A lack of strategic vision

An interesting morning judging entries in the PPA Consumer Direct awards. Obviously my lips are sealed as to what won and what didn’t, but there was one thing that struck me and my fellow judges.

In a couple of categories, big publishing companies were launching big brand apps and seemed to be doing so half-heartedly. The subs teams have done bang-up jobs on the launch, utilising lots of different resources and a not inconsiderable amount of ingenuity, but they’ve been given paltry amounts of money. I’m talking here of household names putting apps onto the market and doing so with spends that don’t make it into four figures.

Can you think of another business that would launch a brand extension or a new way of consuming its product and underfinance it to such a degree? I’m assuming this is a management failure, a short term view that tries to cut costs to the bone and considers this to be a success, rather than having a vision of what these products might achieve in five years time.

It’s sad, and it makes me very worried about the future of some of our big publishing businesses.

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