Role of a Strategic Planner
In an Advertising Agency

When on the lookout for candidates to join WalnutGlobal team, the role of a strategic planner remains undoubtedly one of the most challenging to recruit. The pool of talents for this role is not as big as one would expect and market requirements these days puts less demand on the role for many reasons which we will talk about in future blogs.

For now, we will cover the role and value that a strategic planner adds to brands, new and potential ones.

Experience alone does not cut it. Given the nature of the position and the need to have a strong and valid point of view, personality is as important as experience. With most planners whom I have worked with at WalnutGlobal, confidence and possessing a strong opinion is often more important.  

A strategic planner plays a crucial role in the success of the agency's advertising campaigns. His or her primary responsibility is to develop and implement the overall strategic direction of the agency clients. In addition, set a clear direction for creative teams to develop big ideas for new agency pitches.

To summarize, some specific responsibilities of a strategic planner in an advertising agency may include:

  1. Conducting research: A strategic planner should conduct research to identify consumer insights. This would lead to having data driven insights to support future plans. In many cases, interviewing the client’s customers goes a long way to identify areas of improvement which can help strengthen the relation with current customers and provide a solid reason-to-believe for future ones.
  2. Developing advertising strategies: Based on research and insights, a strategic planner should develop advertising strategies that meet the client's objectives. These strategies should be aligned with the client's overall business strategy and brand positioning. In addition the strategies developed will be a guideline light for the creative team to follow. It will also provide a reference point for both agency creative team and the client’s marketing team to fall back on for evaluation.

  3. Collaborating with creative teams: A strategic planner will have to work closely with creative teams to ensure that advertising strategies are executed effectively. The planner should provide creative teams with insights and direction that will guide the development of creative concepts and messaging. The strategic planner will be the voice of the end user at the agency and will in many cases ensure that the creative team is aligned and stays on track.

  4. Measuring campaign effectiveness: A strategic planner should monitor and measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. This will help the agency and client understand what worked well and what can be improved for future campaigns.

If we are to simplify the role of a strategic planner in few words, it can be said that:

  1. They look at briefs, business challenges and brands from different perspectives. Analyze and come up with a POV that would set the brand they are working on apart from others within the competitive landscape.
  2. They ask questions which to others might not seem relevant at first.
  3. Utilize the agency strategy tools efficiently and create a springboard for creatives to launch their big ideas from.

At WalnutGlobal, we have always been true to the saying:

Creative without Strategy is Art


Creative with Strategy is Communication


Schedule a free consultation to learn more about how WalnutGlobal can help in achieving your brand goals.

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