Would the Raptors have won the NBA Championship without a game plan?

Of course not! How can we expect success without a plan or clear goals in mind? It seems obvious, yet many marketers jump the gun without the prep time or effort that is needed.

In an omni-channel world of customized content, limited budgets, resources and an always-on marketplace, it is crucial that brands have a proper planning and briefing process in place both internally and with their agency partners. Without a well-thought out plan, you can expect chaos and missteps, scope creep, time and resources wasted, and potentially less than optimal marketing efforts.

Having a proper brief, and really understanding and communicating all of the key elements to all the key parties is critical, but it is an often-missed exercise due to lack of time or resources.

A brand’s marketing team needs to understand and articulate who the audience really is, the key messaging that will resonate with that audience and move them towards their goal(s). Plus, they need to outline the outcomes they hope to achieve, how to measure them and the deliverables they are expecting.

It all starts with a proper brief.

When filling out a brief you need to start with the true business goal. Sometimes the goal can be clouded by superficial answers that need further examination. An example of this might be ‘We want more social followers’. Getting more social followers might be a KPI, but why do you want these additional followers?

Some questions to ask are:

  • Is getting more social followers a S.M.A.R.T. goal for your marketing efforts? What do you want your followers to do?
  • How will this move your business forward?
  • At what cost, and what is the ROI needed?
  • What will success really look like?

The brief needs to include all the relevant information needed to deliver on successful outcomes. Ensuring that all internal and external stakeholders have agreed upon and understood the objectives, budget, timelines and desired outcomes will help make the overall process much more efficient and effective. The other problem that can arrive without a proper brief is that a brand might think they should start a marketing tactic without considering or understanding ‘why’ they should do it because they see other brands or competitors doing it.

While I believe that brands need to test new options without the proper reasoning behind it, it can be a waste of resources. The “shiny new thing” syndrome or “we are missing the boat” thinking can creep in and get brands to jump on the bandwagon, but you need to really consider if it makes sense for your brand.

Is your audience engaging in this space or with this type of content and is this an effective and efficient way to communicate with them compared to other options? Also, do you have the resources to stretch or move your budget to cover an additional platform, type of content, or tactic? Are you spreading your resources too thin trying to cover off everything in this fragmented marketplace?

Planning needs to be done with a holistic understanding of how can you most effectively deliver on your goals with the resources you have and within the timeline you have set.

At Fifth Story, we have developed a number of briefs that help our clients better plan their marketing efforts. Each brief asks a lot of questions and sometimes it isn’t possible to fill in all the details due to lack of information, research, and/or the information may seem repetitive. However, these briefs help to clarify your objectives and bring forth considerations that help to set a course to meet your goals on time and budget.

Check out some of our downloadable resources to help you plan for your next project.

If you are looking for a partner to help with your marketing strategy and execution, feel free to reach out and discuss it with us at info@fifthstory.com.