Inception pack volume three: What is strategy?
2007




the planning lab (sthlm)
What is strategy?
 And how is it relevant to account planning?




the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack
What is strategy?

• “We simply don’t know what strategy is or how
  we can develop a good strategy”
  (Markides, 2000)


...
Four generic perspectives on strategy*
                                                      Intention of strategy
       ...
The Classical perspective
                                                       Intention of strategy
                   ...
The evolutionary perspective
                                                         Intention of strategy               ...
The processual perspective
                                                       Intention of strategy
                  ...
The systemic perspective
                                                       Intention of strategy
                    ...
Overview

                                          Classical          Processual             Evolutionary          System...
What does this imply for agency planning?




the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack
social anthropologist

    bad cop (to account management’s/                                 strategic thinker/strategy de...
In other words: most planners need to
have a clue about strategy



                                                Brand ...
The classical perspective: control everything

• Possible to control external environment = we can control the customer’s
...
The evolutionary perspective: sell or die

• Marketing communications decisions are for short-term survival
• In the long-...
The processual perspective:
win some, lose some

• A trial-and-error approach to marketing communications: some consumer
 ...
The systemic approach:
please follow the rules of the game

• Consumer attitudes and behavior are confined to social system...
Conclusion

• Try to agree on what strategy is when you’re discussing strategy/strategic issues
  with a client




the pl...
the planning lab (sthlm)
theplanninglab.typepad.com
theplanninglab@gmail.com
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What is strategy

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What is strategy

  1. 1. Inception pack volume three: What is strategy? 2007 the planning lab (sthlm)
  2. 2. What is strategy? And how is it relevant to account planning? the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack
  3. 3. What is strategy? • “We simply don’t know what strategy is or how we can develop a good strategy” (Markides, 2000) • “Consultants and theorists that compete for giving advice to companies cannot even agree on the most basic question: what is strategy?” (The Economist, March 20, 1993) the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack
  4. 4. Four generic perspectives on strategy* Intention of strategy Profit maximising Classic Evolutionary Process Planned Gradual Systemic Processual Pluralistic the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack *Whittington, R (2002) What is strategy - and does it matter?
  5. 5. The Classical perspective Intention of strategy Profit maximising Strategy = a rational process that includes rational analysis and objective decision-making in order to maximise long-term value Porter Ansoff Classical Evolutionary Process Planned Good business Gradual planning is required to control internal and external environment Systemic Processual Pluralistic the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack *Whittington, R (2002) What is strategy - and does it matter?
  6. 6. The evolutionary perspective Intention of strategy The dynamic, hostile and competitive Profit maximising nature of markets makes it difficult to plan for long- Classical term survival (rational and future- oriented) planning is Hannan & Freeman irrelevant Classical Evolutionary Williamson Process Strategy = day-to-day Planned management for surviving Gradual external circumstances Systemic Processual Pluralistic the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack *Whittington, R (2002) What is strategy - and does it matter?
  7. 7. The processual perspective Intention of strategy Profit maximising Classical Evolutionary Process Cyert & Future-oriented business Planned March Gradual planning is irrelevant Mintzberg Systemic markets nor Neither Processual organisational processes are “perfect enough” for classical or evolutionary strategies to be People are too different adopted Stategy = a when it comes to interest, pragmatic process of knowledge, attention, rationality and mistakes, learning can therefore not agree on an Pluralistic and compromises optimal plan the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack *Whittington, R (2002) What is strategy - and does it matter?
  8. 8. The systemic perspective Intention of strategy Profit maximising Classical Evolutionary Other rational goals Process besides profit-maximisation: Definition of professional pride, influence, stategy depends patriotism, culture, religion Planned on contextual Gradual factors Whitley Systemic Granovetter Processual Competition does not imply efficiency: Strategic objectives depends markets can be manipulated; on the specific social system in society has other criterias for which the strategy is created corporations than just profit- Pluralistic maximisation the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack *Whittington, R (2002) What is strategy - and does it matter?
  9. 9. Overview Classical Processual Evolutionary Systemic Strategy Formal Crafted Effective Encapsuled Objective Profit-maximisation Unclear Survival Local approval Internal (politics and Focus Internal (plans) External (markets) External (society) perceptions) Processes Analytical Negotiation/learning Darwinist Social Economics Economics Influences Psychology Sociology Military Biology Cyert & March, Hannan & Freeman, Important names Chandler, Ansoff, Porter Granover, Whitley Mintzberg, Pettigrew Williamson Development 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack
  10. 10. What does this imply for agency planning? the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack
  11. 11. social anthropologist bad cop (to account management’s/ strategic thinker/strategy developer client service’s good cop) market researcher target audience think piece polemicist representative/voice of the consumer writer of the creative brief insight miner npd consultant data analyst brainstorming facilitator knowledge applicator qualitative focus group moderator media/communications planner soothsayer/futurologist information centre The role of planning again... the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack Source: “What is account planning” (2001), Account Planning Group UK
  12. 12. In other words: most planners need to have a clue about strategy Brand strategy Business strategy Communications An understanding of the client firm’s strategic perspective allows us to better grasp the potential and limitations of the branding and communications work that we recommend the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack
  13. 13. The classical perspective: control everything • Possible to control external environment = we can control the customer’s attitude/behaviour through marketing communications • Marketing communications decisions will be made through quantitative analysis and modelling • Masters of our own destiny when it comes to brand and advertising management • Typical separation between strategy (“brain”) and reality (“hands”) the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack
  14. 14. The evolutionary perspective: sell or die • Marketing communications decisions are for short-term survival • In the long-term we might be dead! • Intense focus on short-run sales, not long-term brand-building the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack
  15. 15. The processual perspective: win some, lose some • A trial-and-error approach to marketing communications: some consumer attitudes and behaviours things we can influence, some we cannot • Continuous improvement of brand and advertising management • Certain degree of risk-taking in decision-making allows for innovative and creative ways of reaching customer the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack
  16. 16. The systemic approach: please follow the rules of the game • Consumer attitudes and behavior are confined to social systems with given norms, values, roles, culture, ethics, etc. • Limitations to what marketing communications can do in terms of market share - the consumer culture rules • Other “rational” reasons for marketing communications than pure profit- maximisation the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack
  17. 17. Conclusion • Try to agree on what strategy is when you’re discussing strategy/strategic issues with a client the planning lab (sthlm) Inception pack
  18. 18. the planning lab (sthlm) theplanninglab.typepad.com theplanninglab@gmail.com
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