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  • APG

Digital Planning Demystified

What is your job title?

Strategy Director at Razorfish

If you had to describe your job in one sentence, what would differentiate it from other planning and strategy jobs?

I tend to work on discrete projects where clients are looking for breakthrough innovation or need to make difficult decisions. More of a consultancy model than retained accounts. There are normally clear strategy deliverables that can be shared outside of the project and the client normally gets a specific bill for “strategy”, even if it’s part of a bigger project. This means we need to be very clear about the value we add.

What is the first thing you normally do in the morning when you arrive at work?

Make coffee. Then review the one or two important things I need to do that day and work out how to carve out enough big blocks of time to get them done. The smaller tasks get fitted in or forgotten.

What specific tasks do you do that makes you a Digital Planner?

Difficult question as the work differs quite a lot. At the moment I’m working on a TV channel, a hair site, a huge financial services business, and a tech start-up. They’re couldn’t be more different and the tasks I do for them are pretty different too.

There are certain tools we use regularly though. Early on in projects we map the consumer experience from different points of view. We commission original research and read a lot of secondary. And to get under the skin of our clients we carry out stakeholder interviews. Then, once we’ve really understood the problem we a few approaches to briefing and ideation that help us crack it creatively.

What is the point of your job?

To help clients give consumers what they really want in a way that makes my clients more money. That’s true whether we’re creating comms, designing services, or innovating new business models.

What is the best thing about your job?

My value is not measured by duration or quantity of work but by the quality of the ideas and argument. And I have to do hardly any admin.

What has given you most fulfillment in the last week?

Reading an article by Virginia Postrel and seeing beauty and glamour from a completely new perspective.

What kinds of people are best at this job?

People that care about how they got to an answer, not just whether it’s right or not.

What are the boring but necessary bits of your job?

Going through project plans in great detail, while knowing that everything’s going to change once we start work, can get pretty tedious.

What is the oddest request you have had recently?

It’s not a request but it was a bit odd. We went for a meeting at the offices of a national newspaper and, as part of the meeting drew a venn diagram on a flip chart. As we left the meeting one of them drew nipples on it.

Please include a snapshot of what you look at all day

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