Last week, a young very successful account executive came to see me. She wants to become a planner. And why not? She is intuitively strategic, spent her entire interview talking about strategic initiatives she has done as an account person. We talked about interpreting research, both qualitative and quantitative. Another person told her that if an agency were to hire a junior planner, they would prefer to hire a college graduate rather than putting an account person in a planning job.
That makes no sense. In fact it is insane.
Once upon a time there were no planners. Account people did the strategy, often working in tandem with the creatives – just the way planners do it today. The best account people are intuitively strategic. And they know or should know the business of their clients far better than any creative or planner does.
I guess this is somewhat akin to why agencies don’t hire clients, even when those clients would make a fabulous account person.
Can anyone explain this to me?