Hi IMC Land! I apologize for not blogging earlier this week. It’s been crazy at the Wise House –the WVU football game, the holiday weekend, homework, discussion posts … and the most important event of all this week—Hailey’s first day of preschool!
First day of preschool! No tears for Hailey. Lots of tears for Mom.
I know I’ve mentioned this in previous blogs, but I really love it when I get those “ah ha” moments where I see how something I’m learning in one class relates to something I’m learning in another class. This week we’ve been discussing the field of account planning in my Creative Strategy class. In the past, whenever I’d see job ads for an account planner I would think, “boring,” and gloss over them. Having no prior knowledge of account planning, I simply assumed that “account planner” was another term for “account manager” or “account executive.” Not so!
Our Creative Strategy lesson this week quoted account planning pioneer Stanley Pollitt, who described account planning as a way “to ensure that all the data relevant to key advertising decisions be properly analyzed, complemented with new research, and brought to bear on judgments of creative strategy.”
I know, that doesn’t really sound all that great yet, but just bear with me…
According to our lesson, account planning is “one of the most rewarding roles in the field of advertising.” Why? Because “planners spend a lot of time in crazy places like football stadiums, airports and yoga studios attempting to develop a deeper understanding of the audience than mere surveys or focus groups can provide.” Our lesson gave the example of account planners for Sega. Their job was to watch kids play video games all day long to identify key insights about them. The result? Sega’s successful “Welcome to the Next Level” campaign.
It just so happens that my other course this semester is Audience Insight. We spend a lot of time in that class discussing what motivates consumers—the heart of account planning. At the beginning of this semester, I never would’ve imagined that something we discussed in Creative Strategy class would directly apply to my Audience Insight class. I think it’s a great example of what IMC really means—integrating all of these elements together to form what Professor Stultz refers to as “the big idea.”
Just out of curiosity, do we have any account planners in the IMC program? Have any of you worked with account planners? If so, please share your story with us!
Have a great weekend, everyone, and …. Let’s GOOOOOO Mountaineers!