8 responses to “my problem with account planning

  1. And today’s incredibly complicated media landscape especially requires the suits to become little planners, geeks and strategists at the same time. A great time to be a suit.

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  3. One would assume that as a “writer” you would try to rid your rant of errors.

    One might also assume that if you’re as intelligent as your rant would to suggest, that you would recognize that there are an equal number of completely worthless copy-writers. Writers that not only lack creativity, but are so concerned with the “clever” factor in their ads, that they completely forget that their job is still in fact, to sell things.

    These are the same sorts of writers that write directly from the gut all the time, thinking that they fit the realm of every possible “target” because they just seem to understand everything and everyone.

    In turn, they are also often the same sort of writers that have crappy work killed by a strategist, and in turn, cry about it in a poorly written ad blog.

  4. One would assume that as a “writer” you would try to rid your rant of errors.

    One might also assume that if you’re as intelligent as your rant would suggest, that you would recognize that there are an equal number of completely worthless copy-writers. Writers that not only lack creativity, but are so concerned with the “clever” factor in their ads, that they completely forget that their job is still in fact, to sell things.

    These are the same sorts of writers that write directly from the gut all the time, thinking that they fit the realm of every possible “target” because they just seem to understand everything and everyone.

    In turn, they are also often the same sort of writers that have crappy work killed by a strategist, and in turn, cry about it in a poorly written ad blog.

  5. I absolutely agree on the point that minimum client connection leaves planners in a position to miss out on very real marketing problems. Here’s where we see poor strategies, planners, and agencies that treat every problem as a communication problem – and this simply isn’t always the case. It’s why we see the agencies that are actually innovating and solving problems are functioning less as strict ad shops and more as strategic consultants, because understanding the consumer and relating to the consumer isn’t always what’s lacking. Certainly that understanding adds to the picture, but thinking of brands whose real problem is somewhere in the service itself or the business practice level. Great thoughts, thanks for sharing!

  6. @ therumdiary – I think that you misunderstand my post…I am not trying to say that planning (and, by extension, planners) is worthless as a function but rather to say that as it is currently constituted in an agency environment that there are structural weaknesses that need to be addressed.

    As I mentioned in the post, my solution is to bring planning and account management back together again – after all, a good planner can understand and manage a client’s business and a good account person can get strategy and if you marry the two capabilities both the person and the agency would be better served.

    As to ridding my rant of errors, here’s the thing about blogs: their effectiveness if based on immediacy and unedited, un-proofed writing from the gut.

    This being a blog, my writing is in the blog style. I don’t edit my posts. I don’t proof my posts. I write in a style that fits the medium. Trust me, I don’t write like this when I write ads, emails, invitations, poems, grocery lists or notes to pass in class…which is a long way of saying that I don’t mind the occasional misspelling, incorrectly used comma or other error. It’s a blog.

    As to your point about bad copywriters: of course there are bad copywriters. If you have read my blog for any length of time, you will note how I rail against creative awards because they recognize only a certain type of work, that the certain type the recognize can often be disconnected from achieving the end goal of advertising and how the incentives are set up to drive creatives to want to win awards instead of solving client business problems.

    Not only do I agree with you, I’ve already written on the subject.

    Extensively.

    It is fair to note, however, that Creative is not the only department in an ad agency that suffers from miscalibrated incentives and thus does not operate as well as it could.

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  8. Great post – you hit on something that’s been turning around in my head for a while.

    I’ve had planning experiences across several agencies, and am chagrined at the rampant navel gazing and the fact that this self-aggrandizing attitude is almost celebrated.

    Lots of “strategies” (the most overused agency word in my book) are really just short-sighted and shallow approaches for shilling a product. No wonder clients are expressing dissatisfisfaction with many ad agencies and their output.

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