Staff Reporters
Nov 13, 2020

Campaign Crash Course: How to prepare for a strategy career at an ad agency

Not every planner at an ad agency starts out as a strategist. Many switch over from handling accounts, like McCann Worldgroup's Earl Javier. Now he's sharing tips to make the transition easier for others.

Welcome back to Campaign Asia-Pacific's Crash Course learning series, in which you will learn valuable lessons and practical business tips on trending and essential topics from industry experts in just five minutes. Think of it as a mini mini MBA, if you will.

Lessons will cover the breadth of the marcomms industry, including technology, creative, media, strategy, leadership, diversity and inclusion and more. We'll start off by introducing you to larger topics and delve deeper into specific elements in the future. This series is designed to be useful to C-suite executives as well as those just starting out in their careers.

The lesson

The 11th lesson in the Crash Course series will cover how to prepare for a successful career as an ad agency strategist or planner. Many agency employees begin their careers on the account side working with clients but some make the switch over to campaign planning and strategy, mapping out the best ways to reach out and engage with the brand's target audience. While having a solid grasp of how to analyse data helps, looking at spreadsheets all day won't necessarily make you a great strategist. 

In this lesson you will learn:

  • What kinds of consumer research to start paying attention to
  • Tips on how to apply the research more practically 
  • Questions to ask yourself when you get a new client brief
  • How to simplify your strategy for all to understand
  • The importance of persuasive writing

Your teacher

Earl Javier is strategy director at McCann Worldgroup Philippines in Manila. But before he became a 'strat' he spent several years as a 'suit' in accounts, first at an Ogilvy network boutique CRM shop called BCD Pinpoint, then guiding clients to take their first steps in the digital world at a firm called Media Contacts.  

In 2012, Javier hit the ground running in his first formal planning role. He quickly honed his craft skills in order to meet high-level client demands, most crucial skill being how to get everyone out of their comfort zones and ask the tough questions in order to uncover the real issues affecting a brand's business. His client portfolio included Coffee-Mate, Maggi, Nestle, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Coca-Cola and L'Oreal Paris Philippines

Javier was selected as the first planner to take part in MWG's Regional Talent Mobility Program. During this stint, he had the opportunity to shape L'Oreal Thailand's communication strategy for women's skincare, define overall brand strategy for L'Oreal Men Expert, and help win a pitch for a local bank.

The quiz

After you watch the above video, test your knowledge of social listening with this quiz:

 

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Campaign Crash Course is an ongoing series with new courses to be released on Fridays. We are always looking for feedback and ideas. Have a suggestion or want to take part? Complete our feedback form or email our editors.

 

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