As an important component of an advertising agency, account planners search for insights to solve advertising problems. Using both primary and secondary research, they collect information about consumers and brands that eventually is transformed into finished advertising.
In order to understand how an account planner searches for, uses and evaluates insight, John Parker, Lawrence Ang and Scott Koslow of Macquarie University in Australia conducted in-depth interviews with 20 account planners employed across 12 Sydney advertising agencies.
Researchers found that identifying and applying insight is a highly creative process. Account planners use research, personal knowledge domains, challenging conventions, borrowed sources, and central narrative extension to search for insights. This process is integral to the account planner’s creative contribution to the creative brief and confers advantages to the strategy development process. For example, insight brings the brand closer to human motivation most effective in satisfying the target audience’s unmet need.
Account planners also search for insight by looking for unexpected observations or findings of human behavior in people, culture, category, competition, the product or the brand. They indicate that insight can serve as a vehicle to direct new advertising messages within a brand’s existing positioning or assist in identifying how a brand may be repositioned for competitive advantage.
Ultimately, the insight is used to place a strategic idea into the message proposition. To arrive at a proposition, an account planner must be able to link the human motivation embodied in the insight to an attribute or a single benefit embodied in the brand.
To read the full text of the study: https://bit.ly/2OrunNd
Parker, J., Ang, L., & Koslow, S. (2018). The Creative Search for an Insight in Account Planning: An Absorptive Capacity Approach. Journal of Advertising, 47(3), 237-254.