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  • APG

Tools I Use

Coaching questions – good for framing client conversations to clarify their objective and identify concerns/aspirations etc. The most salient coaching questions to list here are;

  • What are you trying to achieve?

  • Imagine that you have successfully addressed your issue. What does success look like?

  • What does success feel like?

  • What do you really, really want?

Spider-diagrams – good framework for unloading all the initial messy un-coordinated thoughts that come to mind upon an initial briefing and breaking them out into territories and expanding each one a little further.

S.W.O.T. – good for getting under the skin of the client’s business. Draw out four quadrants - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats - and populate each one from the point of view of the client business and brand.

Market Map – good for clarifying a brands competitive set and understanding the consumer’s options. Draw and label two axes (e.g. budget/premium, self/others, niche/mass) so you have four quadrants then position the competitors on the map according to their positioning. Add direction of travel and supporting examples of marcomms.

C/R/T, Competitive/Relevant/True – good for a quick sense-check of a proposition….Is this unique and differentiating in any way from the competition? Is it something that the target audience want or care about? Is it something true to the brand or product, something that can be substantiated?

I/C/P, Impact/Communication/Persuasion – good for a quick sense check of creative work…will this piece of work standout and get noticed? Does it get across the message we want to land? Does it say what we want to say in a way that will engage the audience and endear them to the brand?

PowerPoint Planner – good for plotting argument and structure for a PowerPoint presentation. Take a sheet of paper (preferably A3) and draw rows of rectangles across it. Plot your presentation with a main point and up to 3 sub-points per rectangle.

High/Low Importance/Urgency Quadrant – good for managing workload and prioritising projects. Draw up four quarters (HI, HU/HU, LI/HI, LU/LI, LU) and plot projects according to their importance and urgency.

Ruairi Curran

Head of Planning at Gravity Road

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