Google versus The Planner

Google versus The Planner
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

I work as head of strategy for a content marketing agency. My background is in brand and comms strategy. I’m a planner at heart. And I was asked recently what makes a good planner.

It’s an interesting question. For me, it’s not an understanding of research – although that helps. It’s not the ability to pull insights out of data – although again that’s useful. I think the starting point for any good planner is knowledge.

The mind is an amazing thing. As we grow and learn, we acquire knowledge, and we access that knowledge as and when we need it. What sets the planner apart, for me, is the ability to make connections between those pieces of knowledge. To be able to instantly understand and contextualise social and cultural references. It’s a real skill and one that’s difficult to teach – because it relies so strongly on being widely read, widely experienced, widely travelled, and being a bit of a multi-disciplinarian academically.

I’m making it sound rather high-falutin’, but it’s not, really.

Because to be a good planner you have to ‘get’ both high and low culture. Your record collection – if you still have one – should stretch from Girls Aloud to Verdi and stop off everywhere in between. You have to understand, and even try to enjoy, The Voice, not just bury your head in HBO box-sets. You have to have spent, and enjoyed, a long weekend in Bonnie Doon and not just spend your weekends doing boutique hotel city breaks.

In behavioural economics, the paradox of choice talks about two types of consumer – the maximiser and the satisficer.

The maximiser is the expert in a field – and purchases products that signal that expertise to others. She wears rare or vintage labels. She eats only at the newest, most hard-to-find restaurants, before they become big. She goes to far-flung places on holiday. Her product choices define her and set her apart from others. The aim is to outdo her peer group.

The satisficer on the other hand wants nothing more than to fit in. To avoid products that are rubbish, or products that make him look or feel foolish. For satisficers, good enough is good enough. They’re not using their purchase behaviour to compete, but to conform. The satisficer is likely to buy whatever record his friends are buying, shop at whatever clothes shop his friends are shopping in, and read whatever book his friends are reading. He’s motivated not by choice optimisation, but by risk aversion. And this is a) much more powerful and b) much more prevalent in society as a motivator.

Now, here’s the rub. Planners are likely to be maximisers – maximisers, after all, research their purchases to make the optimal decision. But if you’re to be a good planner, you have to, I think, even in your personal life, learn to appreciate satisficer goods. You have to widen your cultural and consumerist intake to include them and appreciate them. Most brands shouldn’t be built with the maximiser in mind, and yet we spend a lot of time looking for the differentiator, because we’re naturally maximisers ourselves.

I’m getting a little off topic, because I originally wanted to write here about Google’s Knowledge Graph.

It strikes me that Google’s knowledge graph is starting to encroach on the planner’s turf. Right now, it’s important that we’re able to retain lots of cultural and social knowledge and make quick connections between them in order to find the killer insights for creative to build on. But it’s relatively well documented that the internet is making us forget stuff, and now with knowledge graph, it not only retains knowledge for us, but allows us to both retrieve it easily and make intelligent connections between facts.

Now, it’s not perfect. But it’s getting better all the time. And if we’re not careful pretty soon an intern with a laptop and no experience of life whatsoever will be able to do what it previously took years of a life well lived and experienced to achieve. And that will really take the fun out of it all.

Richard Parker is head of strategy at Edge. 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners
  • Advertising

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners

The Advertising ID Consortium – the open identity solution for the digital advertising ecosystem – has announced new platform partners. Since the Consortium’s announcement in May 2017, the founding members have established a governance framework and product specification that includes an open and standardised cookie and accessible people-based identifiers, delivered in a secure, privacy conscious […]

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand
  • Marketing

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand

Australian in-store music provider Marketing Melodies has announced an exclusive reseller agreement with Spotify-backed Soundtrack Your Brand for the Australia and New Zealand markets. Founded in Sweden in 2013, Soundtrack Your Brand was developed to kill bad background music. Its flagship solution, Soundtrack Business, is a music streaming platform licensed for commercial and public spaces. The […]

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia

Customer acquisition firm Social Garden has become the first business in Australia to achieve Bronze status on Snapchat. Among the new benefits Social Garden will receive as a result of its Bronze status is access to beta versions of Snapchat data tools, such as the Snapchat Conversion Pixel, as well as being among the first […]

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM
  • Marketing

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM

Influencer marketing player Hypetap has made its second senior hire in less than a month, appointing Chris Morfis as the company’s general manager. Joining from influencer marketing provider Nuffnang Australia, Morfis will guide Hypetap’s growing team, providing strategic direction to accelerate the company’s growth, as well as leading operations and managing relationships with key partners. Morfis’ appointment will […]

On Air sign in a studio broadcasting via radio, podcast or wireless transmission.
  • Media

ARN Announces Departure Of Content Director & Radio Veteran

Australian Radio Network (ARN) has announced that Charlie Fox, content Director for WSFM and The Edge, and WSFM morning announcer Ron E Sparks, have departed. Fox has been with ARN since 2005, and Sparks joined WSFM in 2002. ARN national content director Duncan Campbell said the departure of Fox and Sparks are part of the […]

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne
  • Media

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne

OMD unveils new Melbourne MD, and it certainly wasn't among any of B&T's picks. Not that we were picking, mind you.

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content
  • Media

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content

Video cloud service Brightcove has announced that Sydney Festival has selected the platform to improve its user experience through online video content. Brightcove will do so by removing third-party branding and pre-roll ads, as well as adding autoplay functionality, ahead of the event in January. Leveraging the Brightcove video platform to host and publish video […]

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

Remember the old Palmolive soap ad that asked, "Don't wait to be told"? This is sort of similar, albeit sans any suds.

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]