"always on" and it's impact on marketing... and strategy

Having the luck of being neighbours with a full-blooded advertiser, I have the chance to being constantly exposed to the newest thinking on how to create awareness and turn it into desire. As I learned in a fascinating presentation recently, this has become decisively more difficult in a time when people are just no longer willing and able to absorb dumb billboard, TV advertising or product placement – and then go and buy products in linear correlation to the marketing dollars spent. Instead, they are „always on“ and constantly reachable via social media. So, how to play it? To raise consumers awareness and interest, it takes good stories, participation and an intense dialogue with customers on all (social) media channels, digital or classic, as has been shown by successul approaches of brands like GoPro or Red Bull.

So, what’s this to do with strategy? Does the „always on“, „2.0“ and „agile“ business world also need new strategies – and new approaches to develop  strategies? On the strategies as such, this seems to be rather a stupid question (I promised to myself to avoid the word „disruptive“ in this article). On the new approaches, there is a point in thinking about it. Everybody will agree that doing strategy in isolation and then – „yeah, we got it“ – rolling it out over amployees and customers seems a bit outfashioned. But how about strategy cycles and the basic understanding of strategy being „a long term plan of action to achieve a particular goal“? Has the long term plan thing gone with the faster pace of technology and market changes?

What seems pretty clear is that (digital or not), the strategies and business models require much more networked thinking and an agile element to follow the fast pace of market changes. How agile and how networked is very much dependent on the individual company and industry – and the perfect blend and interaction of approaches, planning & execution cycles and all the stakeholders involved in them.

Therefore, in my view, the impact of above changes on strategic approaches is at least as big as for marketing – and we definitely need to leave the strategists ivory tower in order to welcome in all stakeholders. The agile card should be played to the extent and where it makes sense. There is no „one size fits all“, as usual, but a fascinating choice of new concepts, tools and orchestration possibilities which make our life and my profession so exciting!

What are your experiences and thoughts?


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