• How To Write A Powerful Creative Brief Dec 6, 2018
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    Writing a creative brief that gets the ball rolling on a successful project involves initially asking questions.

    Depending on the project you’re working on and the client you’re working for, there could be a lot that need answers before the final appearance of your brief starts to take shape. Start by answering these questions, and you’ll have a creative brief with the power to drive a complex through to its successful completion.

    Solving the problem
    What’s the problem you’re trying to solve? Just because something’s labelled as creative doesn’t mean it doesn’t involve problem solving. Your project is designed to solve something. A website isn’t getting enough leads to generate ROI. A company’s brand is out of date and they need to modernise or risk losing their place in the market.

    The first thing you need to think about in your brief is: what problem is it that I’m trying to solve? There’s a reason why companies as successful as HubSpot think in this way.

    Research your audience
    What audience should your creative be capturing? There are lots of ways for you to find this out, depending on the entity you’re working with. With different marketing disciplines increasingly merging, and agencies turning full-service, for many reading this blog your colleagues will have access to tools that could give you the edge in creating a brief that gets your client thinking in a completely different way.

    Using tools like keyword research, usually the preserve of the SEOs in your team, or audience profiles from the inbound experts, are excellent ways of understanding the behaviour of the audience you’re trying to reach.

    You won’t necessarily need to present this data in your brief, but knowing about it will help you with the writing process, as well as provide you excellent material should you go on to meet the client face-to-face.

    Research your client
    Knowing what your client does and the market it operates in is a given. But what kind of material will your client respond to? Do they want you bring them solutions without any fuss, or would they respond to more detail? Having an idea about this will help you write something your client responds to positively from day one.

    Provide suggestions of measurable results
    This is something that people often miss, or at least don’t pay enough attention to. What concrete results do you want to achieve? What are your KPIs, and how do you measure them? (E.g. website traffic, number of leads, revenue, etc.) Many creative agencies are excellent with with and even provide advice on it in free creative brief templates, but it’s conspicuous how many briefs fail to mention anything that can be accurately measured, as well as the tools you might use to mention them.

    If appropriate, suggest a budget
    A terrifying word for many creative agencies: budget. If it’s appropriate in terms of the current relationship you have with your client, you need to include some kind of suggestion about budget. It’s no use proposing something that’s not feasible, and if you’re seen to be trying to push the client towards something they’re not comfortable with, you can expect to quickly lose their confidence.


    Of all the points we’ve made above, the inclusion of measurable KPIs and the ways in which you would measure them is the one we’ve seen impress clients most. If you’re working with a business owner, they will respond extremely well to projections and the promise of seeing tangible numbers, and the promises you makes at this stage becoming real. Too many agencies don’t set these goals and it becomes unclear what it is they’re offering: with your powerful creative brief, you can make it clear you’re offering value from the very beginning of each project.
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