Just as every journey starts with a single step, any successful marketing campaign starts with a brief.  Generally, a marketing and creative brief is something you would speak to an agency about over the phone, in person, or in writing. They would then respond with some general ideas, and then you combine to execute.  

The creative brief at the inception of a campaign is when the project is at it’s most delicate, and without the proper attention, could end up derailing the whole campaign.  Like anything, failing to prepare is preparing to fail.  

Here are our top six tips to get the most out of your creative brief:

1. Dedicate Time

Time is money.

Try spending 5 minutes writing a brief, and then spend 30 minutes re-writing the same brief.  The response to brief that your agency delivers will be completely different, but the proof is in the pudding.

In a world where we seem to be getting busier and busier, taking 30 minutes out of our day or putting aside to write a creative brief can seem excessive, but if you do, you will be rewarded with an agency that doesn’t need to guess what you’re thinking, and an idea that is highly executable and inspiring.

A well thought out, accurate, information rich brief provides a creative agency with the objectives, vision, and key messages that a piece of communication or a campaign should deliver.

2. Insight is Gold

Data is heavy, insight is rich.

Information on your product/service, reasons behind the campaign and specifically your target market all provide important boundaries and background for your agency.

Insight into your target market and those consumers you are trying to reach will give the creative more focus around the ideas generated, the messaging used, and the recommendations on how the marketing can fit the media.

Should your brief contain as much background information as possible, the marketing creative will more than likely be closer to your initial vision, will resonate with your market, and should need less changes than otherwise intended – saving you time and money!

3. Detailed Objectives

A focused brief will provide focused ideas.

If a brief is put together with little thought or focus, the result will be reflective of that. The recipients of a creative brief are not only the account team who the clients deal with on a day to day basis and understand your vision, but many other stakeholders in the process who do not know you.

Primary and secondary objectives not only help an understanding of the ‘why’ around the campaign, but provide clarity around the ‘what’, and gives quantitative and qualitative measurement that can be used to determine the success of the campaign.

4. Proposition is Key

Differentiation is the reason you exist.

The proposition is the single most important message you want your campaign to deliver.  Determining a key proposition is either something that you as a client can provide, or that your agency can provide based on your brief.

You may have multiple propositions but only one should be used in your campaign.

They can be discovered through a creative process once you have determined product or brand truths relevant to the campaign. This truth is then expanded upon as you take and explore that further giving it context and wider meaning, which finally then allows you to take that final statement and turn that into a creative idea.

5. Detail Requirements

The ‘How’

By detailing your requirements of the campaign you provide focus on how the campaign idea is to be used and allows your agency to context their idea around that.

Whether you are after a large ‘Above the Line’ idea that needs to resonate with large volumes of people, a more direct idea using targeted marketing, or simply a press advertisement in a niche publication, stating in the brief your requirements for the campaign will allow the agency to flex the idea through different variations and media.

As well as naming primary requirements, you could also mention possible other uses of the idea, i.e. social, online, search etc, however most agencies will also give you ways you can present your idea that you may not have thought of.

6. Be Excited

If you aren’t excited by your campaign, who will be?

Brief writing should not be seen as a chore, but as an enjoyable process.  A chance for you to embrace your inner creative and really feel the campaign, and get under the skin of what you are doing.

Agencies can tell when a brief has had effort put into it, it is reflected in the writing which will exude passion and energy, which in turn rubs off onto the creative team.

If you’re excited by the brief, so will they be.  If you show no interest, the writing seems rushed, and there’s minimal information, the creatives will probably deliver something uninspiring, low on detail, and completely ‘off brief’.


Writing a creative brief provides a skeleton and structure allowing anyone working on the campaign to remember that initial vision, and as a guiding compass to make sure you don’t go off-piste!

If you need assistance in writing a marketing brief, or developing a campaign for your business and one of it’s products or services, let us know – we will be glad to help!