January 26, 2015 Leave a comment
A good friend, former boss, and mentor of mine put together a list of the core skills he thinks all planners/strategists should have. It’s by no means final, so feel free to throw in your own thoughts in the comments.
Reading/listening/watching/counting asking other people to the same
Secondary research tools:
mintel, emarketer, forrester, gardner, mri, simmons, iconoculture Social tools: familiarity/analysis: Sysomos, Radian6 Search data: adwords, insights Competitive analysis: perceptual maps, heuristics, brand communication
- Writing a stakeholder interview guide
- Writing a screener
- Writing a discussion guide
- Writing a questionnaire for a survey
Quick and rough and down and dirty and whatever:
- Man on the street interview
- Friends and family interview
- Internal focus groups
- Opportunistic invention
Scoping projects/Designing research in general Defining the method, choosing the method, aligning to appropriate scale
2) Distilling/Creating: Turning data into stories
- Defining the problem: What is the business challenge? Where is the business opportunity? What behavior are we trying to change to achieve our goals?
- Topline findings from research (secondary, qual, quant, social): What are the truths or commonly held beliefs? How can we challenge current perceptions?
- Synthesis of multiple data sources into a story: what’s relevant and what is NOT
POV’s: short and long form: How are people using technology, or digital formats? What is the role of a feature, function, action, or design? What is happening in the category, or comparative companies?
Target description/persona writing: What are their needs, behaviors, goals? What is their level of intelligence or interest in the category? What are pain points? What relationships do they rely on?
Purchase pathway/journey writing: Think about the purchase funnel or journey: attract, welcome, orient, inspire, compare, decide, purchase, reassure.
Brand definition documentation: Positioning/mission/vision/functional and emotional and cultural benefits What are the rational drivers (utility, features, functions)? What are the emotional drivers (the heart, the gut)? What are the cultural drivers (trends, sentiment)?
Concept writing: classic and narrative
Brief writing: Synthesis into an organizing idea
3) Selling: Engagement, belief, commitment
- Presenting concepts, ideas, insights, briefs
- Working with creative/ux to develop ideas
Innovating: New magic tricks
Inventing new ways to collect, document, share, guide, inspire
So there you have it. By no means complete.
And for more on my thoughts on How to become a Planner, check out parts 1-7, and a reading list: