Technical Marketing
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The Brief

David Brooks  14.07.2016

Getting the brief right and complete first time can save a great deal of time, money and frustration. But of course it doesn't happen very often.

I find it always helps when the client's brief to the agency is part of an established strategy. And that is typically a Marketing Plan supported by a Corporate Identity manual and quite importantly by a budget. As a marketing agency we typically operate as part of the marketing team and will have had input to the top level marketing strategy and planning, be familiar with the CI,  aware of the budget and critically have a good understanding of the market. Perhaps because of this issue of market understanding, b-2-b agencies often tend to specialise in a specific market.

All this helps with providing a comprehensive design brief, but even then it is often the case that important elements of the project are missing. Back in the distant past when b-2-b businesses were starting to develop a web presence, this missing information was not just a photograph or some technical data, but the whole way the business operated. What we all too often discovered was that building a web site demanded a clarity of what, how and where the client company sold their wares. It showed up big gaps in areas such as spare parts and consumables, often revealing an informal arrangement where someone wandered into the stores and picked up parts to post to the end customer. It forced the client to have a fresh look at their product offering and how they did business. For some this review in itself resulted in more sales, often because the web site revealed options which before customers didn't know existed.

Agencies often find their role is towards the end of a project so where the project is behind schedule the marketing collateral appears to be late, or the agency time frame gets compressed. We find that being involved in the project from the outset can help later on when it is time to launch a new product and significant elements of the marketing campaign are likely to be missing this can be flagged up early and resource allocated accordingly.

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