Arguably things today are moving faster than ever. With the advent of new media options such as social, digital and search media, the list of tactics is longer than ever. Opportunities come to brand leaders needed quick decisions and even faster execution. Brand Managers are running like crazy to get everything done. Quick phone calls with the agencies and emails to keep everything moving along. So many times I’m seeing teams spinning around in circles of execution and I ask to see the brief and the answer is quickly becoming “Oh we didn’t have time to do a creative brief”. You always need to take the time to write it down.
Elements of communication strategy
First off, I would hope that every brand has the discipline to do an advertising strategy that should answer the following six key questions.
- Who Do We want to sell to? (target)
- What are we selling? (benefit)
- Why should they believe us? (Reason to Believe)
- What Do We want the Advertising to do? (Strategy)
- What do Want people to do? (Response)
- What do we want people to feel? (Big Idea/Brand Soul)
- Where will you deliver the message? (Media Plan)
Once you have these seven questions answered you should be able to populate and come to a main creative brief. To read more about writing a full creative brief follow this link: How to Write an Effective Creative Brief
Back when we only did TV and a secondary medium it was easier. We’d spend months on a brief and months ago making the TV ads. The brief was approved everywhere, right up to the VP or President level. But now the problem is when you’re running around like a chicken with its head chopped off, you decide to wing it over the phone with no brief. It’s only a Facebook page, a digital display ad going down the side of the weather network or some twitter campaign Who needs a brief.
If I could recommend anything to do with communication: ALWAYS HAVE A BRIEF.
The Mini Creative Brief
Focusing on the most important elements of the brief, you must have:
- Objective: What do we hope to accomplish, what part of the brand strategy will this program. Focus on only one objective.
- Target: Who is the intended target audience we want to move to take action against the objective? Keep it a very tight definition.
- Insight: What is the one thing we know about the consumer that will impact this program. For this mini brief, only put the most relevant insight to help frame the consumer.
- Desired Response: What do we want consumers to think, feel or do? Only pick one of these.
- Stimulus: What’s the most powerful thing you can say to get the response you want.
Going too fast sometimes takes too Long
If you choose to do it over the phone, you’re relying on the Account Manager to explain it to the creative team. Days later when they come back with the options, how would you remember what you wanted. If you have a well-written communications plan, this Mini Brief should take you anywhere from 30-60 minutes to write this. The Mini Brief will keep your own management team aligned to your intentions, as well as give a very focused ASK to the creative team. When you need to gain approval for the creative, you’ll be able to better sell it in with Mini Brief providing the context.
Pressed for time? Next time, try using the mini brief
To read more on Creative Briefs, follow this presentation
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