Saturday, September 17, 2011

Only 1 in 5 Aussies can boil eggs - Why strategy has a bright future

Most interesting facts of today comes from Westfield:

- One in three Australians can´t bake a cake without relying on a packet mix.
- More than 80% don´t know how long it takes to boil an egg.
- Only 38% could recognise coriander.
Hmm, not sure Masterchef has had that much impact on us after all... :)
Isn´t it interesting how diverse we are - that some can cook the most amazing creations in a few seconds, while others don´t know how to turn the stove on. That some get anxious if their hair is out of place, while others crawl straight out of bed and smile towards the world. That some are devoted to Greenpeace and others to The Roosters.
People are so fascinating.
The more I read and absorb, the more respect I get for strategy and insight, and the less tolerant I become towards those who say "strategy is good, but for THIS brief it´s not necessary...", and the more I cringe when I hear marketers say "I feel like this about the product" as if it was a general truth.
Brands out there, unite! If your agency presents an idea without telling you "why" (on a level beyond "because it´s a great idea") cut them out of the roster. Most of them will have had a look at the bunch of mates or colleagues, asked them what they think about the product and then come up with some crazy idea that will win awards or perks from the promo agency.... 
I´m not saying that a piece of statistics about how Australians can´t boil eggs is much better as a base for a solid strategy, haha, but I´m saying it matters. It´s a piece of the puzzle, and unless you do a bit of digging you won´t find the nuances, the pieces of information that completes the picture, makes it 3D instead of just flat.
The strategic departments are growing all around the world. The last decade has been a good one, bringing more thinking into the mix. I believe there were amazing admen operating before (Leo Burnett, David Ogilvy and such) and they were intuitive people with a feel for strategy and a mature curiosity for people, but how many of those do we have in the industry today? It´s bigger, more crowded, more driven by the search for ego and free booze, more structured and stressful... who has time to think? who has space? Fortunately planning departments are growing, and strategy is bettering work, creating stronger bonds between brands and consumers.
Ah well, perhaps I´m just the strategy nazi... :) What do you think?
If you want to learn how to boil an egg:

Other posts on strategy:
There are 4 types of strategic planners
Why strategic planners should use Sören Kierkegaard...
Should strategists read the horoscope?

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