As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, strategists are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future, provided they can strike a balance between embracing innovation and respecting established practices while addressing the pressing issues of diversity and inclusion.
With economic conditions tightening client budgets and optimism among strategists dwindling, professionals are now eyeing opportunities in upstream work, embracing new technologies, and aiding brands in navigating the ever-changing cultural terrain.
However, the journey ahead also includes addressing the vital aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), with some voices in the industry advocating for a strategic revolution.
Highlighting these shifting dynamics In an interview, Peter Adesanya, manager, digital strategy at All Seasons Zenith acknowledged that clients are increasingly opting for established channels with a proven track record of delivering desired results.
While this conservatism might be understandable, the digital strategist foresees a future where the effectiveness of today’s proven channels may gradually decline in terms of capturing audience attention.
“As digital strategists, we envisage that channels that have proven track today might gradually become obsolete in terms of effectiveness to attention mechanisms. In my experience, I’d usually advise a 15-20% investment in innovative channels to test and learn new algorithms and find the ‘right’ buying metrics to stay a step ahead in the category,” Adesanya explained.
A recent report, “The Future of Strategy 2023” by WARC, also sheds light on the challenges and opportunities shaping the future of this vital discipline.
The report, based on a global survey of 971 strategists from both client and agency sides, identifies key insights into the evolving field of marketing strategy. Among them is a call for revolution. While 70% of strategists feel encouraged to be strategically brave, only 34% believe their clients share this sentiment. This discrepancy highlights a “strategic bravery gap” as tightening budgets lead brands to take fewer risks.
According to WARC, strategy should encompass both learning from the past and envisioning the future. The ability to identify game-changing ideas and innovations demands ambition, imagination, and, above all, bravery.
Matt Klein, Head of Global Foresight, Reddit, said: “The future of strategy is straightforward. Uphold the bureaucratic way things have always been done and study from a distance, or immerse oneself and explore the way the world truly operates to affect progress.”
However, overreliance on existing frameworks can hinder strategic innovation.
Suggesting the need for a more agile and adaptable approach in today’s evolving marketing landscape, Nearly half (48%) of respondents in the survey view established marketing frameworks as obstacles to strategic bravery, while 30% disagreed.