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Where strategy is in 2018—and where it's headed

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As the advertising industry evolves—how is strategy evolving along with it? We interviewed 550+ senior strategists around the world to get an inside look at their challenges and opportunities during a time of fierce competition. Get the sample report: http://bit.ly/2BgdzqU.

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Where strategy is in 2018—and where it's headed

  1. 1. The Future of Strategy 2018 Where strategy is – and where it’s headed Strategy teams and influence growing Planners and strategists are gaining influence both within agencies and among clients. Despite this optimism, planners’ skills are not always applied effectively, largely due to the pace of change and a client focus on tech rather than sustainable strategy. “Right now I believe everybody’s excited about strategy. Clients want us in meetings. Client service departments want us on every brief. Creatives appreciate our input. But our departments remain too small for the amount of work everybody’s throwing at us.” Faster and cheaper, but not smarter Most planners believe that client-side budget cuts are impacting strategy teams, from short-term thinking to lack of training − putting the ‘craft skills’ of strategy under threat. TREND 1 TREND 2 As the advertising industry evolves – how is strategy evolving along with it? We interviewed 550+ senior strategists around the world to get an inside look at their challenges and opportunities during a time of fierce competition. of strategists agree they spend too much time at their desks and not enough time out in the ‘real world’ 75%Senior Strategic Planner, Romania “‘Faster. Cheaper. Smarter. Pick two.’ I fear today’s marketer is getting comfortable with fast and cheap at the expense of smart.” Head of Planning, Canadaof planners expect their teams to expand in the next 12 months 56% WARC keeps 75,000+ marketers, planners, and strategists informed on the rapidly changing industry and serves as an extension of their teams. Get a guided trial and request pricing at warc.com/demo. More competition More and more, consultancies, tech and media firms, and in-house client teams are offering strategy services. That means greater competition for agency planning teams, but it may also mean more varied career opportunities for individual planners. “Consultancies are not our biggest competition – in-house client teams are, even though they lack the skills and experience to deliver the same quality of product.” Upstream vs downstream remains crucial divide Planners’ desire to be a ‘Grand Strategist’ is at odds with the reality of their day-to-day spent on tweaking over strategizing. That said, many believe that a link between strategy and execution remains vital. “Agencies need to get over their view of ‘big picture’ planning as just being about a ‘big idea’. The lack of clarity over actual application of these terms is important in providing an honest and transparent understanding on both agency and client.” of planners say moving their role upstream is one of their biggest opportunities Chief Strategy Officer, UK Strategy and Planning Director, US CONTRIBUTING EXPERTS Ben Shaw Head of Strategy, BBH London Ian Edwards Planning Director, Facebook, UK Paula Bloodworth Brand Strategy Director, Wieden + Kennedy, London Shekhar Deshpande Global Planning Director & Strategy Consulting Director, J Walter Thompson Adrian Ho Founding Partner, Zeus Jones Rob Campbell Chief Strategy Officer, Deutsch Frank Reitgassl Director of Brand Strategy & Creative, Mondelēz, Switzerland Caitriona Henry Group Global Strategy Director, PHD Dan Burdett Chief Marketing Innovation Officer, EMEA, eBay Leo Rayman Chief Executive Officer, Grey London TREND 3 TREND 4 44% 71% of digital agencies 55% of creative agencies Feel the consultancy threat