The Drum: The demise of the marketing brief has led to the Era of Blind Activation

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Excerpt: Our clients are pressured to drive immediate sales and build brands while navigating a labyrinth of digital channels and distribution platforms. Marketers are being pushed to move at the speed of disruption—a (perhaps unintentional) refrain of “Stop thinking and activate! Activate! Activate!” With the pressure to be digital first, our industry has jumped so quickly to execution that many have completely lost sight of what it takes to build a brand in the first place.

Here are some telling outcomes of the Era of Blind Activation (aka the crappy brief — insert emoji turd here):

  • You get rounds and rounds of executional revisions because you were never sure what the communication strategy was supposed to do in the first place.
  • Leadership is divided causing delays and ongoing, frustrating, debates. My favorite term is “seagulling.” That’s when senior leadership who hasn’t been part of the briefing process are brought in later, and then disagree (crap) on the brief and fly away. Three weeks lost.
  • There are disagreements between metrics of success and optimization KPIs – should it be CPA or CPV? More and more dashboards are being asked for without line of sight as to what value they provide.
  • You’ve built various audience segments for a programmatic execution, but you haven’t thought about what you should be saying to them.
  • You have decided to target influencers. That’s great. Now what?
  • Your advertising isn’t working quickly enough, so you cut media and activate some immediate promotions.
  • You’ve been through rounds and rounds of creative executions but none of them really work OR you have one digital display that attempts to cram in 10,000 different messages.

Let’s do better. Together, we can transform this Era of Blind Activation to the Great Communication Renaissance. We can create executions that aren’t just fast or edgy, but are provocative with purpose. And this is how we start:

Read the full piece from Mindshare’s Danielle Koffer, Chief Client Officer, U.S., including her advice for marketers, in The Drum.