Balancing long and short term marketing planning
This short article from MediaCom Edinburgh reminds us that marketing impact must not be measured on short term evaluation alone. It recommends ‘The Long and the Short of It’ as a good read for anyone interested in better balancing short and long term marketing goals.
Sainsbury’s have announced that they’re moving from an annual marketing planning cycle to the development of a longer term 3 year plan. Lately they’ve been outperforming the market on a sustained basis and the confidence instilled has likely contributed to their openness to extending the planning horizon.
If you develop a long term strategy then it probably makes sense to implement long term evaluation techniques too... which can be easier said than done. Most of the time marketing is judged on quite short term KPIs and if something doesn’t appear to be working the decision to change it can be made quite quickly.
Les Binet and Peter Field (the Ant and Dec of marketing effectiveness) recently published their long-awaited follow up to Marketing in the Era of Accountability. The Long and the Short of it looks at how marketers can balance long term and short term strategies. A key theme is the difference between the timescales used for measuring marketing impact and how decisions based on short term evaluation may not be optimal for driving long-term profitability. A campaign that drives volume in the short term is often deemed a success but the most profitable campaigns are those that shift a brand's price elasticity - and it may take years to see these kinds of effects.