“Most marketers, a whopping 95% of them, don’t provide strategic direction to their agencies. They fail for two reasons. First, because they don’t have strategic clarity themselves. Second, because they cannot communicate it to their agencies via the brief“.
Source: Mark Ritson. BetterBriefs.
So, if we follow that through:
No strategy = badly written brief = poor creative work (unless you are super lucky) = more creative work = unnecessary additional resource (time and money)
It begs the question, why don’t marketers have strategic clarity?
If we face into some of the possible issues:
People don’t know what a strategy is..
and assume it will take a long time...
and be difficult...
and choices will have to be made...
and don’t want to get it wrong...
and therefore ignore it because that feels easier
and jump straight to execution...
and round and round it goes
So, if strategy is not well understood, let’s rebrand it.
What shall we call it? Brand Direction? Suggestions?
Because that’s what a strategy does. It provides you and your agencies with the clear direction you want your brand to go in. Without it, you’re basically saying take the brand wherever you want to – we went left last year but maybe we’ll try right now...or backwards...who knows?
As with any journey, in order to decide on your brand direction, you need to consider your destination – where do you want your brand to be in 5 years time?
And by that I mean do you want to buy your brand? Describe them? Listen to them. What do they care about? What are their pain points?
What do you want them to think when they see your brand? What will they say about it? How will the brand relieve their pains? What will delight them?
Ok, so you know the destination, now work out the steps you need to take to get there.
Keep refining it until it becomes an effortlessly easy story that you can replay. You’ll know when it hangs together perfectly and feels right.
Then step away from the slides...can you tell someone the story of your brand’s future in a simple and engaging way?
Just by taking these really simple steps, you are well on your way to creating a strategy.
It’s that simple.