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Planningness: new marketing tools.


As you probably know, our recent Planningness session revolved around getting people to think about new tools for marketing. We were the penultimate session and, to be honest, were pretty worried that everyone was going to be completely exhausted. However in the end the energy was very high, and I walked away with a bunch of new ideas.

To get everyone started, we kicked off with a quick primer on modern branding just to get everyone’s heads on the same page:

It seemed to resonate and was a good recap of many of the themes that had been discussed over the last two days. After that, the real fun began. We started by brainstorming a list of all of the tools that aren’t relevant anymore.

tools of classic brands.001

It was a revealing list. Even more revealing was that we managed to fill a whiteboard in just 5 minutes.

Next, we broke the group into teams according to birth month and asked everyone to think about a new “tool” that could be used to replace the ones on the board.

In no particular order here were the ideas:

Max from Good and his team came up with the idea of a dual audit for companies. Things both customers and employees love and things they hate. The idea would be then to work on the things we hate in a transparent way and enlist our customers in helping. Here’s Max explaining:

Next up was a team inspired by a presentation on Alternative Reality Gaming from Ken Eklund. They came up with the idea of scenario planning a brand using an ARG framework. As we ran out of time I didn’t get to hear their presentation on this, I’d love more details if any of the people on this team are reading.


View more presentations from Zeus Jones.

Avin and his team came up with a really cool idea for breaking down monolithic research projects and briefs into micro-research and micro-briefs. This is research and briefing for an ongoing, iterative marketing model. The anti-campaign. (p.s. Avin, commenting on Posterous sucks – I logged in using FB connect and they still asked me to log in to Posterous)

Rob Perkins and his team came up with replacing the messaging model with the invention model. The goal of this is to create brand experiences that surprise and delight. I love this thought – again, because we ran out of time I we didn’t get to hear them present. If any of y’all are listening, stop by and tell us more.


View more documents from Zeus Jones.

Next up was a team that came up with the idea of using stories to present the belief. This one needs some voiceover I think so I won’t try to explain this. It’s very intriguing – can someone tell us more?

The always entertaining Jason Oke and his team came up with the idea of creating the anti-awards show. A show based on failure so that we can actually learn from it and move forwards rather than shovelling failure under the carpet and stepping away. I really like this idea. In a time when we’re really all trying to figure things out, our failures are way more instructive than our successes.

The November birthday group had a really nice idea about creating a repository of good, interaction-based marketing examples. I love this! We’re all always looking for case studies to put in our decks and always end up coming up with the same old examples. I think this is something we should start STAT on Mark, are you listening?

Next was an idea for a new kind of creative team. Agency structure came up a bunch in the brainstorm about tools that don’t work – it’s nice to see new thinking around this.


View more documents from Zeus Jones.

This next team had a really interesting idea around getting to the truth of a company’s culture by using technology. While some of the examples are a bit extreme, I really think there’s something to this thought. It’s a really nice application of social technologies pointed inwards at the company rather than outwards at the customer.

The June birthdays group came up with a really interesting looking dashboard for monitoring a brand’s health. It combines both internal and external inputs and could really do with some further explanation. Nien, care to jump in and elaborate? (Apologies for the smallness, that’s what I got given)

In a similar vein to the ARG group, the July group came up with the idea of role playing as a brand R&D tool. Again, I think this is a really interesting approach – it gets to a larger theme which is that truth is often revealed by doing rather than by thinking. I think this is a big insight that we’re all starting to come to terms with.

Last but not least was a group who proposed the idea that brands should act first and think later. Again this is another dimension of doing and then seeing what happens.

So what can we learn from all of this? I’ll be buggered if I know but the themes that stuck out for me were:

  1. We’re all pretty clear on the fact that many of the tools we use currently aren’t working
  2. We’re much more interested in dynamic processes than static tools
  3. We want our new tools to be social, to be participatory not just for individuals
  4. We’re looking for our tools to reveal complexity and depth rather than hide it with simple-mindedness
  5. We need tools to plan the company as much as we need tools to plan the customer
  6. We want to learn by doing rather than by thinking and strategizing

I find all of this extremely exciting and promising. I’ll post more on Planningness separately but I came away from this session really inspired and filled with a bunch of new ways to look at stuff. I have no doubt that this kind of thinking will continue to be sharpened and refined over the next few years and I’m looking forwards to the results.

These documents and the discussion around them are to be posted on the Planningness wiki soon. I hope to see you over there.

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