2008. okt. 29.
2008. okt. 24.
2008. okt. 23.
A brief is the most important piece of information issued by a client to an agency. It’s from the brief that everything else flows. Therefore it’s essential that every effort be taken to prepare the best possible documentation of what is required.
It’s in the nature of creative thinkers that giving them the tightest of parameters will often stimulate the most inventive of responses – and 79% of clients and agencies agreed that: “It is difficult to produce good creative work without a good brief”.
The client brief can be considered the platform for a communications campaign. The better a company’s corporate or brand position is defined and the more thoughtfully its key business issues are described, the more likely it is that strategic and creative thinkers in agencies will be able to apply their specialist skills to produce great solutions.
“The whole idea is to stimulate the creative imagination, not to restrict it. Ultimately you are buying creative ideas. Procurement people can sometimes write briefs as though they were buying copper piping or paperclips. But selling is an art. It’s more like briefing an architect. We need agencies to feel inspired so they can do their best work.” (‘BRIEFING’ RESEARCH 2002: AGENCY SAMPLE)The biggest waste of agency resources is to put them through the process of developing a solution repeatedly without concrete direction. It wears on relationships and is costly in wasted staff time (on both sides).
“We need agencies to get more work right first time. That saves time and money. A proper written brief makes the process more efficient – that’s good for clients and good for agencies.” (‘BRIEFING’ RESEARCH 2002: CLIENT SAMPLE)In our research 99% of agencies and 98% of clients agreed that: “Sloppy briefing and moving goal posts wastes both time and money”. A clear written brief can minimise this wastefulness and maximise the chances of a ‘right first time’ agency response to the client.
“The written brief instils a discipline on my team and the agency to be very clear about what the objectives and expected outcomes are.” (‘BRIEFING’ RESEARCH 2002: CLIENT SAMPLE)Both clients and agencies say that ‘time pressures’ are the main reason for inadequate client briefs. But in fact not writing a brief to save time is a false economy, as more often than not it leads to re-working. Worryingly, 75% of agencies and 55% of clients agreed that: “The briefs that we work on are often changed once the project has started”.
Worse, 79% of agencies reported that: “Clients often use the creative process to clarify their strategy”, and even 35% of clients agreed with this. It’s like using your first set of curtains merely to define how big your windows are!
One of the criticisms that marketing people face from their colleagues in finance and in the boardroom in general is that they lack accountability for the very significant sums of money they spend. The caricature of the flash and superficial marketing executive will only be dispelled by a more professional approach. Ensuring that briefs are written for every project from every agency is an essential place to start.
Over 90% of agencies and 84% of clients agree that: “Payment by results is impossible without fully agreed business objectives”. Given the increasing prevalence of a PBR component in so many remuneration agreements, this is another compelling reason for a proper written brief.
Clearly the scale of the project will dictate the depth and complexity of your brief – one for a major new brand launch will obviously be much more detailed than one for a small tactical advertisement within an existing campaign.
But, whatever the task, a written brief that includes ‘objectives’ and ‘success criteria’ is the foundation stone for accountability and demonstration of the effectiveness of advertising, media, PR, direct marketing, sales promotion and indeed all forms of commercial communications. And without the ability to demonstrate our effectiveness, none of us will receive the remuneration that we deserve.
Quick link: 3 principles of a Good Brief
Quick link: An Interactive Guide to Writing a Brief for Communications Agencies
2008. okt. 22.
On Obama's website, folks can get involved, and campaign on his behalf, with drag and drop code that allows people to fund raise on their own site:
This effectively makes Democrat supporters agents of Obama's campaign, spreading it on his behalf. Which is good for them, and good for Obama.
...Obama's banners on the other hand offers some utility - a tax cut widget that allows people to see how much their tax bill would be under the Democrats:
Of course, Obama even has his own iPhone app
Not to mention the many probama memes all across the web. This is of course not the direct doing of the Obama campaign, but more proof they are connecting with people online:
Sarah Palin still uses Hotmail, Barack Obama is your new Bicycle, When Obama Wins, Palin as President, McCain free whitehouse, The Great Schlep, Things Younger than John McCain, Spelling Change and 30 Reasons to vote for Barack Obama.
McCain, for his side of the equation, has a game of space invaders and McCainSpace, which gave me the exact same feeling I had when my dad did an impromptu "rap" in front of my friends when I was 12. It looks awkward and probably won't draw much of a crowd.
