Monday 26 September 2022

Talking enduring brand strategy with Fabio Buresti, Course Co-Chair, IPA Strategic Planning

IPA Strategic Planning kicks off in Melbourne on October 9 – a three-day residential course for advertising and marketing professionals who want a deeper understanding of brand strategy that drives business growth. In this short Q&A, course Co-Chair and The Monkeys Partner/Chief Strategy Officer Fabio Buresti outlines why it’s time to revisit a craft that has been challenged by short-term sales and marketing strategies over the last few years.

What does this course offer that other strategic planning courses don’t?

It’s probably the most advanced strategy course in market, providing a very-hands on approach to engineering strategy that endures beyond a single idea. I’ve been part of other courses before, but they’re all very theoretical. We want everyone who attends to have the tools to effectively develop long-term strategy themselves based on best practice, taught by industry leaders who live and breathe it every day.

Why is enduring brand strategy the focus of this course?

Over the last few years, enduring brand strategy has been challenged like never before, usurped by short-term sales thinking, tactical marketing strategies, and whatever businesses thought they had to do to survive. 

Crucially, the most important skill in our industry is maintaining a long-term narrative for a brand and maintaining a relationship with the client throughout that process, even when the CMO changes. Crafting an enduring strategy is key to both of those things. Without a doubt, it is the hardest thing to do as things change all the time, therefore having a good understanding of how to keep a brand on track is a hugely valuable skill.

Why did you choose this particular line-up of speakers? What do you hope to achieve/demonstrate through the topics covered?

The industry often laments the fact that there aren’t enough big, enduring ideas in market. Being able to craft an enduring brand strategy is fundamental to that and critically, it’s not just one person’s job. It’s the job of everyone in the agency to understand the craft and be part of that journey.

That’s why we’ve chosen a lineup of speakers from different disciplines, including leading creatives like Ant Keogh, data strategists like Vipul Hiray, C-Suite strategists like Chrissy Blackburn, and planning directors like Eloise Liley. They’re not only the best at what they do, but they live and breathe the craft of creating brand strategies and narratives for clients and campaigns that stand the test of time, winning effectiveness awards for their efforts. They bring a range of perspectives to learn and take from.

What insights will course delegates gain from you and Alison Tilling (VMLY&R AU-NZ Chief Strategy Officer) as Co-Chairs – two of the industry’s leading strategists?

Ali is more analytical than I am. And she operates in a very different world to me, working for a big creative agency, whereas I work in a new kind of model, a hybrid consultancy and creative agency. I think it’s good for course delegates to get both of our perspectives, looking at strategy from the view of a consultancy and a traditional agency. There’s a huge opportunity to get an understanding of the different challenges we face in keeping an enduring strategy alive.

Measuring effectiveness is a key element of this course. As one of the most effective Effies writers in ‘Oz, what are your tips for a) successfully measuring effectiveness and b) writing an effective Effies paper?

Hugh Munro and Brigitte Bayard will be talking about measuring effectiveness as part of the course, so I’ll leave it to them to elaborate on that, but in terms of writing a winning effectiveness or Effies paper, you just need to approach it with a winning mindset and absolute dedication, giving it as much time as possible. Craft the absolute hell out of it. Near enough is not good enough. You’ve got to keep pushing. The quality of what you submit every year needs to be better. That’s the mindset we work to at The Monkeys.

Does this course touch on how to write a winning Effies paper?

Yes, because demonstrating effectiveness is part and parcel of crafting an enduring brand strategy. If you can’t go back and prove the effectiveness of your long-term thinking, then you’re stuffed. It’s a really big piece of the puzzle. Last year’s Effies Grand Prix for NRMA Insurance led by Brent Smart is a really good example for the industry because it clearly demonstrates the business-wide impact of enduring brand strategy and creativity. 

Places at IPA Strategic Planning in October are limited to ensure highly interactive sessions with course chairs and speakers. Be sure to book your place today! More info & register:


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