He’d been extra-cautious for months, regularly scanning the coastline for anything suspicious. So on that Friday evening he was quick to spot the coastguard vessel emerging through the darkness from the mainland. He could see its cargo of black-suited, armed guards onboard. He watched in silence through binoculars as those deadly troops fanned out across the white sand and disappeared into the dense tropical undergrowth. They were coming for him.
The forecast for 2013 looks challenging. The IPA Bellwether report, which surveys marketing expenditure on a quarterly basis, joins the CIM Confidence Monitor in predicting a difficult time ahead for budgets. Its most recent results, released in October 2012, predict “weakened” confidence from marketers, with the likelihood that marketing spend in 2012 will have fallen for a fifth successive year.
Seventy per cent of chief executives have lost trust in marketers’ ability to deliver growth after becoming frustrated by what they see as an inability to prove return on investment for campaigns, according to a Fournaise Marketing Group report.
In my last column, I took a self-critical look at the discipline of planning. I asked some difficult questions about its role in the business of marketing communications. This time I feel compelled to issue something of a corrective: an unapologetic celebration of the role of the strategic planner in the communications process.