The Strategic Planner's Workout

A well-crafted advertising or communication strategy can turn your client’s business problems into branding opportunities. That’s the difference between your brand being the talk of the town and a mediocre nobody.

There’s no secret to it: creating an excellent strategy requires a keen eye for detail and a razor sharp mind to boot. The foremost strategists have an uncanny talent to single out valuable insights from mountains of research data and bridge the gap between business problems and creative inspiration. However, as the industry evolves, crafting and understanding a communication strategy has now become an integral process in advertising, no matter which department you’re in.

Today, the 4As has created a training programme that lets you understand the essence of world-class strategic planning. Designed by 95% in consultation with Strategic Planning guru and Chairman of Global Brand Forum Karthik Siva, the 2-day Strategic Planner’s Workout is a one-stop workshop that covers the strategic planning process from start to finish.

First, you’ll hear from the best planners in the industry on how they think strategically. You’ll then be drilled in the tools of the trade. This will bring you up to speed with today’s essential planning practices. Lastly, work with Karthik himself to apply what you’ve learned and crack a brief. With his mentoring and coaching throughout the entire process, you’re bound to catch some pearls of wisdom you can put to good use.

When you return to the office with these new skills, don’t be surprised if taking your game to the next level becomes instinctive. Or even easy.

Day 1
Opening a Window into Strategic Planning

4 top Strategic Planner will share with you their tools, techniques and knowledge. You’ll feel enlightened and inspired to take on new challenges. Then when the windows into a deeper understanding of strategic planning have been opened, the doors to creative solutions will open too.

09.00 am Introduction & Context Set
09.30 am The Role of The Planner & The Power of the Truth
by Karthik Siva
The science of kinesiology (muscle testing) shows that human beings are programmed to respond to the truth. Hence, the most powerful campaigns, the ones that resonate with the target, are the ones that are built on truth. Karthik will bring you on a journey to understand the Evolution of Planning and how today’s Planning Cycle is held together by the bold naked truth.
10.30 am BREAK
11.00 am Getting to the root of the client’s problem
by Pi Wo Chia
The crux of planning lies in being able to correctly identify the business problem that needs to be solved. However, this can sometimes be difficult to see. To prevent time and effort from being misdirected, planners need to learn to ask questions that draw out the truth.
11.50 am The Art & Science of Finding Insights
by Andrew Yeoh
A wise man once said, a great insight is worth a thousand ideas. Great insights allow ads to practically write themselves. It states a fundamental
truth that alters the way we see the world.
In this talk, Andrew leverages his rich experience in advertising and marketing, across the client and agency spectrum to uncover key tools and techniques to unearth powerful, actionable insights. Insights that make the complex simple. And make the simple irresistible. Because a truly powerful insight changes behaviour, shapes perception and builds brands.
01.00 pm LUNCH
02.00 pm Translating Insights into a Compelling Positioning
by Amit Sutha
You’ve found an insight, now how do you connect it to the brand in manner that is both functional and yet is creatively inspiring? Not so simple is it? In this talk, Amit will share with you his secrets to making that process simpler.
02.45 pm Tools And Techniques From Karthik’s 20 Years of Experience
The world renowned Brand Strategist will give you an in-depth understanding of your role, and equip you with tools that will redefine the way you work. You’ll end the day with a new level of competence and courage.First Karthik will redefine your role as the person who is responsible of the advertising or communication strategy for your client’s brand.

True strategising is about seeing, not thinking. Karthik explains how planners can avoid being trapped by ‘planning stereotypes’. You’ll be able to identify your own archetype and how you can use your natural strengths.

Then, Karthik will share with you the techniques of being a great planner form his 20 years of experience. The following will be covered:

  • Insight Out Communication
  • The Difference Between Symptom and Problem
  • Unearthing & Unravelling Insights
  • Finding the Sweet Spot

You’ll learn to identify and solve the client’s business problem using intuition and logic, creativity and clarity.

In summary, here are the topics that will be covered in Karthik’s session.
1. Essentials of strategy
2. Finding the sweet spot
3. Assignment briefing (for live practice)

Day 2
Putting it to Practice, Receiving Feedback & Recognizing Areas to Improve
09.00 am Practice & Application Session
Participants will be led by Karthik to apply the tools & techniques to work on a brief. They will have the opportunity to review their assignment through coaching and mentoring by Karthik himself.
12.00 pm LUNCH
01.00 pm Presentation to Speakers
The participants will then present their ideas to the speakers and Karthik. They will be receiving valuable feedback from them as well.Group 1 (15 mins present + 15 mins feedback)
Group 2 (15 mins present + 15 mins feedback)
Group 3 (15 mins present + 15 mins feedback)
Group 4 (15 mins present + 15 mins feedback)
03.00 pm Debrief of Assignment & Learn from Feedbacks
03.45 pm BREAK
04.15 pm Lock in the Learnings
Participants will be guided to review, distill and lock-in learnings from Day 1 & 2 by Karthik

Who should attend : Those who are responsible and involve in developing the advertising and/or communication strategy to brands.
Duration : 2 Days
Time : 9am – 6.30pm (Registrations starts at 8.45am)
HRDF Claimable : This training is 100% HRDF Claimable under the SBL scheme. For enquiries, please contact 95% The Advertising Academy
Download the PDF

Contact Thiva, or call 03-7932 3096 to customize it to your company as an in-house program.

Testimonials (click to view)

Here are some commendations from our previous participants;

This workshop should be made an annual project for all planners and account management, maybe even clients.


Finally I am no longer in the dark! Very good planning 101 especially when planning is hard to define. There was a good combination of imparting knowledge and practical sessions. Make it almost mandatory for all planners (especially juniors) to attend because it’s extremely helpful. – Cindy Lim, Strategic Planner, Naga DDB


Please give the industry more of this. – Joescher Chee, CEO, Joescher Adhaus