The Brand Strategist sets the communication strategy for advertising and communications campaigns. They establish the goals and objectives, target audience, message and tone in which the campaign should be delivered.
The role will define how a particular strategy can help a client add value to their business, and inspire creative teams to create communications and experiences to achieve this. They use research, trends and data on markets, consumers and culture to help them to do this.
An account planner may be involved with a number of clients and/or brands at the same time. It is important to develop a good understanding and identify specific business needs for each one.
An account planner’s duties may include:
- working with the client to establish their aims and objectives
- analysing existing data, market reports and trends
- developing, managing and analysing research projects
- working with colleagues to develop ideas for a campaign
- briefing the creative team, allowing them to create an effective and well-targeted proposition for the client
- presenting ideas and conclusions to the client
- organising and attending focus groups to do qualitative research
- monitoring the success of the campaign as it runs, suggesting changes and improvements where necessary
- analysing the results.
An account planner should:
- be creative and able to think around problems
- be a rigorous and logical thinker
- have strong presentation skills
- have good business skills
- have good written and spoken communication skills
- be able to work well as part of a team, with a range of people
- have a good memory for facts and figures
- have numerical ability
- have computer skills
- have stamina and drive
- be able to work to deadlines
- be persuasive and diplomatic
- be skilled at analysing and making use of research
- have good negotiating skills.
Strategic planners are logical, creative, inquisitive and intuitive.
For this role, you will need to:
- Always ask questions and look for new insights
- Be adept in lateral, analytical and strategic thinking
- Have experience in differentiating core advertising ideas from their executional treatments, and astute in assessing when these meet the brief and how they will influence behaviour
- Be proven to be capable of guiding and nurturing creative work that meets clients’ briefs
- Be highly numerate and able to understand, interpret and use complex and varied sources of data and statistics
- Have strong and persuasive communication skills, able to simplify research and strategic thinking
- Be fascinated by human behaviour, social trends, and how ideas influence people
- Be able to give and receive feedback that supports the development of the agency’s creative work and improves the effectiveness of advertising ideas
- Be knowledgeable about their client’s business and market, and where and how advertising contributes to its success
- Be focused on the personal and professional development of their team
- Work with clients to fully understand their business objectives, target markets and communications strategy
- Analyse and present findings from consumer, brand and market research to support the preparation of brand communication strategies and creative briefs
- Devise and lead qualitative research focus groups
- Commission and manage external research conducted on behalf of the agency
- Analyse and present data to demonstrate the effectiveness of campaigns
- Keep up-to-date with current and emerging market research trends and methodologies
- Maintain a detailed awareness of relevant market trends affecting their accounts, and developments in the wider advertising and communications industry
- Support the new business team and account directors when pitching for new business with existing and potential clients
- Manage the work, performance and professional development of team members