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STRATEGY FOR ACCOUNT MANAGERS. Developing and Honing Your Strategic Skills. Presented for the 4A ’ s, 11/17/11, by Robin D. Hafitz, CEO Open Mind Strategy. Welcome. Me: An Introduction. My company:

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strategy for account managers

STRATEGY FOR ACCOUNT MANAGERS

Developing and Honing Your Strategic Skills

Presented for the 4A’s, 11/17/11, by Robin D. Hafitz, CEO Open Mind Strategy

me an introduction
Me: An Introduction
  • My company:
    • Insight services – innovative research, facilitation, and consulting services to help clients solve strategic problems
    • Pitch Doctoring (100% win rate this year)
    • Media brand strategy (AMC, Syfy, Food Network, USA TODAY, Amazon Kindle… USA: Characters Welcome)
  • My background:
    • Account Planning (an early American in what was once a British-dominated field)
    • Chiat/Day, etc.
    • Mad Dogs & Englishmen (Co-chair)
    • Eatbigfish (Partner/practitioner)
    • KBP (CSO)
  • My strategic philosophy:
    • Jujitsu strategy
    • Strategic alignment
    • Play to learn
slide7

It’s Not Fair

“Creatives”

AccountManagers

Planners

slide8

Let’s Change It!

Creatives

Responsibles

Intelligents

slide9

Being “Strategic” Is a Frame of Mind

Creatives

Responsibles

Intelligents

What?

When?

Why?

brand brand n me torch sword to burn
brand\brand\n [ME, torch, sword, ..to burn]

1. A charred piece of wood

2. Sword

3. A mark made by burning with a hot iron to attest manufacture or quality or to designate ownership4. A mark put on a criminal with a hot iron, a mark of disgrace

5. A class of goods identified by name as the product or a single firm or manufacturer: MAKE

1. To mark with a brand

2. To mark with disapproval

3. To impress indelibly

In marketing, a trademark that “stands for something”

strategy n gk fr stratos army agein to lead
strategy\n [Gk, fr. Stratos army+ agein to lead]

1. The science and art of military command aimed at meeting the enemy under conditions advantageous to one’s own force

2. A careful plan for achieving an end

In marketing, often the word or phrase that encapsulates the message of the advertising/communications effort

what s the point
WHAT’S THE POINT?

“Advertising helps turn products into brands; and, in turn, brands build a company’s value, sustain higher market share and higher margins, and provide a powerful barrier to competitive entry.”

Jon Steel, Truth, Lies, and Advertising

a useful strategic concept the usp
A USEFUL STRATEGIC CONCEPT: THE USP

“In the 1940’s and 1950’s, Ted Bates Worldwide promoted one of the industry’s most enduring theories, the Unique Selling Proposition. According to the USP approach, one factor alone determined the success of an ad campaign: the memorability of a single message.”

Rothenberg , Where the Suckers Moon, 1994

a useful challenge brand personality
A USEFUL CHALLENGE: BRAND PERSONALITY

“David Ogilvy... promoted a theory of brand personality, arguing that the association of a company or product with consistent and appealing images, ‘rather than any trivial product difference,’ could thread into the woof of the consumer’s psyche.”

Rothenberg

a humbling thought
A HUMBLING THOUGHT

“In 1923 an American advertising agent, Claude Hopkins, wrote ads. They were press ads because TV had not been invented. They were in black and white because color printing had not been invented.. They were about products, because the concept of brands had not been invented. Claude predicted, ‘We now know 90% of how advertising works, and very soon we shall know the other 10%.’”

