ACCOUNT PLANNING...

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ACCOUNT PLANNING :- JANNES PUNITA PGPMC(2009-11)

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What is Account Planning? According to Chris Cowpe, “Account planning is the discipline that brings the consumer  into the process of developing advertising. To be truly effective, advertising must be both distinctive and relevant, and planning helps on both counts.” The term “Account Planning” was coined by Stephen King of JWT & Stanley Pollitt of BMP in 1960s & said it to be the central part of the agency. Stephen said that a planner is charged with leading this pre-creative stage, guiding the research and market analysis, addressing the media effort and coming up with a version of the conventional advertising strategy called the creative brief. According to Stanley Pollitt, “ An Account Planner is a trained researcher who gathers all data available on the consumer’s side and, based on that data, have an equal say with the account executive in forming the agency’s brief and with that of the creative director in determining the creative brief”.

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Account Planning describes the function within advertising agencies in which all kinds of research relevant to clients' businesses is synthesized, and in which strategic planning is coordinated. It emerged in the Britian in the 1960's and significantly developed the role of what had previously been market research or market information departments. The account planner in an advertising agency will often be the primary point of contact for qualitative research suppliers dealing with the agency. The account planner is the bridge between the business side to the creative side of a marketing campaign. On the business side, the planner works with the account manager to understand what the client is looking for and then relate that to what the consumer wants. On the creative side, the planner helps to create an expressive snapshot or a single-minded directional creative brief to lead the way to the drawing board.

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Need of Account Planning Discovering and defining the advertising task:- The Account Planners organizes information about the consumer and the marketplace from every possible source, including the client and agency data and secondary research. To prepare the creative brief:- The creative brief is the tool that the creative department uses to conceptualize ads. Proper positioning of a brand. Creative development:- During creative conceptualization, it is the account planner's duty to represent the consumer. They may also interact with the creative department through the sharing of initial consumer responses to ad ideas or advertising approaches. To present the advertisement to the client:- The planner informs the client of how and why a consumer will react to a specific advertising. To conceptualize and think strategically.

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To track the advertising’s performance:- Through the follow-up research, account planners track reactions to the ads in the actual marketplace and provide creatives with additional information. To experience the brand:- The relationship between a brand and its consumers is experienced through many channels: advertising, web sites, service experience, product design, word of mouth, distribution, etc. The account planners need to define what a brand is, its worth ideas and values and how communication of that information can be manifested through all of these channels. To become idea literate:- It is essential to develop the ideas different from others. To figure out what are the key issues that brand in question is facing:- Is it an issue that can be solved by advertising? A planner needs to ask the right questions.

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Roles of Account Planning Market Research:- The account planners devise, conduct, analyse, reports and monitors surveys objectively. Data Analysis:- The planner is charged with ensuring that all data relevant to the brand communication decisions is properly analysed, complemented with new research where appropriate, and then brought to bear on judgements of the creative strategy and evaluation of the communications.  Qualitative Focus Group Moderation:- Moderating the target groups is by far the best way of coming to grip with your target audience, putting yourself in their shoes and seeing the world from their perspective. It means they are both a psychologist and an interpreter.  Information centre:- Knowledge is the bedrock of the planners craft.  Bad cop:- Very often, it makes sense to adopt the bad cop/good cop routine with some clients and some creatives in order to deliver some bad/challenging/alternative/unexpected news without ruining the relationship.

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NPD consultant:- One of the most fun aspects of working on goods brands is the fact that they are still investing in new product development.  Brainstorming facilitator:- More challenging and more exhausting than the average group discussion because its dealing with the Chairman and the brand manager and the creative director in the same session, it is also more rewarding.   Target audience representative/voice of the consumer:-Their job is to ensure that an understanding of consumer attitudes and behaviour is brought to bear at every stage of communications development via continuous involvement in the process. Soothsayer/futurologist:- This aspect of the planners craft is to have a genuine interest in and capacity to generate knowledge about trends and anticipate social movements that their colleagues can actually use to grow their brands.  Media/communications planner:- It is increasingly more important for the planner to understand the strategic role and effectiveness of different media, by target and by category, and know when and how it is relevant to use them to achieve the brands objectives.

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Strategic thinker/strategy developer:-If the creative brief is the planners tangible output, developing the brand communications strategy is the precursor task. The planner identifies the key issue and determines the role for communication against a specific target.  Writer of the creative brief:- The brief is widely considered to be the planners main product and key tangible deliverable to the creative development process.  Think piece polemicist:- Original thinking is a powerful tool, and when persuasively and compellingly delivered can have real impact on the business you are working on and the people you are working with.  Social anthropologist:- Monitoring cultural and social trends is a specialist task, and the findings need to be fed in early to brand and creative development.  Insight miner:-This section probably deserves its own book, but deriving insight from knowledge is one of the most important skills a planner can possess.  Knowledge applicator:- In this new information age it is involved in applying knowledge that the planner truly comes into their own.

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Thank you.