Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Marketing Dilemma: Predict the Future? Create the Future?

October 8, 2010
by Paul Williams


Generals who make military plans based on "knowing" what the enemy is going to do are "predicting the enemy", which is another words of predicting the future. They could turn out to be losing generals. For instance, when you predict what the enemy is going to do, you are just buying a lottery ticket with your company's future stake, aren't you?

Winning generals tend to make military plans that are workable regardless of what enemy does. This is the essence of good strategy.

When you predict the future, you are counting on a change in consumer behaviour that will be taking place sometime in near future; in contrast, when you create the future, you introduce a product or service whose very success "creates" a trend. In other words, you are untapping a talent interest in a new category of product. In the military analogy, we call this a flanking move.

Gambling, or another words of predicting, might be right in Genting Casino. But, it's just not good enough for Marketing.

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