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What type of briefs are used for Marketing and Advertising?

Arcalea utilizes both the GSTIC and ADPLAN brief formats for Marketing and Advertising.

In any engagement, Arcalea synthesizes input from team stakeholders to create a project brief. Where possible, new projects or services start with a formal brief that follows the GSTIC framework to ensure continuous alignment with the overarching business goal and strategy. The ADPLAN framework is also used to evaluate approach and efficacy of any creative. From here, communication tactics can be explored, planned, and implemented. Any engagement may be accompanied by multiple briefs, each correlating with a specific initiative.

Sample Brief #1: GSTIC Brief

This brief is a sample utilized to guide a paid media engagement with a client seeking to properly configure platforms (Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Google Tag Manager) in order to facilitate accurate tracking for the upcoming campaign. This brief was generated in order to align department stakeholders around the common goals of the over-arching program. Many times a brief is considered in the context of “Creative Brief” and we also use briefs in this capacity. However, we find it helpful especially in endeavors that may not be as obvious, to utilize the core framework to ensure any participant stakeholder understands the business goal to which we are working, to ensure optimal contribution to the final outcome.


The core problem, issue, or impediment to change.

New pet (puppy) owners have the highest potential Lifetime Value due to high category loyalty. Alternatively, capturing market share is difficult for the same reason.


The goal is the recommended solution in light of the challenge and should contain four elements: Focus (increase profitability, increase market share or increase revenues), Financial Benchmark (quantitative target), Demand Source (current customers, competitors customers, or non-category users), and Persuasion Task (attitudes and/or behaviors) for which the effort is attempting to change (with the target).


To increase revenues (Focus) by $2M (Financial Benchmark) by convincing new pet owners (Demand Source) to purchase (client’s) pet food for their new puppy (Persuasion Task).


Strategy refers to the way to achieve the goal. It involves identifying:

The Target Customer, Target Customer’s Need, the Value Proposition for this customer, and the Competitive Advantage, or reason consumers may believe the value proposition.


To convince pet owners (Target) who value family-owned, environmentally-friendly brands (Need) that Client is the safest brand for my pet’s food (Value Prop) because Client has never had a product recall and provides the highest quality pet food (Competitive Advantage).

Communication Tactics

Executive Summary:

There is misconfigured conversion tracking implemented within Google Ads and Google Tag Manager, leading to inaccurate data capture. There are also minimal goal tracking elements on the website and within Google Analytics.

As a result, channel attribution and ROMI cannot be calculated or attributed, nor can marketing efficacy be fully evaluated. 

This initiative is to reconfigure the current conversion tracking, and then determine relevant goals to create within Google Analytics to reflect attribution accurately. 

Situational Analysis:

There are multiple opportunities to track actionable elements on the website to measure consumer activity and conversion. This will enable consumer journey tracking and establish groundwork for more complete attribution, and future marketing initiatives and allocation.

Note: this analysis may lead to the discovery of goal and conversion tracking recommendations that are not possible on the website today as the website was not built with conversion or goal tracking in mind. 


  1. Map Site Actions/Buttons + Create Goal Groups 
  2. Configure Each Identified Action/Button in GTM + Validate 
  3. [Development Team]
  4. Implement Google Analytics + Google Ads Tracking Functionality
  5. Deploy Tracking Functionality + Test  

Actions to be tracked within GTM:

  • Where to Buy
  • Find Your Local Retailer
  • Online Retailers
  • Other Online Retailers 
  • Contact Us
  • Register


Successful assessment and configuration will be evidenced by effectuating full-funnel attribution of all conversion sources.


One Time Project Estimate: $X


Sample Brief #2: Analytics Brief

The format of the second brief is slightly more specific and related to implementation and controls. The Analytics Brief featured here, is an example of integrating the Strategy into the brief, (similar to the GSTIC Brief) where Implementation and Controls are the focus. The Analytics Brief defines the Challenge, the Analytics Goal, Strategy, and Context, and then further explains to all stakeholders the Role of Analytics and Description of Analytics. A Proposed Hypothesis, Metrics, Causality Checklist, Execution, and Impediments, Risks, and Dependencies are clearly defined for participants to outline the exact nature of the endeavor and ensure alignment and consensus before initializing the project.


A central repository (CPD or CRM) store of audience records does not exist  (targeting metrics, audience touch points, micro-conversions, frequency, and other journey process learning and intelligence). Additionally, tools for employing optimization and all other nutritional, down funnel communications do not exist. Therefore, optimal customer experience for the client program is unknown.

Because no potential customer journey data is known, tracked, or stored, no improvements can be made. Optimization is impossible because that which is not measured cannot be improved. - Deming/Drucker

Analytics Goal

The goal is to track differences and introduce incremental changes to the system which improve conversions over time. 

The first phase goal is to capture all candidate acquisitions and measure the value differential of those which occur by landing on the Current Client Landing page vs an Experimental Condition Landing page.

Marketing Strategy

To convince audiences who could become students (Target) and are interested in learning more about the program to advance their careers (Need), that client provides the best professional resources and curriculum (Value Proposition), because the client is the (differentiated client RTB) (Competitive Advantage).


