Three Editorial Teams - One Platform

Martin Altmann

Pedelec-Training ACE Pedelec Training

How the ACE with Adobe Experience Manager assets enables a consistent look and feel.

In the beginning, there was the idea of community. Originally exclusively for union members, the ACE, Auto Club Europa, founded in 1965, opened its doors to all motorists 30 years later. With 630,000 members, Germany's second-largest automobile club has nevertheless remained true to its social character: Ensuring mobility for all is the unofficial guiding principle of the Stuttgart-based club. And that includes all dimensions: Although primarily geared to car drivers, the ACE's service today includes not only every family member, but also every vehicle on wheels - from campers to bicycles. And the development is to go even further. The goal is that ACE is a mobility companion for all modern mobile people, regardless of the means of transport they use.

The mobility revolution and digitalization also pose challenges for the traditional club - and it has found some pretty smart answers to both questions: Linking vehicles and teams in a meaningful way.

One editorial system for all teams

In addition to the website and the social media presence, the members' magazine ACE LENKRAD, which is published six times a year, is the medium used by around 670,000 readers to find out about tire tests, new cars, and topics relating to road safety, electromobility, consumer protection, and new forms of mobility. Originally, each of the three teams - web, social media and print editors of ACE LENKRAD - worked on its own. In other words, each team not only had its own publishing system, but also its own asset management. "Our goal is to speak with one voice," says Anja Smetanin, Head of Marketing and Sales and Editor-in-Chief ACE LENKRAD at ACE. "However, the data silos between teams stood in the way of a consistent visual and textual language."

A central image database ensures consistent imagery

That's why ACE relies on Adobe Experience Manager assets to unify workflows and create a central data pool for images and graphics. In addition to a consistent visual language, editors also save valuable time. "Previously, images were stored all over the server - in folders for articles, for events, or even in employee folders," says Anja Smetanin. "Now we have a clear structure in which we can quickly find our way around." A nice side effect: The editorial teams were also able to identify and fill gaps in their image material, since there is an overall view for the first time.

In addition to the central organization, the automated image adjustment in particular is a great support for the teams. Social media platforms, website and magazine each have specific image format specifications. The "Auto Crop" function in Adobe Experience Manager Assets automatically adjusts images to the requirements of the respective platform - a huge increase in efficiency.

Text contents will also soon be organized across platforms

In the future, Adobe Experience Manager Assets will also function as a unified text database where articles and contributions from all three teams are stored and accessible. In this way, a text originally published in the ACE LENKRAD can be picked up by the website editorial team as easily as possible, adapted to the specifications of the website, and published quickly. The first step has already been taken: Via the flexible API, which enables seamless integration with various third-party systems, Adobe Experience Manager Assets is connected to the Simple Workspace editorial tool, which the ACE LENKRAD editors use to create the magazine. Texts can simply be dragged and dropped from Adobe Experience Manager Assets into the appropriate template of the editorial system - and the article is automatically formatted into the desired layout.

This still only works as a one-way street, because texts edited in the editorial tool are not automatically reflected back into Adobe Experience Manager Assets. But with the move of the website to Adobe Experience Manager Sites, this will also be possible and provide further efficiency gains. "Stability and security were key factors for us in choosing Adobe Experience Manager," says Anja Smetanin. "This way, we have all applications from a single source and can rely on the solutions to work together seamlessly. At the same time, the API allows us to continue working with our familiar editorial system. It was clear to us that we needed a future-proof, cloud-based solution that would grow with us and our requirements."

Stability and security were key factors for us in choosing Adobe Experience Manager. We knew we needed a future-proof, cloud-based solution that would grow with us and our needs.

Anja Smetanin

Head of Marketing and Sales and Editor-in-Chief ACE LENKRAD, Auto Club Europa e.V.

It's easier with a strong partner

Anja Smetanin's team was also aware that we are editors, not IT experts. That's why they chose Comwrap Reply as their technology partner. "I was particularly convinced by the intensive exchange at eye level and the project support. No matter how many questions we had - we always received detailed and understandable answers," says Anja Smetanin. "Implementing a new solution ecosystem of this scope is a big project. Because of the close support and stage structure, we feel good about moving safely through the process step by step."

"Many large companies rely on Adobe solutions. Medium-sized companies in particular are sometimes intimidated by this. Too expensive, too complex - we encounter this prejudice again and again," says Mathias Hermann, Managing Director and Partner at Comwrap Reply. "However, the flexible scalability of the solutions used, as well as the cloud-native architecture and comprehensive, AI-supported automation functions, mean that medium-sized companies in particular benefit. Thus, there is no need to spend large IT and marketing resources, nor to hire highly specialized professionals."

Thanks to the flexible scalability of the solutions used, as well as the cloud-native architecture and comprehensive, AI-supported automation functions, medium-sized companies in particular benefit. This means that neither large IT and marketing resources need to be expended nor highly specialized specialists hired.
Mathias Hermann, CEO bei comwrap

Mathias Hermann

Managing Director / Partner, Comwrap Reply

The journey continues

The first stage has been completed, but ACE already has its sights firmly set on the next goals. In the future, the club wants to increase the focus on personalizing its content. With the help of Adobe Analytics, ACE wants to better understand the interests and needs of its members and respond with appropriate content. Adobe Target will then ensure that members receive relevant content at the right time on their preferred channel.

This also includes the ACE LENKRAD: "Currently, all members receive the same magazine," says Anja Smetanin. "In the future, we want to create a more interactive format in addition to the classic magazine. For example, those interested in campers will then find tips online about travel destinations or equipment, and electric car drivers* will be able to find out about the latest models." In addition, the app and self-service area will be further expanded to give members more autonomy here as well. We wish you a safe journey!

Photo by Markus Bachmann / ACE Auto Club Europa