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Best New Thinking Winner 2010

Integration Zone

I have planned on most communications media so have been forced to think through how planning contributes to the different disciplines and in particular how planning should be deployed to integrate the disciplines together. The summary of that can be found on the New Playing Field page adjacent to this one. But on this page I want to summarise how to bring the different areas together. If you don’t understand the playing field concept you will get rather lost so I would advise you to read it first!

Playing Field

I see the planner as the conceptual integrator within the agency team. And I’d be the first to say you can’t do it on your own.That’s why I would draw on advertising people in the area of brand promise to form a brand character/brand promise team – because they’re the strongest in this area.

That’s why I had a targeting team where I worked with the dataplanners and the media planners to make sure we were using the same audiences whatever activity we planned. The key is to play to the strengths of the disciplines using the team members as generalists as well as specialists.

I have also experimented with trying to get each member of the team to function as a specialist to produce proposals then as a generalist to critique the ideas so we got to best of breed.

This was my process when I had the entire team with me within the agency. I would have to use a different more simplified model if I was only combining a couple of disciplines or working with people in other agencies.

The Process

  1. The brand team define the brand proposition and articulate it in a form which is usable by all disciplines
  2. The targeting team: (planning, media and database) define the audience quantitatively and qualitatively. Also how to reach them! Establish how many are customers versus prospects
  3. The client gives us a brief for a communications task, with a budget and a clear communications objective
  4. The target group is agreed with the client and briefed to the account group
  5. The account group prepare proposals within their particular specialism to show:
    • how to achieve the client’s objective
    • how it will be consumed or used by the target at what stage
    • what proportion will be exposed to it
  6. Then in open session as generalists the team evaluates all the proposals voting on the elements to provide the strongest integrated campaign
  7. There will probably need to be some adjustment to ensure that the proposals integrate rather than duplicate.
  8. We then agree measures which will show how effectively we have achieved the objective
  9. We present proposals to the client
  10. At every stage of creative development and implementation the team keep considering the checklist. Will this work against the agreed target group and will it add value to their experience of the brand?

A couple of downloads for you:

(257K) Planning Integrated Communications- my presentation from the June 11th APG event


(241K) Planners Toolkit- a collection of schematics in use or under development based on 11 years working on integrated business. Have a go or call me if you need training in how to use it!




Designed by Matthew Pattman