There is a line in the book, Truth, Lies, and Advertising—The Art of Account Planning, that quotes Bill Bernbach. He says, “We are so busy measuring public opinion that we forget we can mold it. We are so busy listening to statistics, we forget that we can create them.” I got the book from my good friend and colleague, Scott Mylin. I think about this when I work on plans and how my approach has evolved over the years.
As the Director of Account Services at Swim Creative, I am responsible for the writing—or the supervision of writing—strategic plans.
Before you get excited or run for the hills, let’s get one thing straight: I am not a marketing strategic plan writing genius. I actually spent much of my career on the creative side of things.
Along the way, strategy became more important to me. As it did, plans started getting more and more complicated. Maybe it was the allure of being a marketing scientist. Or maybe I was trying to impress people. No matter the cause, I found that marketing plans were starting to get big and hairy.
So I simplified them.
And guess what? They were easier to understand, easier to execute against and easier to measure—while still being an effective tool to guide the marketing process. Part of Swim’s promise is to get to ideas faster.
So for us and our clients, simple and effective plans are a good thing.
Keep your answers short. Keep the plan crisp, useful, and easy to use. This way you can avoid analysis paralysis. Get it done, and get to work.
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