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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : September October 2007
CHANN EL PLA NNING JEREMY NICHOLAS, STRATEGIC PLANNING DIRECTOR, BMF SYDNEY WHAT A FUNNY JOB THIS IS . So much hoopla and so much interest. The easi est way to an swer t his is perhaps why our cha nnel planner works so we ll at BMF. For the record hi s name is Gareth Cooper. His m antra, has become ou r mantra in this area… ‘Chan nel planning is a department of one but a philosophy of all’. In other words, we must all think a bout the best way (c hannels) of getting the be st ideas out there in ord er to g et the best result for the client. Gareth sits w ith the oth er se ven pl anne rs wit hin th e plan nin g department at BMF a nd is on t he management t eam. This is impor- tant be cause this e nables him t o influence every b rief and as man y people in t he agency as p ossib le. His remit is the same as every other planner at BMF… Firstly, and most importantly, to p rovide a fant astic springboard for crea tive wor k that answers the client’s busin ess prob- lem. Second ly, to wor k alongside the creat ives, account serv ice and production to help bri ng t hat idea to fruition. Channel planning’s suc- cess, like account pl anning, is be st measured by the quality o f BMF’s diverse body of work and the s uc- cess of our clients. It’s e sse ntial c hannel plan ners reside w ithin the creative age ncy. Channel planning at BMF has an impact before, during and afte r the creative idea is generated. I cannot see how this could possibly happen if c hanne l planning is e xternal to agency. Extern al c onsultants only work well before or w ell after th e idea comes about an d oft en with aver age res ults. Consulta nts w ill LEIF STROMNES, MANAGING PARTNER, DDB SYDNEY STRA TEGIC PLANNIN G, CHANNEL PLANNING blah blah blah… The di scuss ion arou nd chann el planning has reached farcical pr o- portions. No one quite knows what it means, and defining it, like trying to de fine str ategic planning in an agency i s nigh impossible. This all adds to its mystery and al lure. I t’s as tho ugh this new dark ar t has caught all of us wit h ou r p ants down, and left advertising agencies (once agai n), facing an u ncert ain and tenuous future. I, f or o ne, do n’t belie ve an y of this. Channel pla nni ng is w hat any strategic planner worth his salt does naturally as part of his everyday job. The choi ce of medi a has alw ays been an extremely important part of influencing a consumer, and this is accentuated by the media choices consumers have nowad ays. Bein g knowledgeable about media is part of the green-fees of being a planner. So do we ne ed s eparate ch annel planners in agencies? I don’ t think so. Good strategic people start with the consumer, and it strikes me that 12 CAM PA I GN B RIE F Nicholas: “It’s essential channel planners reside within the creative agency. Channel planning at BMF has an impact before, during and after the creative idea is gener- ated. I cannot see how this could possibly happen if channel planning is external to agency. External consultants only work well before or well after the idea comes about and often with average results. Consultants will only ever give you strategies and the strategies are nothing without the idea and the execution to bring them to life.” only ever give you strategies and the strategies are nothing w ithout the idea and t he execu tion t o brin g them to li fe. In my mi nd i t’s a ll about doing i t not talking about it. The best way to aid great ideas is to be part of the creative proc ess and that’s how p lanning a nd ch annel planning works here. If what I described above is what a media dire ctor did t hen c hannel planning has replaced t he me dia director. If this isn’t what a m edia director did then we a re c reating something entirely new. BMF never s et up channel plan- ning to be a profit centre - we only did it to improve the work. Looking at the quality and diversity of the work coming from BMF I believe it’s been a success. understanding the way people inter- act and engage with their media is fairly fundamental stuff. A separate channel p lanning function smacks of duplication, a bit like having sep- arate digital planners or direct mar- keting planner s wi thin t he same planning department. This is pr obably the reason so many ‘traditional’ strategic planners are ending up in media agencies and channel p lanning consultan- cies. The skills are completely com- plementary, and in many cases they land on their feet running from day one. It also works the other way round where ad vertising agencies hire strategic people that grew up in media. A good strategic planner is a good strategic planner, regardless of discipline or channel. A downside to havin g sep arate Stromnes: “Channel planning is what any strategic planner worth his salt does naturally as part of his everyday job. The choice of media has always been an extremely important part of influencing a consumer, and this is accentuated by the media choices consumers have nowadays. Being knowledgeable about media is part of the green-fees of being a planner.” st ra teg ic planning and channe l functions is the need for both par- ties to generate an insight and an idea. This often, in my opinion, leads to multiple pieces of commu- nication within a single campaign, often confusing what starts off a simple and s alient i dea. It is the natural outcome of everyone at the table trying to justify their exis- tence. SE PT E MBE R/OCTOB E R 2 007
November December 2007
July August 2007