Integrated Planning

draperDonald Draper had it easy. It used to be that you’d produce a TV spot, spin out a few print ads, buy some media and be done with it.

Today, planning is exponentially more complicated, requiring marketing strategists to be Jacks (or Jills) of all trades. It’s all about integrated planning and medium independent ideas. The options for reaching your audience are truly endless – TV, newsprint, radio, out of home, experiential, merchandising, SEO, SEM, CRM, social media, traditional online advertising – the list goes on. And the lines between mediums, devices and channels have blurred and criss crossed. On the surface everything has changed.

But in another way nothing has changed. We still need to dig deep and learn our client’s business. Root ourselves in business objectives – be driven by them and measured by them.  Figure out who the audience really is, along with the best way to reach them with a message that matters. Most of all we need to bring clarity, focus and purpose to our client’s marketing.

Sure, the changes in mediums have only increased the pressure to execute quickly, be nimble and innovative. But these are opportunities for better strategic and integrated planning, not excuses to bypass the process. It can be tempting to try out the new shiny toys in our arsenal, but doing so without a solid business reason is folly. As I’ve been taught – Start at the beginning. Trust the process. You’ll end up in the right place.

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