Creating Great Ideas is a Team Sport That I Love to Play.

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The Account Planning Boot Camp in San Francisco starts April 6!  Start Your Career Now!

Week 1:  Planning Overview 

Planning Instructors:

  • Christoper Owens- Brand Planning Group Head, The Richards Group
  • Alicia Fisher Damiano- Brand Planning Director, The Richards Group

The week has flown by. Our first deadline? Five days. We met our creative team partners, discussed our roles and started to strategize for the YCN WeTransfer challenge. Three brainstorming sessions, one evening of constructing an amazing costume prop and a photo shoot later, my team and I were tired, happy and ready for feedback.

Between a Brainstorming Techniques class and NUVI training (a real-time social monitoring tool), we experimented with analyzing social media statistics and then broke into groups to help get the ideas flowing. This process cultivated an open, collaborative team dynamic.

On to the next assignment, an awareness campaign for an innovative startup that creates limited edition, artisan home goods. Our first presentation? The next day!

Week one lessons learned: Think quick. Act in the moment. Great ideas are a team sport. The advertising business is a relationship business. The Boot Camp is about “Learning by Doing”; the exact reason I chose to study planning

Week 2: Understanding the Issue the Brand is Facing

Planning Instructors:

  • Allison Mooney- Head of Trends & Insights, Google Marketing; Editor-in-Chief, Think with Google
  • Brad Johnsmeyer- Marketing Manager, Data Content & Insights, Google

Allison taught us how to be an ‘Insights Secret Weapon’. We are definitely learning to use our account planner “007” gadgets. She explained that the best insights come from: incorporating different types of searches, looking at patterns and trends and asking questions using a variety of angles.

Week 2 lessons learned: Start by asking. Data and observation aren’t insights. Current trends coupled with insights inspire new approaches to getting noticed online. Boot camp goes fast!

Week 3:  Brief Writing & Briefing Your Creative Team

Planning Instructor:

  • Esty Gorman, Senior Insights Lead at Google & Miami Ad School graduate

Don’t write a brief alone. Don’t use ‘marketing speak’, and especially don’t let your ego hold onto a brief too tightly. Great advice from Esty. Her energy and interaction gave us a better understanding of the role of a brief and how to inspire our creative team.

Esty encouraged us to be open to our creative partners and involve them from the beginning. Being open minded and collaborative allows a planner to evolve their brief to a unique and relevant place.

I started applying these tips immediately at work. (I work on the creative excellence team at an agency during the day.) I took out the jargon, simplified the data and wrote for the creatives. After the brief my ECD turned, paused, and said, “I really like this, did you do this for me? I might have to put this up on my wall.” Thanks Esty.

Week 3 lessons learned: Write concise briefs that are inspiring. It isn’t about selling products, it’s about buying products. Consumers are people. Planners can help creatives with a simple, clear vision that should leave tons of room for ‘creative’ play.

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