13 Myths about Account Planning

(From an article by George Creel which appeared in 'Advertising Age' on September 16,1991.)

1) Account planning is the solution to the advertising industry's malaise. (While account planning can strengthen an agency's creative product, no one discipline can solve all of the problems of an agency.)

2) Account planning leads to breakthrough creative. (Account planning does provide the background and consumer research to develop creative work, but breakthrough creative is a result of a superior creative staff.)

3) Account Planning is the key to winning the new-business pitch. (Pitching is a "team sport" that requires all of the departments of an agency to work together.)

4) There is a process for account planning. (There are numerous ways to execute proper account planning; Intuitive skills, a passion for advertising, and personal involvement are all essential and are a good place to start.)

5) Account planning is a continuous process. (Advertising is expensive!)

6) Account planning is new name for research, qualitative or otherwise. (Research is only one of the tools that account planners use to discover insightful information.)

7) Account planning and research departments can coexist. (Each department must have a clear definition of its role and must know who is in charge of whom.)

8) Clients like account planning. (They LOVE it - if it is free).

9) Account planning is the role of the account planner. (Good solutions can come from anywhere or anyone.)

10) Account planning is glamorous. (It is fun as well, if you have the passion to fight for your beliefs.)

11) Account planners sit in the room while the ads are made. (The account planner must articulate strategy to the creative team before the ad is created.)

12) Good account planners are hard to find. (Account planners can come from all backgrounds and disciplines.)

13) The best account planners are English. (No particular culture. race, religion, sex. or national origin is better at account planning than another.)

The 4 unique powers of Big Data

From The Economist review of Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz ::
Modern microeconomics, sociology, political science and quantitative psychology all depend to a large extent on surveys of at most a few thousand respondents. In contrast, he says, there are “four unique powers of Big Data”: it provides new sources of information, such as pornographic searches; it captures what people actually do or think, rather than what they choose to tell pollsters; it enables researchers to home in on and compare demographic or geographic subsets; and it allows for speedy randomised controlled trials that demonstrate not just correlation but causality. As a result, he predicts, “the days of academics devoting months to recruiting a small number of undergraduates to perform a single test will come to an end.” In their place, “the social and behavioural sciences are most definitely going to scale,” and the conclusions researchers will be able to reach are “the stuff of science, not pseudoscience”.

[Chart] Why you should not use pie charts

bad pie charts examples


[Chart] Perceptions of Probability mapped against Phrases

chart perceptions of probability vs phrases


[Chart] Breakdown of UK advertising expenditure 2016

chart uk advertising spend 2016 breakdown


[Chart] Change in global ad spending 2000-2016

chart change global advertising spend by medium 2000-2016


[Chart] Why decisions are painful

data vs opinion why decisions are painful