Planning @50: What is its future?

This article is part of a series of articles marking the 50th birthday of planning. Read more.

There is a sea of seismic change developing in the relationships between clients and the traditional communication agencies and, as a consequence, agency planning is finding itself in troubled waters. However, with adroit leadership, account planning has the potential to help steer a good course for all through these storms, but without it, equally runs the risk of being caught up rudderless in the currents.

So what is happening to make such a statement? Fundamentally, we are in a broadly low-growth environment and the pressure for brand owners to deliver the next quarter is relentless. While this in itself is not new, the advances of technology and digitisation have added a new element to this mix, bringing with it new possibilities. The consequence is that everything is up for questioning, including the role of agencies, their costs, and an assessment of their added value. Zero budgeting is back in vogue and client management now feel they need to make changes before they themselves become the change.