In this new APG column we wanted to address the idea of ​​CHANGE, a recurring theme in many marketing conversations, frequently heard in the current context, an idea that generates certain tensions. As always, Ricardo Aros, Carolina Cuneo and Diego Perry share their thoughts so we can talk about it.

Exchange and Savings, by Ricardo Aros.

Change is one of those archaic words that our industry uses. Change is often synonymous with innovation, self-challenge, flexibility, even intelligence. There have been industry events that have advocated for the idea of ​​change, “Change or Die” said the title of a past marketing congress. Large agencies have based their philosophy on this concept, for example “Lead The Change”, which was the mantra of a network of agencies that promised to help their clients fight obsolescence. Change sounds good, it is a valued and seductive idea, but executing it is something else.

It is at this point that I remembered another equally admired but equally elusive word: savings. Everyone values ​​saving, however, few do and even fewer support it. Saving and changing are similar, they are demanding ideas that do not necessarily bring enjoyment or immediate profits. Both imply patience, method and conviction, both are always around our desires, both are something that few master.

Many are always waiting for the right moment to go behind these types of ideas, but is there a right time to save or to change? In both cases, time seems to be a prevailing factor, some save forever, others never do; some are born embodying the idea of ​​change, others are eternally waiting for the moment to do so. Will it be a timing issue or a youth issue?

I return to saving; many of us saved when we were children, when we grow up it becomes more difficult, even for some it becomes impossible. The advance of time is not minor in this type of concept, and what happens to people with savings also seems to happen to companies with the idea of ​​change. Change is also more prevalent in younger companies and rarer in more established organizations. In fact, it seems that the youngest companies, closer to the start-up world or more digitally native, have the vector of change incorporated by default. Could it be that the opportunity cost is lower for the youngest than for those who are already established? ?

On top of that, everyday life appears as another brake on these ideas, more so in times of crisis, when everything pushes us to focus on what is urgent, leaving little space for what is important, and thus configuring a terrible scenario for ideas such as change or savings, which always demand resources that may not return with the necessary urgency.

Let’s see, aren’t changing or saving urgent ideas? Here I finally find an important stop. Who could argue that saving is not an imminent necessity when the future becomes more and more extensive and expensive? Or, already thinking about our brands, and returning to the idea of ​​change as synonymous with innovation, who could argue that innovating is not a crucial task when the borders of almost all business categories, and of the relationship between brands and people, are evolving and spreading in a constant and accelerated way?

Indeed, saving cannot wait any longer, we all know that life lasts longer today and, therefore, we save for our future in increasingly diverse ways. We save by investing money, playing sports, building better relationships, caring for the environment. We know that a longer life requires adjustments today and that cannot wait.

Likewise, changing or innovating cannot wait any longer; everywhere we see the birth of products or services that effectively demonstrate that there are ways in which businesses and their brands can (and should) do what they do better. Is there a precise time to do it? No. Is it an issue of disruptive youth vs conventional incumbents? No. Is it plausible to wait for the crisis to pass to do it? Nope!

You have to change, you have to innovate, you have to differentiate yourself, because changing and innovating is the best way to save and invest in the future of your brand (today).


Planning in times of change, by Caroline Cuneo.

I want to invite you to travel. To travel back in time, and review the headlines of the press from no more than 6 years ago. “Our times will go down in history as the digital age”, “Digitalization and globalization”. This was the content that defined the main characteristic of our times a while ago. And the great transformation that the entire world experienced thanks to this technological advance is undeniable.

However, today, only 6 years later, if we look at the new headlines, we will see that “Pandemic in the world”, “War in Ukraine” and, in our country, “The great march”, “Constituent Assembly”, among others. . We never thought that scenarios like these could be possible.

When we thought that digital was everything, life surprised us once again, putting before us situations that we would never have thought to live. Today we can say that the only sure thing when planning is that everything will change.

And for that we must prepare. Not for what will happen, but for what we don’t know will happen. And how to do this? Obviously, this new scenario forces us to focus not on what, but on how. In how we will face that scenario that we still do not know.

And it is here where the first thing is to recognize this situation and accept that it will be so. As human beings, we always need to solidify situations in order to understand, study and analyze them. But this is a mere illusion. The reality is that everything will change and life has shown us more than concrete evidence of this.

Today we must work on new skills that we must learn and exercise. Tolerance to change and frustration, the ability to adapt, flexibility, are what will allow us to cope with these new times.

And from the base of accepting this reality, of learning to live with it and with the skills to be able to deal with it in the best way, we can prepare ourselves to plan.

From today we need to carry out planning that contemplates risks and virtuosities for our companies/brands.

1) We cannot think of a single future scenario, but we must create different possible scenarios, understand the implications and action plans of each of them.

2) We must do it thinking both in the short term and in the long term.

3) Think about the commercial factor and the sustainability of the business over time.

4) Consider both the local and global scenario.

5) The digital world, the physical world and the omnichannel.

Therefore, the challenge is not minor. It demands new ways of doing and being. We must accept it and assume it and prepare for them. And despite the fact that it is a tremendous job in our planning management, we also know that it is a life lesson that will take us one step further in our understanding of reality.


change for change, by Diegor Perry.

The idea of ​​change always sounds good. It is attractive and can even be tempting, because change is associated with evolving, advancing, renewing, surprising, and countless positive associations about future expectations of something better. Something new and better. But in the world of brands, all this is a double-edged sword, because the temptation is so great and constant that we end up communicating everything as a change and, in the end, in the end they become imperceptible and not very credible.

This is due to something that we ourselves have built, counting as change something that is not. Cosmetic changes that are counted as a revolution and that, in the end, is more of the same.

How to address change in a credible and relevant way? Here I raise some aspects that could help.

1) Find value in the new: In business, and specifically in marketing, the idea of ​​change cannot be separated from the search for value. One of the definitions of innovation that I have liked the most for years is “the constant ability to find value in the new”, and, in this, the key is “value” because, if the new has no value, what good is it? does the change work? We must approach the logic of change from this perspective, because the value of the new is what ensures the relevance of the change that a brand proposes to people.

2) Change inside comes first: There is no worse change than the one that starts from the outside, because generating an expectation of change often loses credibility as the change is not consolidated within the brand, its organization, culture or value proposition. It is very important not to communicate a change until the change is experienced inside.

3) Change when all is well: Change is often an obligation when the moment is adverse, and this type of change is probably late and complex, but the organizations and brands that establish change as a philosophy use it precisely when everything is fine, when they are leading because, For these types of brands, the change allows them not only to change themselves but also the context, and thus play on the field that they propose.

The change must be relevant, contain real value, start from within and, ideally, be a philosophy that constantly redraws the context in its favor. Without all this, in the end it’s just change for change.


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