Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Short-term performance and Long-term health

There's a lot of pressure on marketers these days to have their brand "doing stuff". It's all about the customer experience, the here and now. Real time. Being "out there". Acts not ads. Agility. Brand as verb. Participating.

I've written enough about it in this blog.

And it's true that there are lot more possibilities open to brands to communicate with their users and potential users than there were even 10 years ago.

But it's a mistake to be doing stuff just because we can, in the same way that it's a mistake to lose track of why we're doing it. While I'm not a fan of spending months sitting pontificating about what is an emotional benefit or what is a physical attribute in some complex brand model that bears little relation to reality, I do believe that senior marketers have a responsibility to take a long-term view - maybe not quite as long-term as the Long Now foundation (!) - but certainly beyond the latest app and viral campaign. What is my brand's purpose? Where is it heading? What is our vision - and how does all the "stuff" we're going to be doing fit with that?

That is certainly the thinking behind P&G's recent re-organisation of their Marketing Division into Brand Management, with former Marketing Directors becoming Brand Directors.

If you pump an athlete full of drugs, they might be able to attain short-term success in one performance. But where is their health going long-term?


Barbara Fisher said...

To creatively foster long-term thinking and responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years? Now that really is long-term thinking I have trouble thinking about tomorrow!
I love the diverse topics you cover. I enjoyed the IKEA advert in your previous post but parts of it rather reminded me of the twin towers (the person falling past a tall building). I'm not sure that was quite the thought they wanted me to have.
Have a great weekend, Barbara

Sue said...

I like "Established in 01996" on the Long Now Foundation. So we are now in 02014.
Your comment about the IKEA ad is a valid one - I also hoped it wasn't aired in any breaks in the news reporting on air disasters.