Zabel Associates
Zabel Associates can draw on a network of experts from the media, broadcast, advertising, digital and ICT industries. It is run by Prof. Dr. Christian Zabel. Christian is Full Professor for Corporate and Innovation Management at Technische Hochschule Köln (Technical University Cologne). He has 15 years of experience in digital media and TV. He was Director of Product Management Digital Media/, Deutsche Telekom AG, heading development and monetization of Germany's largest general interest portal with 10m daily visitors. Before that, he worked on corporate strategy projects in Digital Media, Strategy and Communication in his position as Assistant to Deutsche Telekom's CEO, René Obermann. Prior to Deutsche Telekom, he consulted media companies, especially in TV/converging media as Head of Research and Consulting for HMR International. In parallel, Christian has been researching innovation management, online video, TV production and digital distribution strategies. He also has more than a decade's worth of experience working as freelance journalist (TV, online) and author on media topics. Christian holds a master's degree in journalism (Technical University Dortmund/IHECS Brussels), a master of Public Administration (Sciences-Po, Paris) and a Ph.D. in Media Economics (Technical University Dortmund).

Latest News

New Study on the online video creators industry in Germany

The joint research project (Hochschule Mainz and the European Webvideo Academy) highlighted the industry structure, value networks, regional distribution and agglomeration patterns in the German online video industry. In all, 2130 online video companies and producers could be identified that at least attract 50.000 subscribers on its YouTube Channels. Instagram,…

Opening Keynote on management strategies for digital journalism

In his introductory keynote, Christian detailed the challenges media companies face when competing in a changing, VUCA environment. Drawing on recent examples of audiovisual and multimedia firms undergoing such transformations, Christian laid out what these processes demanded regarding, strategy, culture, organization and change management. The 15th German-Russian media forum addressed…

New Publication: Strategische Steuerung von Influencer-Marketing-Kampagnen

For St. Gallen Marketing Review’s Issue Nr.2/2018, Christian Zabel (together with Prof. Dr. Sven Pagel/University of Applied Sciences Mainz) published a study focusing on the strategic management of influencer marketing cooperations. Drawing on an extensive case study of Burger King, six main drivers for successful cooperations were identified: Reach, Brand…

Conference on „Influencer Marketing for Media Brands“ – Hosting and introductory keynote

Media Marketing & Design Association „Eyes & Ears of Europe“ invited marketing executives from all over Europe to discuss the potentials of social influencers and cooperation strategies for media brands. Christian Zabel hosted the day, starting the stream of presentations with an introductory keynote. Citing from a forthcoming study and…

Keynote at Bautec Digital 2018 – digitisation of the construction machine sector

In his Keynote „Digitalisierung – Können, wollen, dürfen wir das?“ Christian Zabel discussed the challenges the construction industry faces with the digitisation. He explained to a packed auditorium of over 100 industry executives how effective solution strategies can be devised. The keynote opened this year’s Bautec Digital fair in Warendorf/Germany.

Digital transformation/Innovation Management workshop programme for leading German broadcaster

Zabel Associates was tasked to strengthen the digitisation efforts of one of the leading German broadcasting groups. Starting with an executive workshop defining the roadmap of the division’s digitization and programme development efforts, a series of 10 group workshops will be carried out throughout the summer in order to develop…

Study published: Virtual und Augmented Reality in North-Rhine Westphalia

How large is the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) industry in North-Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)? What are regional value added clusters and industry focus of the companies in VR/AR? What are the trends and expectations? These questions were now answered by a comprehensive study. Through a multi-method design, the totality…

Keynote: „Digitalisierung als Kultur- und Führungsfrage“

On invitation by recruitment company Hays AG, Christian Zabel gave a keynote to 60 of Hays‘ clients focusing on the challenges organizations face when transforming their companies.

Keynote „Zentrale Prozesse digital entlang der Wertschöpfungsprozesse entwickeln“

The keynote, held together with Prof. Gernot Heisenberg (TH Köln), focused on the digitization requirements of business processes and introduced portfolio approaches that serve to identify suitable processes. In the second part, a practical example was examined, focusing on structuring and analyzing the data generated throughout this digital process. 160…

New Publication: „Digitale Transformation von Medienunternehmen – Portfoliosteuerung beim SWR“

The results of a nine-month research project for German public broadcaster Südwestrundfunk was published in German peer-reviewed media economics journal „Medienwirtschaft“. Abstract (in German): „Die digitale Transformation stellt für Medienunternehmen seit Längerem eine große Herausforderung dar. Der Südwestrundfunk durchläuft bereits seit einiger Zeit diesen tiefgreifenden Wandel. Anfang 2016 hatte der…

Who are the Creators of Youtube? Article in St. Gallen Marketing Review (German)

The Article in St. Gallen Marketing Review (No 2/2017, pp. 26-35,  together with Prof. Dr. Sven Pagel) highlights the results of the first structured survey and analysis of Germany’s video influencers. The survey encompasses the answers of 212 participants on socio demographics, motives for video production, production routines and refinancing…

Digital Transformation as a cultural and management challenge (article)

The article in FInno – Magazin für Finance and Innovation (No. 3, pp.4-5) highlights the cultural aspects as central success factors for digital transformation programs.

Workshop on Innovation Management for RTL Journalistenschule

Together with Co-Host Ulrike Klode, Christian held a three-day innovation management workshop for television producers at RTL Journalistenschule. The seminar focused on idea creation and development, using creativity, the business model canvas in order to develop new digital products.

Keynote on Digital Business Transformation

Addressing a packed audience of 100 executives at Cologne Chamber of Commerce, Christian explained the main challenges for digitization initiatives in established companies, ranging from utilizing agile working methods to organizational design and change managen

Christian on Digital Transformation in Finance Institutions FInnoDay

Christian spoke about the cultural and strategic challenges companies and especially financial institutions face when embarking on a digital transformation journey. As part of the lineup of this year’s Finance Innovation Day 3.0 (hosted by Solit Finance), Christian discussed with 120 leaders from the banking and insurance industry.

Contact Details

Prof. Dr. Christian Zabel Gereonswall 103b 50670 Cologne / Germany Mobile: (+49) 170 8552575


  • SWR, RTL Journalistenschule
  • arte, MDR, RTL Journalistenschule
  • Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, ZDF
  • kreait, Medienetzwerk
  • ProSiebenSat.1, Eyes & Ears of Europe