Content creation

How to make informed content decisions


Enable brand managers to better understand the content creation process and communicate their requirements to agencies


A shared ‘vocabulary’ that enabled brand managers to better analyze and discuss creative work for briefings and content reviews


More skilled and confident brand managers, able to more fully engage with creative agencies – and drive marketing communication


Anthill was tasked with improving the quality of interaction between the client, a major pharmaceutical company, and their creative agencies. The company had identified a number of issues in a survey of brand managers on their attitudes to, and frustrations with, the content creation process.

One key factor was the challenge brand mangers faced when engaging with agencies, particularly the difficulty of describing their creative concepts and content requirements.

Overall, brand managers did not feel they were able to have a concrete discussions with agencies and therefore found discussions less constructive and fruitful than desired.

Secondly, many brand managers felt they were working more as administrators rather than being an active part of the content creation process.

Internal and external issues


While the challenge was the clear, the underlying causes needed to be further investigated. Additional research uncovered that brand managers felt that they often ‘didn’t speak the same language’ as agencies, which caused all kinds of confusion and misunderstandings. They wanted to overcome this barrier but needed help.

The solution was to create a vocabulary covering three key topics: content design, copywriting / medical writing, and data insights and tracking. The vocabulary gave clear and concise explanations – effectively a common language that could be used both internally and with agencies. Clarity was further achieved my providing visual examples for each definition.

This verbal / visual vocabulary not only enabled better communication, but it also taught the brand managers what to look for when reviewing creative work.

For example, while previously a brand manager might say that something “didn’t look right,” they could now see and then communicate that there was a problem with “alignment and spacing.”

And, as people became more familiar with the concepts in the vocabulary, these criteria become second nature – and applied them to every content discussion or review.


The project had wide impact throughout the organization. Miscommunication not only increases financial costs, requiring multiple rounds of corrections, it can also lead to missed deadlines and even projects being abandoned.

There are also opportunity costs, as the bare minimum becomes acceptable when processes are difficult, rather than pushing harder for truly impactful creative work.

With the vocabulary, brand managers were able to work more efficiently both externally and internally. Agency briefs became clearer, with much better requirement descriptions. This, in turn, enabled agencies to better estimate budgets and simplified discussions with procurement.

The vocabulary also enabled brand managers to be more confident in creative work. They become more knowledgeable, knew what to look for, and were able to effectively communicate their needs and opinions. This confidence, importantly, helped reverse previous feelings of being merely ‘content administrators’ and enabled a new understanding of themselves as essential to the content creation process.

  • Improved collaboration with creative agencies
  • More collaborative working practices
  • Fewer misunderstandings, reducing corrections
  • Reduced costs and faster time to market
  • Skilled brand managers working with confidence

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