It is important to keep executives abreast of any changes or improvements made to the overall advertising scheme of the company by the marketing department; however, when submitting reports to executives, the phrase “time is money” is quite literally true, making concise and to-the-point reports critical for effective executive time management.
Knowing the Advertising Plan
As the writer of the advertising plan executive summary, you need to be well-versed in the intricacies of the advertising program yourself and prepared to answer any questions executives might have regarding the program. However, it is important to note that is not necessary to convey all of these points in the basic summary report.
Boiling Down the Facts
Determining which facts are important for executives to know is a critical aspect of an executive report. As a general rule of thumb, executives do not want to know about every single accounting statistic relating to the advertising campaign, but a few scattered facts, such as the amount invested, the estimated number of potential customers reached by the ad campaign and what advertising methods are used, are all good points to focus on. Make note of any missing information from earlier executive reports based upon meeting notes, if they are accessible.
Micro Summaries and Condensed Reports
There are actually two types of advertising plan and executive summaries. The first and most commonly used type uses the micro summary format, which encapsulates the entire advertising plan into a short fact-based one- or two-page document outlining the general thrust of the strategy used and key statistical figures. The other format, which is now less common, is the condensed report format, which typically runs a length of approximately 50 pages and outlines the entire project plan for the members of management that want to have a more in-depth knowledge of the exact goings-on of all of the minor aspects of the project as well as the key points.
Informed Decision-making and the Bottom Line
Ultimately, the key goal of writing an executive summary based upon the marketing staffers' advertising plan is to provide the executive body with the right information so that it can make informed decisions about the direction of the organization. For instance, in an advertising plan, executives may determine that there are some unexplored avenues of advertising which they can then ask to be added to the advertising scheme, or they can determine that the added advertising steps taken are adequate and that expanding the brand might be a function of other characteristics of the product, such as its relative market price or overall quality. Ultimately, giving executives the most factually accurate and usefully condensed information possible positively impacts the company's bottom line, promoting fact-based decision-making rather than theoretical protocol-based decision-making.