Category Archives: Planning

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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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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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.

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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why do only agencies have Planners?

Good account planning is about helping to make The Work better / more effective and helping to make life easier for the account team, creatives and client. So I’ve started to wonder why the role of Planner is mostly limited to marketing agencies (with a few exceptions like the BBC).  After all, these days agencies […]
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Planning comes full circle Up North – and that isn’t a good thing

Last autumn I blogged about the devaluation of Planning as an agency function – at least as I saw it happening Outside London.  But it now strikes me that it’s not just that agencies are scared by how much decent experienced Planners cost and are promoting their own staff to Planning status instead. It’s cause-and-effect – Planners have […]
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Planner or Strategist?

I don’t know what it’s like Inside London, but Outside London the Planning scene seems to me to have changed quite dramatically in the last 18 months. After agencies limped through the recession on a minimal headcount they’ve now staffed up again.  And Planning/Strategy is one of the specialisms that is in growth.  But in many […]
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why Planners are the backing not the star

I read this great post from Ben Kay over the weekend about the awesome documentary about backing singers 20 Feet from Stardom (which if you haven’t seen yet, you should). His agency-relevant take on it was that like many backing or background singers never becoming famous in their own right because they have the voice […]
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how creative should propositions be?

I had an interesting discussion with a senior Creative about propositions the other day, re how ‘creative’ they should be. Since many clients prefer to sign off on a proposition before any creative work begins they have to be well written enough to engage and excite the client – but without going as far as […]
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