“If you don’t say what you want, how can you expect to get what you want?”
There’s a knack to writing a brief for a creative agency – If you get it right, your supplier is far more likely to deliver the results you want. If it’s not right (or there isn’t one at all), it can cost valuable time and money putting it right.
Having spent 19 years in the design industry, I have been on the receiving end of a varied range of briefs from clients of all different shapes and sizes. So at Othen Creative we created a template we can give our clients if they are not sure what to tell us. So I can now share this checklist with you.
So here is our list of 11 key points to consider when writing a creative marketing brief.
1. Who is your target audience? Who are you talking to. Whether you are business is consumer facing or selling to other businesses, the more specific you can be about your target audience the better. Why would they want to
buy your products or services? What barriers might be in their way to using your services? To even specify their job title and age range, will help
focus the brief.
2. Specifications: What is physically required. For example is it an 8 page brochure, a website, or a direct mail campaign? if it is an online ad banner, what are the dimensions? If it is printed, what is the size and how many will be printed?
3. When/where: Who will see this and when? For example, if it is a leaflet, when and where will it be handed out or on display? Will it be sent through the post, or only available at the end of an introductory meeting with a sales person? if it is an email marketing campaign, who is on the list and when will it be sent out?
4. Who are your competitors? What products and services do your competitors provide? And how do they market them? Is there anything they are doing better?
5. Your company background: A brief summary of your history, brand philosophy and ethos are useful. What is your market positioning? What type of price range are you in?
6. What are your objective? Why are you doing this activity? What would you like to achieve from this activity? For example: Raise awareness of a new product; Collect data for a new campaign; or increase enquiries?
7. Measuring Results: Do you have a way of measuring the results of this activity? For example, with a website, are you tracking visitors? Or if it is a printed promotion, is there a code you can use?
8. Timescale: When does this project need to be completed by, and why? Is there a seasonal reason for achieving a deadline? Or a specific event or exhibition it is needed for.
9. Specific requirement: If there are any brand guidelines that need to used, or any specific logos and features that need included, please supply this information as well.
10. Inspiration. Likes & Dislikes: It’s useful to see examples of other brands or design work that you like or feel inspired by. These don’t necessarily have to be in the same sector as you – a good piece of creative or marketing is good no matter what the industry.
11. Budget: If you can give a ballpark figure of how much budget you have / or want to spend it on the project; is much easier for a supplier to hit the mark with the brief. Creative projects are often a moveable feast in terms of time and ideas, so you could end up being presented with an unachievable concept, if you don’t give any clue to your expected budget.
Extra info: Include any extra info or facts you can think of. It’s easier for us to cut out the extras rather than fill in the gaps.
Keep it clear: It is all too easy to talk in industry specific language in your day to day job. But if you can keep a brief free from jargon, acronyms and industry terminology and just use plain english, it is much quicker to understand..
I hope these points are useful, and remember, any good creative agency wants to do a good job for you and answer the brief so we can help you achieve the results you are looking for.
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