Amita Major
Guest Article

Integrated planning is dead, long live integrated planning

If the consumer hasn't changed, what has?

Today’s consumer is not a digital consumer or a mainline consumer. So what is a mainline agency or a digital agency?

The consumer is not an ‘Integrated’ consumer.

So what is Integrated Planning?

Let's go back to the basics.

The fundamental raison d’etre of an agency is this - create compelling work that drives consumers to act in favour of a brand or product.

Planning (in agency parlance) is the practice of finding the intersection between the product, the brand, and the consumer, to arrive at an insight, a trigger, if you will, that will connect with the consumer.

In this great divide between mainline and digital, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the consumer.

So what's changed?

Where to find the consumer, has changed.

What he is doing in this new location, has changed.

How to make the consumer act, has changed.

Part of a planner’s duties are to guide the creative team on the various touchpoints to reach the consumer at.

In an analog world, these touchpoints used to be newspapers, magazines and TV.

In today’s world, it is print, TV, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Malls, Events, Cinema Halls, Technology and more.

Sure, some things have changed.

A planner’s landscape has changed.

A creative person’s output has changed - from a manifesto and script to various creatives for a different media landscape.

But the fundamentals of doing work that works, has not changed.

It’s just that we, as humans, dislike change. There's no integration anymore. The consumer is one. Media has changed.

Till then, 'Integrated' planners have to continue to educate and guide, all the while hoping that agencies are willing to change, to catch up with the consumer.

(The author is head of strategy at Hungama Digital Services. Material reproduced with permission, from the author's blog on LinkedIn dated February 26, 2020)

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