5 Steps To Drafting A Killer Integrated Brief

5 Steps To Drafting A Killer Integrated Brief

Most of us who have worked agency-side have learnt from an early stage that “the client is always right”. No matter what.

This story was originally published by WFA

Most marketers looking to improve the way the way they deliver integrated marketing solutions could benefit from taking a good hard look at their own briefing process. You may feel that you have a way to go, but don’t be ashamed, you are not alone.

One area where humility is especially rife is agency briefing. I’m not talking about the “good old days” of briefing a single creative agency for a 30” TVC. I mean briefing a complicated portfolio of agencies to collaborate and deliver integrated marketing solutions across multiple touch points, in many markets.

At recent WFA meeting in London (see video below) and Singapore we focused on the ‘art’ of briefing and heard how a range of different brands are trying to develop their own solutions.

Most marketers looking to improve the way the way they deliver integrated marketing solutions could benefit from taking a good hard look at their own briefing process. You may feel that you have a way to go, but don’t be ashamed, you are not alone.

Some recurring themes emerged from both the survey and discussions:

#1 Brief in person

One agency in South-East Asia shared a horror-story with us of being brief via SMS. Whilst that’s an extreme example, the point is that the manner of the briefing is often as important as the detail. Nothing beats the personal touch.

Impressively, given their global/regional scope, more than 85% of our respondents do brief in person, with 74% now briefing all departments and agencies at the same time.

#2 Co-create the brief

Respondents were also making efforts to create a sense of co-ownership around the brief, often involving agencies and local partners in the brief development.

Many feel the most effective approach is to create a small hand-picked team (maybe five to six people) from a range of different functions to ensure what is developed is both clear and truly integrated.

#3 Comms plan first

A common mistake is to start the process by developing creative and content and then try and develop the programme or campaign based on those assets. This has huge potential for wastage if only five of the 100 pieces of content created are actually used.

Our discussions highlighted that a more effective approach would be to start with a ‘touchpoint blueprint’ or customer journey. Whilst 81% of respondents claimed to include a single view of the consumer in their brief, almost half (48%) did not include a clear customer journey. This appears to be an area many companies need support with and will be addressed on future IMCFORUM agendas.

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