What's new with the Creativebrief platform?



The Projects Tool and pitching - Charlie Carpenter

We’re no strangers to the pitch. And we’re guessing you’re not either. Whether you’re an agency and the mere mention of a pitch makes you think of late nights, stress and roulette when it comes to winning business. Or whether you’re a brand and the last time you really thought about the pitch was when you last ran one.

There’s a disconnect when it comes to the pitch. Brands aren’t able to have a real purchase on the process, and agencies for all the investment they make find themselves forced into passivity.

The Projects Tool changes this. And it’s one of the parts of the new site I’m most excited for. Brands can take control of their review process like never before. And this is good news for them – but also for agencies.

It’s a new tool which builds a process around a brand’s business challenges, meaning the focus of their brief and what they’re really looking to get from agency problem-solvers is front and centre. You might have seen the words ‘Stay Connected’ on the new site – and this is an area where it’s not only preferable, but essential.

Team members can be invited in to review submissions and work on review collateral such as RFIs and briefing forms communally. Whether one desk over, at home, or working from the train.

What’s more, reviews can be run entirely online. That means if you’re determined to keep costs down and intermediaries (naming no names) at arm’s length, that’s possible. Not to mention the handy guides, tips, and templates that’ll keep your management of the online process on track throughout. But if you have something else in mind, we’ll cater for that too with our offline service.

Three flexible routes will be ready at launch, but there’s plenty more to come. We’re conducting agency and brand interviews around the pitch and how both parties work at their best together. These will inform the Projects Tool throughout 2019. There’s no silver bullet to the challenges of pitching, so we’d rather ensure there’s something for everyone. Starting with a tool that makes it more simple than ever before.



Pinboard - Sian Blackman

My name is Sian Blackman, and I’m an Instagram addict. There. It feels good to share that with you. But it’s for good reason!

Whether on Instagram or Pinterest, keeping track of what inspires me is crucial (it’s not all photos of Zac Efron, really it isn’t). Being outward-looking is important to me and with all the will in the world, without the help of a handy little tool to do that, it’s hard to stay open to surprise and keep your outlook broad.

Pinboard is a new function on the Creativebrief site that I’m particularly excited about. As part of the Account Management team, I spend a considerate amount of time with both brands and agencies; running over agency showcases and creds, and spending time with brands to deep dive into their business challenges. Often, at the start of a process I find myself presenting on behalf of agencies to the brands. It’s always great to see how a client responds to the agencies’ work and what triggers their creative instincts.

Pinboard will help to take this even further. And not just during a review either. It’s intended for brands and their teams to keep track of what inspires them – whether it’s their favourite work, trends, editorial or even what has been done for their competitors. Pinboard encourages keeping up to date with the industry and taking inspiration from what’s happening around you not merely when it’s time to run a review, but every single day.

It’s a place for brands to keep a running record of work they admire, so that when the time for a review rolls around they’re inspired and ready to get kick-started. It’s hard for brands to maintain this outlook currently, given everything they have on their plate – this is why the Pinboard is a great way to remain connected, simply.

Brands can share and edit Pinboards with your team and talk as part of a community far wider, and far easier, than if they were in the midst of a pitch.

Whilst briefing agencies with Pinboards is a unique way for brands to show them what exactly they’re thinking – whether it’s their work, or another agency’s. Creativity no longer has to get bogged down in the details of an RFI.

Sharing what inspires them has never been easier for brands. And they’ll find themselves benefitting from the everyday inspiration and connectedness this feature allows. This means brands saving both their own and agencies’ time.



Staying Connected with events - Jess Feltham

Despite the amount of time a brand may spend looking at an agency’s work, you might still be some way off knowing what they’re all about.

Too often the pitch can be like school exams for agencies – i.e., not the ideal environment to see someone at their most genuine. Whilst we’re doing our best to change it, pitches can too often be about showiness. So why not see agencies year-round – soaking up the everyday inspiration, and staying connected to them.

Agencies are now able to upload their events to their showcase, and these will automatically migrate over to an events page customised for brands. All agency events in one easy-to-navigate place where brands can avoid their ever-growing inboxes, and instead find invites all laid out in one place.

Getting to know agencies on their turf is a good way to get them at their best. This doesn’t mean catching them off-guard, but hearing them talking about the topics and themes and work that mean the most to them. You’re getting into the agency’s brand – the personality and the individuals who are making it tick.

Events aren’t just about canapes (don’t get me wrong, they’re important). They can help a brand’s ability to understand an agency – where they want to go, and whether it’s a place your brand might benefit from going too. Finding the best events is now easier than ever before, whether keeping track of the calendar or reaching out to invite people along.

