When I was introduced to the concept of planning in the 80s, the thing I loved most about it was that it gave the consumer a seat at the marketing table, by proxy at least. That’s still what I love about it. What’s changed, though, is that brands don’t only speak through advertising anymore, so brand strategy and creative strategy are no longer essentially the same thing. The traditional role of the planner has thus drifted steadily into the background, displaced by the technocracy of modern marketing. The only problem is, having the consumer at the table has in the process become more important, not less.
I have some strong feelings about how to do this job now, and thanks to Canada’s Institute of Communication Agencies, I’m going to have a chance to share them with up and coming professionals in the form of a workshop to be held late next month. If you’re interested, check it out. It’s going to be fun, and you might just come away with a renewed sense of why this work is so important to the democracy of marketplaces. You can find more information here.