Making good briefs great

Good briefs
Author: Paul Fairbairn

It can be a tough decision for any client to decide which projects deserve extra special attention when it comes to planning and briefing. It comes down to simple economics. How best to allocate your time and money to achieve maximum results?

Let’s start with a good brief

These can be banged out pretty quickly and typically include:

  1. A short summary of the problem/opportunity
  2. Objective
  3. Target Audience
  4. Key Message and SMP/USP (along with research supporting this key message)
  5. Budget
  6. Timeframe

To make a good brief great, you’ve got to invest some serious time in two areas: The Objective and The Audience.

The Objective

Spend some time making this objective measurable, establishing the benchmark and confirm the monitoring and reporting process. Imagic gets pretty damn focused on hard results and briefs that are clear on measures. They help us hone in on ways to activate the objective.

The Audience

To understand your target market, you need to talk to them. Ideally, a focus group with current customers and potential customers. What motivates them / what are their needs and wants / what does a day in their life look like / why do they or don’t they engage with your brand? These insights are invaluable to you and us when developing creative that fits.

The additional benefits of the extra work are the insights you gain, allowing the key messages to almost write themselves, and the lessons learnt will help improve every brief after that. As to when you should apply this extra effort? As soon as possible! The next project that represents a real opportunity to make a difference is the brief you should invest more in.

When you invest more in developing the Objective, and the Audience, everyone’s understanding of requirements becomes much clearer.