The changing role of planners: Insights from FedEx

Stephen Whiteside

Agencies rarely tire of telling clients to become more customer-centric, but may benefit from heeding their own advice as budgets decline, competition rises and digital media usage explodes.

Laurie Tucker, svp/ corporate marketing at FedEx, made such a case at the 4A's Strategy Festival, held in Nashville during October 2013. "Really, the question is what makes you all great from the client-side and what's the real value that you deliver on behalf of clients," she said. "It is certainly not a time where we're spending a whole lot time thinking about walking in your shoes; we're too busy worrying about our own future to worry about what we're doing to you."

Speaking to a planner-led audience, Tucker outlined several challenges facing brands and agencies alike, and discussed the ways strategists might respond. "All good marketers have to listen to their customers," she informed the conference delegates.

Justifying budgets