The creative brief or marketing brief is a tool which acts as a framework for a project. This brief can be supplied by the client to the agency however it is not uncommon for an agency to review the brief then make recommendations. These agency recommendations could include adjustments to the brief that would increase the effectiveness of the project scope thus justifying the involvement and value of the agencys expertise. In many cases the agency creates the brief by asking the client a set of questions.
A good creative brief covers the following:
Background: what are you trying to achieve and how will you measure the success of this program?
Audience: who are we going after. who is the customer.
Objectives: what are we trying to do?
Message: If you could get one sentence through all the clutter, what would that be?
Medium: what is the best way to reach this audience?
Deadline: when must the message get to the audience for maximum effect? when must we deliver the finished work?
Budget: how much money can we work with to get this done.
Contact: who is the contact? who signs off and authorizes the agency?
Notice that none of these concepts are complicated or overly complex. In fact they are all very simple. What the brief does is provide both parties with a solid understanding of the basics behind a project. With these topics defined, the agency has a solid foundation to work with and in turn can take the project to the next level.
A fine tuned brief is a great way to kick off a project.