From the editor: Time to get real

Colin Grimshaw

Real-time planning has been a buzz-term for a year or two now. Its origin described a new, futuristic way of working where 'campaigns' , as we know them, are obsolete, replaced by continuous consumer engagement 24/7.

The argument went that, in the digital 'always on' age, where consumers constantly engage with your brand through the web and social media, the influence of fixed-life campaigns is diminished. Brands can no longer control the message. The 30-second TV spot becomes irrelevant. To keep up with ever-changing market conditions, time is of the essence. Instead, brands need to respond urgently to the discussion going on around them and formulate strategy on the hoof if they are to have any influence on consumer perception and competitive performance. So planners need to stop massaging their beards - jettison blue-sky thinking and endless creative ruminating, researching, analysing, pretesting… and get down and dirty in the real world.