When advertising clients provide creative briefs or statements of work (SOWs) to agencies, there is a bit of a disconnect in how those efforts are perceived.
It’s “bad enough” that only 58% of clients said they provide clear assignment SOW/briefings to their agencies, according to Bruno Gralpois, co-founder of Agency Mania Solutions and the author of the newly released Agency Mania, 2nd Edition. But during an Adweek webinar, sponsored by OpenText Hightail, he pointed out an even more startling statistic: Only 27% of agencies agree with that. “Client guidance is simply poor,” he said. “And in some ways, it’s really pure madness.”
He pointed out that one-third of client budgets are wasted due to poor briefing, with agencies having to do extra work to fill in knowledge gaps and redo uninformed existing efforts—not to mention the lower output quality that can result from that.
Briefing can help to set clearer expectations for both sides from the start, but how do you craft a better brief—and stop the madness?
Gralpois listed 6 checklist questions to ask yourself:
- Does the brief thoughtfully explain your objectives, marketing challenge, audience/insights?
- Is the communication strategy and are the reasons to believe clearly stated?
- Does it include all key creative considerations?
- Are all involved stakeholders aligned and clear on their involvement/role?
- Does the brief set realistic expectations (budget/timing), allowing for adequate time/discussion/approvals?
- Is the brief an exciting assignment to work on?
But perhaps the most important consideration? Don’t push for work when you’re not ready to provide clear scopes and briefs. “If you spend more time in front, you’ll get it back in the long run. It’s a good investment of your time and efforts,” he said.
“If you haven’t asked yourself lately if your scope of work process or briefing process with your agency is strong enough, you might be missing on the opportunity to get better output from your agencies and, frankly, better mileage from your budget.”