Mark Ritson will tell you that advertising makes up about 6% of a marketer’s remit, which means 94% of their focus and energy is elsewhere. As a planner, our job is to be that focus for our clients and ensure that the investment they make in their ad spend is the most effective it can be. So, how can we do that when 90% marketers fail to brief agencies properly, and 6 out of 10 admit to using the creative process to clarify the strategy (shocking, but true – just ask Pieter-Paul!).
A tool I’ve found super useful is the Five Whys. By asking why something is happening a few times, you ladder up to the root cause of the problem. Chances are it will be a business problem, which may or may not be solved in its entirety with an advertising solution.
And this is where you can be most helpful to your client – by highlighting exactly how much of the problem they’re facing can be addressed with advertising, what success may look like and what it will take to achieve it.
Many of my clients (and I’m guessing yours, too) are so bogged down with their day-to-day tasks that they sometimes struggle to take pause, reflect and wonder why. Cue you and the five whys, and I promise you that the creative that comes out the door will be a far more effective solution than you could have hoped for if you’d simply responded to the original brief.
Written by Smiljka Dimitrijevic, Head of Planning at 303 MullenLowe