Are we planners or strategists?

As she ramps up the latest Planning Survey Heather LeFevre is asking, “Are we planners or are we strategists? Does it matter?”

My answer: it is easier to be called a strategist.

I went to Miami Ad School to learn planning. I then worked in digital agencies as Digital Strategists, in a start-up agency as an Idea Architect and now in an experiential agency as a Digital Strategist.

What I’ve learned is no matter what you call yourself you still have to explain what it means in strategy terms.

“I’m X. I do brand strategy, consumer research…”

Now maybe at big traditional shops that’s not an issue, but you know where it is always an issue? When looking for work outside of big traditional shops.

The world has expanded beyond agency and client-side. Our skills are valuable to start-ups, design shops and other types of innovative labs/studios/places, but they may not realize it because they don’t get the title.

And, what use is a title that doesn’t easily explain what you do?

I struggle to find an appropriate title for myself. I’m some type of hybrid creative and strategist and digital person. Depending on the place that could be a digital strategist, a planner or a creative strategist. Or something entirely different.

But the bottom line is this: While I don’t have the answer for what is the best title, I know planner hasn’t worked for me.

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Are we planners or strategists?

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