Thursday, April 10, 2008

Do we manage brands on past performance?

People often question using techniques such as marketing mix analysis to help manage brands. They accuse it of being a blunt backward looking tool which fails to take into account the changing dynamics in a market. This is the "driving using the rear view mirror" critique.

My response is always the same - you need a three point plan in order to mitigate against this potential issue:
  1. Acknowledge that analysis is indeed backward looking but it's only one piece of the insight jigsaw and nobody has an Oracle with which to look into the future
  2. Ask yourself some tough structured questions about how and why the future might be different from the past. Construct some kind of process around this questioning (Delphi workshops work well here)
  3. Invest some effort in activities designed to answer new questions - if you haven't got a clue whether sponsorship and events are a great way to communicate with your core customers, try it on a small scale

Not doing the above and relying blindly on historical analysis will leave you looking a bit like this guy when things to shift.

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