Planning for the best: Josh Simpson explains why advertising needs creative planners

Josh joined Intermark in 2013 after 20 years of experience at a Minneapolis agency in senior strategic planning roles with Carmichael Lynch and BBDO. His major brand experience includes Delta Airlines, Harley-Davidson, US Bank, Walgreens, Hormel Foods, Jennie-O, Target, OfficeMax, Caribou Coffee and Blue Cross.

He always considered himself a creative groupie and student of business who spent his early career in account management and business development roles. At Intermark, Josh leads strategic planning and a team of behavioral psychologists for all clients including Physicians Mutual, Alabama Tourism, Bona, Troy University and others.

Q> In your opinion, what is the difference between a strategist and a planner? Is there a? – And according to you, which description corresponds best to your way of working?

Josh> I think I’m cheating by calling it strategic planning, but I believe no one can claim cross-disciplinary strategic prowess. Planners involve a forward-thinking brand vision and that includes working with media strategists, social strategists, digital strategists, and more. and this is how enlightened visions are conjured up and which I personally love to work with.

Q> When you turn a business brief into something that can inform an inspiring creative campaign, do you find the most useful resource to tap into?

Josh> When I joined Intermark, we decided to enhance the authenticity of our position as a psychology-focused marketing agency by hiring real behavioral psychologists with PhDs rather than regurgitating psychological theories from pop culture. . It took me a little while to realize that I shouldn’t try to turn these people into junior planners, but rather embrace the single focus they put on audience understanding. I find that psychological profiling and the empirical frame of reference consistently not only elevates our audience’s perception, but also identifies principles we can apply to influence behavior.

Q> What part of your job/strategic process do you enjoy the most?

Josh > Always – see the impact of insight in creative concepts and help support client decision making for bold creative ideas.

Q> What strategic maxims, frameworks or principles do you come back to over and over again? Why are they so useful?

Josh > My early career at Carmichael Lynch provided me with some nuggets that I cherish and that still resonate with creative development and decision making.

“Speak to the point and let others listen” – Work that strikes the passionate attracts other people to brands.

“Don’t build a tar paper shack on prime real estate” – media space is expensive. Do not fill this property with clearly marginal works.

“Form follows function, but both depend on emotion” – Willie G. Davidson said this about Harley motorcycle design. This is my favorite quip on the importance of creativity.

Q> What advice would you give to anyone considering a career as a strategist/planner?

Josh > Before you walk into this gig, you must really love creative advertising so much that you’re willing to stay in the office until you hear the vacuum cleaners. Never treat a brief as paperwork. Sweat each item. Remember how hard a team will work on a mission. Don’t settle for content. Consume ad reward shows. Imagine the ideas that may have sparked the ideas. Know the other agencies and the writers and art directors behind the ads. Be jealous. Help create and sell the work you want to show off at Thanksgiving.

There are plenty of jobs for smart pants. Advertising needs planners who love creativity.

Comments are closed.