Modern Marketing Briefing: Survey Results

To prepare for my new Modern Marketing Briefing course, I sent out an informal survey to my network asking for marketer’s perspectives on their current briefs (and briefings). The purpose of the survey was to help me refine and validate some of my course material – and see if I had any blind spots. Overall, 32 people provide responded from agency-side and client-side marketing organizations. While not statistically significant, I found the results and comments quite insightful. I thought they might be of interest to others, so I have posted the key findings and takeaways below. If you would like a copy of the full results you can download it here. Thanks again to everyone who participated in the survey, and I hope to see a few of you at the Modern Marketing Briefing course next month!

Highlights from Survey Responses:

Participants were asked 13 questions, and some interesting similarities and differences between the responses from agencies vs. brands emerged:

  • Completing Briefs: The sections of the brief that respondents feel are completed least effectively are a measurable goal(s) followed by a single-minded proposition.

  • Briefing Attendance: Many respondents indicated that technology representatives and ‘final approvers’ are not consistently present at briefing meetings.

  • Lessons Learned: Respondents from agencies and brands indicated that lessons from prior marketing campaigns are not regularly shared in briefs and during briefings.

  • Digital Projects: Technology representatives appear more involved for client-side projects, and both groups reported that they often brief digital projects differently.

  • Briefing Information: Many agency-side respondents indicated that they are not receiving enough information from clients in the brief and during the briefing process.

  • Integrated Briefs: Respondents from agencies and brands indicated that some projects continue to be briefed separately, where others are briefed in an integrated manner.

  • Overall Effectiveness: On average, respondents were fairly neutral on the effectiveness of their briefs and slightly more negative on the effectiveness of their briefings.

Highlights from Participant Quotes:

Participants were also asked a few questions about the main challenges that they currently experience relating to briefs and briefing meetings and some common themes bubbled up:

  • Not enough time spent upfront to define and align to measurable business goals.

  • Teams often do not invest enough time in preparing a clear and effective brief.

  • Briefings can feel disorganized, and people often do not show up and/or tune-out.

  • Budgets often are not realistic given expectations, and are not clearly allocated.

  • Digital and social is often included in as simply a ‘box to tick’ within marketing briefs.

  • Lack of insight around the customer, particularly relating to the customer journey.

  • Briefings often have way too many people involved, and politics can be disruptive.