Remember when companies planned their marketing campaigns a year or two out? Those days are long-gone, says Martin Lindstrom, who notes: “Marketing strategy has entered the realm of immediacy. We don’t have any idea what marketing practices will be in the future—not even a year from now.”  Lindstrom recommends keeping a finger on the pulse of consumer demand “through close dialogue to detect and act on shifts in market preferences.”

And while you’re at, stay flexible. “A launch mustn’t be corralled in a predetermined direction, but instead respond to market feedback. It should be aware of competitor reactions, consumer trends, audience reception and opinion.” This interactive strategy calls for constant revision that delivers a brand message significantly more relevant than any long-term plan ever could. “Your planning horizon must be shortened. You’ll need to be among your target population, conducting intensive, incisive research. And you’ll need to react to feedback, not lock your brand into a strategy that’s been years in the planning. This won’t be easy. But consumer-aware branding that’s flexible and market responsive is the objective. Consumers
are moving faster than ever. Your brand has to keep up.”

Click Z Today 2 Sep 2003