Getting To The Bottom Of Creating Really Effective Briefs

We bet you are wondering where we are heading with this blog? Well, we felt compelled to put “pen to paper” in response to articles we have read recently in conjunction with a survey carried out by “Better Briefs” and in association with Marketing Week. 

The focus was all around the brief given to marketing agencies from marketeers within a business.  I think its fair to say that even we took a step back in amazement with the results.  A staggering high number (over 70%) of marketeers felt they gave a clear brief to an agency whereas less than 10% of agencies felt they received clear briefs!

In this blog we look at what needs to be done to create marketing superheros that deliver really effective briefs.

We Ask, “What The Brief Is Going On?”

This topic has sparked a great deal of conversation within our business and even made its way onto the agenda at one of our recent Marketing Planning Discovery events. This created considerable conversation and what is interesting to now look back on in that event is how the discussion developed into more dialogue around what marketing is and what processes businesses have in place to ensure they are being driven by a team wide marketing culture.

Those who attended the event were also quite surprised at the findings of the survey, yet, when we think about it a little more deeply, perhaps other things start to fall into place.

Something we hear quite a lot is where agencies tell us the challenge is constantly to get good content from clients. On the flip side, just recently a business was telling us that they expect the agency to come up with the content. What is that secret key to unlocking all this?

The answer has to lie within the brief.

How To Deliver An Effective Brief

So, how do we get to the stage when we deliver an effective brief? It has to start right back at the very beginning and start with the business. If we think for a moment about the incredible range of “stuff” that makes up a business, for example, processes, people, transactions, locations, emotions, experiences, decisions and futures. Wow, that is a lot of stuff! So, how do we translate all that into something that can offer an agency the right ingredients for them to then deliver on some (yes, some!) of the marketing for the business?

Marketing itself is a process made up of totally wonderful smaller and intricate processes. So many solid elements join together to create this magical thing called marketing yet, so many people still find it quite challenging to actually define it. Once a business has real ownership of that and can see it, can almost touch it and knows how it looks for their business then and only then, is it possible to engage a third party to help deliver on that.

Communication & Connectivity

Communication is at the heart of this and its about connectivity. That is the connectivity of people and processes – knowing the joins is vital for success. That said, we know that as humans and in daily life, things happen, that’s the bit that makes all this even more fantastic. We need to allow that to be. How we deal with changes and external influences is just another part of marketing. By adopting a framework to support marketing thinking, planning and tracking, you are creating a “one page” scenario and this offers clarity at all points. This is something that needs to be shared both internally and externally (with agencies) It’s about understanding the passion and actual reason “why” – why did you start the business or why are you operating in business.

An effective brief is not “can you just do our social media” or “we sell widgets, can you put that on our Facebook?”

Get A Clear Understanding Of Marketing
In Line With Commercial Objectives

There are so many talented people operating in marketing agencies who can deliver on such a wide range of areas such as video production, social media posting, podcasts, graphics, web design, SEO or PPC amongst many others.

When we mentioned earlier about “some of” in respect of delivering on a marketing plan, we really meant it. It is about a clear understanding of the marketing function in line with actual commercial reasons and then its about resourcing that. This is by those within the business and external agencies. For those within a business having that clear plan supports training and development opportunities and assists with that communication to an agency. Ultimately, what really wins here is creativity and that is the way to stand out. Being able to explore ideas and have a clear path to do that is 100% the way forward and the way to unlock powerful briefs!

To join the conversation, why not book on one of our Marketing Strategy Discovery Hours?