I’m back from my trip to Japan, which went very well. On this trip, I visited Kyushu (Fukuoka, Kagoshima) which is certainly more rural and the scenery is much more dramatic than my January 2008 trip to Central Honshu (Tokyo) and Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe).
Anyhow, during my absence I have been working on a project that hopefully, I will learn more about Account Planning. I’m focusing on learning about the processes as Phase 1 of my project. I have been reading various books, industry publications and talking to various Account Planners, a Professor and an Anthropologist. At the end of this month, I plan on posting a pdf of the completed project with all my findings and a .mov file for the abstract. For the new year, I plan on starting Phase 2 of the project, which is to implement my findings with various businesses and hopefully non-profits. By implementing, I mean actually designing advertising campaigns for them.
Here is a rough outline of what I have been working on. From my understanding, Account Planning can be broken down into the following steps:
1) Defining the Consumer Problem
2) Developing the Consumer Insight
3) Engaging in the Creative briefing process
4) Co-creating the Creative brief with the Creative and Account Services Team
I’m trying to learn more about each step in detail. By reading books and industry publications, as well as speaking to the practitioners, I hope to fill each step with meaningful information. To get me acquainted with the art of Account Planning I have read:
I’m in the process of reading:
For 1) Defining the Consumer Problem, I’m focusing on learning more about quantitative and qualitative methods of finding this, with an emphasis on qualitative methods. For example, focus groups, ethnography, and projections (having the research subject draw pictures or make a collage to represent his/her impressions of a product/service) are some of the research techniques to ascertain the consumers’ needs and motivations. Here is my reading list for this subject thus far:
2) Developing the Consumer Insight. Through qualitative and quantitative research methods, the consumer insight is formed. For example, from the “Got Milk?” advertising campaign, the goal was to have consumers consume more milk. Through qualitative research, the consumer insight was found. It was when drinking milk, consumers craved for certain foods that complemented milk such as cookies. By showing images of cookies and other foods that complemented milk, consumers felt milk-deprived and were inclined to purchase more milk.
3) Engaging in the Creative briefing process. Armed with the consumer insight, the Account Planner proposes methods that make the advertising campaign more relevant to consumers. For example, what could be the brand strategy? How about the media strategy? Here are some books that I have read:
Here are books I plan on reading:
4) Co-creating the Creative brief with the Creative and Account Services Team. The all-important brief is key in creating the a short, concise document that illustrates the challenges of the consumer and possible methods to alleviate the problem and make the messaging to the consumer more relevant. It also serves as the inspiration for the creative team for idea formation. To learn more about this process, I plan on reading:
Input is greatly appreciated. Do you think I’m on the right track? Are there resources or steps I have omitted? Comments and suggestions are welcome.