Slow down and think

When marketing is to drive growth and strengthen the brand, we must give ourselves more time to think. Otherwise we might end up making the wrong decisions.

You know it well. It has been a long trip up through Europe. The car has gained full speed on the German Autobahn, and the final destination is approaching. The distance is known, and the speed limit is known. Still, the last stretch feels really long, and the car feels slow. That’s called speed ​​blindness.

I’m sure most people who have driven a car have experienced that feeling, but have you considered that it could happen in your working life as well?

Experience is good, but sometimes lack of knowledge is better

We all have fast-paced everyday lives. Changes happen quickly, and decisions must be made constantly. Or should they? If one is to believe some of the conclusions from “The Halo Effect”, the changes are not necessary, but rather it’s the amount of information and news that influences us to believe that changes are happening all the time. This means that while we are going full speed ahead, we become speed blind. In addition, high demands are placed on marketing to create growth in the short term, which is why the CMOs are pressured to make short-term changes and decisions.

When many decisions have to be made in a hurry, we risk making decisions based on generalisations, myths or assumptions. When we are speed blind, we are not aware that we are dragging a bias into our decisions. Decisions are then made on the basis of “gut feeling” or what Morten Munster refers to as system 1 – something that does not help to create long-term solutions. Sometimes relying on one’s gut feeling is okay, but it can be good advice for budget allocation or choosing the right technology.

Creating more fundamental change is about finding out what we do not know or what is actually going to prevent us from achieving what we want. Herewith work with conscious ignorance. It is precisely here that we should take a deep breath and pause for a moment. Of course, it is not easy when decisions have to be made yesterday.

Slow down and think

It can sound crazy to slow down when marketing requirements are high. However, I would argue that they have always been like that and that you can easily hurry slowly. It is precisely the well-thought-out, sharp marketing strategy that sets the direction and prioritises the right development projects that help to ensure future growth.

A whole day at Digital Copenhagen has not made me look at it any differently. My takeaway from the day is precise in these use cases; wise people have sat down together to crush difficult issues. It confirmed the insight I have gained through cases from everyday life, jury work and network memberships.

Marketing today must be design-minded, data-driven and agile. However, agile thought can shift focus a little too much in the short run. Thus, the more long-term thoughts that the agile organisation must help to execute are forgotten. And it is precisely the balance that is important for creating fundamental change and growth.

There is, of course, a trade-off between short and long term, fast and slow, and one can always question what the consequence is on the bottom line. However, I choose to just look at the companies that are used as examples of creating long-lasting fundamental change. These are often also the ones we see year after year at, for example, the Danish Digital Awards.

So let’s slow down a bit, breathe and think. Ask the right questions asked, use the data that make sense and create a solid foundation for future growth.

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Karsten Stokking

Marketing Strategy Consultant

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