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Connections Planningness


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Presentation from Planningness, October 17 2009, by Jason Oke and Gareth Kay.
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Published in: Business, Technology
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  • I wish I saw this all those years ago. Would be interesting to revisit the state of connection planning today. I think Adam had some good points but limited the potential of connections planning in the hands of the right people/team. I think this is even more so now in many ways.
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  • this is a very nice presentation, adding to my belief that the medium is the message
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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.
  4. Spring 2009 survey: “What is connections planning?”
  5. The argument: Connections Planning hasn’t lived up to its promise.
  6. Why Connections Planning is where it is: a brief history.
  7. Once upon a time, some rich white guys decided to make money by spinning off media from creative agencies.
  8. This separated the creation of ideas from the choosing of media ≠  
  9. The underlying assumption is that media is a container for holding messages – and turned media into a commodity to be bought primarily on price.
  10. But at exactly the same time, the media landscape exploded.
  11. And a new breed of ideas emerged, leveraging the particular strengths of different media.
  12. Connections planning was an attempt to fix the mistake. +  
  13. It was the right idea. But we’ve mostly been using it the wrong way.
  14. We use it to generate “stunts” for pitches and award shows.
  15. We use it to turn everything into a medium.
  16. We use it to find new places to interrupt people.
  17. We create fake “movements” for things people don’t care about.
  18. We create utility that isn’t useful to anyone.
  19. Basically, we put more shit in more places.
  20. And it’s not working.
  21. The irony is connections planning doesn’t create very many connections.
  22. Where did it all go wrong?
  23. Connections planning was solving for the wrong problem.
  24. 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
  25. 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.
  26. It’s like pornography: “I know it when I see it”
  27. 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.
  28. The opportunity: Re-thinking the value of connections planning.
  29. The opportunity: A new creative process, not an output.
  30. 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.
  31. A journey, not a destination. Ideas as unfolding stories, a stream of iterations and interactions that invite people into the process.
  32. Think of the flow of information over time. 365 day planning instead of 360 degree. Cultural latency is a strategic tool.
  33. Think of the flow of information over geography. How do you create contextual value in each particular space?
  34. Think of the flow of information over the depth of the story. How deep does the rabbit hole go?
  35. 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.
  37. h%p://  
  38. 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?
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. Focus on maximizing value for all. Create thick value, with interactions that are rewarding for everyone – media provider, participant, brand.
  42. It isn’t just about digital. It’s about planning for interaction.
  43. Television  
  44. 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?
  45. And the solution could live anywhere.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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?
  49. 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?
  50. Thanks. @Jasonoke @Garethk