Engagement Bill of Rights
1. Be insightful.
We’re all planners and planners are insightful. We illuminate things on which brands can
capitalize. We will act on insight. If we don’t, then we’re not doing our jobs. Be insightful
about the consumer and how they consume and engage media. Squeeze every last drop out of the
tools we have (MRI, @plan etc.), but don’t stop there. Talk to consumers. Do research projects.
They can be client funded or just you informally exploring on your own. Find new examples, stay
on top of the best ways to use technology and media to its fullest. It’s up to us, we’re “planning.”
2. Context, Context, Context.
Not all media is the same, but we often evaluate the same: on its ability to generate impressions.
We’re not in the eyeball business anymore. So, everything cannot be evaluated through MRI,
Nielsen or Arbitron. We have to understand how media fits in the lives of our consumers, just like
we understand how a brand fits into the lives of our customers. Then, we can evaluate its ability
to accomplish our objective, deliver value to the consumer, and plus our ideas.
3. 1 + 1 = 11
A campaign is the sum of its parts. Our parts need to build on each other and work together. And
I mean everything: paid, owned and earned media. We have to strategize and plan how all of our
media will work together to create interaction with the consumer. We’re not planning and buying
spaces for creative to fill. We’re working out the path of interactions for a consumer that will end
in action. That means mapping out our content, drivers and destinations, how social works with
broadcast, and paving the way for consumers to talk to each other.
4. Stage it out
Stories, movements and purchase paths all have a beginning, middle and end. We should be as
elegant and smart with our media. We have to make sure we know the role each media plays and
when. It’s not about “hitting” our customers in different places…that’s just polluting their world.
It’s about staging out something worth being involved in. Our media plans should create a
narrative that unfolds, creates momentum, builds followers, and culminates in interactions with
consumers that create waves of interactions with more consumers.
5. Nothing off the shelf
Let’s be known as the smart, but successful pains in the ass to our media partners. If we do our
jobs right, we won’t be buying packages, sponsorships or priced features. We’ll be building
integrated, custom, trans-media programs that can deliver our ideas to consumers in a unique
way. Media planning and negotiating is now a very creative practice. We’re engineering
experiences for consumers.
Continue on please…
6. Get out in front of it
This is perhaps the most critical and difficult part of making engagement happen at 22squared.
Let’s be catalysts of collaboration. We’re often at the beginning of the planning process. We
shouldn’t be creating media plans in the absence of a strategy, much less a creative idea. Will it
happen? Of course. Everything can’t always be perfect. But we’re going to be the ones that
make it happen less often by pushing client leadership and each account to start annual planning
earlier. To start the creative process earlier, so that we can create plans where the media and
creative work closely together.
7. Plan for what happens next
Our plans need to resemble a broken windshield. The crack always starts with a big divot, but it
then spreads like an intricate spider web across the windshield. Start asking the question, “then
what?” more often. An idea can be simple, but how we enable it to spread, iterate and grow can
often resemble organized chaos. How will consumers use it, remix it, share it? Our jobs don’t
stop when we figure out what to buy. We need to consider and plan for what we want our
consumers to do next.
8. Have a change agenda
Our work shouldn’t just puke out information in the hopes of reshaping a perception. It should
change the way consumers think or behave. Its influence should be obvious. That’s not just a
message thing, that’s an engagement thing. We have to create ways to add value to consumers.
That means helping them do something they want to do, or solve something they want to solve.
We can’t expect consumers to act differently if we don’t act differently. We can and should do
more than just communicate.
9. Participation advertising
Find ways for consumers to contribute, join in, iterate and spread the message. The best way to
build advocacy is to get consumers to participate in something. That doesn’t mean creating
unneeded movements or stupid shticks (those are being done in spades right now). But it does
mean that we have to think through ways to enable participation with media. Again, this isn’t just
a creative thing; it’s an engagement thing.
10. Work that creates its own momentum
Yes, media is a part of the work; a critical piece that should work seamlessly with the creative to
engage consumers in a relevant context. And our work needs to build. Our campaigns shouldn’t
die when we’ve spent our last dime. Instead of 360 degree media planning, we should be
thinking about 365-day media planning. How can our campaign and our dialogue continue after
our paid media is gone?