So if planning is a new business tool at all, I would argue that its the greatest contribution is indirect, by helping the agency assemble a more impressive portfolio of results for its existing clients. And contrary to what some agencies appear to believe, simply hiring a planning department does not automatically open the gates to a flood of new business. If only it were that easy.
There are some agencies who use planners extensively at the front end of the process to gather intelligence, and then exclude them from the rest of the process, except perhaps to conduct some research to prove that creative idea that seems to the client to be so off-target that it threatens his or her career is in fact enthusiastically endorsed by consumers and should run, “because the consumer opinion is the only one matters” (used alternately by agency people to prove their point and by clients to prove theirs. What both parties often mean is that “consumer opinion matters when it endorses my own.”) Occasionally this kind of rearguard action may be legitimate, but in general a campaign that is sold over the dead body of a dissenting client doesn’t have long to live itself. Using both consumer research and planners in this way is usually the fastest way to remove the trust that is the basis of the planner’s power.
In truth, there is only so much a planner or planners can do affect the outcome of their agency’s advertising in the absence of a number of factors that Stanley Pollitt regarded as essential to the successful delivery of planning’s promise to clients.
“First,” Pollit argued, “it means a total agency management commitment to getting the advertising content right at all costs. Getting it right being more important than maximizing agency profits, than keeping clients happy, or building an agency shop window for distinctive-looking advertising.
“It means a commitment and a belief that you can only make thoroughly professional judgments about advertising content with some early indication of consumer response”. If you got the advertising right, Pollitt reasoned, the rest would follow naturally. The client trusted the agency to do right thing, however long it took.
The second prerequesite for successful planning is that the agency commits the resources to allow planners to be more than temporary role players. If they are going to have the necessary command of all the data relevant to a particular piece of business and be able to conduct their own research besides, they cannot work on more business than an agency would expect of an account director.
Tomado de: Truth, Lies and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning de John Steel.