School of advanced communications MACS held among representatives of the client community survey on the role of strategic planning. The survey was anonymous, formalized character. Participants were Directors and managers of marketing and communications — direct customers service advertising and communications agencies. The aim of the survey was to identify the vision of the client the role of strategic planning in the industry, and also to test hypotheses about the stagnation of this competence in the market. The survey involved more than 300 respondents. Research school MACS showed that the market recognizes the service is strategic planning important and valuable. 82.5% of respondents believe that the service is valued. However, service is becoming not so willingly: only a quarter of respondents (26.2 percent) is really buying strategies of agencies. Curious was that, in the opinion of the respondents expertise in strategic planning lies not only in advertising and communication agencies, as in specialized consulting and auditing companies and research agencies, most of which do not offer such a service. The survey also revealed another contradictory insight from the point of view of the respondents, for the strategist knowledge of social studies and psychology are significantly more important than the organization of the search for meaning and development management decisions. This is the most required competencies were knowledge of the tools of communication. Of the more expected results — the vast majority of respondents agreed on the fact that the competence of specialists in the field of strategic planning can be purchased in specialized schools, focused on existing professionals in marketing and communications. To discuss the survey results, Director of School of advanced communications MACS Hope Makova and Director of communications INVITRO Anton Bulanov, together with Sostav organized a business Breakfast with the Directors on strategy and representatives of the largest communication agencies. In the discussion participated: Anton Bulanov (Director of communications INVITRO), Hope Makov (Director of the school of communications MACS), Margarita Scherbakova (marketing Director Sostav), Evgeniy Barmin (Head of digital, INVITRO), Anna Tomkova (strateg Possible Group Moscow), Leonid Andreev (Head of Strategy, group of companies RCG), Paul Putintsev (strategic Agency “Sunrise”), Alexey Popov (Director of strategy Mediaplus Group Russia), Anton (partner e:mg) Ilya Korneev (strategic Director and managing partner of Affect), Christina Korneev (PR-Director of the school MACS), Olga merinova (client and strategic partner Dentsu Aegis Network). Sostav leads the main provisions of the meeting. The unwillingness of the customer to pay for the service May be, customers simply do not find among the proposals of the agencies package of services for which they are willing to pay. But should look like this package? Whether to strategy as a separate product? Olga merinova noticed that today, all agencies are chasing budgets, “speaker”. The result is a lot of things that did not seem important at first glance, is a by-product, an optional bonus. Communication strategy almost always turns out to be the number of such bonuses. Not all customers are able to convince that this is really important and should be paid separately. Attempts to create agencies that spetsializiruyutsya exclusively on strategy formulation and sell it as a separate product, was. But in any case, it’s a small business. Anton Bulanov, Director of communications in VITRO: a Strategy requires budgets, and not every head will decide to withdraw it to outsource. Responsible for the strategy of the company is often a Director of marketing. At best he would consult three to four strategists in agencies and will collect the product himself. Strategist are often viewed as no more than a personal consultant to the Director of marketing. He’s great, but have to reconcile their work with all the others. Anna Tomkova, a strategist at Possible Group Moscow: Now, many strategists work pattern. An example is the any tender. Different agencies bring plus-minus the same concept (even when doing it and don’t need). What you need to do is actually creative and unconventional approach to solving a customer’s problem. Not to do combat for the sake of cómpeta, and to make appropriate combat to prove or disprove any hypothesis. To look at the competition with meaningful point of view: as competitors show the premium nature of communication (if our brand is a premium or wants to become). Not all strategists see the whole picture, they often look to work as a set of blocks (one of which is the same combat). About the value of communication strategy on the Russian market a Strategic partnership to be effective must be long term. But if, for example, in Europe the Agency work with companies and for 18 years, on the Russian market the situation is different. Planning is almost always short-term. Barely strategists come to the understanding that partners know how they change the whole paradigm of business. As suggested by Anton Melnikov, it may make sense to increase the value of strategic planning at the level of agencies — e.g., collaboration team strategies with the customer. When the client understands the value of people who are helping him, he is willing to pay for it. In addition, very few have a competence in strategic planning — it is important to talk about it. This can be done at the level of the brand — for example, to position itself as a strategic Agency and thus to indicate to the client what you play. Ilya Korneev, strategic Director and managing partner of Affect: overall strategic competence of the Agency — it is a hygiene factor in customer expectations from the Agency’s