BEST OF 2017: The influence of the agency planner is increasing rather than decreasing was a headline finding of the Future of Strategy Report: WARC’s most-read article of 2017.

The Future of Strategy Report was based on a global WARC survey of senior agency planners, covering the current state of the strategic discipline, future opportunities and challenges, and guidance on building the planning team of the future.

While the planning role is fragmenting, the study advised that the big future opportunity for strategists is in moving ‘upstream’ to help clients solve business problems rather than only focusing on ads – a development that pitches them more directly against the consultancies that are moving in the opposite direction.

In second place was Carat’s top ten trends for 2017, Dan Calladine’s start-of-the-year look at the trends and technologies set to become more important and relevant to marketers in the year ahead; for 2017 he highlighted live video, VR and AR, web TV and chatbots. His 2018 trends will be published on WARC early in the new year.

An article taken from WARC’s Toolkit 2017 report was in third place: ROI in 2017: Effectiveness in the digital age discussed how to strike the right balance between close targeting and mass reach, and between short- and long-term strategies, warning that brands are overinvesting in short-term ‘activation’ media.

A module of WARC’s Strategy Toolkit, created in association with The Effectiveness Partnership to help junior planners develop their skills as strategic thinkers, was in fourth place.

Strategy Toolkit: How marketing works gives an overview of how marketing drives business performance, the theories of buyer behaviour, the ways that marketing can influence that behaviour and how advertising works.

Finally, WARC’s analysis of the biennial IPA Effectiveness Awards, 2016 IPA Effectiveness Awards: Insights from the winning campaigns, reported that TV-led campaigns are still very successful at generating ROI for a brand campaign.

Sourced from WARC