Tonight is about sharing our point of view on planningIntersection of a few things – people, technology, business, branding – that work together to create what we call Extraordinary ExperiencesWe’ll spend about 45 minutes sharing our thoughts on planning Then at about the 7:15 mark we’ll transition to an open discussion and Q&A around a few key topics
3 main themesWe’re going to address a few fundamental questions throughout the course of the evening
So first off let’s talk about what we mean by “planning”Planning goes by many names – brand planning, strategic [add more]Ask audience: When I say the word planning, what words or phrases come to mind? How many of us are involved in planning as part of your everyday responsibilities? How many of us think our organizations understand the importance of planning?
Here’s a definition of planning that I like a lot.This is from Adrian Ho, a principal at Zeus Jones. Adrian was a Planning director at Fallon until he and others walked out and started their own firm.[Read quote]Wide range of planning services – beyond just advertising and into packaging design, etc[Definition applies to more than just advertising]
3 main themes
OK. That all sounds great. So what’s the problem?
The guy’s shirt could’ve said company or brand or client – but you get the ideaCompanies so often assume they know their audience and base big decisions on flimsy insightsI think we all know this, but the challenge is making customer insight part of everyday practiceSo how do we do that?
Here’s how – this is the essence of planningPlanners use methods borrowed from the social sciences in order to better understand people.
To understand planning and where it comes we thought it would be good to take a step back to where it all began.Account planning sprang up in London in the late 60s at an agency called BMP [MAD MEN}. They wanted to bring what was then called the research department closer together with the folks who were actually coming up with the creative product. This was the first instance of using consumer research to inform advertising.A little later this same thinking started to emerge in the world of product design. So in 70s you have people at Xerox PARC using ethnographic methods to plan and develop new products.And in the mid 80s, Don Norman – who was at Apple – coined the phrase “user experience” to describe the totality of the relationship between Apple and its customers.All share the idea of bringing people (aka consumers, aka customers, aka users) into the process at the beginning, at a point where has the most impact
Father of account planning at BMP in LondonWanted to bring research department closer to the creative process and created the account planning role. Before this research was not part of the creative process and was used only by the account team at the end of the creative process.
Brought planning to the USLooked to London to find great creatives, brought back an account planner Jane Newman instead
Jane NewmanBecame the first account planner in the US, worked at ChiatAfter many years there left to found her own firm – Merkley, Newman and Hardy
People in Chicago may know of Jay Doblin – founded Doblin Group in the late 70sWas instrumental in building the design planning program at the Institute of DesignSEGUE: planning has a legitimate history – but not everyone has drunk the Kool Aid
The People’s Choice
How do planners help us on the path to Extraordinary?
General CM delivery process, involving 20 or more discrete roles and skill setsUsually represents a time frame that can range from several months to over a year
Our process and where planning is most concentratedBut we don’t check out in 3 through 5
I thought I’d walk you through all of our planning methods… but on second thoughtIt’s not about the methods themselves, it’s about how you use them to inspire thinking
Audience question: Has anyone here heard of Tyco Electronics? If you’ve used a Motorola phone, flown on a Boeing airplane or driven a GM car, you’ve used TE productsTE represents a unique challenge because of the difficulty in getting internal teams to understand the information needs of engineers whose job it is to choose and purchase electronic component
None of us is a design engineer – we needed to identify that and bring their needs and challenges to life
This is Sparky Cohen
That’s English for…putting water from a lake into a turbine and when water spins, it makes electricity (kinda like a windmill) and after it spins puts water back into lake
Water kept overflowing because a combination of repair components were not specified properly and eventually failed
1 billion gallons of water spilled out of the reservoir in just 20 seconds
Now that we know who is he is, we needed to solve for a design engineering problem-
Planners conduct generative research, such as ethnographic interview, to uncover unmet needsWe talked to engineers at TE’s customer work places
Personas focus our research
Planners are instrumental in evaluative research, such as usability testing
800 customers were surveyed and the site received an average rating of “extremely satisfied”91% would recommend the site to their friends – top two box scoreFriends’ recommendations carry a lot of weight given the gravity of the work
Business Challenge: Launch a Craft beer from a Mega Brewer
Planning Challenges: Who are we targeting? How can we get Budweiser American Ale into their glass?
