Where’s your five-year plan?
This is a recap of Matt Creamer's 2012 MIMA Summit Presentation.Blog post by Alexandra HeideIllustration by Derek BresslerIt could have been the overeager hand-raiser from class, a corporate executive presenting the company’s goals, or even yourself: Chances are you’ve heard the phrase “five-year plan” uttered at some point. The concept is so ubiquitous that it prompted Matt Creamer, editor at large at Ad Age, to seek the answer to the following question: “Why don’t advertising agencies have five-year plans?”I know what you’re thinking—How can we possibly plan for what’s next when the world has changed so drastically in the past five years? And you’re right. Five years ago there were no Androids, no app stores,no GPS-enabled phones, no tablets, no Instagram—you get the idea. While Creamer acknowledges that these unforeseen advancements seem like a logical reason to shy away from five-year plans, he urged us to “always be looking down the road,” and more importantly, be looking to data when planning for the future.So what does the data say?Well, in 2017, we can expect a new media and marketing order to take root. Unsurprisingly, mobile will be more impactful and overall, more central in our plans. However, marketers who want to “win the mobile battle” will need to think outside the box and use the channel as more than a place for repurposing ads. (Creamer suggests looking to Nike+, Starbucks and Tesco for top-notch applications.)This change in the structure of our plans will also require a change in the structure of agencies. Chief Marketing Technologists will be hired to meet the needs of increasingly gadget-obsessed consumers andcross-disciplinary teams of strategists, developers and IT professionals will work together to ensure that all customer interactions are designed with a focus on UX.So while we may not be able to accurately predict the next disruptive technologies, we can certainly organize ourselves around directional trends—that way, we’ll be prepared to tackle whatever comesnext.-Alexandra Heide