Relevant insights. It's the alpha omega, not only the brief but also the real numbers from your industry and, last but not least, the very needs of your customers themselves, to get to the bottom line. Here's what helps us most: open questionnaires, in-depth interviews, focus on design thinking.
After a sufficient load of understanding, the concept / strategy phase comes in and sets a long-term direction. Strategy-related outcomes include: branding, marketing strategy, creative campaigns and concepts + advisory.
Only then focus on individual, sub-implementation steps, including channel selection, specific communication and time management, along with operative and tactical part of collaboration.
And yeah, it takes time to get throught the dirt.
The world doesn't belong to the most inteligent, beautiful or rich, anymore. The one pure ingredient is adaptation. If you do your situation analysis right and adapt to today, ideally tomorrow, you've already adopted the winner mindset ~ adapt!