Strategy without Flexibility
—no thanks


In 1992, to free-up warehouse space, the UK team of Hoover promised free airline tickets to customers who purchased more than £100 worth of its products. A little later, the U.S. marketing team offered the same promotion to U.S. customers in order to boost sales. The offer was implemented so “successfully” that the company could meet neither the demand for vacuum cleaners, nor the cost of the flights. As a consequence, after the courts settled customer complaints, the U.S.-based company had lost £48 million and had to sell its UK branch a few years later. [HBR]

There are a great many aspects of marketing where setting goals and creating a strategy are a fundamental expectation. As humans, we crave regularity, planning and structure and we are programmed to work to operate in this way with a limited amount of change.

Thinking about this carefully though, how far out should we look to set the goals for our strategy, one month, one year, three years? How do we measure ‘success’ and what if we notice something changes or isn’t working early on in the process. Being too flexible means we can lose sight of our overall vision, but being too rigid can be even worse.

A FLOCC, we use an agile approach to our marketing strategies, project planning and budgets. We are able to balance just the right amount of rigidity and flexibility to ensure our work has a clear direction and focus, but with regular review points to adjust and adapt our work to add the most value.

So, next time you’re planning a project, you might want to:

  • Define a vision for your project; what are you trying to achieve, not how you think you will achieve it.
  • Prioritise your requirements by the problem they are trying to solve, not your suggested solution – there may be a better way!
  • Use the data, numbers and insight available to inform decision making.
  • Embrace flexibility; ensure you’re analysing your data in the right way and don’t be afraid to change your plans if your insights are hinting that you should.


More details about our agile marketing approach can be found here

Or why not get in touch to start your project.