said.

The eLab is a...

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