Sticking to the Brief

We can all agree that developing a marketing strategy is critical for success. Knowing how and when you’ll reach your audience, what messaging you’ll use when you speak with them (and so on and so forth) helps you frame your day-to-day marketing efforts and chip away at those larger business goals.

However, knowing what your strategy is and actually putting that strategy into practice are two very different things. It’s easy to fall into the trap of intention over action.

For most companies, the problem isn’t that they don’t have a marketing strategy, it’s that they don’t keep it top of mind. Many perfectly good marketing strategies are saved in that obscure part of the server or trapped in some binder that a handful of key employees keep on their shelves, gathering dust.

"For most companies, the problem isn’t that they don’t have a marketing strategy, it’s that they don’t keep it top of mind."

Fully realizing a strategy takes commitment to execution. The question is: how do we ensure that we’re regularly executing against our marketing strategy?

Here’s where the creative brief comes in.

What is a creative brief?

A creative brief is the foundation of an advertising or marketing campaign. It’s typically a one-page document produced by ad agencies that ground the campaign in strategy, keep the creative team focused on that strategy and allow both client and agency to measure the success and effectiveness of the campaign.

Briefs are not only critical for producing great work, but are also a fantastic tool to keep you and your team focused on the strategy you’ve outlined.    

Most of the time, a brief is created by an account planner or strategist and shared with the creative team at a project’s inception. Using clear language, the brief breaks down what the goals of the project are, who the audience is, what the big idea is, the tone of the ad/campaign/collateral, deliverables/specifications, budget considerations and deadlines for the project.

However, a brief doesn’t have to only be used by an advertising agency’s creative team. There are many applications in which an adapted brief could help you and your team stay focused and dig deep to create work that hits home for your target audience(s).

Consider adapting the advertising creative brief to your own marketing efforts. Craft a document that forces you to think about the bigger picture, while simultaneously distilling your vision down into pithy language and straightforward art direction.

In the end, a creative brief is nothing more than a guide, a page of directional copy that pushes you to create pieces of stellar marketing within the constraints and realistic business goals we all have to work around.

What’s stopping you from using one for your brand?

Want to talk more about creative briefs? Shoot us an email at or tweet at us @toucanads!

Toucan is a New Orleans advertising agency.

No items found.