When you have a great, inspired marketing idea, it’s tempting to just dive into the project immediately. After all, you don’t want to lose that enthusiasm and momentum.
However, taking a little time to write a creative brief can save time, money and misunderstandings in the long run. Since a marketing plan is rarely executed from start to finish by a single person, it’s important you have a road map – the creative brief – to ensure that all of your team members, as well as clients, know what to do and what to expect. The story you want to tell your audience begins with the story your creative brief tells.
Why A Creative Brief Is Important
- Communication. A creative brief is the first fuel used to translate your marketing objectives into consumer-facing creative. It’s also the written record of what you hope to accomplish. The preparation of a creative brief should be a collaborative dialog between the agency team and client in identifying and articulating the insight and strategic opportunity that exists. Although an account manager or marketing director may understand every aspect of the project inside-out, it’s a good bet that the creative team helping to bring the messages to life need to refer to a written document for direction and inspiration.
- Defining the objective. A creative brief helps make sure everyone on the project is working toward the same goal. The objective should always be clear, specific and singular. Who are you talking to? What action are you asking them to take? What’s the single most convincing or persuasive statement that can be made to achieve the objective? Take time to sort through the input and think through insights that matter most. Craft (don’t just write) a brief that tells a story and eliminates redundancies. Otherwise, the important stuff might just get lost.
- Efficiency. A well-written creative brief will nearly always help to shorten the time needed to execute a project. When everyone has a clear understanding of the objectives and their individual task, it’s easier to get the project finished. A well-written creative brief focused on a specific and attainable objective will enable the creative team to spend more time concepting great ideas and solutions rather than attempting to articulate or define what the key messages should be. It also reduces of going through rounds and rounds of development. It’s easier to get to where you’re going when you know where you need to go.
- Effectiveness. Creative without strategy is called art. Creative with strategy is called advertising. A good creative brief is the first step toward developing work that matters, work that moves the needle, work that persuades and informs consumers.
It may seem that writing a creative brief is time taken away from executing the marketing plan. However, a well-written creative brief is essential to developing memorable and effective pieces of creative. It also makes for happier clients, happier creative teams and most importantly, happier bottom lines.