David Wood, creative director, Iris Associates
All brands want commercial growth. It’s what they need to weather turbulent trading conditions, overcome competitive markets, and ultimately secure their long-term survival. But how can marketers strive for real growth against a backdrop of ever-expanding techniques and channels through which to engage with potential customers? “Old fashioned” marketing processes, which are focussed on delivering ROI on marketing spend, creates an increasing challenge to drive up a brand.
A marketer’s job of briefing agencies is no easy task. What with the pressures of ROI, drive for procurement and multiple stakeholders, it is difficult to set out a brief that clearly defines what must drive a brand forward. That’s not to say that a brief is useless. But a brief can restrict an agency’s ambitions for big ideas before those ideas meet the paper. What’s more, a brief right now may be less significant in two month’s time as the fast-changing digital and social landscape ebbs and flows in different directions, zapping a campaign’s potential to fully meet the brief.
So what is the solution to this myriad of increasingly complex demands? Brands must place greater emphasis on collaborating more closely with agencies. Agencies are employed to provide valuable expertise and enforce creative invention so why not use this resource in new ways and to the advantage of the brand from the outset? Marketers themselves have voiced the value of agencies. A recent report from the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers highlighted that a third of marketing directors feel that there is not enough real collaboration between brands and agencies. The research was carried out because high profile marketing directors said that the current structures were “not fit for purpose”.
From here, brands and agencies could work towards a more open brief that has the scope for adaptation to the current environment at any given time. Put into action, this more open framework could allow agencies to be better equipped from the start and ensure that brand messaging remains consistent and at the heart of the objectives.