One question that I get asked is what books should I read if I want a career in Account Planning. This is the same question that I asked my first Planning Director Ben Mack at JWT Hollywood, an agency that has since been merged into MindShare and Ogilvy respectively.
Here is my list for young planners that want a primer:
1) Truth, Lies and Advertising by Jon Steel: Read the first half of the book. The second half of the book is case studies that you can take or leave. If you dislike this book before starting account planning you will likely hate the career of account planning.
2) Hey Whipple, Squeeze This by Luke Sullivan: The main job of an account planner should be to inspire creatives. This is a good book to find out how the creative think. This puts you in the shoes of your audience.
3) How to do Account Planning by Alan Cooper: The great thing about this book is it helps archetype different types of planners - Grand Brand Strategists, Storytellers and Ad Tweakers. It gets into the practical side of the craft.
4) Plugged In: The Gen Y Guide to Thriving at Work by Tamara Erickson: I didn't read this book until later in my career but I think it was fantastic and would be good for anyone who is starting out in advertising today. It doesn't specifically talk about account planning but it is good to help shape your career.