Am working on a creative brief at the moment. Enjoying the usual grappling with all the questions and tensions needed for any brief. Not a big deal except for the fact it will be the only brief I am a part of this year. Still an adjustment from working on many briefs in a year, some by me some helping others get to a great one.
Being the one, the singular brief of the year, is scary. Induces giving much thought around how to make it the best damn possible brief to ensure the creative output is naturally as awesome as possible. Another adjustment is not being the planner, so not officially in charge of the "strategy," but certainly not any less responsible for it.
When preparing a brief we often make a lot of decisions that dramatically affect the outcome of the brief. Partly what goes into the brief, but how we get to what goes into the brief and why. Decisions, outside the normal brief or agency "process" that lead to just another brief or an exceptional legendary brief. Decisions, often seeming so routine that while focused on what goes into the brief we lose sight of why, by who, and when.
The why, who and when are ultimately core strategic decisions, about how you get to a good strategy, or brief, or the thing that makes clear and inspiring what needs to be done which may or may not be written in a standard agency template form.
While the endless pursuit of smarter insights is an essential obsession and necessity, increasingly a successful brief is layered with solid thinking around an architecture surrounding the heart of insight.
An architecture that deeply and rigorously understands the context of the media (ways in which people will touch, see or feel whatever it is we make) and the cross interactions within that media infrastructure (aka. culture.)
However, what is desperately of concern that gets little consideration often is what we prepare around the core architecture of the brief and how people get to, contribute to and work with the brief.
1. Who is going to get the brief when if first comes through the door from client?
2. Who will work on contributing to getting to a great brief and when?
3. Who will then get briefed to solve the brief and who will help blow out the solution to the brief? When will the later happen, and why?
A lot of "who"s.
Essentially a strategy for how you will get to a great strategy. And a strategy for how that strategy will lead to a great outcome.
A lot of strategy, yes, I know it's not cool to use that word any more. But really it just means a well thought out plan for how you will get to a great solution.
When a who is identified it is too easy to avoid asking why. Because every agency has an increasing number of "Director of Something or the Other" it is an easy trait to throw these folks at everything without clarity of why. You need them, but why and when?
Especially important as the disciplines of our little marketing world recouple, often bringing different agencies together.
It is a great problem of our time, what is the right strategy to get to a great strategy that can lead to a great solution to a business problem.
Right, time to get on with it.