I’m going to stick my neck out. Brand owners and strategists can turn complexity into advantage by putting consumer journey or, probably more accurately, consumer experience planning at the very heart of their model.
This represents a new model for making brands coherent. A key measure of change in our industry has been the pivot from ‘the big idea’ to the consumer journey. Ideas big and small remain of paramount importance, but the nature of strategic planning has undergone a tectonic shift. This became really clear to me while working on a recent multi-agency project focused on demonstrating ‘transformation’ to a client. In the recent past, this project would have been led by account planners from the creative teams. On this occasion, it was led by media planners, powered by a synthesis of data sources and delivering an experience brief for content, media and technology. The project was a hit with clients and all the agency teams as well. A new way of working was born.
- Consumer journey thinking makes for happier and more united cross-agency teams. This works best if the creative teams are involved in the exercise and receive a brief that puts their work in the journey context. No more reductive creative briefs designed for a TV ad with everything else to follow. Write a new brief that connects a series of experiences.
- Agreeing on a shared consumer journey model that genuinely covers the totality of experience from consumer to customer, short and long term, makes a massive difference. Also, recognise the difference between a campaign journey, series of events over a short horizon and a strategic view of a brand’s journey health over time.
- Prepare effectively by data storming with client-side stakeholders and agency partners. Leave no stone unturned, as often a thorough inventory of existing data means that new research initiatives can be avoided and the project speeded up.
The full article is available to Warc subscribers: https://www.warc.com/Security/Paywall/content/112288
Written by Sean Healy, Global Head of Communications Planning