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Tracing the evolution of advertising account planning

Park Beede (College of Communication and Media Sciences, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 30 July 2019

Issue publication date: 14 August 2020




This study aims to contribute a comprehensive historical analysis of account planning in scholarly literature, tracing its origins in agency adoption through transformation amid today’s rapidly changing advertising environment.


The paper applies a historical literature review of advertising account planning literature spanning over a half-century. The analysis focuses on dual dimensions of chronological evolution and thematic content analysis to trace the development of key constructs and their changes over time.


The analysis sheds light on the origins of account planning as a discipline and factors influencing its practice among agencies. Three distinct chronological stages of development are identified, and four dominant construct themes evident across time. Analysis indicates that traditional account planning was well formed functionally in the 1990s and peaked in prominence around the turn of the new millennium. Of late, however, advances in account planning theory appear limited and the future fragmented.


This study provides a unique historical perspective tracing the chronological development and key constructs of account planning. Implications for the future of the planning discipline are uncertain as agencies innovate with new functional roles seeking to unlock consumer insights and creative opportunities in the digital advertising environment.



Beede, P. (2020), "Tracing the evolution of advertising account planning", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 285-303.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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