The digital publishing house at Bosch

Bosch follows an integrated publishing house approach and has turned away from focusing primarily on their brand and products. Instead, Bosch filters out topics from the web which are relevant for their stakeholders.

The Digital Communication department headed by Dr. Michael Schmidtke has played a central role in the development of this approach. The team is responsible for Bosch’s digital channels and methods and aims to convey the most appropriate content to the corresponding stakeholders.

For this case study we interviewed four managers and employees from the department Digital Communication at the beginning of 2017.


Key facts

  • Interdisciplinarity: Different functions and disciplines are integrated into one department.

  • Diversity: A variety of experts with journalistic, technical and analytical backgrounds contribute their diverse expertise.

  • Communication: Regular meetings and on-going communication encourage mutual understanding within the team.

  • Learning: Every aspect of the content marketing process is evaluated. These findings are used for developing new methods.

  • Experiments: In pilot projects employees gain experience with new methods that can be used to generate new ideas and concepts.

  • Data-based decision making: The team continuously expands its database in order to optimize its communication planning process and allow for predictive analyses.

What kind of data is used?

Data collection and data analysis

  • First and foremost, the digital communication team uses their own campaign figure for data analyses. Furthermore, they analyze data from external sources, e.g. from social media and online.
  • An evaluation of their own campaigns offers valuable insights into which formats and texts work well for stakeholders. According to their own statement, Communicators are able to successfully anticipate successes.
  • For data generation and usage Bosch closely follows the German or European data regulations. Within this legal framework, social media data is analyzed and combined with website and app data as well as with insights from external service providers in order to gain further insights.


Using data for the communication planning process

Results from data analysis play an important role for the company’s digital communication strategy. The planning process is created as an infinite loop which means that insights from the continuous evaluation form the basis for the next planning phase. The process is divided into four phases:

  • Collecting and analyzing data
  • Creating a content strategy
  • Creating and distributing content measures
  • Evaluating these measures on an on-going basis


Data-based content marketing

  • The department selects topics and creates content mainly on its own. Only if necessary they will ask for the support from service providers, i.e. for social media monitoring or web tracking.

  • Based on data analysis they decide which content should be distributed via which channel. Building on the results of stakeholder analyses, the team develops specific formats for each channel.

  • Not all content is created from scratch. Instead the team finds existing pieces of content that can be recycled.

  • In order to support the distribution of content on their own digital channels, Bosch relies on a paid-media strategy. Thus stakeholders should receive the kind of content that is the most relevant and most interesting for them.

  • For evaluation, the team focuses on social media and online analyses. Furthermore, the teams analyze real-time data to see what works well and what does not. Campaigns are not only evaluated at the end but throughout the entire process.

  • The most relevant KPI of Digital Communication at Bosch is the company’s reputation. Further KPIs used to evaluate the individual measures are brand awareness, customer engagement and the share of voice in comparison to competitors.

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