work. The Agency must understand how the business fits into any activation that it brought. Therefore, the client is not willing to pay in principle if the Agency does not understand. Strategic planning is a big team process where, I think, the client leads the process and assemble the final picture of myself, but looking deep expertise in the channels from agencies. Anna Tomkova, a strategist at Possible Group Moscow: Strategic planning is a system of solutions that adopts a strategist. Based on what these decisions? On the analysis of market, category, competitors, audience and consumer truth — naturally. But in addition to the project analysts at the strategist have the experience. The experience of decision making it is vast and varied: strateg strategies makes more per year than the brand Manager (client). Strategist makes different strategies (digital, social media, communication, and so on) for different categories (drugs for treatment of erectile dysfunction to payment systems). Value strategist — his experience and nasmotrennost (“madelinot”) in different areas and categories. Strategist — it consultant, confidence and practical help in solving problems of the client. Expected and unexpected competence of the strategist According to Olga Merinova because the clients themselves are not allowed strategists deep in the business, then they have to leave due to the technology. As a result, most of what is required of strategists, is the knowledge of modern tools of communications. It is obvious that communication strategy is important, but that’s not all. Almost all participants agreed on the idea that strategists must possess not only communication skills, but also a strong set of soft skills (skills of personal competence). Margarita Scherbakova, Director of marketing Sostav: industry is constantly changing, and of course with it changing demands of the profession. Basic requirements for strategy is a great mathematical and analytical skills, ability to communicate, without fear of presentations and command of the English language. Becoming increasingly important the emotional flexibility of the person, ability to manage stress, passion to learn new things and to introduce this novelty into their work. The most important is the pursuit of development and constant upgrade their knowledge, awareness about what is happening in the industry and the economy, and reading business literature. According to Ilya Korneev, the most important is the interest of the strategist to ensure how the client’s business, the second — a deep understanding of the channels, in which the strategist is able to work. Leonid Andreyev believes that the competence of the strategist needs to include an examination of non-strategic fields — IT, Media, Stats, and Gaming. Anna Tomkova adds to this farsightedness and the ability to look at the project from different angles. Alexey Popov considers an inalienable competence of the strategist “falsification” — the ability to put any message and the thesis into question. In a sense, the strategist is supercommutator, which should combine and skills mediyschikov, and skills of the IT specialist, and consultability, and market expertise. Paul Putintsev, strategic Agency “Sunrise”: it is relevant to develop crosscompliance and skills of empathy. As a small illustration we can recall Steve jobs, who helped knowledge in the field of calligraphy, with the concurrence of the Apple style and the development of software interfaces. It should be understood that crosscommunity work in the case, if you have the skills of proper communication with clients and colleagues. And it is about emotional intelligence and ability to feel people. According to Alexei Popov, one of the core competencies of a strategist in the modern world is becoming more and more of IT. Code is 70% of the costs of any company, the effectiveness of the IT tools is higher than the efficiency of any Junior specialist. This competence is not yet taught in any special school. On education in the sphere of strategic planning on the one hand, strategic planning is seen as an add-on to communicative competences. On the other hand, this add-in is not taught almost anywhere. Like most respondents, participants of the business Breakfast we agreed that the best option of education in the field of communications — specialized schools focused on the marketing market. The position of strategist, in addition to professional requires certain personal qualities. Specialist responsible for shaping the strategy should be Intuit, interested in the market. Then he will understand what he needs to develop. Absolutely vital for success in this sector is the constant upgrade of its tools and competencies. Lifelong learning is a must for the strategist. Hope Makov, Director of the school the MACS: AT the end of December we held a public poll among our subscribers. The main question was: “What skills do you need to earn more?” The survey polled more than 1,500 communicators. By a wide margin the top skill was “strategic planning”. Because all programs in the school MACS are formed on the basis of the current industry, a logical response to the results of the survey was the preparation of a special course on strategy. We are fortunate that the curator of this course became an expert with huge experience and great respect of the industry Anton Bulanov, who gathered an absolutely enchanting part of teachers. The course will be held in a unique format “workshop” where a student can come with his real-world business problem, product can form an effective strategy for a mentoring vysokodispersnyh market leaders. I’m sure graduates of this course will gain the maximum competitive advantage in a dynamic communications market.

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