I recently had an enlightening conversation with the director team at one of my favourite creative agencies, and the Get-To-By (GTB) framework resurfaced yet again.
To clarify, there’s nothing inherently wrong with using the GTB framework to summarize a client’s brief concisely. Summaries are valuable, especially when they help capture the task at hand and perhaps contain a problem statement. You can also use them to show the client you understand their objectives.
However, issues arise when the process ends there, leaving creative teams with inadequate strategic guidance as they move into ideation and development. In short, neglecting to provide a solid creative strategy does them a disservice.
(It’s worth noting that GTB is not the only way to capture strategy. I personally prefer more straightforward, creative, and narrative-based frameworks.)
So, let’s revisit the advice from the original post:
The Get-To-By (GTB) framework, popularized by BBDO Worldwide and others, is widely employed in advertising. However, when misused, it can lead to weak strategies and misguided creative teams. An effective GTB should succinctly capture the audience, creative task, and strategy while avoiding non-strategies marked by empty loops and bare assertions.
To enhance GTB’s strategic efficacy, consider the following:
1. GET: Define a clear audience, connected to proper segmentation.
2. WHO: Meaningfully describe the audience, addressing their problems or perceptions.
3. TO: Identify the desired behavioural change that supports your end goal.
4. BY: Remember that ‘By’ is the heart of the creative strategy. Answer the ‘how’ and avoid closed loops or bare assertions.
5. Optionally, add a ‘Because’ to provide reasons to believe and ground the proposition.
By remaining mindful and strategic, we stir creative teams towards the most promising opportunity space(s), increasing the likelihood of positive outcomes.
Let’s devote more attention to crafting strategic GTBs and steer our industry clear of non-strategies.