The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Planning 'The Great Confusion'
Waqar Riaz, Cheil Worldwide
Waqar Riaz

In recent posts I have discussed, how successful planning was for other industries (i.e. Pyramid of Djoser, Google ) and how it helped them in gaining a competitive advantage. However, unfortunately, today we are repeating the same mistakes, which were part of communications curriculum back in 1930s – we are not taking planning as seriously as we should. It’s time that we stop confusing our clients with a new name for Planning every day, and stick to the original ‘Planning’.

In its true essence, whatever we have discussed about planning from the point of views of various industries, are the fundamental standards of planning. Without a doubt, planning should deliver engagement, connections, values, research, creativity, innovation, disruption and a lot more.

However, every day we are trying to come up with a new form of planning. I fear a lot about the future of planning. It’s time for us to stop thinking of planning, as merely a selling tool, which sounds cool in pitch presentations, and take it as a subject which can bring us a whole new world of opportunities across all communication disciplines.

It’s time for us to look at planning from the eyes ofClausewitz, Imoteph, William Lever and Steve Jobs. And that is; designing business processes around the value of planning and not inserting parts of planning within individual business disciplines. Planning in its true form, must answer all the business challenges and therefore create a sustainable connection between people, organisations, markets and channels. Unfortunately, this is not what’s happening today and Figure below clearly shows how unkindly we have disabled the subject to work ineffectively.

Click to view full size

I will end this post with a classic example of disintegration by Stephen king and leave the rest for you to imagine.

In his essay ‘What is a Brand?’ King wrote; ‘Sharpening up on planning methods is going to be necessary too in improving a going brand or developing a new one. It can be like the sad parable of the man rich enough to have an entirely custom-made car. He decided that nothing but the best would do, so he went to the best people regardless of expense. He himself was very keen on spending up the M6, so he went to Jaguar for the engine.

King 1.jpg

He knew his wife would found parking a bit of problem, so Fiat seemed the best people to go for the chassis.

King 2.jpg

And he felt that Volvo could deal best with accommodating his three children, two retrievers, au pair girl and beagle in the back; so they did the bodywork.

king 3.jpg

The curious thing was that when the car was assembled, it never seemed to work very well. And when in the end he decided to sell it, he had quite a lot of trouble of finding a buyer at all’.

king 4.jpg

Subjects: Brands, Consumers, Advertising

18 February 2010 15:08

There are 1 comments on this blog

Agree. Important to clarify planning and what it does rather than to disaggregate it or muddy its meaning.
Simon F. 08 February 2011 at 5:17pm
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