With innovation, how to find a balance between Strategy and Communications?

I have been to several conferences or read in the news about how X company is pre-announcing a new revolution that will be launched in… 2014.   For some of us, that feels like a century away.

Looking through binoculars, The Myndset Brand Strategy and Digital Marketing

Promising the future

Last week, for example, I was reading how one of the French mobile service providers was going to roll out 3G in the Parisian metro by … the end of 2014?  That’s newsworthy?  Aside from the fact that we’re already on the 4G wagon, promising to provide this service in Paris by the end of 2014, when we are in December 2012, feels like a desperate move by their Comms department, no?

Long-term strategy… with short-term fuses

As strategic as one intends to be — with an eye to the long-term — the need is to calibrate the communications with a consumer whose expectations are increasingly in “real time.”  This holds true for customer service (and consumers on social media), but has a carryover effect on all time horizons, especially as it regards to technology.  We live with our mobile/iPad/iPod tied to our hips.  A critical component to the mobile experience is the connectivity: whether it is for telephone or internet access.  So, for many of us (especially of the younger generations), getting network coverage everywhere is a hot topic.  But, telling us that we will be getting it in two years time seems a little out of date, to put it mildly.

Communications strategy planning

In terms of communication strategy, management must carefully consider and measure the expectations before announcing some distant “innovation.”  On the one hand, real innovation continues to be a critical business driver (not just a PR stunt).  On the other hand, if you’re talking 24 months out, in technology-dog years, that’s an eternity.  All the more so, that we are currently moving to the new 4G generation on the terrestrial plane (i.e. above ground and above the metro).  It sounds obvious, but innovation — as well as the accompanying communications — must be timely and relevant for the target audience! {Click to tweet if you agree!}.  Otherwise, it’s likely to be a flop.

How do you react to this article?  Have you the same feelings?


  • http://sixagency.com Khalid Meniri

    True That @Minter! I heard many tech promises that actually fail because a more "simpler" solution was presented in a much shorter time. As you wrote earlier in the year consumers are spoiled and they need something NOW. Even in a non-tech related scenario, you cannot tell someone "I got you something, but you can have it in 2 years?" No Thanks!

    I often receive briefs for mobile apps with a long list of features, knowing that such project could take 6 or 8 months… That's an absolute no no. Some brands try too hard to impress their consumers using this risky waterfall strategy, where they can actually use an agile process and launch a simple yet innovative feature and then add or change features based on real-time feedback and analytics. Consumers have a 'loud' voice and they certainly don't like to wait.

    • http://themyndset.com Minter Dial

      On top of that, Khalid, one has to believe that consumers are rather blasé about promising something two years out. Even if, technologically speaking, the development time may indeed be a couple of years, the idea of trumpeting out two years early sounds more like posturing between companies rather than being focused on the customers' expectations.

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