The BetterBriefs Project Finds 33% Of Marketing Budgets Wasted Due To Poor Briefs

The BetterBriefs Project Finds 33% Of Marketing Budgets Wasted Due To Poor Briefs
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

This Friday the BetterBriefs Project will premiere industry-confronting findings from the first-ever global study into the shortcomings of marketing briefs at the IPA’s flagship marketing effectiveness event EffWorks Global 2021.

In collaboration with research partner Flood + Partners, the BetterBriefs Project was initiated by Australian strategists Matt Davies and Pieter-Paul von Weiler.

The study reveals the staggering and uncomfortable truths about the confusion, misalignment and miscommunication between marketers and agencies.

The survey is the largest ever done on this topic representing the opinions of over 1700 marketeers and agency staff from over 70 countries.

The study found that marketers and agencies are on different planets:

  • Marketers (80 per cent) think they write good briefs, and only 10 per cent of creative agencies agree.
  • Over three-quarters of marketers (78 per cent) think the briefs they write provide clear strategic direction, with only five per cent of creative agencies agreeing.
  • And when it comes to language, marketers (83 per cent) believe that the briefs they write contain clear and concise language, with only seven per cent of agencies agreeing.

Briefs are essential but neglected:

  • Marketers (89 per cent) and agencies (86 per cent) agree that it’s challenging to produce good creative work without a good marketing brief.
  • However, despite their importance and value, almost all marketers (90 per cent) and agencies (92 per cent) agree that the brief is one of the most valuable and paradoxically most neglected tools marketers have to create good work.

The impact:

  • Poor briefs erode marketing budgets. Respondents estimated that a substantial 33 per cent of the marketing budget goes to waste due to poor briefs and misdirected work.
  • And rebriefs happen too often with marketers (69 per cent) and agencies (73 per cent) agreeing, leading to loss of time, money and fueling frustration on both sides.

Janet Hull OBE, IPA director of marketing strategy and executive Director IPA EffWorks, said: “How can you say what you mean if you don’t mean what you say?

“Which is precisely the issue that this thorough research brings to the fore: you can’t produce good work without a good evidence-based brief with realistic outcomes and sensible budgets. They are the building block of the client/agency relationship and the campaign outcome.

“A bad brief results in wasted time, money and patience all around. But let’s turn a negative into a positive here. Now we know the extent of the problem, we are also presented with an opportunity to improve the briefing process and reclaim the third of the marketing budget lost to bad briefs – which is why we will be adding this to the list of our EffWorks R&D priorities for 2022.”

Matt Davies and Pieter-Paul von Weiler, BetterBriefs Project co-founders, said: “The aim of the BetterBriefs project is to jumpstart more informed conversations about briefs. They should direct and inspire, not confuse and frustrate. Our results demonstrate the sad reality of the current state of the industry.

“Marketers and agencies should communicate better with each other.”

Research partner, Vaughan Flood, Flood + Partners, said: “This is a truly revelatory study. It highlights the scale of the marketing brief problems and the perceptual gap between marketers and their agencies. Fortunately, it also shines a light on ways to move things forward in a positive direction.”

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