Will this all matter come November 4th? Who knows. US Elections involve countless factors and hundreds of much bigger, knife-edge topics that could prove decisive for one candidate one way or the other. We haven't seen so far how big a role the web will play in swaying a campaign one way or the other (remember a short three elections ago where e-mail use was far from widespread). And TV campaigning is an area that still involves big media spends that will end up determining a lot of people's vote. But if Obama does win, his campaign's approach to the web certainly won't have hurt. And will probably come to be a textbook approach to fighting an election online.
2008. okt. 21.
Most companies treat social media like interactive marketing which is computer to consumer, social media is people to people
This is really the core issue and what currently represents a divide between the worlds of interactive marketing, and organizations who choose to participate in social media beyond pushing content. The gap itself is bridged by participation, meaning that a company empowers PEOPLE to engage and interact with other PEOPLE. This means public and private conversations, activity in comments and a commitment to be responsive in real time. This is potentially messy business and requires a long term commitment. Interactive or digital marketing techniques traditionally do not include this dimension and as outlined in Owyang's podcast the end result often times comes across as traditional marketing using a social channel or worse, can result in a community backlash.In order to bridge the social divide between interactive marketing and something that looks more genuinely like a commitment to meaningfully participate in networks, it's going to take organizations participation itself. Which means people on the company side getting off the sidelines and getting involved."
2008. okt. 19.
- Saul BermanSaul Berman - Global Media and Entertainment Strategy Leader, IBM Global Business Services
- Bill BattinoBill Battino - Communications Sector Managing Partner, IBM Global Business Services
- Louisa ShipnuckLouisa Shipnuck - Global Business Development Executive
- Andreas NeusAndreas Neus - Managing Consultant, Communications Strategy and Change Practice, IBM Global Business Services
2008. okt. 18.
A new survey shows that digital ad spending is on the rise, even in a weakened financial market. Not to say we told you so, but traditional media is feeling the pinch. Looking at the stats actually, it could be more like a punch in the face. Epsilon CMO reports 65% of Chief Marketing Officers admit their “ad budgets will decrease because of the troubled economy, but more of their money will go toward digital/interactive marketing than before.”
The proof is in the pudding: 63% of marketers say their budgets are moving toward interactive or digital marketing, while 59% say their investment in traditional marketing has decreased.
The study acknowledges that marketing budgets always tighten in difficult economic times–even as it goes against the age-old wisdom that this is precisely the time to augment advertising spending. But despite reduced cash flow, marketers increasingly feel they can get more bang for their buck in digital channels. As a result, reasons Epsilon, “This means a shift away from traditional marketing and to interactive and digital marketing that is data-driven and targeted; an approach that is already generating demonstrable returns.” Check out the graph after the jump.
Here’s what the budget trending looks like for marketing channels, according to senior marketing executives in the Epsilon report:
Traditional advertising won’t go away overnight, but the current downturn could finally bring more brands into the digital fold. Is that why these people are celebrating? Or is emerging media also going into a world of hurt?
Howard Mann of The Business Brickyard share 16 really smart questions that every business should ask. The answers aren't as easy as you thing.
- What products or services do you sell?
- What is your core purpose?
- What are the biggest opportunities for your organization/product/service?
- What are the biggest challenges/dangers to overcome?
- What are your unique abilities/strengths?
- Who are your customers?
- List your top 5 primary competitors and their specific strengths as you and/or your market see them
- Who do your target clients think of first when “shopping” your category?
- What is the biggest issue that is dragging down your entire industry?
- What do you dislike most about your market and/or your industry?
- What makes your business a “tough business”?
- What is your organization’s durable competitive advantage? In other words, what can you say that no one else can say?
- Your “Skyscraper” Business. Describe (In as much detail as possible) what you would want your business to be like 20 years from today. Revenue, profit, offices, clients, staff,etc…
- What are the medium term goals of your organization? (Within 3 years)
- What are the short term goals of your organization? (Within 12 months)
- If we were sitting one 1 year from today, what (specifically) would have happened with your business to make you VERY happy with the results?
Suggestion: Put a note in your calendar to ask yourself these questions every six months.
Basically, he says planners need to:
1) Help the clients set the right objectives, not just for communications but for brands and for business
2) Find the right problems to solve instead of just doing what the clients asked for
3) Find new opportunities for our clients to exploit and grow their business