Organisation structure: Loosen up and let go
Geoff Gray and Tom Himpe
Brands need to decentralise and learn to control less so they can react to the pace of change in marketing. The publishing world offers a new model.
Like many buzz words, real-time planning (RTP) has begun to mean different things to different people, from adjusting campaigns during their execution, reacting to market events and brand performance, or a wholesale change in how a brand communicates, there are multiple ways to interpret and to define this term. In approaching this subject, it is important to first take a step back and remind ourselves of the reason brands plan at all; to define the planning part of this phrase. Planning, in its broadest sense, should be a discipline that ensures a business is performing at its best; guiding creative initiatives to constantly optimise and improve the quest to make profits through the provision of whatever goods and services it creates. As an industry, we over-focus on brand measures as the end game. While brand health is an important indicator, the end game is profitability. You can seek to drive profitability alone with things such as discount promotions that can reduce the value of a brand, but this is poor planning, because the overall net effect in the longer term is less sales and less profit. The ultimate measure and objective should always be business performance, more often than not, measured by an overall increase in sales and/ or profitability.