The Strange Case of the Disappearing Planner
Posted by: TBCH
Date added: Mon 25 Jul 2011
Talking to a colleague, I suspect this is because 5-6 years ago, the bright young sparks who should have applied for planning roles were lured by the shiny new lights of digital. Coming straight from university, who wouldn't be attracted by agencies that promoted digital as the Holy Grail, and firmly decreed that ad agencies were dead? And digital felt very comfortable to this generation. After all, they had been brought up with it. They didn't have to "learn" about digital: concepts such as gamification were wired into their DNA. And so they became digital strategists, rather than account planners.
Now, I'm not pointing a finger at digital agencies here. We all fell prey to the lure of digital - advertising and direct agencies alike. We felt we needed to catch up so many of us looked to hire these digital strategists to help us.
One of the things I've noticed about this cohort of strategists is that they know about digital (one would hope so!) but their skill set often stops there. I'm often met with a blank look when I ask digital strategists who want to be planners about creative briefing, propositions and brands. You wouldn't hire an account planner who had only ever planned on woman's press...so why would you hire a planner who's only ever planned on Facebook?
I think this is a shame.
If you are a bright, curious graduate who's interested in what really makes people tick, who wants to understand how all forms of communications work and who relishes the opportunity to use both sides of your brain, why wouldn't you want to be an account planner? I can't imagine doing any other job. I love it.
But if we can't attract the best and brightest graduates to my side, we'll lose yet another generation, and then account planning will be well and truly dead.
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