Planning can contribute to an agency’s and its client’s business development as follows :-
Identifying new opportunities for advertising : Sectors where advertising spending is buoyant or likely to increase
Identifying new opportunities for existing clients : New product development projects
New business opportunities : Old adage “Good creative work wins new business, poor account handling loses it” be change to “Good planning and creative work wins new business, poor planning and account handling loses it”. Planning plays crucial role at pitch stage. Planning only for three weeks before pitch can be arrogant and dangerous.
Development of advertising of any brand is a responsibility of a core partnership between Client Servicing Executive (Account Handler), Account Planner, Creative Team, Media Planner and above all the clients.
Without this close and often difficult relationship planning cannot operate
CORE PARTNERSHIP NO. 1 ACCOUNT PLANNER AND CLIENT SERVICES EXECUTIVE (ACCOUNT HANDLER OR ACCOUNTS EXECUTIVE)
This relationship is vital to the effective operation of account planning within any advertising agency
The Account Handler is ultimately responsible to the client for the smooth, effective running of the business
Account Handler should also accept that without direct access to the client team the planner often misses out on information vital to the planning function
ACCOUNT PLANNER AND CLIENT SERVICES EXECUTIVE (ACCOUNT HANDLER OR ACCOUNTS EXECUTIVE)
The Account Handler must ensure that the planner has sufficient access to the client both to receive information in the form of market research data, sales data, product information or even company gossip and to impart information and ideas.
The team should be as close as an Art Director / Copywriter team
While the Account Handler is the nerve centre of the account in terms of client contact and simply getting things done, the planner is the account conscience.
The planner is the unbiased point of contact with the outside world.
CORE PARTNERSHIP NO. 2 ACCOUNT PLANNER / CREATIVE TEAM
Creative teams view account planners on a spectrum ranging from the unsympathetic hurdle over which their precious idea must leap before it even reaches the client.
The creative team should see the planner as a source of clear briefs, what aspect of the product is most motivating to the target audience.
Why should also see the planner as an objective sounding board for ideas.
From the planner’s point of view, the creative team must be treated as intellectual equals. Often planners treat creative people either as dangerous unguided missiles who do not understand words of more than one syllable, or as sensitive creative flowers who should not be upset by an open discussion. The best is to be honest but thoughtful.
Harmonious planning / creative relationships are not about getting drunk together or wearing the same kinds of clothes, they are about mutual respect which must be earned on both sides.
CORE PARTNERSHIP NO. 3 ACCOUNT PLANNER / MEDIA PLANNER
One of the most underestimated relationships in the agency team.
Account planning can contribute an enormous amount to media planning, by putting even half as much effort into a media brief as that which goes into a creative brief.
Within any agency, the media department is inclined to feel isolated from the advertising process. This is often the fault of the media department itself, but more likely the result of the rest of the team’s lack of awareness of the benefits of a closer working relationship with media.
For the account planner, the relationship with the media planner can be a fruitful and very powerful one – not least because it is less likely to be fraught with emotional and power struggles than the other two !
In the Interest of developing the planner as a total advertising person, the media relationship is of key importance since it gives the account planner a more realistic view of the harsh commercial realities of the advertising business.
PLANNING AND THE OUTSIDE WORLD
The ‘Why’ of Account Planning :
The Account Planner must have understanding about real life situations, How is life, How it is changing and consumer dynamics.
The role of advertising is not to reflect people’s real lives, nor is it to reflect their problems or aspirations.
The role of advertising is simply to contribute to the selling of a product or service.
ACCOUNT PLANNER MUST WALK AROUND WITH EYES AND EARS OPEN
The Account Planner should listen to conversations on the street and in pubs, not only to hear what people talk about and what interests them but also to hear how they talk.
The planner should also observe short-term trends in fashion, music, vocabulary – the ‘micro’ trends referred to earlier.
This responsibility for setting advertising in its real-life context is what differentiates the account planner from, on the one hand, the market researcher and , on the other hand, the account handler.
Collect background quantitative data from NRS questionnaires and other quantitative studies to understand how other people live their lives their behaviour pattern and attitudes.