The creative brief is the unsung hero of the campaign process.
At least that’s what McDonald’s former global marketing director, Joe Talcott believes, calling it “one of the most valuable and paradoxically most neglected tools marketers have to create good work”.
The creative brief is not just important to agencies. When well-executed, it’s a key element that helps every member of your internal marketing team, as well as all outsourced agencies, clearly understand the goals and constraints of the campaign.
Attempting to go ahead with a project without a creative brief is like attempting to find an address without a GPS tracker or a map. Sure, you may be able to figure it out, but you’ll probably take a few wrong turns along the way, wasting time and fuel.
Many companies get it wrong, rushing the briefing process or not ensuring the brief provides clear and detailed information. The result of this is often detrimental impact on the cost, quality, and delivery of a campaign, not to mention a waste of everyone’s time, as reverts and amendments may need to be made at later stages of the campaign.
And if you’re still not convinced, here are a few more reasons as to why a clear creative brief will ensure a successful campaign from start to finish:
Better alignment for bigger teams
These days, when you’re trying to coordinate large-scale projects as a global business with a multi-faceted team, it’s more important than ever to get everyone on the same page. Whether it’s creative directors, account managers, designers, copywriters, videographers, stylists, or buyers – it’s likely that various contributors will join the project at different points in the process.
Having a concise creative brief is the best way to ensure that every contributor is using the exact same reference point, understands all the strategic goals of the campaign, and can see how their role fits into the process.
An underrated time-saving tool
Many companies see the creative brief as a waste of time, but can you imagine receiving a completed campaign back from an outsourced agency only to realise they completely misinterpreted your brief and will have to start the project from scratch?
Depending on the size of the marketing campaign, this type of error could cost the company weeks or months of valuable time. By simply investing an extra hour or so into developing a clear creative brief at the beginning of the process, you’re ensuring a more efficient turnaround of your project in the long-run.
Catch any issues before they catch you
As a marketing manager or director, the creative brief will serve as an invaluable resource for you to anticipate any problems with a project before they happen. Whether it be a legal conflict, a technical issue, or a budgetary constraint, you’ll be able to consult all the necessary stakeholders, using the brief as a reference, to check for any consistencies in the project.
Remember that revising, scaling down, or changing direction entirely is far easier to do, and financially more viable, in the planning stages of a project than it is during the execution stages.
Say hello to a successful campaign from start to finish
Ultimately, a clear creative brief serves as a reviewable, recordable document that can be referenced throughout the project by all parties involved, acting as a guide that will:
- create more trust between your team and your vendors;
- result in a better project process;
- save you time and money;
- and improve the quality of work being produced by each team member.
But, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed about where to even get started with this document.
Which is why we have gone ahead and compiled the ultimate go-to creative brief checklist for marketing teams. You can distribute this to any marketing managers, team leads, or project managers who would be in charge of initiating your next big campaign.