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Contextual intelligence and flexibility: understanding today's marketing environment

Marc Logman (EHSAL/HUB, European University College, Brussels, Belgium Instima, Edegem, Belgium)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 1 August 2008



Many planning approaches on strategic flexibility often focus on a product and/or market perspective. The purpose of this paper is to argue that today's changes demand a “contextual” marketing intelligence and planning approach. There may be a bigger difference between one person's actions in two different situations than between the actions of two people in the same situation.


The paper's insights are based on a literature review and on insights from successful companies/brands (Google and Apple) dealing with today's changing business context.


Strategic flexibility is decomposing a customer context and then making adjacency moves from some sub‐contexts to a new broader context. It is about “zooming in” and “zooming out” to new directions.

Practical implications

Recently, it is about the choice between operating in tailor made contexts (creating niches as a company) or operating in a more holistic context, in which new contextual moves are partly or fully determined by customers themselves.


This paper gives another perspective on strategic flexibility.



Logman, M. (2008), "Contextual intelligence and flexibility: understanding today's marketing environment", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 508-520.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited