Planning Like It's 1999

I don't know about y'all, but I've been swamped lately. Lots of new business requiring attention; plans that need to be delivered the day before you ever got the call requesting them; sales calls from reps I've not heard from in years.

I don't want to be seen as complaining (not too much). It all bodes well and is a sure sign that things are picking up.

Though some comments borne of that article were from people who weren't seeing the same signs of recovery I pointed out, for the most part, folks sniffing about the trenches agreed.

Now, all problems associated with this recent uptick in the business are success problems and I for one am glad to have them.

But what this means is that we are back to planning like it is 1999.

What I mean by this is that I've spent 50% of my time developing rationale and strategic positioning for online media concepts that are only necessary when dealing with clients for whom online media is a new idea. We are all going back to school to educate the client on ways and means of online advertising.



This is in part a good thing, because it helps those of us who think we know what we know to be sure we know what we know. In some instances, it is like teaching pre-schoolers how to tie their shoes. So much time has passed since having learned how to perform this task, you take for granted the fact that this knowledge is not innate. By re-familiarizing myself with the basics of online media planning and buying in order to explain it to a new client, I come to the process with a new perspective, one that sees simple processes as sublimely complex and appreciates them as one would the design of a sand dollar. It also has given me the chance to look at these tasks in light of larger business and marketing contexts. By stripping down a process whose inner-workings have been operating on an almost instinctual level, one comes to appreciate their impact on the bigger picture. And this enables me to make clearer statements to the client about what we are trying to, meant to, and going to achieve.

This, for one reason or another, allays their fear. And that makes everyone happy.

Going through the education process also forces us to be up to date with what's going on with all the research providers and technologies that are still in operation. Just what are ad servers capable of these days? How do SuiteSmart or Insight Express compare and contrast with Dynamic Logic? Is reach and frequency still a mess, or is there something that actually works now? Assumptions one has that reside in the recesses of past experiences have to be challenged.

Nietzsche once called instinctualizing learned behavior "sich einverleiben," or "to incorporate into oneself." When you are good at what you do and you do it a lot, you sometimes forget that it isn't instinct but practice that has resulted in you being the one to teach the client what they should know. Never hurts to go back to the basics because it makes you a better teacher. And that makes for a better client. And that is good for everyone.

Next story loading loading..