Beer tastings at a local bar with drinkers
Taste:Romance the beer and lead them to it
Repeat: - Site shuts down at 5pm daily with locators of where to find -Mobile apps to guide the way
Web empowers customers to know about brands and products. Clients look for help understanding customers.Pace of societal and technological change is quickeningIf planners are to remain relevant, we need to keep pace with the speed of these changesClients will trade speed for precision any day. It’s progress over perfection
You don’t have the word planner in your job title in order to put these ideas into practice
How to unlock your inner planner
Participate deeply in conversations with – pay attentionHear not only the words someone is saying but also the total message that surrounds the words – body language, what are they NOT saying?Give feedback and probe on answers you didn’t expect to hear
Throughout the process, continually go back and review what you know about your users Personas are great for this -- just don’t keep them on the shelf. Get them out in the open where you and your team will be reminded by them as your work takes shape
Even if clients don’t want to pay for it (a way to connect with your user or research constantly)Leverage knowledge --we don’t always know what we have in our own back yard-like are we sharing our insights, do we have a repository, are we reaching out to our peers for what they know, have?Friends and family – the idea is to never feel limited and look for insights that are around you
Use planners to help see the larger brand objectives Instead of thinking, I have to build a checkout process, also consider, what is this BRAND trying to accomplish overallIA should be aware of the larger picture and larger brand vs. I need to make 1 solution for 1 path.
There are millions of insights and ideas to be uncovered – most of them won’t be found at your deskTake your team to the store, the street, the factory floor or where ever your customers areEasier to tell stories when you’re surrounded by the environment that inspired them in the first place
How Planning Inspires Greatness
Extraordinary Experiences: How Planning Inspires Greatness IxDA Chicago | April 21, 2010<br />
It’s about bringing people – real people – and their needs and desires, into the development of anything that’s meant to be used by them, in a creative way. <br />The goal is to inspire more focused thought, care, attention, listening and imagination by the people who make the things we all use.”<br />“<br /> – Adrian Ho, co-founder of Zeus Jones <br />
Observations, online surveys, competitive advertising, blogs, shop-alongs, Mintel, focus groups, stakeholder interviews, conversations with people on the subway, articles from the NY Times, Forrester research reports, online communities, shopping, industry newsletters, category experts, books, magazines, drive-alongs with truckers, creation of personas, field-based research techniques, ethnography, analysis of web server log data, summative evaluations or benchmarking of technological products, user research projects, participatory design techniques, testing applications for mobile devices, online communities and social computing, in home interviews, brainstorm sessions, conversations with clients, dine-alongs, chat rooms, proprietary tools like Curious, walk down Michigan Avenue, projective exercises, semiotic exploratory, ideation sessions, panel discussions, conversations with industry leaders, trend analysis, walking left instead of right, chatting with the guy at the bar…<br />
“Your website has the easiest to access, most readily available information out there. This is the one site I know I’ll find what I need and where it will be. You have no idea how sorry you make the other companies look.”<br /> — Chris Price, Tyco Electronics customer<br />
Website<br />9.7 million impressions in first 3 months<br />YouTube <br />Thousands of user comments<br />Hundreds of user-generated videos <br />Media placements <br />Drove brand awareness of the product<br />
American Ale doubled their forecasts from initial first-year sales expectations<br />
1<br />Do you typically work with planners as part of your process? Why or why not? <br />
2<br />What role does branding play in the work you do?<br />
3<br />What’s the ideal working relationship between a planner and IA/UX designer? <br />
Books<br />Truth, Lies and Advertising by John Steele<br />Eating Big Fish by Adam Morgan<br />Websites & Blogs<br />From the Head of Zeus Jones <br />Account Planning Group: APG.org.uk<br />Institute of Design: ID.IIT.edu<br />Videos<br />Redscout’s video series on planning<br />