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Man and woman looking at papers together account planning

An Account Planner is a unique role often found within an advertising agency or in-house creative team. The name ‘account planning’ was coined by Tony Stead at a JWT awayday in 1968. Unlike the Account Manager or Account Coordinator, an Account Planner’s job is to know the consumer even better than they know their client. This role is so important because they ensure that important insights about the target market are being considered throughout the creative process.

What does an Account Planner do, typically?

Represents the consumer in the creative process

Account Planners are strategic, critical thinkers and researchers who are more in-tune with the consumer than the client. It’s their job to help unlock important consumer insights and represent the customer throughout the creative process.

Performs research and analyzes the competition

This role is responsible for performing in-depth research. They analyze the market and research data on products or services as well as investigate the competition. Their goal is to find out what motivates consumers to first try a product or service and what triggers them to eventually buy it.

Initiates the strategic direction

The role of an Account Planner is to drive the overall strategic direction of creative campaigns. They also ensure that the creative team’s work is focused strategically and is within brand guidelines.

An Account Planner is not an:

Account Manager

An Account Manager manages, maintains, and upsells existing accounts. Although, it is important to note that many agencies place the role of account planning on the account manager or director.

Account Executive

An Account Executive finds new business accounts. Account Planners function as a liaison between the Account Executive and the creative department as well as between the creative department and the consumer.

Important metrics for an Account Planner

  • Product interaction
  • Continuous outcomes
  • Account plan is updated and socialized with the account team
  • The client is engaged in account planning process

Bonus copy for your Account Planner job description and job ad

Copy the following text and paste it into your own job description, or, into our downloadable template in the section that looks like this:  <INSERT JOB DESCRIPTION COPY FROM BLOG POST HERE>

As an Account Planner at <Company XXX>, you will act be the voice of your client’s customer as you represent them throughout the creative process. More specifically, you’ll get to:

  • Utilize your strategic, critical thinking and researching skills to tune-in the voices of your client’s consumers and prospective buyers
  • Unlock important consumer insights by performing market analysis and competitive research
  • Find what motivates consumers to first try a product or service and what triggers them to eventually buy it
  • Drive the overall strategic direction of creative campaigns
  • Ensure that the creative team’s work is focused strategically and is within brand guidelines
  • Function as a liaison between the Account Executive and the creative department

free job description template