About Ezra Englebardt
Account planner, digital nerd, marketing guru, tweeter, occasional blogger, cyclist, snowboarder, mountain biker, social media junkie and avid reader. CU-Boulder and Boston College alum. Frequent guest speaker in Boston-area universities.

17 Responses to How to Become a Planner*.

  1. Pingback: How to Become a Planner – Part II « Hot Tub Crime Machine

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  5. Pingback: How to become a planner – Part V « Hot Tub Crime Machine

  6. I enjoy how you mentioned at the end “I can’t think of anything else (lucky for you)” haha you sure know how to cover all of the points. Great blog.

  7. Amrit says:

    Hi Ezra, I’ve been trying to become a planner for a few months now. After leaving university I wasn’t sure on what route I wanted to take but now I know that this is what I want to be doing for the rest of my career. The problem is that Andrew has given pointers on how to become a Planner when you’re already within an agency. Unfortunately I’m not at the moment. Though I have had some agency experience and am temporarily working at ITV Studios as Digital Marketing Assistant. What I’m really trying to ask is how do you prove to someone you would be great at a role when you don’t have any past experience to back you up, but all you have is the passion and desire to be within that role? Look forward to any feedback! Thank you!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. I get this question a lot. And the short answer is, it’s really hard, and it kind of sucks. The most obvious way would be to go to a specialized planning program, like Miami Ad School, or VCU Brandcenter. They last a few months or so, you learn all the ins and outs of planning, work with agency people, build a book that shows your abilities and network like crazy.

      That said, most of the planners I know didn’t go to planning school. Most of us come from a wide range of backgrounds – I’ve worked with planners who were reporters, college professors, event planners, designers, account people, you name it. And yet, somehow we all convinced some planner to give us a shot.

      In my opinion, what you need to do is get a job at an agency that has a good planning department. Once you are in the door at the company, doing any job, you have crossed the biggest hurdle. I don’t know exactly what a digital marketing assistant does, but it sounds like the sort of thing that could lead to you being a junior account person, or producer, or social/digital strategist, etc.

      You need to find examples from within your work that show how you can handle or have handled similar types of problems. Trying to start as a junior planner is really tough. most people don’t do the sorts of things we do until they are actually doing it. But find opportunities to do consumer research and draw conclusions from the results. Find opportunities to influence the direction/strategy of the work you are doing so you can tell that story.

      And network like crazy. Getting started in this business is mostly about who you know.

      • Amrit says:

        Hi Ezra, thank you so much for your response and apologies for the delay. I hadn’t received a notification that you had responded back to my comment.

        I have been aware of the Miami Ad School programme but feel as though it would take a lot of time and money to get there, both of which I am short of. I have signed up to the Account Planning Group in the UK and have met some great people but have limited suggestions on how to get to my dream job.

        I’m currently applying for a Graduate Planning role at OMD UK, so fingers crossed something materialises.

        Again many thanks for your response, I really appreciate it.

  8. Pingback: How to Become A Planner — Part VI | Hot Tub Crime Machine

  9. Pingback: The planner’s reading list | Hot Tub Crime Machine

  10. Pingback: How to become a planner – Part VII | Hot Tub Crime Machine

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  13. userowner says:

    Ezra, thanks so much for this. I’ve been floating in portfolio school as a copywriter and finally someone pulled me aside and was like “Matt, you’re a brand planner”. I’m still in the shock and awe stage of this realization, but I’m excited about what the road ahead holds. Your words were compelling and very sympathetic to my current conundrum as I finish portfolio school. I’ll try to connect with you if you’re available to do so. In the meantime, I’ll putz around more on your great blog. THANK YOU!!

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