Creative marketing brief

Eight ingredients to nailing a Creative Brief

A creative brief is essential if you want to get the best out of your creative agency, without it how will the agency know what you need to achieve, who you want to talk to or what you consider to be a success?

A brief gives a framework, its purpose is to inspire great ideas out of the creative team, and its intent is to keep projects running smoothly and prevent misunderstandings. In short, a well written brief will save you time, money and result in better returns for your marketing.

So what are the key ingredients to nailing the creative brief?

1. State your objective
In other words, what are you trying to achieve? What problem are you trying to solve? The fewer and clearer the objectives the better – if you have several objectives, which one does the agency focus on? If you can add figures to the objective, even better. e.g. Increase sales of kid’s beds by 7%. Remember: adding a value to the objective will allow you to measure the success of the marketing afterwards.

2. Define the target audience
Your creative agency needs to understand who you want to talk to as this will help to define the language, imagery and proposition. Are they new customers or existing customers? Male, female, kids? Ages? Whilst demographic information is useful, it’s even easier for creative people to find ways to talk to your target audience if you can describe them and create a persona. What are their attitudes; not only to the product you’re selling, but to money, technology. Are they busy, stressed, do they research a product before buying or act on impulse?

3. Call to action
This is probably the most important part of the entire creative brief. What one single thing do you want the audience to do? Or what’s the one thing you want them to remember? In this part of the creative brief you need to spell out exactly what action you’d like the target audience to take after seeing your marketing message… visit your store, visit your website, use an offer code or call to make an appointment are some examples.

4. Your Offer
Think of this as a proposition, what is it about your product or service that means potential customers would want to try you, or existing customers would want to come back to you? Simply stating ‘we’re the best in town’ won’t do, think about the BENEFITS of your product or service, how do you save customers time or money, how do you make their lives easier? And, what FEATURES of your product or service set you apart from your competitors?

5. Deliverables
Put simply, if you have a specific media channel(s) or format in mind then state it on the brief. If you’re open to suggestions from your agency, that’s fine, but don’t leave this information out if, for example, you’re after an online only campaign. You just might get back a press campaign… and sometimes a concept simply won’t translate to a new, different format.

6. Budget
Don’t be shy about stating your budget up front, as every aspect of a campaign is driven by the amount of money available. There’s nothing worse than an agency presenting back an amazing campaign that you simply can’t afford to run. It’s a waste of time and money.

7. Mandatories
These are non-negotiables. If your company brand dictates that your slogan needs to appear on every ad, in a certain position, then state it. It’s much better than trying to squeeze stuff in at a later date.

8. Timings
If you have a deadline you need to meet, make sure it’s included on the brief. Similarly, if you have a tight turnaround time, be upfront about this, it will help to manage everyone’s expectations of what can be achieved.

A final little gem is to keep your brief brief! Overloading information will freak out most creative people and not get the best from them!


Need a marketing agency filled with creativity?

Cocktail Marketing – Our ideas fly, but we keep our feet firmly on the ground. The discipline of deadlines and budgets makes sure our creativity fulfils its purpose, while Cocktail Marketing stay on top of our clients’ needs, we also keep a firm grip on reality. So whether it’s bringing new brands into existence or shouting about your products and services, we enable organisations to develop a strong vision of where they want to go and inspire them to get there. Talk to us today.