What makes a great Account Planner?
In the February issue of Admap (thanks to the APG for sending me a copy), Jon Steel writes about how great planning is not about being a member of the coolerati, an expert on Japanese animation, a fan of post-modernism or being smarter than everyone else.
He says that ‘great planning is about creating an environment in which other people are more likely to come up with good ideas, and in which clients will be more favourably disposed to running the best of them’.
He also suggests that the most reliable indicator of doing a good job as a planner is the number of people – creatives and clients alike – who seek your opinion. Because if they do seek your opinion, then you know that you are helping.
Halleluiah. Just add account handlers to the list of seekers-of-opinions and Jon and I are in total agreement.
The only thing is…this does sit slightly at odds with Jon’s speech at the JWT ‘Planning begins at 40’ event 18 months ago about how Planning had lost its place, was suffering from an erosion of rigour and had got too keen on hanging out with the creative department.
So what makes a great planner? A rigorous, data centric approach? A common sense ideas facilitator and simplifier? Or perhaps a bit of both?