The Origins of Method Planning

I [Ellie] always hated writing briefs and strategy documents when I hadn’t visited the store, seen the product in the flesh, or spoken to at least one customer. So, I have always made it a personal mission to get first hand insight before putting pen to paper (or finger to device!)

Fast forward to 2014, when I became pregnant with my twin girls. It dawned on me how could I ever have really empathised with mums-to-be without going through the experience myself. Conveniently, I was working on Emma’s Diary social strategy at the time. I was able to acknowledge the profound understanding and inspiration I was drawing from being part of the target audience. (This direct empathy is why we all love working in sectors that are also our personal passions.) So, I decided to make it a compulsory planning discipline at PSONA.

We call it Method Planning. Borrowing from the likes of Christian Bale and Robert De Niro, we endeavour to understand what really matters to people by walking in their shoes. By putting us in the same natural and spontaneous state that is naturally ours, the method enables us to imagine what the consumer will think and feel in that moment. It hopefully helps us uncover more profound truths, truths that enable us to create better strategies and briefs.

This process of seeing our Client’s brand at every touchpoint, along end-to-end journeys, through the eyes of the consumer, is what enables us to create work that matters. Understanding where a purchase journey really starts, rather than just when it’s first googled. It has certainly led to some of our best performing work at PSONA in the last two years for Co-op and The Military Mutual — check out our website for case studies.

Here on our Medium profile you can follow our latest Method Planning experiences and more from the planning team at PSONA — Will Humphrey, Pierce Calnan and Ellie Gauci.

See you again soon!