Strategy BootCamp

Last month I went to the IPA Strategic BootCamp day course, it was really interesting and I left feeling total inspired! 

Following the strategy training, here are the five things I learned:
  • A ‘strategy’ is a plan of action designed to achieve an overall aim. It can be written as a simple sentence using the following formula:
To get to X…                   (the WHERE)
…we need to talk to Y     (the WHO) 
…and tell them Z             (the WHAT) 
  • A good WHERE should immediately direct us to the nub of the problem. And this should always be about BEHAVIOUR. For example: ‘Our infrequent buyers are deserting us for cheaper products as they don’t value our performance
  • A good WHO must isolate a target against whom to design our campaign. Segmentation by demographic is outdated and unhelpful. Instead we must consider common logic and common behaviour. Insights will point to WHO. For example: SMA – ‘new mums who are so overwhelmed it seems like nothing they do is right or good enough
  • A good WHAT should highlight what is in it for the consumer. Every brand and category has a ‘benefit ladder’ – from the rational and functional at the bottom, to the emotional and purpose-led at the top. WHAT needs to be pitched at the correct rung on the ladder. For example: Specsavers – ‘the joys and risks of good and bad eyesight to your social standing – in a category that used to be about price and range of frames

Three examples of a complete strategy:

  1. LEGO: We are aiming to steal share back from hi-tech toys and games, by telling parents who want their kids to thrive, that Lego opens up a world of imagination in a child’s mind
  2. Snickers: We are aiming to regain sales lost to more insubstantial snacks, by telling young men who snack to overcome their hunger pangs, that Snickers is the best way to avoid embarrassing yourself when hunger attacks. 
  3. VW Golf: We are aiming to increase share of sector at the expense of cheaper far eastern, French and Italian competitors, by telling people who are tempted to put price above quality, that the VW Golf is the enduring standard by which all its competitors are judged. 


Freebee: Thanks to technology, more than ever before, people have the means to avoid advertising. Start from the assumption that all advertising is skip-able. Nobody WANTS to see your advertising. Nobody is interested in your brand. Bar a few categories, on a few occasions, nobody is that interested in your category. What they ARE interested in is the important things in their own lives. Friendship, love, family, food, entertainment, sport, music, etc, etc.

By Claire Taylor, Strategic Thinker and Account Handler 
Advertising as we know it will change with tech
Creating certainty in an uncertain world