Post-campaign management: Plan less, manage more

Colin Mitchell
Ogilvy & Mather

More creative effort is needed post-campaign as communications strategy in a real-time world shifts from planning to reaction, says Colin Mitchell of O&M New York.

Launching a new campaign has always been a cause for celebration. Sometimes there's a party. Strategies have been agreed on, ideas have been created, approvals have been obtained, space has been booked and materials have finally been released. Everyone sits back, breathes…and waits. Yet, today's campaigns are much less like watching a child leave for college than watching a child being born: the real work has just begun. In the future, maybe half of our efforts will take place after a campaign starts. Consequently, brand strategy is going to become less about planning and more about reaction.

This is because today's campaigns are dynamic: content is shared, discussed and augmented by real people. Many marketers have understood this. But they have often assumed that all they need to do is produce content that is worth sharing and then 'let go control of the brand'. Actually, the reverse is true: marketers must actively shape the campaign in real-time.