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.)


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