I saw this video from WIRED.Com with the caption "Architects! Design, not Draw!". It talks about how software has made life a little easier for architects - freeing up their time to actually design and not draw.
The same could be said of media planning: Design consumer experiences, not calculate!
The really funny thing is, I got a call from a recruiter a couple of months ago asking me if I had credentials to plan digital campaigns. My response was kinda long-winded, but in its essence, it was simple: I am - at heart - a planner who believes that digital is 'just' a medium that allows brands to enhance the experiences of consumers such that they fall in love - either for the first time or yet again - with the brand.
And that yes, if they wanted me to calculate and segment and do deep-dives using percentages and beyond-percentages techniques on their digital media plans, I can do that, too. There are techniques and software (and algorithms implementable in C++ or the more difficult [for me] specialized software, "R") that can do that.
But that's not really what I think digital planning ought to be: Digital planning is about the experience that needs to be captured and measured not just through 'clickstream' analysis, but also through other techniques (A/B, Quasi Experiments, Eye-tracks, Mindhounds, Mousetracks, Overlays, Opt-In Session Hounds, Direct Surveys, Pre/Post Studies).
I never got a call back from the recruiter - and the company.
Either I don't get the digital world or they don't.
The thing about digital companies now is that they have a tendency to think that because it's new, the fundamentals of communications have changed. I don't think so. Advertising and media planning may have the need to change - but the fundamentals of brands, consumers, and their relationships remain the same: it's just that, we have more information.
And software programs have been designed - or can be designed (through programs - ranging from Visual Basic to C++ to SPSS to Lisrel) - to make sense of these information.
I guess they thought I wasn't cut for the job.