Mike Hall, Hall & Partners, 1998

slide21

Strategy Words...ObjectiveVisionMissionBrand

PositioningPropositionStrategyBriefMessageExecutionTactic

the business objective
The Business Objective

THE STRATEGIC PROCESS

Execution

The Communications Strategy

The Creative Idea

The Communications Objective

slide23

Execution

The Communications Strategy

The Creative Idea

The Communications Objective

The Business Objective

How will we make more money?

slide24

Execution

The Communications Strategy

The Creative Idea

The Communications Objective

The Business Objective

What must our campaign do to achieve our business strategy?

slide25

Execution

The Communications Strategy

The Creative Idea

The Communications Objective

The Business Objective

What message do we want to convey to achieve our objective?

slide26

Execution

The Communications Strategy

The Creative Idea

The Communications Objective

The Business Objective

What’s a powerful way to communicate our message?

slide27

Execution

The Communications Strategy

The Creative Idea

The Communications Objective

The Business Objective

How do we express our creative idea in different media?

slide28

Execution

The Communications Strategy

The Creative Idea

The Communications Objective

The Business Objective

How do we express our creative idea in different media?

What must our campaign do to achieve our business strategy?

How will we make more money?

What’s a powerful way to communicate our message?

What message do we want to convey to achieve our objective?

slide29

Execution

The Communications Strategy

The Creative Idea

The Communications Objective

The Business Objective

How do we express our creative idea in different media?

What must our campaign do to achieve our business strategy?

How will we make more money?

What’s a powerful way to communicate our message?

What message do we want to convey to achieve our objective?

de-position “the real thing” as the old thing

“choice of a new generation”

steal market share from Coke

the younger alternative

“pop star anthems”

how the client may think about it
HOW THE CLIENT MAY THINK ABOUT IT

COMPANY

Vision

Mission

Positioning

Proposition

Tactics

(including communications)

COMMUNICATIONS

Objective

Strategy

Brief

“Big Idea”

slide37

Execution

The Communications Strategy

The Creative Idea

The Communications Objective

The Business Objective

How do we express our creative idea in different media?

What must our campaign do to achieve our business strategy?

How will we make more money?

What’s a powerful way to communicate our message?

What message do we want to convey to achieve our objective?

<---------------The Brief Zone---------------->

slide39

“A brief is a focused point of view on what the communications need to do.”

- client

a good brief is kindling it starts a spark
A good brief is kindling. It starts a spark.

Nick Cohen, Founder Mad Dogs & Englishmen

(creative)

what should the communication be about

What it comes down to:

“What should the communication be about?”

Apple 1984: Radical ease of use

Snapple: All-natural marketing

Zappos: Delivering happiness

slide42

DIGITAL vs. “GENERAL” STRATEGY BRIEFS

“General”

Focused on perceptions

Often a “story”

One-to-many (less personal)

More “art”

Television is the model

Tends to be “big picture”

“Digital”

Focused on actions

Often a “roadmap”

One-to-one (less cultural)

More “science”

Direct is the model

Tends to be granular

brief formats vary
Brief Formats Vary

Triangles...

Ladders...

Charts...

Documents...

Before and after descriptions (or not)

Cultural factors (or not)

Thoughtstarters (or not)

brand models vary hall partners
Brand Models Vary(Hall+Partners)

Persuasion

Involvement

Salience

Promotion

slide45

WHATEVER THE FORMAT...

Good briefs:

Pick a lane

Express the decision clearly

Spark creativity rather than dampen it

Are (fairly) brief

Take on board the individual – and social – aspects of brand connections

Get people moving

slide46

A “standard” creative brief...

What are we trying to do?

Who are we talking to and what should we know about them?

3. What’s the main idea?

4. Why should they believe this?

5. What tone of voice should the advertising have?

6. What practical considerations are there?

what s wrong with most client briefs
What’s wrong with most client briefs?

They often answer none of these questions, really...

And instead, offer a claim

slide49

A Claim

An Idea

  • cleans dirt
  • dirt is good
slide50

A Claim

An Idea

  • moisturizes your skin
  • enhances your femininity
slide51

A Claim

  • The ION is a reliable car with
  • low cost of ownership
slide52

An idea

  • The ION is the goldfish of cars.
exceeding customer expectations1

An idea

“Exceeding customer expectations.”

What if the only way to go was the high road?

slide56

What’s wrong with most briefs?

“Simplify, simplify.”

— Thoreau

the killer objective what do we want the work to make happen
The Killer Objective – What do we want the work to make happen?

