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GUEST BLOG: Lost in translation… how to make better DecisionZ

Salve accepto gratias propter hanc ad tempus.

No, don’t go, this is not a broken link; you are indeed on the Vizeum blog. I just decided to open with a little bit of Latin, as you do. You see, as many of your will already have observed, media owners are renowned for speaking a totally different language to agencies… until now.

There is no denying that 2014 has been quite a year – Lewis Hamilton won the Formula 1 Championship, Scotland voted No and… Primesight attended the infamous DecisionZ training course. As the only media owner on the course, there I was, sat in a state of discombobulation as the unfamiliar graphs, foreign systems and new language began to flow. At first it was like being back in Miss Walker’s French lessons all over again. However, unlike Miss Walker’s French lessons, this was an opportunity that any media owner should grab with both hands.

As media owners we walk hundreds of miles each year to get from meeting to meeting, we wine and dine, and call and email in the name of deepening client knowledge, strengthening agency relations and digging up those crucial briefs. And yet, if media owners do not truly understand the world in which you work, create and plan and the language and systems you use to do this, how can we ever really work in synergy? And all this in an industry where communication is key.

Between us, the Primesight team have worked at countless media owners spanning everything from print and online to radio. Yet despite our experience in some of the UK’s best known media brands, none of us have ever worked anywhere with an internal planning process from which to approach these precious briefs.

With this realisation we set out to not just respond to agencies and their briefs, but to understand them and integrate ourselves within them. So as a team we spend months digging not for briefs, but for insight instead. It was no longer about how many meetings we had ticked off or how many deals we had put out, it was about how well we really knew our agencies; the people, the processes, the planning system and the language.

The result of this hard work was Full Circle 3.0, a structured internal planning process which seamlessly works alongside all of our key agencies own processes. It helps us approach briefs not as a media owner with a format to shift, but as an extension of our agencies, with a deep routed understanding but a fresh take on the brief at hand.

About Full Circle 3.0

Full Circle 3.0 sees a nine step plan fall in to three key stages: Knowledge, Application and Implementation. Knowledge sees us take a step back as media owners, moving away from the brief at hand and challenging everything we think we know about it. This is where we stop taking anything for granted and interrogate everything; from the brand’s identity and assets to its consumers and their journey with it. This makes us get to grips with what makes each brand tick, what makes it different to its competition and enables us to distil the brief to a simple truth from which to work from. 

The Application stage sees us hold a group brainstorm, fully armed with insight. But we don’t just want the usual suspects on the sales floor – we want to pull in people from different parts of the business, people with different views on the brand and ideally… you! Yes, as off piste as it may seem we want 2015 to see us integrate Posterscope and Vizeum planners in to the mix to create a truly full circle response. This stage sees us create the overarching idea, an idea which will see OOH play a key role in delivering the brand aims.

Finally, Implementation sees us powerfully deliver a proposal that we genuinely believe in with clout. And, of course, bring it full circle back in to the agency and back in to Primesight to learn from and develop.

Like Vizeum, we are not the biggest player in our market, but what we lack in size we make up for in agility, creativity and our ability to evolve and develop alongside our clients. This open-mindedness allows us to realign ourselves to really compliment our agencies.

In true Full Circle style I recently returned to Vizeum to meet with James Hankins, Head of Integrated Planning, to show him the journey that the Vizeum DecisionZ training had enabled us to go on.

James said: “The time and effort Primesight put in to understand the language and the processes that agencies use should enable it to produce more effective and creative solution…  something that very few media owners do well and something that will place Primesight in a very good light “.

And it isn’t just Vizeum that can see the potential in this process, without exception all feedback from specialists and agencies has been overwhelming, with many happily surprised to see this modern day thinking coming from the world’s oldest traditional advertising medium.

To have a planning process of this type as a traditional media owner is unique, but to have one built with and around our agencies is unheard of.

Sorry Miss Walker, Media Studies reigned supreme. C’est la vie.

Jessica Baldwin, Account Manager, Primesight

If you’re a media owner and you’d like to contribute to the Vizeum blog then please contact Josh Colley (josh.colley@vizeum.com)  for further details