The daily grind. Planners don’t just work on strategies as this 4-step process suggests. There are far less visionary responsibilities taken on by planners; counting minutes, reminding clients of bills, obsessing over those tiny details of a finished product – does that font relate back to the brief? Does it really??
Teamwork. No matter what role you play, you contribute to the higher strategy and success of the agency. Be an absolute and total complete team player! For a planner, this means collaborating with creatives, keeping account managers/directors informed, taking on all advice and even involving clients in the process to ensure that the job is done right.
Step 1: The Pitch. Commitment is a big thing for all of us, which is why we get to test drive new cars before we buy or get a free gym class before signing up. It’s the same for clients when choosing an agency. The pitch is the agency’s opportunity to convince the client that they are the best ones for the job. The planner’s role in this is to develop brand insights that are deep (and accurate) enough to prove the agency has the understanding to solve the client’s problems.
Step 2: Research. They say that 80% of a planner’s time is spent on research*, so you really need to love it to be a planner. We use research to fill the gap between what we currently know and what we need to know to fulfill the client’s objectives. Sounds simple, huh? *(‘They’ being Berlinda Moman, strategic planner from The Brand Agency.)
Step 3: Strategy. This is where the magic happens – where planners lock themselves away in a room with lots of research, and emerge with those genius ideas that justify all the madness that preceded them. No, this has nothing to do with Rumpelstiltskin, but rather an incubation of all the thoughts, ideas and research that has emerged in the process thus far...
Step 4: Presentation. An excellent and insightful strategy is worth very little if it is not communicated effectively with your team and client, so the final stage of the planning process is communication of the strategy. Tools like creative briefs and branding frameworks exist to make this step more formal, but ultimately the only way people will fully understand your work is through a good old face-to-face exchange.
Making a Presentation. Presenting to clients is a crucial activity planners do for their agency. Again, presenting is often a team effort, but the planner is relied on to really prove the agency’s understanding and use their in-depth knowledge to make the presentation more persuasive.