But yeah, canapes.



Universal Search and intelligence - Ben Somerset-How

Bringing the industry together in one place can be difficult. Our best bet might be a single sign placed in the heart of Soho that reads ‘free booze here’.

A better option might be a new universal search feature on the Creativebrief website. Our own opinions, and those of others; the latest trends; the most creative work; insight papers; interviews; events; and more –can now all be found by way of one simple search bar. 

It’s like Google but specific to the industry, and without those nice little illustrations – but maybe we’ll work on that. What it does have though is intelligence; responding to your search and making suggestions. Learning what you’re looking for, in the same way we do in person.

As Client Director, I spend most of my time with brands who are looking for ways to solve their business challenges. The most obvious solution is often appointing a new agency to work on a brief. But getting to that stage can be far more complicated than it seems. As much as they might will it into existence, there isn’t a version of WebMD client-side that tells them the diagnosis they’re after.

Knowing what is happening around them is a great starting point to knowing where brands want to go. And then eventually, which agencies might be capable of helping them get there.

People in this industry are time-poor and the universal search can help fight this. . It can intelligently deliver what you’re interested in, in a fraction of the time. . Horizons aren’t closed off on our site, because we don’t want yours to be in real life.

Tracking down an agency is equally as simple, and brands will get the full range of what they’ve done on our site. We’re giving agencies more power to get noticed.

This mightn’t be the flashiest upgrade to our site. But for me – and for you too I think – it’s definitely the most useful.



Quality of presentation - Ben Piper

The new website launch is cause for celebration, but there’s one thing in particular I’ll be toasting a Coke Zero to. And that’s the new logo and design. Over the 15 years I’ve been looking after the design for Creativebrief, the old logo and I have had a rocky relationship. It was of its time I suppose. And now times have changed.

You could say the new logo is representative of the wider design changes happening to the website. Whilst the old logo was written in fine-line (*cough* difficult to read *cough*), the new one is bold, clean and above all simple.

The process of a brand finding an agency, or an agency getting themselves in contention for new business, is complicated. And it doesn’t always have to be. We’ve worked hard to build our new site around user experience and to make things simpler. Take one look at it, and you’re not confronted with the content assault other sites can be guilty of. Instead, it’s clean and simple and relevant to you.  

Quality of presentation is something not only evident in the visuals of the new site and logo, but the ease at which agencies can put the best of themselves on show. The new Creativebrief website is a platform deserving of the best agency work, showcases, opinions and more.

It’s not all about looking nice though. When intelligence and insight are presented as cleanly as this – faff-free is my preferred term – brands are in a much better place to navigate the agency landscape.

You might think the new plane symbol  in our logo looks similar to a mouse cursor. And that’s a nod to how we’re continuing to make everything about the user. Brands and agencies can work better together through our website – the connections they make can now be done in a variety of ways site-wide.

So whilst the new look is an improvement, it’s what’s beneath the surface that’s changed; and counts.



Improved clarity - Josh Armstrong

One thing I’ve learned is that agencies want to be kept informed. And why wouldn’t they?

New business can be won and lost on the back of one piece of information. And that could be client feedback, the latest reviews, their creds, what is working for them, and what is not. Agencies are constantly in a state of flux, building around their principles to adapt for brands’ needs and the everchanging industry landscape.

The problem with this industry is that sometimes it’s as clear as mud. A lot gets lost in the haze of phone calls and emails. So what we’ve done with the new website – and what I’m awarding Josh Armstrong’s Star Prize to – is the improved clarity the site gives agencies, and also brands.

We make it easy for agencies to showcase themselves on the website (and for brands to see them). So it stands to reason that we continue in that vein, and break it down even more for them. Knowing where to go with their agency showcase won’t get much simpler than this.

For every member agency, there’ll be a dashboard where they’re able to monitor a range of statistics breaking down how they’ve used the site and viewing figures across their content. We know that agencies are always keen to know which brands are looking at their profile, so we’ve added that too.

This isn’t just good news for agencies, but for brands too. Chances are if brands read and like something agencies are doing, they’ll start to see more of it. Agencies will grow smarter in their agency showcases and more attuned to what’s been interacted with.

We’re all striving for better brand/agency relationships, so more clarity on how agencies are performing (even down to the brands taking a peek at your profile) can only improve this. 



There's far more to the Creativebrief platform 

If you're curious about what is especially relevant to you, then give us a call on 020 7478 8200, or drop Chloe Newman a line about arranging a tutorial