Market professionals tell you what elements a briefing needs to have to be considered ideal
The theory says that briefing is the gathering of information about certain work that needs to be done. It is the start of a long journey, the starting point. But what is seen, in practice, is a distance between what would be the ideal and reality.
Superficial and confusing information, lack of alignment between teams, lack of competitive analysis, and, in certain cases, even the lack of a formal briefing are among the most common mistakes in this process.
Léo Balbi, chief business officer at VMLY&R, compares the briefing to a map. “A briefing should not outline the route to be followed, but it can and should avoid dangerous routes and warn of possible accidents on the way. In this way, it is possible to direct, without hindering, leaving room for creativity, inventiveness and innovation” , it says.
In addition to leaving the way free for creativity, as the VMLY&R executive stressed, this stage of the work is a way to optimize time and money. Head of client at Ogilvy, Denise Caruso highlights the role of contributing to the alignment of the expectations of the parties involved in the process. “With this, we guarantee the correct allocation of resources and professionals in the project, in addition to optimizing the execution process already in the initial phase”.
Check below what a briefing needs to have to be considered ideal, in the opinion of professionals from the main agencies in the country.
“An ideal briefing is inspiring and purposeful. He’s hard on the don’ts, but soft on the do’s. It opens possibilities, draws different paths, seeks references and benchmarks. It can even be questioning or even rebellious. It just can’t be warm, standardized. He has to make whoever reads it say “hey, cool, huh…”. Even because, not all briefings that arrive from the client are interesting or promising. We are the ones who must train a keen eye, a keen sense of smell and an open mind.”
Léo Balbi, chief business officer da VMLY&R
“A complete briefing must include information about the product or service, target audience, market scenario, competitors, clear business and communication objectives, project scope, budget, as well as deadline and delivery schedule. A good briefing ensures organization of the process, avoids noise, ensures that planning develops inspiring insights for creation and media and guarantees quality of final delivery to the client”.
Denise Caruso, head of client da Ogilvy Brasil
“Contain as much information for the development of the work, company data, market references, competitors, type of project, product, main differentials, positive and negative points, consumer knowledge, target, objectives, schedule, budget and deadline for meet customer expectations”
Samanta Germano, business director at Leo Burnett Tailor Made
“Customer involvement at all stages, without a doubt. Here at WMcCann, we already have that experience. We even reached 0% refactoring in the University students campaign for Banco do Brasil, for example, because we had a well-structured briefing. This was mainly due to the integration of the areas and because we always put the customer at the center of the solution discussions. Having goals and objective KPI’s for evaluating results is also fundamental”
Patricia Andrade, Executive VP and General Manager of WMcCann Brasília
“A briefing should capture the essence of the problem to be solved, not bring solutions. A good briefing should raise hypotheses, contain data that can feed the team with direction, and be easily understood by anyone who has access to it. It’s important to be succinct, with defined context and goals, as well as data that fuels creativity. It is necessary to have clear, from the beginning, which messages should be transmitted, in addition to defining the KPI to be measured in that communication”
Gabriela Borges, VP Customer Service at Publicis
“The briefing needs to be seen as a pre-plan. It must contain not only the information sent by the client, but also the perceptions of the team that took this briefing. Market information, objective clearly, KPIs expected in the result, analysis of competitors, detailed deliverables and the budget separated by activity front”
Michel Issa, VP Business and Operations at Tracylocke Brazil
“Once upon a time, the briefing was a bible, with lots and lots of pages of information. Today, one tweet sums it all up. For me, neither extreme is positive. I understand that communication is more agile and the briefing has to adapt to it, however, any briefing in my opinion has to have the minimum information necessary in these 4 pillars: Brand (history, context and objectives), People (study and listening of consumers and prospects), Channels (channel study and competition benchmark) and Budget (budget for production and media clearly identified). With the minimum of information on each pillar, it is already possible to develop an assertive campaign”
Luis Constantino, CCO from Oliver Latin America
“The briefing is an essential element for us to know the client’s objective in his communication. If there is a problem to be solved, if the client wants to bring awareness to the brand. It’s the briefing that gives us the direction even of building brands, increasing sales. So, a good briefing, of course, needs to have clear and objective information.”
Fernanda Feldman, Customer Service Director at David
“A good briefing needs to contextualize the moment, period or “thermometer” of the brand, bring what the solution needs to deliver as a measurable result, a budget so that the project is already built with this directional and what cannot be missed in the journey that the agency will deliver”
Daniela Graicar, coCEO of PROS
“If a briefing is not inviting, we fail. Working with communication today requires breath, especially in projects and brands with many stages of approval. We know that the briefing has the role of bringing out the best in teams and collaborating with a less stressful process. SoWhat, the briefings are designed like this: to start, we explain why we are doing this – a way to involve the team in the challenge to be solved. Then, we curate information that really matters, open up possibilities and make room for new paths Finally, we use the briefing as a key element to provoke solutions that go beyond the request of a campaign, for example. After all, why not interfere in the client’s business with transformative ideas?”
Caroline Swinka, COO of the Master.co Group and Director of Service at SoWhat
“The ideal briefing should draw the whole scenario of where we are and where we want to go. We know that not all information is always available, but I consider as basic information: if a similar project has already been carried out; need/problem to be solved; what is the current problem on the project, if any (delivery quality, deadline, scope); what information needs to be disclosed and to which audience; what is the client’s main objective; expected benefits/results; premises; restrictions; scratchs; references; assumption of contemplation and non-contemplation (all scope contemplated); and what we don’t want to see
Karen Mastria, Director of Digital Behavior & Operations at Colony