A client of mine asked to go to L’Escargot last month for lunch. It was a very popular media haunt at one point, although I didn’t spot anyone I knew there on this recent occasion. At the height of its popularity I never actually went because I was so fond of my personal L’Escargot joke. Basically a lunch date would suggest going there, I would say (hilariously) that I had heard that the service was quite slow (geddit?) They never did get it, they’d assume that the service really was slow and we’d end up going somewhere else. The service by the way was excellent the other week.
The Slow Food movement was founded in the 1980s with the intention of ensuring that fast food and global chains didn’t have it all their own way. You don’t hear as much about it these days, perhaps because it succeeded in ensuring that we all value taste and the time dedicated to a well executed slow cooked recipe as well as enjoying fast food sometimes too.
Every trend arguably needs a counter trend to test it.
Fast strategy is becoming the norm in media agencies. Current communications thinking is about more data, analysed faster and more frequently course corrected with real time planning methods – with weekly, daily or even hourly tactical amendments.
Maybe in addition to appreciating the benefits of this we also need to consider slowing things down too.
Jonathan Salem Baskin (the co-author of my soon to be published first book) has blogged about slowing things down from a marketing perspective at http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/cmos-busy-listen-consumers/230193/ .
Slow media is about taking time to come up with a really good idea that’s exactly right for the brand and sticking to it despite the vicissitudes of the new data onslaught.
There must be a balance between reacting to new information and sticking to what you first developed.
Reacting to new information has its place, but so does sticking with what you believe in order to allow the situation you’re in to mature.
Sometimes a media strategy should change with the data wind. Sometimes it’s worth persisting with what you set out to do because it will take time to capture the imagination of the target audience.
Fast strategy has its place. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. The slow media movement starts here.