The attempt to approach a briefing with agencies by using standardized questionnaires most often ends in failure. After all, general questionnaires fall under the “tedious homework” category. While they are known for briefly dealing with a host of different topics – precisely therein lies the problem. Assuming you’ve been working with an agency for an extended period of time, you definitely don’t want to (be put in the position of having to) say anything else regarding standards such as “tonality” and “target audience”. It’s simply expected that it is already clear whom you’re communicating with and, in turn, how this should be conducted. Subsequently, some people adopt a kind of careless disregard for the “never-ending” questions and, in the worst case, may even consider them annoying.
The incorporation of, for example, images or Excel tables into the questionnaire’s formatted response fields is arduous and sometimes even impossible. And if you have already formulated thoughts, these quite often cannot be incorporated into any standardized questionnaire questions. Therefore, just quickly copying and pasting everything is not an option.
Furthermore, the standardized nature of questionnaires can result in topics being treated in a half-hearted manner. In fact, the entire thing turns into mindlessly filling out a form and is no fun whatsoever; enquiries virtually smother room for ideas. That’s too bad, since the goal is actually to initiate a creative process and instead, just the opposite occurs.
Once the homework has been completed, then the queries start to trickle in – via e-mail. Even if the original intention was to initiate a briefing documentation, at this point it would be over anyhow. The allegedly indispensable briefing document disappears into a storage unit. Fortunately, it’s good riddance!