By Allan Blair, Head Of Strategy EMEA and Post Creative Strategist at VaynerMedia
Earlier this year, the Strategy department at VaynerMedia underwent a change. Wanda Pogue, Chief Strategy Officer, asked each of the 130 global team members to update their title to include “Post Creative Strategist.” Wanda herself adopted the change and can be found on LinkedIn as “Chief Strategy Officer, Post Creative Strategist.”
The idea of a Post Creative Strategist came to life in 2020, when our CEO, Gary, wrote a blog post that the traditional advertising and media strategy was broken, and that constant analysis must be taken throughout each step of a campaign to be successful. Not just before or even during the creative process but after it has launched too.
Our mission as a company is to “find right” for our clients – it means we have to pay meticulous attention to culture and consumer behaviour to insert them directly into the zeitgeist and craft culturally relevant work that is right for them as a brand. To accomplish this, in 2021 VaynerMedia began officially hiring for the newly minted Post Creative Strategist role. Unique in the world of advertising, it can’t be found at any other agency.
At its core, it blends strategy, research, and community management. A Post Creative Strategist’s first step is to conduct an extensive audit to understand the needs of a client, the state of the overall category they exist within, competitors or key players, and brand reputation. From there, they develop what we call “cohorts,” or highly-specific audiences, which serve as a launchpad for all creative ideas.
At VaynerMedia we believe social should be at the centre of how brands do their marketing. Not only has it revolutionised how people find and consume content but it’s also the world’s largest mass qualitative and quantitative insight machine. There has never been a greater way to observe unprompted human behaviour and opinion.
Our Post Creative Strategists live in social, observing this behaviour, pulling insights and making real-time recommendations to clients. This practice goes beyond the traditional boundaries of a strategist’s role, and ensures that each person on the team fosters a deeper connection with the audience and the work they produce. This further allows for better brand positioning, because the work is done consumer-up, with greater speed, and allows for the team to go to market with positioning we’re more confident in. We don’t have to guess if a campaign is going to be successful, because we already know what resonates most effectively with consumers.
In a world that’s so constantly changing, finding success for clients means matching the speed of change in effective ways. And to do this, each and every member of the Strategy team has to understand, emulate and appreciate the responsibilities of a Post Creative Strategist. And it’s not just on the Strategy team – it’s something all employees across each and every department at VaynerMedia are encouraged to do.
We’re a social-first, integrated agency, and to best service our clients, it takes an always on, always listening, and always engaging model to succeed. It’s a mindset, and one we’ve found to be incredibly motivating. While the role is unique to VaynerMedia, the practice can and should be widely adopted, to push strategy into the 21st century at last.