Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Get back in your plan

I'm not a fan of those interminable "role of planning" discussions, especially when they sprout appendages such as "in the digital age". I'd rather be getting on with the job than discussing and defining it. And the role of planning is actually quite simple, whether you're living in the digital or the dinosaur age.

Dave Trott's blog puts this very well. The proper role of planners, according to the legendary creative, is defining the problem, getting the question right, even questioning the question. All of that rather than fiddling and fussing with the answer.

He continues with a very flattering analogy for planners everywhere. If planners spend their time fiddling with ads, it's "the equivalent of a general in the middle of a battle going round to every soldier to check his uniform is correct."

Instead, we're advised to focus on what we're there for: being upstream, original and predatory.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with giving your opinion on a TV ad, or an app, or any executional element of such, especially if you're asked for it. You can even venture your view on how it might work.

But when you start dictating executional changes, especially if you haven't defined the problem at the outset, the battle is lost.

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