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A perfect brief: impossible task?

El_pensadorAs the title of this article is a rhetorical question, we answer it as soon as possible: not at all. Doing a perfect brief is possible, but it requires to know how to do it.

The briefing’s development is one of the most important actions of any campaign because, in fact, is the beginning of everything. The walls of the house. From the content of this document derives all the subsequent development of a campaign and only if it’s well built, the expected results will be achieved.

So it’s worth that Marketing departments spend time and effort to develop a good briefing, which, contrary to what one might think, isn’t so simple. This is not only what we say, but what data confirm: while 35% of customers consider their briefings are complete and well structured, 8% of agencies believe that “only sometimes” the briefings they receive has both characteristics, as the results of the 2015 Opinion Survey on Contests, conducted by the Spanish Association of Advertising Agencies reflected. This survey was answered by Marketing and Purchasing areas of pharmaceutical companies and by advertising agencies.

With a good briefing, an agency can do wonderful jobs and they also will do it rapidly, without the comings and goings in which we often see involved agencies and clients. Therefore, it is essential that this document meets the following characteristics:

  1. Brief. As its own name indicates, the more clear and concise the document is much better will be. You’ll save time and potential misunderstandings or that the ultimate goal is lost among other issues and final campaign did not reach the desired results.
  2. Well structured. Closely related to the previous point, the structure of the brief is crucial for the creative team to get where clients expect without going mad.
  3. Inspiring. Brief is the tool which will shoot all the creative ideas about the campaign. So be sure you’re putting all your passion writing it and you’ll get a really inspiring document.
  4. Useful. The most fundamental issue is that the briefing can respond exactly to what an agency needs to know. This issue is crucial to save time and headaches, so we give you some clues to do it properly. These are the questions that you should answer to achieve a win-win briefing:
  • What are we talking about? Start defining what the project is about and try to explain it well.
  • What is the objective of the campaign? If you are clear about it, you will know perfectly tell its essence and you will get a proposal able to achieve the goals you were asking for. Miracles doesn’t exist, so if the goal is not well defined, it will be impossible to reach.
  • What has been done until now? It is important to know the background, the history behind the brand and the product, in order to guide the way forward.
  • What message should be transmitted? Equally important to have clear objectives is perfectly define the message that should transmit the campaign.
  • Whom is going to receive the message? While the target is good defined there is no risk that the message is lost.
  • Who the competitors are and what are they doing? You know perfectly well who your competitors are and what they usually do, but perhaps the agency is not so clear. Tell them.
  • What makes my product different? The agency needs to know the rational and emotional benefits of your product to transmit it.
  • What style and tone the campaign should have? If you make it clear from the beginning, both agency and customer will avoid a few headaches.
  • How much time are we talking about? The timming is basic. Don’t wait until the last minute, an agency needs about 20 days to develop a winning plan and a breaking creativity.
  • What budget do I have to? As important as timming. Knowing the budget from the start is essential for the agency to propose an achievable campaign.