All connected – Joy Sanguedolce, connection planner, Lowe Roche

Joy Sanguedolce, Toronto-based Lowe Roche's new connection planner, says the biggest challenge in the newly created position may be 'defining the role and the practice because it's so new to even the Canadian marketplace.'

Joy Sanguedolce, Toronto-based Lowe Roche’s new connection planner, says the biggest challenge in the newly created position may be ‘defining the role and the practice because it’s so new to even the Canadian marketplace.’

Sanguedolce, who spent seven years at Cossette Media, most recently as a media supervisor, is hoping to offer the agency’s clients ‘a more holistic and more intimate connection with their end user and their consumer.’

Thus, in the new role, she will be responsible for just that: figuring out strategic plans that look at every point of contact with the consumer. She started Sept. 6.

Lowe Roche’s VP of strategic planning, Janet McNally, says the connection planner fills a need to ‘understand where the consumer is, and how they’re behaving,’ and supplements the role of the traditional media planner.

‘We’re going to continue to have traditional planners. Their role will be to understand the consumer’s headspace and attitude to determine what the message is going to be; the connection planner will then leapfrog off that in terms of how we say it to them.’

McNally says she first heard of the position being created in the U.S. over a year ago: ‘I think this is just the beginning of it coming to Canada.’

The agency has already started to approach some of its client work with this new philosophy in mind, says president Brett Marchand. He highlights work for the Virgin Mobile launch, which included the addition of urine-test strips in newspapers. ‘If we didn’t have the right media partner thinking about that [it wouldn't have happened]; normally a creative team would have just come up with a newspaper ad.’ (See ‘Biz: Who owns the strategy?’ page 11.)

The overriding belief, adds Sanguedolce, is: ‘Why stop in media? We can bring innovation to all the touch points.’

Sanguedolce says that while her title is somewhat new to the Canadian marketplace, marketers are ready for it and it will only be a matter of time before it’s an element of campaigns in much the ‘same way that strategic planning made its way into Canadian marketing and is [now] fully embraced.’