Is the way you brief your agencies driving collaboration – or is it out of step for today’s multichannel world?
Businesses are increasingly adopting a multichannel approach to marketing and communications that caters to a range of audience segments and a staggering number of channels. It’s an intricate communications web but the way individual teams get briefed in to start new work can sometimes lag behind and it’s common for agencies to be tasked with managing a single channel in isolation.
These teams may often see exceptional results for one-off pieces of activity. But to generate results that positively affect overall business performance, it’s essential to change the way you brief your teams. This is particularly important when you’re working with outside parties.
A good brief will make it easier for your partners to deliver compelling solutions that meet your objectives. But try to avoid the temptation to dictate how this should be achieved. Collaboration during the creation of a brief is key, so instead focus on your objectives and desired outcomes and allow the people you work with to help you with the details. Remember why you’ve hired an agency: because you want them to challenge you and push you creatively.
Once you’ve communicated your goals, the next stage involves immersing your partners in your business: how it operates, thinks and acts. This will help everyone understand your core vision and ensure everyone is working towards achieving the same outcome. It’s only when they have this deep understanding that your agencies will be able to develop truly creative and innovative digital solutions. By thinking outcome-first – rather than dictating what you think you need – you’re likely to find that the solutions presented to you are far more sophisticated and effective.
There is, however, a risk of things getting more complicated when bringing so many parties together, especially when taking a multichannel approach. Some businesses look to a quick-fix solution and create individual briefs centred on just one channel. However, this can cause channel fragmentation and lead to teams working in silos. Instead, the brief should make it clear that all ideas need to work effectively across every channel and be driving towards the same goal.
It’s equally important to join the dots when it comes to measurement. Rather than focusing on isolated figures – such as reach and impressions – consider what the results mean for your business as whole. Down the line, you’ll be better placed to assess whether the business problem has been overcome and how successfully the goals have been achieved.
Ultimately, a good brief should therefore be outcome-focused and strategic rather than tactical or channel-led. Although effective results can be achieved through one channel, this approach is less likely to deliver lasting business benefits. The channels might be fragmented but your approach has to be collaborative.