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Connections Planningness

Jason Oke
Jason Oke

Presentation from Planningness, October 17 2009, by Jason Oke and Gareth Kay. For more on the event & speakers check out http://www.planningness.com http://www.jasonoke.com http://www.garethkay.com

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Connections planning in 2009
@Jasonoke
@Garethk
Does anyone here have the job
title “connections planner?”
*we’re sorry in advance
Caveat – we don’t mean to paint everyone
with the same brush. There is brilliant work
done by connections planners out there.
But as a total discipline, it’s in trouble.
Spring 2009
survey:
“What is
connections
planning?”
Connections Planningness
The argument:
Connections Planning hasn’t lived
up to its promise.

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Connections Planningness

  • 1. Connections planning in 2009 @Jasonoke @Garethk
  • 2. Does anyone here have the job title “connections planner?” *we’re sorry in advance
  • 3. Caveat – we don’t mean to paint everyone with the same brush. There is brilliant work done by connections planners out there. But as a total discipline, it’s in trouble.
  • 6. The argument: Connections Planning hasn’t lived up to its promise.
  • 7. Why Connections Planning is where it is: a brief history.
  • 8. Once upon a time, some rich white guys decided to make money by spinning off media from creative agencies.
  • 9. This separated the creation of ideas from the choosing of media ≠  
  • 10. The underlying assumption is that media is a container for holding messages – and turned media into a commodity to be bought primarily on price.
  • 11. But at exactly the same time, the media landscape exploded.
  • 12. And a new breed of ideas emerged, leveraging the particular strengths of different media.
  • 13. Connections planning was an attempt to fix the mistake. +  
  • 14. It was the right idea. But we’ve mostly been using it the wrong way.
  • 15. We use it to generate “stunts” for pitches and award shows.
  • 16. We use it to turn everything into a medium.
  • 17. We use it to find new places to interrupt people.
  • 18. We create fake “movements” for things people don’t care about.
  • 19. We create utility that isn’t useful to anyone.
  • 20. Basically, we put more shit in more places.
  • 21. And it’s not working.
  • 22. The irony is connections planning doesn’t create very many connections.
  • 23. Where did it all go wrong?
  • 24. Connections planning was solving for the wrong problem.
  • 25. It wasn’t trying to build greater value for brands or people. It was solving for agency problems. New revenue stream Sexy new business tool Award show friendly creative
  • 26. It was dependent on the person who did it. We got connections planners, instead of connections planning. We don’t have a shared approach or way of working.
  • 27. It’s like pornography: “I know it when I see it”
  • 28. We applied the lens of advertising (interruptive, message-based) to new media. Instead we should apply the lens of new media (interactivity, iteration) to advertising.
  • 29. The opportunity: Re-thinking the value of connections planning.
  • 30. The opportunity: A new creative process, not an output.
  • 31. A process of putting human connections at the heart of everything. Grounded in a deep understanding of what people are trying to do, what the brand is trying to do, and how people use media.
  • 32. A journey, not a destination. Ideas as unfolding stories, a stream of iterations and interactions that invite people into the process.
  • 33. Think of the flow of information over time. 365 day planning instead of 360 degree. Cultural latency is a strategic tool.
  • 34. Think of the flow of information over geography. How do you create contextual value in each particular space?
  • 35. Think of the flow of information over the depth of the story. How deep does the rabbit hole go?
  • 36. Think of the flow of information over technology. How can each medium & technology be used to its full potential? The role of creative technologist is increasingly important.
  • 39. A plan for what happens after the connection. What will people do with it? How will they use it & share it? What might they remix? And what will that mean for the brand? How will we change because of our interaction with them?
  • 40. Learn from other disciplines that create meaningful interactions. We need to absorb practices & approaches from design, information architecture, and user experience planning. Things like agility, rapid iteration, prototyping.
  • 41. Connections Planning has more in common with Experience Planning than media planning. We are all experience designers, whether we think of ourselves that way or not.
  • 42. Focus on maximizing value for all. Create thick value, with interactions that are rewarding for everyone – media provider, participant, brand.
  • 43. It isn’t just about digital. It’s about planning for interaction.
  • 45. Solve real problems. At the end of the day, our job is straightforward: What’s the business problem? What audience can best solve that problem? What response do they need to have? What experience could generate that response?
  • 46. And the solution could live anywhere.
  • 47. Embrace the one-off. Do we worry too much about campaigns? Sometimes, affecting one thing well is powerful. Commitment, not campaigning It gives you a chance to learn: a one-off is just something you haven’t figured out how to dimensionalize yet.
  • 48. We all have the same job: making better ideas. Whatever the job function, everyone’s job is additive to a shared goal. You’re not responsible for the brief or the channel plan but for the idea. That requires a fluid iterative interchange of strategic, media, and creative thinking.
  • 49. The $64,000 question: Is connections planning a separate discipline? Are we niche-ing ourselves into irrelevance with splintered sub-disciplines? Should these just be core planning skills?
  • 50. Topics for discussion: 1) Is connections planning a separate discipline? Or a core planning skill? 2) What skills/methods do we need to absorb from other disciplines? 3) What could the new ‘idea’ team look like? 4) What’s holding us back from evolving?