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Best of 2016: Planning

News, 30 December 2016
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Even before Accenture's recent purchase of Karmarama, the growing role of management consultants in supplying the sort of strategic help to companies and brands that might once have been the preserve of agency planners was a hot topic on Warc.

The most-read articles on the subject almost all came from a September issue of Admap which discussed the future of strategy, topped by a piece from editor Colin Grimshaw. In Strategy: Time for change, he argued that agencies need to develop a higher-level strategy function if they want to be seen as effective business partners rather than mere outsourced service suppliers.

The second most-read article, The future of strategy: Account planning's legacy, came from author Paul Feldwick, for many years a planner himself. He held fast to three basic principles for strategy: achieving real effectiveness, understanding consumers as people, and understanding how what we do influences them.

A report from a Warc event at Cannes looking at internal agency processes took the third spot. Why planners and creatives drifted apart - and how agencies can bring them together identified poor communication as an issue, and one that is exacerbated by large teams and the specificity of many roles.

Back with Admap, in the fourth most-read article, Strategy and technology: Why planners will move from a subjective approach to a more empirical, objective role, Mark Holden of PHD expected that advances in technology, such as AI, will mean future strategists will come in two different forms - strategic technologists and strategic advisors – and that the discipline will become much more business-centric.

In fifth place, echoing Feldwick, Jon Steel of WPP, in Last of the handloom weavers: Why planners need to focus on the fundamentals of human nature, said that while planners clearly have to work in the context of rapid technological and media change, they need to stay focused on the basics of human nature which have not changed.

Data sourced from Warc

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