Why this blog?
December 14, 2009
— account planning, constant gardener, digital, digital planning, digital revolution, social media, virtual revolution
A friend and and I were having a debate on whether or not there was such a thing as a digital planner. Did being a good offline account planner automatically mean you could be a good digital one just as long as you learnt how your target consumer used the digital space? To my surprise this person, who incidentally works for the same Agency that produced Steven King, did not think so. What, the consumer is no longer king? OK – I’m grossly simplifying the conversation that covered the brand, marketplace, Client objectives etc. but I’m hoping you’ll get the gist. Unfortunately I was told that this is no longer enough and that ‘traditional planners’ were pretty much a dime a dozen. Apparently what is needed now are planners who know the digital world inside out, anything less and you’re no longer future-proof.
Having got over my slightly bruised ego I began to wonder what it is about the digital world that requires such an intimate understanding of the channel itself? Even within that sentence I’m not sure that calling it the ‘digital world’ or implying it is only ‘one’ channel is strictly speaking correct. What I do know is that I sit in results meetings and yet again the online team say they’ve had a brilliant month. 70% growth YOY in orders, falling cost per responses and doubling budgets.
Since I love my job and the power it gives me to be a consumer champion I’ve decided that this dime a dozen planner is going to learn more. How consumers use it, which part of ‘it’ they use, what’s their reason for using it? Intuitively I know I have to understand all these things and more, but what I want to explore is why and more importantly how it will make my strategies and creative more effective for the Client and more relevant for the consumer.
So I embark on a journey to prove that a ‘traditional planner’ can embrace the digital world. Is it enough to put the consumer at the heart of everything we do as long as we understand what consumers do and where they do it online? How can we leverage that knowledge to engage and persuade them?
Realising that I am going to be pulling from several sources who know what they are talking about – ironically most of which are online – and that there must be other planners out there in my shoes, I thought it would be worth blogging what I find. At the very least it’s a good place to pull together everything for me. Without this I have a strange feeling that I will be as redundant as the banker who said ‘yes buying another bank’s bad debt is a really good idea’; wish me luck.