"Five years ago, we could bring our product to market and keep it on shelf for two years and give it a couple of seasons to prove itself. Now, we basically know everything [in] the first 9 to 13 weeks whether something's a raving success or a complete flop," said Kinda Grange, Marketing Director of Goodman Fielder's grocery business, at Mumbrella360 recently.
The company now builds that consumer and retailer impatience into its plans and has also introduced an element of fluidity to its planning cycle to be able to adapt to change more quickly. (For more, read WARC's report: Four ways that Goodman Fielder maintains its innovation mindset.)
"We've shortened and changed our planning cycle and focused that to be a lot more about being outcome-focused. We all know what our must-win battles are and that's what we're going after – that's the end game – but the team is empowered to shift and change the plans along the way," Grange said.
In today's retail environment, change can happen at a moment's notice. Marketers need to be adaptable, and so does the brand strategy, she said.
"[Internally] we'd spend months and months analysing, strategising, and then creating massive big decks that get presented to a big board and then put away… because as soon as they're done, there's something new that we're needing to react to, develop, address, or take advantage of," Grange said.
With that need for adaptability in mind, Grange revealed that her entire strategy for her part of the Goodman Fielder business is now on just a few pieces of paper and the operating plan is reviewed monthly.
"We've completely simplified that process and we've said, 'Strategy is, quite simply, about us just making a couple of key choices'. We call these our must-win battles and they haven't changed for two years," she said.
"Our must-win battles are enduring and we do that piece of work once a year in terms of putting a stake in the ground as part of budget. We spend a couple of weeks on it. The strategy for my part of the business is on five pieces of paper."
Data sourced from WARC