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Planningness: new marketing tools.

October 22nd, 2009
By: adrian

IMG 1973 1024x768 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 1024x578 Planningness: new marketing tools.

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.

Arg

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.

Workshop

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 planningness.com. 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.

Tool

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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/avin.narasimhan Avin Narasimhan

    awesome recap man. and yeah, i’ve had issues with posterous commenting as well. always in beta right? try it then fix what’s broken :-)

    thanks to you and Rob for the great session. now the hard(er) part– starting to implement these tools (internally and with clients).

    looking forward to the next planningness (whatever form it might take)

  • http://www.facebook.com/akispicer Aki Spicer

    these are hot. i love those FAIL AWARDS…i could upload a few submissions. but agreed, its the learn that matters more than the dubious successes.

  • http://www.robbeeson.com/ Rob Beeson

    In regards to the ARG, we were going for a very simple ARG co-op game that put employees and consumers in “what if” brand situations. (Such as competing product coming to market)

    The execution of this ideas is absolutely limitless. By leveling the playing field, people are more encouraged to work with others and listen.

    Its pretty pie in the sky until some one goes and tries it. But maybe it would be a great first entry into the Epic Fail Awards or the next Titanium Award

  • http://www.facebook.com/avin.narasimhan Avin Narasimhan

    awesome recap man. and yeah, i've had issues with posterous commenting as well. always in beta right? try it then fix what's broken :-)

    thanks to you and Rob for the great session. now the hard(er) part– starting to implement these tools (internally and with clients).

    looking forward to the next planningness (whatever form it might take)

  • http://www.facebook.com/akispicer Aki Spicer

    these are hot. i love those FAIL AWARDS…i could upload a few submissions. but agreed, its the learn that matters more than the dubious successes.

  • http://www.robbeeson.com/ Rob Beeson

    In regards to the ARG, we were going for a very simple ARG co-op game that put employees and consumers in “what if” brand situations. (Such as competing product coming to market)

    The execution of this ideas is absolutely limitless. By leveling the playing field, people are more encouraged to work with others and listen.

    Its pretty pie in the sky until some one goes and tries it. But maybe it would be a great first entry into the Epic Fail Awards or the next Titanium Award

    • http://zeusjones.millcitytheory.com/blog adrianho

      What I really love about this idea is the notion of simulations as way to think about brand management. As Ken said, the value of World without oil was to prepare us for everything that could happen. I think this is very applicable to branding, the challenge is to define who participates and how. I agree it could be a Titanium.

  • Anonymous

    This is really great and pretty impressive for what was it – half an hour the teams had? Planners are doers after all.

    Thanks for posting it all Adrian. Looking forward to Planning-ness 2010.

  • TimGregory

    This is really great and pretty impressive for what was it – half an hour the teams had? Planners are doers after all.

    Thanks for posting it all Adrian. Looking forward to Planning-ness 2010.

  • http://Blommit.com Joey Camire

    Cool article, and even cooler ‘salon-esque’ convergence of brilliant minds. However, I think that initial list of irrelevant tools threw the baby out with the bathwater. Of course some are totally irrelevant, but others are only irrelevant in the way that they are used not as tools in and of themselves. A hammer will always work great for pounding in nails, but it doesn’t necessarily do a great job acting as the support beam itself. Very eastern philosophy sounding, but the point is to use tools as tools, nothing more nothing less. Hopefully that doesn’t make me sound like an ‘internet troll’. Like I said, very cool sounding conference overall.

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  • JoeyCamire

    Cool article, and even cooler 'salon-esque' convergence of brilliant minds. However, I think that initial list of irrelevant tools threw the baby out with the bathwater. Of course some are totally irrelevant, but others are only irrelevant in the way that they are used not as tools in and of themselves. A hammer will always work great for pounding in nails, but it doesn't necessarily do a great job acting as the support beam itself. Very eastern philosophy sounding, but the point is to use tools as tools, nothing more nothing less. Hopefully that doesn't make me sound like an 'internet troll'. Like I said, very cool sounding conference overall.

  • http://twitter.com/congbo helge tennø

    Some really interesting stuff here Adrian, a good summary.

    Even if I did not have the opportunity to go to Planningnes myself, I wanted to ad a thought to the flow of information. So, in the spirit of one of your previous posts I decided to publish one of our own models on my blog a few weeks back. It might be valuable in the context of this post?

    A short description:
    “The main idea is to break down the scenario into activities, and then break these activities into actions and these actions down into operations. This gives a wonderfully detailed view of the scenario as it plays out and gives us the ability to identify the opportunity for digital services”

    Nish gave this comment to the model:
    “This definitely helps open a more constructive discussion and an opportunity to dig deeper into the different scenarios to find better insights. If this was used prior to creative brief development I can only imagine how much stronger the briefs could be.”

    link:
    http://www.180360720.no/index.php/archive/a-tool-for-new-marketing/

    Hope this is interesting :o)

    Best
    Helge

  • http://twitter.com/congbo helge tennø

    Some really interesting stuff here Adrian, a good summary.

    Even if I did not have the opportunity to go to Planningnes myself, I wanted to ad a thought to the flow of information. So, in the spirit of one of your previous posts I decided to publish one of our own models on my blog a few weeks back. It might be valuable in the context of this post?

    A short description:
    “The main idea is to break down the scenario into activities, and then break these activities into actions and these actions down into operations. This gives a wonderfully detailed view of the scenario as it plays out and gives us the ability to identify the opportunity for digital services”

    Nish gave this comment to the model:
    “This definitely helps open a more constructive discussion and an opportunity to dig deeper into the different scenarios to find better insights. If this was used prior to creative brief development I can only imagine how much stronger the briefs could be.”

    link:
    http://www.180360720.no/index.php/archive/a-too

    Hope this is interesting :o)

    Best
    Helge

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  • http://posterous.com Garry Tan

    Would love to follow up on your commenting issues. Let me know what site you were trying to comment on. Thanks.

    garry@posterous.com

    -Garry, cofounder, posterous.com

  • http://posterous.com Garry Tan

    Would love to follow up on your commenting issues. Let me know what site you were trying to comment on. Thanks.

    garry@posterous.com

    -Garry, cofounder, posterous.com

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  • http://zeusjones.com/blog adrianho

    What I really love about this idea is the notion of simulations as way to think about brand management. As Ken said, the value of World without oil was to prepare us for everything that could happen. I think this is very applicable to branding, the challenge is to define who participates and how. I agree it could be a Titanium.