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Who ever got the perfect brief? Ever?

Chris Field
Chris Field

Whether you blame the client, the supplier, or someone else entirely, what starts as one thing almost always finishes as another. This doesn’t matter as long as the results beat the client’s expectations, but all too often projects forgo the brief and don’t properly measure the results.

It used to happen all the time, in the days when marketing didn’t really have to deliver a measurable result. Call me a cynic, but I remember the days when people just ‘did a load of marketing’ and then moved onto the next budget and next campaign cycle. That’s why everyone used to use the term marketing mix, because you could fudge the ingredients, the execution and even the resulting outcome. Even if it looked half-baked or over-cooked, you could always hide behind the research, which told you you were on track.

Not anymore. Now, marketing can, should and must deliver accountability. We live in a world of identical unique solutions, so finding the point of difference and communicating it well is a big part of generating genuine interest from an industry that is busy, impatient and already struggling to spot the difference between company A and company B.

Most marketers’ answer is to fall back on the marketing text book, tick all the boxes and cross their fingers in the hope that this approach will not spawn a monster that stalks the office, unloved and disowned but hard to get rid of.

And that’s my point. If the marketing industry is setting your expectations low then you may not believe me when I say there is a better way. And it starts with the brief. What you say to me and what I say back to you. This requires honesty, possibly to the point of downright rudeness, and time.

Slow down! From the start, we gotta get this right.

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