How can Strategy and Planning work together for your brand?
Strategy. Planning. These two labels are used pretty interchangeably between just about every agency on the planet, so it can be confusing to understand what’s what. In this article, we wanted to give you a run-down of how our Strategy and Planning teams operate here at HOME and how the two can work together to help your brand.
We’re a little unusual in the agency world because we’ve separated out our Strategy and Planning functions. Why have we done that? One of the main reasons is that we’re a fully integrated agency and we need to make sure that our campaigns and work all hold together. Our Strategy and Planning teams operate very closely, but each have a slightly different perspective on solving our clients’ challenges.
Both teams have four areas of expertise, each working together to help define the strategy and resulting activity for your brand:
Strategy is all about making informed choices regarding the activities we undertake to achieve a long-term goal. At HOME, our Strategy team focus on working out what we need to do and setting the direction we’re going in.
Taking information and data from multiple sources to create actionable ‘aha!’ moments that will help us to make the right choices and focus in the right places.
Defining the long-term goal or vision for the business and choosing the right actions across the entire marketing mix that will help achieve this. Often this is about trouble shooting and approaching a business challenge with fresh eyes and creativity.
Defining the brand’s promise and consistent red thread that runs through everything they do. This is long term work to help brands achieve competitive advantage and grow by occupying a position in the market and in people’s minds.
Creating the concise direction and organising principle for all integrated campaign activity. Basically, this is where we will help to define the challenge the campaign needs to solve, and the human problems that sit behind that – using insight to create a compelling campaign direction that will hold it all together.
Meanwhile, Integrated Planning is about defining how the brand will show up, where and with what to achieve our strategy. At HOME, our Integrated Planning team bring customer first thinking rather than channel first thinking to the table. These campaigns have effectiveness at their heart and are created with ongoing testing and learning in mind.
Brand Experience Planning
Establishing how a brand currently shows up across the entire customer journey and then defining where and how the brand should show up to meet commercial and customer needs – turning this into a plan for the new brand experience.
Integrated Campaign Planning
Translating strategy and key insights to define the campaigns required to deliver the experience. Putting customer first thinking over channel first thinking to define the best activity required to meet the end goal.
Integrated Content Planning
Developing relevant messaging for multiple audiences across multiple channels and ensuring consistency of creative narrative across all touch points.
Ongoing Campaign Performance, Testing & Data Driven Ideas
Providing on going direction once activity is live – using data and insight to drive effectiveness by using a multi-channel view of ‘test, measure, refine’.
So, to put it simply, Strategy, whether that’s marketing, brand or campaign, is all about saying “we’re going this way, and this is the insight that tells us why”, while Planning then says “and this is how we do that”, creating integrated and actionable plans that join all activity together, ensuring it continues to optimise and improve once live.
Not sure where you need help or where your current plans fit into the above? No problem! We work together, bringing the right people in at the right times, to help you work through your challenges. You can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by:Sarah Wareham Insight & Strategy Director
Category:What we're doing
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