The Anatomy of Account Planning

The Anatomy of Account Planning - The Anatomy of Account...

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The Anatomy of Account Planning - The creativity behind the creativity- Henrik Habberstad
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2 1. Introduction “I can’t think of a more exciting time to be in the advertising business” - John Hegarty - Today, all large (and quite a few small) European and American advertising agencies have a separate function called account planning. In short, the planner plays an important role in creating a sensitive and deeper understanding of human behaviour what we call insight. In other words, the planner makes sure that a deeper, holistic understanding of consumer attitudes and reactions are brought to bear at every stage of advertising development (both strategy and creative). Account planners serve as agency catalysts, continually pursuing ideas that grow from an uncommon understanding of and intuition for the connection between the product or brand and people‟s daily lives. As the agency catalyst, the planner is a fully integrated member of the brand/account team, working closely together with the account manager, the copywriter and the art director. As planners do not write ads themselves, the role of the planning function is to help the people who do, by bringing a consumer perspective to both the development of the overall marketing communications strategy and the creative work. In many ways, account planning can therefore be described as the creativity behind the creativity (or the creative work behind the creative work), simply because, through supporting the creative team, the planner provides it with knowledge of both the product (the brand) and its target audience. The planner enables the creatives to reach an advertising solution with which to promote the product and monitor the effectiveness of the campaign, and provides information for further creative strategies. It is mayhem out there, and the planner needs to make sure that the advertising strategies (and overall thinking) are just as innovative as the creative work. Planners should constantly be pushing for new ways to create insight and understand consumers and their relations to products, brands and advertising. They use a variety of research methods, both qualitative research (focus groups, observations, one-to-one interviews) and more quantitative data (such as demographic profiles of current brand users).
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3 In summary, the planner is the agency‟s „voice of the consumer‟; responsible for ensuring that advertising is relevant to the target group, has the desired persuasive impact and is presented in the right media. To be a good planner, those working in the discipline need a genuine interest in people and a passion (and respect) for their views and inner feelings. Planners must be skilled at using research data, but they definitely also need a strategic and visionary mind, which can translate research findings and insight into great advertising. It should, however, be said that account planning is not an end in itself. Great ads were and still are created without it. Hopefully, planning adds context, perspective, insight, guidance and opinion to advertising development. Consequently, the chances of getting the
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This note was uploaded on 03/26/2012 for the course ADV 3410 taught by Professor Antonietareyesechezuria during the Fall '11 term at Florida State College.

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The Anatomy of Account Planning - The Anatomy of Account...

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