GfK Switzerland, Serviceplan Suisse, Plan.Net Suisse, Mediaplus Suisse and Mediaschneider held a Brand Roadshow at the Widder Hotel on Tuesday 17 April 2018, the ninth time this successful series of events has been held in Zurich. Notable speakers presented a range of innovative approaches on the topic of “The future is today. Brand management in real time”.
2017 was a year of unprecedented forecasting understatement, with 50 key forecasters predicting average growth of 1.4% to 1.5% of the gross national product. The final figure came to rest at almost 2.3% – which is 50% more. Even more timid were the estimates of company investments and exports, which were two-thirds below real growth – the biggest macroeconomic misprediction of recent decades. Why did it happen? It happened because of the diversity, the complexity and the pace of the process of change. This process will become increasingly dynamic in the coming years, however, due not least to the unstoppable flood of data.
As economic and sectoral forecasts become less and less accurate, the brand management process needs a new, reliable planning approach:
This innovative planning approach was presented by Serviceplan Suisse and GfK at the Brand Roadshow and explained with the aid of practical examples: successful brand management no longer attempts to predict the future, but concentrates on correctly assessing the present and responding in real time. One of the big mistakes made by many companies in their brand management is that they attribute the current changes exclusively to digitalisation. They focus on individual measures – on digital transformation – instead of on overall interconnection, find themselves overtaken by developments and react too late.
Market change processes can happen at two different speeds:
Evolutionary, slow and rather silent changes: a continuing fall in productivity, stagnating or even declining volume sales, a significant loss of brand loyalty and increasingly individual purchasing behaviour. At the same time, GfK also demonstrates surprising new potential in the rapidly growing target group of the older working population and its strong purchasing power.
Revolutionary, rapid and spectacular changes: a digitalisation process that continues to increase in pace, mobile Internet, artificial intelligence, the cloud, robotics, etc.
The new planning approach supplements the classical demographic target definition with a value-based target group approach, and functions not only on the basis of reach and cost, but also advertising impact. A new and highly flexible algorithm has been developed by Plan.Net Suisse Business Intelligence with this in mind – the Brand Investor, which can be used to determine budget requirements, the mix of measures and a forecast of achievable targets in terms of return on investment. Real results have been shown to deviate by less than 2% from forecasts, based on experience from 151 cases over three years and across various sectors.
The Brand Investor makes it possible to measure not only the contribution of individual media in terms of impact, but also the influence on the various forms of distribution (omnichannel, stationary and e-commerce). The data platform on which the Brand Investor is based can be built on to create a real-time monitoring system. If a trading company is curious as to why its turnover was down 3% the previous day, for example, the next day it will see it was because of the weather, competitor prices, the number of purchases or a specific promotion, etc. This is a basis for being able to respond in real time to current changes in the market.
A new approach such as the Brand Investor can only be successful in practice, however, if all of the tools for real-time implementation are actually available. A new algorithm alone can never be a solution in itself.