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Opinion and Insight
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Take Two: How DLKW Lowe Revamped Planning

MullenLowe London, 10 months ago

Anna Vogt, Head of Planning at DLKW Lowe, on the pursuit of bigger, braver ideas in planning

Take Two: How DLKW Lowe Revamped Planning

Most planners write about how planning should work. This is about how planners should work.

We’re trying something new at LOWE.  We are changing the way planners work in pursuit of ideas that are bigger, braver and can morph into different shapes and spaces. 

Planning, as an industry function, still suffers a bit of a hangover of how planners used to be. A bit too slow. A bit too intellectual.  More interested in strategy than creative zest.

No point in rehashing how times have changed. Because we know they have. And many agencies and departments have evolved to deliver against new standards and expectations.

Except planning. Still very traditional. Still the minority in every agency. The lone wolves, the intellectuals of low octane. Not all of them. But still too often.

Planning’s influence is more important than ever, so we need to find a way to increase its presence and profile. And make it a profession that attracts exciting creative thinkers.


Welcome planning partners

At DLKW Lowe, every planner has an official partner.

We are doing this because we believe it will get us to the type of work we want to do more of. Work that steals an unfair share of attention in culture and sales.

Two people working together, of the same world but of different backgrounds, creates collision that is productive, inspiring, and will push the boundaries and comfort zones of everyone involved.

Each planner still fronts their own account, but the fact that we are formalizing a partnership means that there is consistent influence and challenge around day-to-day thinking. Every account will benefit from one planner officially. Two unofficially.


It’s not just about input, but output too

There is another benefit to working in pairs. You don’t just think differently, you start converting theory into practice. And that’s what we need more of. Planners who want to answer their own briefs. Put ideas on the table alongside their creative. Throw their hat in the ring. There is something about working in twos that fosters entrepreneurialism. Maybe it’s confidence. Or the optimism and energy you experience when you agree on something good. It isn’t a coincidence that most start-ups have co-founders. The star and the director, the liquid and the container, the doer and the dreamer. Complementary skill sets is what we looked for in pairing our planners up. And the measure of success is always and ultimately if you got to better work as a result. 


Influence across the board

And by better work we don’t just mean thinking, we mean execution. Too often planners are left out of the final stages of conception and creation. Traditionally it’s not been their remit. But said times have changed so this too must be addressed. Strategic influence on casting, UX, wireframes, director’s treatments, music… all of these things need planners involved. Working in pairs will help push this agenda because working in pairs will encourage you to interrogate work from every angle. 


Fun

Lastly, but crucially, it’s more fun to work together. Energy, chaos, optimism, passion… all of these things are important for big and brave ideas and only get amplified in company. Plus you’ve got someone to stand next to at the summer party.

Have we got it right? Who knows. That’s not the point. We’re trying something new because we believe it has the potential to make a big difference. And attract the sort of planners who like collaborating and creating, and the sorts of creatives who value strategic partnerships.

Genre: People , Strategy/Insight