So I read today that according to the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) three-quarters of major brands are currently reviewing their agency arrangements as a lack of communication and understanding of the consumer undermine the ability to produce great creative work.
But it is not just clients that are unhappy with their agencies. Apparently, Agencies are not all that impressed with their clients, giving them an even lower average rating than the clients did their agencies.
According to the WFA while 51% of agencies feel that client’s internal structures hamper good working relationships, 49% also say that they receive poor quality briefs.
So why am I not at all surprised?
At a time when there has never been so much data about consumer behaviour available, there seems to be less and less understanding of the consumer than ever before.
Yes, we know exactly how consumers behave, we know how they react to price changes, colour changes, etc. etc. But to know how consumers respond is not the same as understanding why.
If we want to write the best briefs, if we want great creative work, if we want really successful brands (and careers) then we need to understand the why not just the how and that comes from quality qualitative research
Human decisions are driven by emotional connections, what Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman coined as System 1 thinking. So before you spend millions on a creative campaign (or thousands on an agency review) spend just a little time and money to really understand the emotional response of your consumers to your brand, your product and your communications and ensure that the quality of your brief is as good as it can be.