In July this year, John Griffiths and Tracey Follows published ‘98% Pure Potato – The Origins of Account Planning’. Based on face-to-face interviews with 20 of the industry’s pioneers, 98% Pure Potato pieces together the real story of advertising account planning by the planners themselves.
I was intrigued to see how the book was received by the planning community. One blog I found most interesting was the concept that planning is like a virus, it's continually mutating. It got me thinking about the effect this has recruiting in planning.
The mutating of the planning virus over time gave agencies the opportunity to demonstrate a competitive edge to clients offering a range of strategists with various specialisms.
From a recruitment perspective, this means I can work with Planners to their strengths, as well as offering my clients a bespoke solution to address their department’s needs. A clear brief for a CRM Strategy Director with luxury automotive expertise means a streamlined search and a clear brief for my candidates.
As we know, the planning virus splits into more and more cells which can mean less defined roles; a Strategist is popular, as is Creative Strategist, Brand Planner and Comms Planner.
“I just need a Planner” says my client. Identifying what kind of Strategist or Planner is needed and best suited for a role can be challenging for the client when they have no time to come up for air. Being a recruitment expert I’m able to guide and advise, so a Head of Planning can focus on delivering to budget and leave the office before midnight. In addition to the short-term needs, having the right person land re-enforces the value of planning in the agency and most importantly keeping hold of the account.
“I can do everything” says my candidate. With an awareness of how voracious the planning virus is and the fact that agencies want to show their clients they are a one-stop shop, what’s best? Being a specialist or a generalist?
Having a birds-eye view of the industry the most successful candidates are the planners that don’t claim they can do everything. They believe it’s about joined up thinking, how their area of expertise will develop the brand, benefit the user and ultimately add value to the client’s business.
I work with Planners and Strategist at all levels across brand advertising, digital, direct, experiential, shopper (and everything else in between) so if you’re looking to hire permanent or interim talent, or you’re a candidate thinking about exploring your next opportunity please contact me for a confidential conversation.
Lisa Gills Associate Director – Planning & Strategy