For the CMO

Writing Creative Briefs that Work

When hiring an agency or freelancer, having strong creative briefs is essential. Here’s how to communicate everything that you need.

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If you’ve ever experienced challenges communicating with an agency or freelancer, you might have had a breakdown around your creative briefs. Creative briefs communicate everything that you, as the client, want from your marketing services provider. Internally, it becomes a reference guide and document of record for the freelancer, agency, or marketer that’s providing services on your campaign. Ready to learn how to write creative briefs that work every time? Here are our best tips for creative briefs.

What are you trying to accomplish? It’s easy to get sucked into just describing a list of tasks or needs. However, start your creative brief by outlining what you’re trying to accomplish. What does a successful outcome look like? Understanding your objectives will help a seasoned marketing provider ensure you meet your goals.

Highlight your company: Who are you? Let the prospective provider know something about your company. Talk about your company’s history, your current lines of business, and your team. Feel free to provide additional context on your industry, customers, or other details that will help providers understand the way your company operates.

List your deliverables: What specific deliverables are you looking for from the project? For example, a Web design project might include wire frames of a design, full copy, or a finished website. Be clear about what you expect. Go into as much detail as you can about how you envision the finished product, as well as a closer look at what each step entails.

Address the logistics: Providers are going to be interested in the logistics of your project. First of all, what’s your timeline? Include both your kickoff date and your projected overall timeline for finishing, as well as any significant milestones that need to be met along the way. Take the time to provide budget details or at least a budget range. Particularly if you’re soliciting bids, save your time and theirs by letting providers know your general budget. Proposals and project summaries will be better aligned to your needs.

Provide an avenue for questions: Schedule a Q&A session with providers to let them ask any question they may have. From pitching early ideas to clarifying elements of the RFP, it’s important to take the time to really make sure your creative team understands what you’re looking for and that you’ve set them up for success.