“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions” – [Albert Einstein]
This mantra can be applied to just about every aspect of life and marketing is no different; a good creative agency partner should be able to work through a problem with you – challenging, exploring and probing to find the details of what you are trying to achieve and how best to go about it.
Solving a marketing problem properly requires patience, collaboration, insight and expertise; it is really important for the success of the outcome that this ‘definition’ time is properly factored in to any project, even what would seem to be a simple website.
When briefing your agency, make sure you describe the problem and not the solution – describe the why and not the how. Remember, it is likely that they have seen problems like this before and should be well placed to add the most value.
You may believe it to be quicker, cheaper and easier initially to skip this phase, but any savings now will quite quickly be overtaken after a project launch. Recently we have seen examples of large websites launched without any thought into key messages or SEO, brand updates which have cut corners and are a clear backwards step, and rigid marketing strategies which are heading in the wrong direction.
At FLOCC, we have a marketing first approach to all aspects of our work, establishing a project ‘vision’ collaboratively with our clients during a problem definition phase. We refer back to this at all times to ensure that our solutions are always meeting the needs of our clients and are adding the most value.
Top tips for your next project:
- Phrase your specification in terms of what you are trying to achieve, not what you think a solution would be.
- Allow your agency time and budget to work through the definition phase collaboratively with you.
- Be strong on the vision and flexible on the details – [Jeff Bezos]