I want to join that club.

Tell me more.

That reminds me…

Wow. That’s surprising.

I want to tell my friends.

I knew I was right.

I should do that thing.

What Type Of Response Do We Want?

slide68

Smirnoff Target Audience

“Young spirit drinkers. Aged just over drinking age, they are just

beginning to experience the adult world properly. They

have a desperate need to experience everything from sex to

rebellion to feeling out of control. This is why alcohol is so

important to them. They use it to help them lose their

inhibitions and break out of their ordinary mundane world.

They also use brands. They like to display brands which send

the right signals about how they want to be perceived. These

brands respect them and do not patronize them.”

slide69

Who are we talking to?

Some useful/unuseful models

Aspirational target

Bullseye

Influencers

Early adopters

Segments

Users/Non-users of the brand/product

Media users

it s what all the fuss is about
It’s what all the fuss is about.
  • This is the “promise” of your brief.
    • Gets lots of attention.
    • Becomes your brief over time.
  • Write loads of them.
  • Do not surrender to jargon!
  • Make it single minded.
getting to an idea strategic alignment

TARGET

REALITY

MARKETPLACE

REALITY

BRAND

REALITY

GETTING TO AN IDEA: STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT

Strategic Sweet Spot

getting to an idea strategy as sweet spot

TARGET

REALITY

MARKETPLACE

REALITY

Want the best in everything, but have a sense of humor about life

Gummi bear knock off’s everywhere

BRAND

REALITY

The first branded Gummi bear

GETTING TO AN IDEA: STRATEGY AS “SWEET SPOT”

The finest Gummi bears on earth

getting to an idea strategy as sweet spot1

TARGET

REALITY

MARKETPLACE

REALITY

Snowboarders – think skiers are wimps

All bright colors and jumps

BRAND

REALITY

Made in NY

GETTING TO AN IDEA: STRATEGY AS “SWEET SPOT”

Tough Clothing

slide78

Tonality matters

  • Comcast: “Likable, enthusiastic, progressive, and confident.”
  • Emerald Nuts: “Funny, just weird enough to scare your gramma.”
slide79

Please...

  • Don’t wuss out.
  • Be specific.
  • Avoid the “safety of opposing pairs.”
slide81

Logic check

If we say that about our brand (main idea) to that person (audience), will they be

more likely to do what we want (why are we advertising)?

Be honest.

slide87

Support for your main idea is often the source of inspiration for the creative idea.

slide90

?

Product

People

Company

slide91

?

Whattaya Got?

Product

People

Company

How much do people want it?

Why use it (Rational, Emotional benefit)?

Why not?

What’s the world like without it?

slide92

?

Product

People

Company

Who are they?

Who aren’t they?

Beautiful

Fanatical

Real

Expert

slide93

?

Product

People

Company

Our culture

Our heritage

Our values

We understand you

Obsessed (with quality, freshness, fish, etc…)

slide94

A Few More Ways In...

Pick An Enemy

Use The Product

Read, Read, And Re-Read Research

OR…

the pitch
THE PITCH

“Clients don’t buy ads. They choose teams. They subscribe to belief systems.”

the 6 questions that the pitch
The 6 Questions That = The Pitch

(Clients don’t buy ads, they buy belief systems)

What’s going on?

Where do we fit?

Who are we talking to?

What can we say to them?

Why would they care?

What are we going to say and where?

slide117

A Few Words About Research Data

“Those who cast the votes decide nothing; those who count the votes decide everything." 

significance importance
SIGNIFICANCE ≠ IMPORTANCE
  • What is significant is not necessarily MEANINGFUL.

What is meaningful is not necessarily SIGNIFICANT.

margin of error
MARGIN OF ERROR
  • Translation: Based on the laws of statistics, there is a 95 % chance that if you interviewed every single person in the United States who was 18+, the percentage of Americans who would actually prefer Coke over Pepsi would be between 54.9% and 61.1%.

58% of adults in the U.S. prefer Coke over

Pepsi, plus or minus a margin or error of

3.1% at the 95% confidence interval

ad