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Strategy 101: Teeing It up for Creatives to Hit It Out of the Park


Yell Advertising's strategic planning team reveal their goals for 2023 and beyond

Strategy 101: Teeing It up for Creatives to Hit It Out of the Park

Left to right: Kwunchai Pansuk, Anawat Praditsilp, Don Gorrith and Parichaya Mahakkapong

In this interview with core members of Yell’s strategic planning team, LBB hears from media planning manager Anawat Praditsilp and strategic planning managers Kwunchai Pansuk, Don Gorrith, and Parichaya Mahakkapong, learning about their unique roles and responsibilities, and how their hard work is helping advance Yell’s Creative Effectiveness plan.

LBB> Can you tell me about your start in the industry? When did you realise you were the right fit for a strategic / planning role?

Anawat Praditsilp, media planning manager> I started working as a strategic planner by chance, after switching from a role in engineering. During my interview for Yell, we talked about how an engineer's skills and those of a strategic planner are very similar. The most crucial aspect is logic and rational thinking, which are must-have qualities for any strategic planner. However, although logical thinking is important, this alone does not qualify us as good strategic planners. In order to become the best strategic planner I can be, I devote a great deal of time to marketing research, devising brilliant strategies, communicating these strategies to the creative team as thoroughly as possible, and delivering the best solution to meet the client's needs.

Kwunchai Pansuk, strategic planning manager> I previously worked in marketing, where I did both Targeting Product and Service Business Analysis, as well as Sales Promotion Strategy, Marketing Communication Planning and more. I wanted to learn more and more about the various aspects of each business so I decided to work at Yell.

There are always new challenges in this role and, as a result, I have gained a more in-depth and broad understanding of the various processes involved in working in the marketing field. Some knowledge, I've discovered, can be applied to strategic planning, while other knowledge must be relearned. I'm constantly learning new things in this job, whether it be a hard skill or a soft skill; from practising analytical thinking and problem solving, to communication and teamwork, to learning how to present information in an understandable and effective manner.

LBB> How do you provide the relevant context needed for a creative brief? 

Don Gorrith, strategic planning manager> People may say a brief from a strategic planner must be smart and full of original strategies – I say otherwise. Yes, a good plan needs to be sophisticated, but the most important context for the creative brief is its actionability. It is pointless if your strategies are complex but no creatives can carry them out.

LBB> Can you tell me about the strategy behind the Creative Effectiveness plan? 

Parichaya Mahakkapong, strategic planning manager> Before we can directly solve the problem, we must first identify the root cause. I take time to think critically in my various jobs, as well as comprehend the brand. We need more than time to find a solution because we need to know what problem we are solving. As a result, we must research the business objective, business situation, target consumer, competitors, and other relevant information for that brand. Only then can a precise solution be developed. 

LBB> How does the strategic planning team measure effectiveness? 

Don> Effectiveness comes in various shapes and forms. If you are doing an awareness campaign, it must be the shares and comments. If you are doing an e-Commerce, of course it must be sales. Regardless, the utmost importance is that you need to accurately match measurement to objectives, and this is the part where I see a lot of planners fail.

LBB> What aspect of your job/the strategic process do you enjoy the most? 

Don> Coming into this field, I used to think the fun comes from being strategic, but the actual fun is learning how to structure our tangled thoughts and deliver them to our clients in relatable solutions. No matter how strategic your thoughts are, it’s pointless if you cannot translate them into what makes sense for decision makers. And I think honing this skillset is what I enjoy the most as a planner because not every job would give you this opportunity.

LBB> The company won a number of awards for your work with ONETOUCH. Tell us a bit more about this work and how Yell’s Creative Effectiveness plan helped facilitate the success of these campaigns? 

Kwunchai> We won two Bronze gongs at the Adman Awards & Symposium 2020 & 2021 for our work on the ONETOUCH project, The Birds and The Bee 2.0. In Thai society, sex is rarely discussed. Most teenagers and parents are still embarrassed to talk to each other about it. Even when asking friends or looking things up on the internet, there is no guarantee that those answers are correct or in accordance with core principles of sex education. As a result, teenage pregnancy is a huge problem in Thailand and the country is ranked second out of all ASEAN countries for unwanted pregnancies. 

ONETOUCH is a condom brand that aims to help prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, reducing the problem by providing the correct knowledge about sex. Working with the brand, we searched the most popular keywords related to sex questions and used these findings to create a branded video named “Sex Education 101 by ONETOUCH.” The campaign was a great success and the results were massive: 2.6 million organic views; 108,391 hours total watch time; and 1,589 total comments.

LBB> What are the most useful tools for a professional in the advertising industry to have right now? 

Kwunchai> There is currently a massive amount of data. If we can capitalise on this data, it will be extremely beneficial to the company. Tracking and analytics tools, in my opinion, are extremely important in today's world. In addition to distributing advertisements, what a boon it would be to track the effectiveness of advertising, comprehending and analysing consumer behaviour. This can lead to more specific and deeper marketing funnels, as well as extending to a CRM system whether that be re-targeting, personalisation, or something else. This will aid in creating a positive experience for customers, exactly as they desire, as well as making customers feel more special 

LBB> Do you have any advice for people considering a career as a strategist/planner? 

Parichaya> Allow me to respond from my own experience. To begin with, I believe you must be rational rather than emotional. However, you must understand the reasons for other people's emotions in order to comprehend their behaviour. So keep an eye out and observe people around you. 

The second thing is having a good understanding of numbers and graphs. You may not be very good at it, but you must not despise it because you will undoubtedly be working with them on a daily basis in this role. 

Last but not least, you must not give up on implementing ideas. I believe that many planners struggle with coming up with new ideas and 100% of this work is thought. Go further afield to educate yourself: talk to other people or reread your work to see if you can identify new paths. Do this, and you will eventually be able to find the correct answer.

LBB> What strategic goals have you set for Yell in 2023? How do you hope to reach these goals?

Anawat> Our team has grown significantly from two to three people in the beginning to the team of 12 people that it is today. These employees are divided into four teams and every member of each team has their own distinct personality and strengths. The new challenge in 2023 is to acquire at least one large client to fit into each team's portfolio.

Working with new clients will help refresh the team and get them excited about what lies ahead. They will use fresh ideas like no other, lead customers to achieve goals greater than they have ever achieved before, and the additional skills gained from working on challenges will help the team become better and be proud of what they have accomplished. These are the 2023 strategic goals we can definitely achieve, together.


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YELL ADVERTISING, Fri, 13 Jan 2023 10:01:00 GMT