I was referred from a friend to talk with the Director of Brand Planning at one of the most recognized advertising agencies in Minneapolis. Not only do I keep running into job postings for Account and Brand Planners, but I was really curious to learn more about what this role consistence of and what the day-to-day tasks are.
Doing my own research before my meet and greet, definitions of a Brand Planner:
“Member of the agency’s team who is the expert, through background, training, experience, and attitudes, at working with information and getting it used – not just marketing research but all the information available to help solve a client’s advertising problems.”
“At the heart of an effective creative philosophy is the belief that nothing is so powerful as an insight into human nature.”
While sipping on Diet Dr Peppers, which I brought in to cheers, was advice on having better-than-average writing skills because much of the work is summarizing large amounts of information into briefs. Even though she stressed you don’t have to be the best writer, it is a good idea to have a grasp on summarizing because right now she is doing a lot of that.
Lynn recommended I read Jon Steel his book to learn more on account planning. (She said it is a bit old-school but still great.)
She had nothing but great things to say about her smaller team that she has been part of for over 10 years now.
The process at her agency starts with a Brand Plan then a Creative Plan comes along. Every agency and place does it differently she stressed but this is how they make it successful.
Lynn said, she has a hard time visualizing or explaining where the creative could go, so that makes a lot of sense that I would be an excellent Brand Planner with my creative background and skills. She also said that Executive CD had also told her in the past that creative and brand planning really could and should go hand-and-hand.
Just being able to chat a bit with this talented Planner, I felt like there could be some great things that could come out of my career while thinking along this planning path.
Best way to get into planning? Start somewhere within it, and work your way up to it. Consider being an account executive or something that I could prove myself to the team. We also talked about PR firms a bit and the changes and possible jobs that could be in that area that could lead to a position within planning. Also smaller design firms need a good planner, so working within that I could surface my talents a bit easier.
It was a lovely afternoon chat and I am very lucky I got to get an hour of Lynn’s time, for not only did she make me think about my goals but also that a different kind of planning job could be in my future.
mn design gal