Category Archives: Account Planning

for Planners, gut instinct matters however experienced you are

When meeting prospective Planners, I always try to find out if their brains are wired the right way to be a great Planner – are they interested in what makes people tick, problem solving, investigation and communication? Do they appreciate the link between brand comms and the bottom line? And perhaps most importantly, have they […]
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Planning is changing, fast

I work for an agency that is very, very excited about the way that data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence are going to significantly change marketing, not least because all of the above will free us to spend less time knee deep in spreadsheets and Google Analytics and more time thinking (and in the […]
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change of plan

I’ve been working as a freelance Planner for six and a half years with no intention of going back agency side – then I got offered my Dream Job which it would be nuts to turn down. So I’m now officially Head of Planning at Bloom in Leeds, who recently became part of Jaywing. Bloom’s clients might […]
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the Planner’s 12 days of Christmas

On the 12 days of Christmas, the Planner gave to the Agency: twelve propositions, eleven customer journeys, ten creative briefs, nine internal meetings, eight marcoms workshops, seven big brand pitches, six brand personas, loads of PowerPoint, four brand positionings, three focus groups, two conference calls, and a client away-day by the sea.

they Asda to have a plan, right?

Since most of the agencies I work for are Shopper Marketing focused (welcome to Leeds!) I always keep a close eye on the Grocery sector, as do most of my agency mates. Grocery is knee-deep in challenges at the moment (the Discounters, provenance, excess floor space, trying to make Online pay, wafer thin margins, Marmitegate, […]
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*everyone* really is totally just winging it, all the time

In May 2014, Guardian writer Oliver Burkeman wrote an excellent article titled Everyone is totally just winging it, all the time. It was a very reassuring piece for anyone who suffers from a touch of imposter syndrome from time to time: We’re all mini-New York Timeses or White Houses, energetically projecting an image of calm proficiency, while […]
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why don’t we treat powerpoint like a piece of creative communications?

Recently I’ve been writing a lot of powerpoint presentations – short, to-the-point presentations of course because in my time I’ve lived through hours of Boardroom Powerpoint Hell and have no wish to inflict that on anyone else. I said I’ve written a lot of presentations recently – but I didn’t design them. I’m a reasonably good […]
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CERM is the way forward when marketing service industries

I changed opticians a couple of years ago – after a very minor eye problem that my high street opticians backed away from in horror and swiftly packed me off to the local eye hospital, I decided that I needed eyecare that was a little less commoditised. So my Dad referred me (as his mate had previously […]
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BHS – the end gets closer?

Update 25/04/16 – BHS has now filed for administration, with 164 stores and 11,000 jobs thought to be at risk. This morning’s (03/03/16) news reports that UK retailer BHS have started insolvency proceedings (or ‘announced a groupwide turnaround plan‘ according to their own website) by filing a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). BHS’ first go at asking their institutional […]
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Planning needs to go back to the Old School

I increasingly feel like Planning as a discipline/specialism within agencies is over-complicating things. Never mind thinking about what’s changed since Planning’s inception in the 1960’s, so much has shifted in the UK even just the last 20 years. Back in the 90’s (yes, I’ve been a Planner for that long), clients liked seeing the thinking behind the Big Idea – in pitch […]
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