Category Archives: Account Planning

Why agency projects need Agile research – and why that’s really hard to achieve

I was talking to a senior researcher who works for a research agency recently about how long research projects take from brief to debrief and how that doesn’t sit well with marketing agencies and clients increasingly working in agile, or at least agile-ish. When the project is in a constant state of flux, timelines are tight […]
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Training the future

My last post Where have all the Planners gone? about the lack of trained Junior and Midweight Planners round here (due to the lack of available training and opportunities for them) resonated with a few people Up North, particularly former Planner Chris McCash, now of Breadwinner. He offered to host a Planning get-together in Leeds to […]
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Where have all the Planners gone?

Up here in Yorkshire, there’s loads of roles going at Senior / Midweight Planner level, but no-one to fill them. I’ve had many conversations recently with recruiters and agencies about this, but the reason is obvious really – no-one trained them. With the exception of Sarah at Home and Joey at CreativeRace / Intermarketing, as […]
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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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