What Is Account Planning

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Introduction

There is no way you can develop significant advertising, influence the paying client of its potential and evaluate it without doing any planning in the first place. People like David Ogilvy, Bill Bernbach, Claude Hopkins and Rosser Reeves were all outstanding planners. No one has a guaranteed formula when it comes to account planning. One thing that all these experts have in common is that they understand people. The easiest way to answer this question is simply to say that account planning is about having consumer focus and providing the client with the right advertising. In other words, the planner plays and important role in creating a deeper and innate understanding of human nature or behavior, in which we call insight. The planner ensures that in all aspects of advertising, the core understanding of how a consumer would react and their behavior is brought to life. They act as the agency facilitator or the ‘voice of the consumer’, constantly in the search for ideas that emerge from an unusual understanding of the connection between the product or brand and the people’s everyday lives. The account planners need to make sure that the advertising is persuasive, done using the appropriate media and relevant to the target audience. There has to be a great deal of passion and interest in people in order to be a good planner. They must be experienced at making use of research findings, and have an imaginative as well as a strategic mind. With all of these factors combined, it can transform research data and insight into great advertising.

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What is Account Planning?
“The most powerful element in advertising is the truth” - William Bernbach -

Account planners create the communication strategy for advertising campaigns. They set goal and objectives, determine the target audience, and establish the right message and tone that the campaign should be delivered in. They determine how a certain tactic or strategy can help client add value to their brand or business and also motivate the creative teams to produce advertisements to accomplish this. There are many factors that are taken into consideration to bridge the client’s business and the creative team such as research, trends, consumer and culture.

Eventually, the best advertising comprises these three standpoints, which are the client’s business or brand, the agency’s creative team, and the people that the advertising is targeted to. It is important to understand that ultimately, the focal point is the consumer, not the client or the advertiser. The message is tailor-made for the consumer and directed towards them. Therefore, understanding the consumer is the key to effective advertising (Thompson, n.d.).

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The Roles of Account Planning: What do they do?

Account planner is a person who wears many ‘hats’, or in other words, they have many roles (Aitchison, 2004). They are the bridge that brings together the consumer to the client, through the creative work done by the creative team. Planning is a holistic obligation to achieving the right advertising by merging effectiveness with originality and relevance. (Steel, 1998).

The planner must first understand the client and the brand. The most basic thing a client wants is more business and profit. Among other things that a client desires is to 2

have more awareness and to have loyal consumers. Therefore, an account planner has to understand why the client is unable to do so. It is up to the account planner to define the problem with the brand, and to come up with a strategy that can solve the problem. On the other hand, the account planner also acts as the consumer’s point of view. They are in charge of getting the creative team to get the send the right message, to the target audience through the right media channels.

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Who are the players?

Account planning is the central of four other players, which are the account team, creative team, the client or brand,...
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