Planners Unmasked | Cedric Legrand

7 Oct 2016

WHAT 3 SKILLS SHOULD EVERY GOOD PLANNER POSSESS?

 

Empathy - The basis of any kind of good communication. It’s necessary when you write briefs, but also in order to work with people in an agency.

 

Perspective - Being able to move across abstract and concrete: from framework to campaign, from trend to insight, from concept to endline. It’s also being able to move around the problem, always questioning whether you’re looking at it from the right angle.

 

Synthesis - I see planning as a creative discipline, and I think creativity has a lot to do with synthesis. Don’t artists synthesise within culture and inventors synthesise within science in some way? I guess planners synthesise somewhere in the middle, blending in the emotional with the rational.

 

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT CHANGES THAT PLANNERS AND STRATEGISTS SHOULD BE GRAPPLING WITH?

 

People’s changing brains. I mean, look at what people do with themselves social media and what they pay attention to on YouTube… Or even just watch a 7 year old kid play an Ipad game. Actually, Baroness Susan Greenfield’s talk at the APG 2016 conference offered some really good insight about these changes.

 

Also, this all happens on digital platforms that turn user behaviour into datasets: Facebook tells us what people like and do, Google tells us what people search for, Youtube tells us what people watch… What if Tinder started telling us how people would like to be seen? These tools will evolve quite quickly as well, providing ever richer insight about people, and that’s something to watch closely for strategists.

 

Then, at the other end of the process, there’s gonna be important changes regarding the way we reach people - or rather: how we reach platforms that reach people for us. This has to do with media planning and I’m 100% sure that semi intelligent systems will be running this business before I’m 35. I’m quite curious about AI and looking forward to see how it will progressively make it’s way into advertising!

 

WHAT MAKES YOU CRINGE WHENEVER YOU THINK ABOUT IT?

 

Some afternoons that go like this:

 

1. “So let’s see how they’re doing on social!”

2. Openning Facebook

3. Lolling at a cat

4. Scrolling down

5. “Wait, why am I here?”

6. repeat from 01.

 

(see, my brain has changed too!)

 

WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING IN 5 YEARS’ TIME?

 

Probably some kind of project that involves travel, strategy, and video. I’m totally inspired by Heather Lefevre’s Brain Surfing but I’d easily see myself do something similar.


 

WHICH BOOKS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU AND WHY?

 

Predictably irrational - Dan Ariely

See those little rat lab experiments you read about in Science magazine? Well Dan Ariely does similar ones with little humans and he finds out the coolest, weirdest, but most insightful facts about how people really function. That’s also my first approach to Behavioural Economics, so obviously quite enlightening.

 

The Enneagram - Helen Palmer

That one It suits you up with powerful knowledge about why people behave the way they do, including yourself. It’s the ultimate ‘life hack’ and after a couple of years I still think about it very often.

 

The 48 laws of power - Robert Greene

Just for how much I hate it.

 

HOW DO YOU WIND DOWN?


Skateboarding: There’s absolutely 0 brainwork, a high amount of pain, a deep frustration but progress eventually shows up in its most enjoyable form. That’s very satisfactory.

 

 

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