The following is a list of books, articles and amusing anecdotes specially curated by Planners for Planners. The ideas in here will help you think differently and make you an even better Planner. That said, this list is by no means exhaustive. If you see something else out there that you think would be helpful to the Planning community (or if you come across a broken link) please let me know.



Brand Positioning: Zipcar – The job of positioning a brand is never done. As new competitors enter the market, a brand’s positioning must be modified. This article looks at how Zipcar’s brand positioning has changed over time.

When Tactics Drown Out Strategy – What’s the difference between strategy and tactics? It’s a good questions and it’s one that comes up a lot in advertising agencies. Fortunately, in this article, Seth Godin provides a couple great examples and some helpful answers.

Five Behavioral Economics Principles Marketers Can’t Afford to Ignore – In recent years, studies have shown how many of the decisions we make are based on emotion rather than logic or reason. As a result, the principles of behavioral economics have become increasingly important to advertising and political campaigns. This article is a great primer for Planners who want to understand the psychology of decision making and this increasingly important field of study.

IDEO’s Duane Bray on Creating Great Digital Experiences – A lot of Clients will come to you with vague questions, expecting that you’ll be able to help them figure out the answer. In this article, Duane Bray talks about his exploratory process and how he begins most projects by getting inspired by behaviors.

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food – When Oscar Mayer’s sales started dropping in the late 80s and early 90s, Bob Drane’s first move was to try to zero in not on what Americans felt about processed meat but on what Americans felt about lunch. From Lunchables to Doritos to baby carrots, this revealing article from the New York Times shows how marketers have succeeded at re-framing cultural issues and making certain products top of mind.

How To Improve Your Website Usability Tests – If you’ve ever run a usability test before, you’ll know that it’s not as easy as it looks. Although it’s not rocket science, there are some intricacies that can make a big difference. In this article you’ll learn how to make your user testing process more effective and enjoyable for everyone involved.




The Awesome World of Advertising: Work In Progress – The reality is Creatives work a lot of late nights and long weekends and it’s not uncommon for Clients to change their minds at the last minute or midway through. When that happens, the entire team feel a little burned out. Sometimes, the role of an Account Planner is to help keep morale up.

The Awesome World of Advertising: Thanks for Your Feedback – A big part of working with Creatives is giving them feedback that they can actually use. The more useful your feedback and the more that it helps them sell the work, the more they’ll appreciate your input.

Dilbert: Annual Strategic Planning Sessions – Depending on the account, you may be invited to something called a strategic offsite. That’s where you, a number of Clients, the Account Director and several other folks you’ve never met before will get together to discuss the brand’s strategy for the coming year. Start preparing now!

Lost in Translation: The Process of Designing a Tire Swing – While this comic illustrates the challenges of engineering and software design, the same basic idea is true in an advertising agency. A lot of things get lost in translation from one person to the next.

The Awesome World of Advertising: Thanks for Your Brief – If you want to be valuable to your creative team, give them fresh insights or interesting ideas about the target customer that they don’t already know about. Don’t just recycle old briefs.