A ‘master of uncovering human truths’, Melbourne AdSchool lecturer Lily Tidy is an experienced strategic designer who draws on insight to connect user with brand. In her latest article for Comms Council, she says there are three key challenges affecting today’s strategic planners.

By Lily Tidy, Service Designer, CHE Proximity:

There have been a few big changes to strategic planning since I first started in the industry, particularly when it comes to cultural behaviours, our economic climate and how we interact with and use technology on a day-to-day basis.

These changes and evolutions have meant planners have a lot more to think about and consider when it comes to creating a strategy:

1. Data and research: We have more consumer and prospect data than we can shake a stick at. Ethnographic and qualitative research can now be turned around in as quickly as 7 days (Black Mirror research tool – https://blackmirror.com.au).

Quantitative analysis can be gathered online in a matter of minutes, and if not we can ask our data scientists (data scientist, can now be found in advertising agencies) to help us mine and crunch through the numbers to unearth the insights.

2. Channel usage and technology: Targeting and talking to the right customer has become a critical part of the creative brief. What was a creative concept in a print ad or TVC is now demonstrated across a variety of touch points, from eDMs, Instagram posts,15 second pre rolls and much more. As well as messaging variations across a range of different customers and audience segments.

3. Brand expectations: We (consumers) are not fooled by generic brand messages or hollow promises, and brands have to put their money where their mouth is. Brand campaigns are less about what you can say and more about what you can offer. Whether this is a jolly good time by providing pure entertainment (Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice); a genuine utility that helps the customer experience the world (New Cochlear campaign, part two of hearing test in disguise); or an experience that demonstrates the benefit of the product (Swann Insurance inconvenient store).

Lily Tidy is co-presenting (with Anuj Mehra) AdSchool Core Strategic Planning in Melbourne from March 20.