The journey and successful process for acquiring students are arbitrary and optimal conditions are unknown. A candidate searching online for resources is captured however not tracked and follow-up is relegated to a phone call. There is no customer record from which to glean attribution modeling, and no nutritional or drip campaigns to foster or convert students on the cusp. Upon clicking on an ad or arriving at the landing page, candidates today are directed to the current client page, with multiple calls to action and links to resources..

Role of Analytics

The role of analytics in this experiment is to determine if there is ultimately a qualitative difference in value of candidates who enter through the Current Landing directly, versus those who enter through an alternate path, the Experimental Condition Landing page. 

Qualitative difference in value is defined as submitting a form for program information at a higher rate than those who first enter directly through the Current Landing page. The observed number will then be calculated against the calculated number of the candidates who respond to the Experimental Condition Landing page. 

Differential value is then calculated by comparing the relative value of candidates acquired through the control, vs the experimental condition. All observed metrics will be weighted according to point of entry. 

The two experimental conditions are:

  1. Current Landing page (control condition)
  2. Experimental Condition Landing page (experimental condition)

Note: Here Value and Proportion are used to describe the difference in observed count and proportion of applicants vs the potential qualitative difference in candidates to the organization, which ultimately is determined by final student accepted status. This status will determine true value to the organization in economic terms. The implication being that while there may be observable “significance” in terms of data, the ultimate measure must be evaluated in economic terms.

 For the first analysis, the number of students who request information by completing the form will be the initial differential factor.

Description of Analytics

This initiative will be performed as a true experiment, randomizing website point-of-entry for candidates who are shown ads for relative topics. For all target audiences who click a paid search ad, audiences will be randomly directed toward one of two destinations: directly to the Current Landing page, or to the Experimental Condition Landing page. 

Type of Analytics:

  1. Here analytics provides value of an exploratory nature. Because we are merely reviewing IF there is a difference and not exactly HOW that difference affects outcome, this is exploratory vs predictive or prescriptive in nature. 
  2. This analysis will provide an indication of difference, but not describe the nature of difference or why there may be a difference. Further testing will be required to determine additional dimensions, causality, and magnitude, if necessary.
  3. If a significant difference is detected, then a new experiment will be conducted to test differences in landing pages to understand if, or perhaps how, different content affects rates. 

While this analysis will detect differences, it will not provide qualitative answers causality, simply correlation.

Proposed Hypotheses

There are several potential hypotheses for potential outcomes: 

  1. Those candidates who learn more about the process on the Experimental Condition Landing page may establish a greater knowledge than those who are presented the Current  Landing page.
  2. By being presented with purposeful I/A, candidates may become more invested in the process. 
  3. There are no significant differences between the two groups. (alternative, not separate)


      Success will be evaluated by determining if there is a significant difference in value of candidates who are directed to the control vs the experimental condition. These include:

      1. Observed conversion rate in micro-conversions: Click-through to other client pages
      2. Observed conversion rate in micro-conversions: Form Completions
      3. Observed bounce rate: Experimental Condition Landing page vs Current Client Landing page
      Observed differential value of final student candidates

      Causality Checklist

      • Probabilistic Equivalence: 
          1. Will control and experimental condition be assigned randomly? Yes. Candidates who click ads will be randomly assigned to one of two conditions.
        • Group Drivers:
            1. What drivers may have influenced group assignment?
              All audiences are from the same group “those who have searched and have been shown an ad.” To the degree the experiment will randomize within this group, the group drivers are null factors. Group drivers have no effect on assignment.  
          • Confounds:
            1. Could Group Drivers affect the outcome of the experiment?
              No. Drivers have been controlled and can not affect outcome from an experiment. If, however, during processing the employees evaluating group success do so with the knowledge of group assignment, this could create a confound and affect the outcome.  
            • Reverse Causality Check:
              1. Could outcome differences cause the observed variation?
                No. If, however unlikely, during processing employees evaluating have knowledge of group status, then unconscious bias can affect the outcome of follow up, nutritional decision making, and student candidates.


              1. The recommendation is to split all paid traffic: 50%/50% between landing pages.
              2. Timing is to reroute performance for four weeks and evaluate.
              3. Internally the brand may need 90 days to evaluate final status. This will affect the timing and evaluation of results.

              Impediments, Risks & Dependencies

              1. All potential candidate interactions must be tracked and a central source for records must be kept in order to assess final status. Any leaks in the system will render data invalid. 
              2. Because the process has multiple stages of application, and incorporates a time lag, it will be essential to also track the percentage difference in number of applications completed, with the eventual total percentage difference in final candidates from the groups acquired during the same time period.
              3. The final candidate evaluation should be performed blind, where employees performing the evaluation are not aware of the experiment or control condition at any point during the evaluation. This will prevent the accidental introduction of bias. 


              1. CDP credentials are needed to be able to check progress at any given time of the experiment. 
              2. An additional field (x2, first and last) will need to be added to the CDP records. This field would contain the landing page of a click event.


              Different brief formats are used at different times, depending on utility, as are other versions. Each effort is accompanied by at least one brief and administrative sign-off is required to begin.