Schrodinger’s Strat: The planning paradoxes for 2020

By Ben Shaw

BBH head of strategy, Ben Shaw, invites us to embrace the beauty of a paradox as marketers prepare to ramp up their 2020 planning. He identifies seven key paradoxes, from efficiency versus effectiveness to influencers and the problem with purpose.

Short-term versus long-term is the “perfect paradox”, suggests Shaw, because short-term activity only works best in conjunction with longer term planning and long-term brand building needs short-term activations to prove most effective.

Then there are the millennials – aka the “ultimate paradox”. They are a generation that cares about the climate, but fuelled the growth of fast fashion; who are running towards the future, but are also obsessed with nostalgia. To understand the millennial paradox, says Shaw, it is all about finding the connecting truths across the generation or targeting a tighter group that sits within the paradoxes.

READ MORE: Schrodinger’s Strat – The planning paradoxes for 2020 

Why you shouldn’t slash prices in the next recession

By Shihwan Chung, Ron Kermisch and Mark Burton 

Shihwan Chung, Ron Kermisch and Mark Burton are on a mission to convince brands not to assume that slashing prices and profit margins is the only way to keep their customers and maintain market share during a recession.

That perspective is “shortsighted”, say the trio, who argue that across-the-board price cuts can permanently erode a company’s profitability and strategic position.

Instead, the advice to brands wanting to survive the next recession is to start by understanding your place in the market and what drives your profits. Then price your products through a “segmented value-based approach”, which reflects the price sensitivity of different customer segments.

Next, the authors advise brands to patch up their “price leakage”, as free giveaways can go unnoticed and collectively “bleed substantial profits”. Lastly, it is important to develop dynamic pricing where appropriate and build flexibility into your organisation, so you can adjust prices at pace.

READ MORE: Why you shouldn’t slash prices in the next recession

Gaming goes global

By Mackenzie Baker

Gaming culture has well and truly moved from niche pastime to mainstream activity, as gaming videos start to dominate space on YouTube, according to the latest Gartner L2 report.

The research finds that gaming videos are posted 2.9 times as often as other consumer electronics categories, with game trailers and product demos proving the most popular. On Instagram, for example, Playstation grew its following to 17 million, up 67% between April 2018 and March 2019, while Xbox claimed an audience of 9 million, an increase of 22%.

With streaming sites such as Hulu and mainstream broadcasters getting in on the act, combined with the launch of new TV networks such as the Video Game Entertainment News Network, the growth of gaming is “primed to be the next mainstream culture phenomenon”.

READ MORE: Gaming goes global

Building a successful data monetisation strategy

By Sandrine Devy and George Brett

If you want to get the most out of your data the first step is to develop a strategy based on behavioural insights, rather than sales data, Dunnhumby’s Sandrine Devy and George Brett. They suggest that ideally this data will have been collected through a CRM programme, such as a loyalty card, with coverage of at least 50% of the customer base.

Getting the most out of data cannot be the responsibility of a single team. The key to success is having a customer-centric culture embedded from the top of your organisation, so that everyone is committed to understanding customers, not just focused on sales and margins.

While there needs to be a culture within the business which appreciates the importance of customer data, having a team dedicated to drawing the insights out of the data is a good idea. Devy and Brett point to the trend within retail for heads of marketing strategy, or heads of monetisation, being appointed to lead these initiatives.

READ MORE: Building a successful data monetisation strategy