Planning in 2020

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Planning 3.0: The feeling is mutual
Tom Woodnutt
Silver, Admap Prize 2012

Planning 3.0: The feeling is mutual
Tom Woodnutt
Silver, Admap Prize 2012

Mutually inclusive
Tom Woodnutt
Tom Woodnutt Ltd
Planning 3.0: The feeling is mutual

The future is about Mutuality Planning, focusing on the value brands and consumers can give to each other
through a strategy ofco-operation, openness and reward
Over 30 years ago, Charles Channon defined planning as a combination of evaluating insights, developing communications
objectives and making them inspiring and meaningful ('The problem of planning' Admap, December 1978). While the definition
may still be relevant the context has fundamentally changed. Planning needs a new ethos: 'mutuality'.
In the natural world,'mutuality' is defined as 'the condition or state of reciprocity or sharing'. Symbiotic mutualisms occur when
two interdependent organisms benefit each other through collaboration. Relationships like this are balanced, equitable and
sustainable. To overcome the challenges of the next decade, planners should tap into this principle, by forging more mutually
beneficial and open relationshipsbetween people, brands and their agencies.
Mutuality can help convert challenges into opportunities. Five current challenges facing planning relate to what people need
from brands and what brands need from people and their agencies. The more the 'mutuality planner' can align and satisfy
these needs, the more sustainable and fertile the planning landscape will be in 2020.
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1. People expect better value from brands
As recently as ten years ago, creative and strategic TV-led advertising was enough to earn people's attention and build strong
brand relationships. However, with continued media fragmentation and evergrowing consumer empowerment, people now
expect more value from brands than a 30-second TV ad could ever give them. In addition, people's ability tocheck and punish
sub-optimal performance through social media means brand experiences are under more scrutiny and pressure. People are
not going to be as loyal, supportive and open with brands if their products, services and communications fail to engage.
Mutuality planning is about maximising the value that brands give to people in order to earn their respect, loyalty and support.
2. Brandsstruggle to understand people well enough
In order to create more value for people, brands need to understand them better. They need to appreciate not only what
people want and need, but also what permission they give brands to engage them. This requires rich and continuous streams
of insight and dialogue. But traditional models of research are expensive and slow and the fastpaced world ofbusiness
requires even faster decision-making and more inspiration.
The amount of data on people continues to grow (by 2020, the digital universe is predicted to be 44 times as large as in 2009).
Although this means greater potential to understand people, there is rarely enough time, resource or expertise to do so. The
mutualistic planner needs to help humanise data, by creating ideas that inspiredialogue and interpretation.
3. People do not necessarily share their personal data
There is undoubtedly huge potential in the data that people create, which not only allows brands to understand them better,
but also creates opportunities for tailored, hyper-targeted and, therefore, more relevant communications. But recent studies
suggest just 23% would share anonymous personal data (and 12%personally identifiable data) in order to get discounts. Just
5% would do so, to receive only personally relevant ads around content (Heller-Baird 2011). Recent EU regulations mean it's
even less likely people will opt into the cookie-sharing necessary for behavioural targeting.
Mutuality planning is about motivating people to be more open with their data and get their permission to provide...
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