Planners find things out. They find things out about people with the aim of creating better advertising. But as more and more people try to avoid advertising, something is amiss, and it is the strategist’s job to change that. The four planners who spoke at WARC’s Future of Strategy session in Cannes explored diverse facets of the discipline, and how these will develop.

As WARC’s Future of Strategy report outlines, the opportunities for planners going forward are beset with challenges. Financial pressure is mounting on a segment of the agency that has often struggled to charge for its services and expertise, pushing the discipline downstream. Many of the planners who responded to the survey argued that more and more of their clients are asking for tactical executions rather than big picture strategy. Again, the reason given was the tightening of budgets.