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Gareth Kay on How To Make Strategy More Useful

I last night attended a talk by Gareth Kay (@garethk) from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners on how to make strategy more useful. Thought I’d post up my rough notes of key points he talked to.

I think the key take aways for me were that creative work is becoming more effective work over time as technology and social networks create an environment where the message of creative campaigns gets amplified. Secondly, in order for us to make strategy to drive this creativity more useful, we need to create better problems. It’s definitely a case of more creative work in is conducive to more creative work out.

Notes below:

Creative work more than ever equals effective work. Technology (being connected) & social networks amplify the message of creative campaigns. It drives business and fame plus is more efficient over time.

 How to make strategy more useful:

 1 Define better problems – not just “sell more” or “raise awareness”. Interesting problem provides the foundation for interesting creative. “make 999/1000 people not want to be a police officer” (a problem for creative regarding recruiting police officers).

 2 Be in the service of people

 3 Be a bit less visible – less interruption , visibility through invisibility, don’t necessarily expect people to come to you – be part of their day.

 4 Break the tyranny of messaging – “what should we say”, consider doing things rather than saying things.

 5 Look at the way we work – big ideas aren’t necessarily so big anymore, more small bets can create momentum. Consider an “R&D budget”, iteration, experimentation vs planning, cost of failure is less, agile cross discipline teams, can’t be perfect, improvising towards a simple goal. Embrace change.



About Alex Leece

Integrated Retail Advertising & Digital Specialist • Over 7 years experience in award winning globally networked agencies & media companies. • Experienced with large retail clients both local & global from automotive to banks, telco’s, fashion department stores, e-commerce & supermarkets. • Unique focus on technology & data's impact on creative & strategy that builds brands & drives sales. • Digital specialist with over 5 years experience driving the digitally enabled customer experience.


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