Ever had a super amazing plan for your brand’s marketing? Maybe online content, an event, a full-on campaign, a new launch, or just something for a special day. You had imagined what it would look like: the photos, the graphics, the event décor, all the works. And then, in the end, it is far from what you imagined.
Yes, this tends to happen a lot, especially with small businesses. Some people believe it is a result of low marketing spend, but it is way beyond that. Lots of brands have achieved impactful marketing on a low budget. The Dollar Shave Club is a prime example, and there are other examples of brands that have achieved great results on a low budget.
The answer to the real reason why your marketing does not look like you wanted most likely lies in your brief. A lot of brand owners do not understand what a brief is; it is a guiding document that articulates essential information about your campaign or communication and acts as a creative springboard for anyone who will be working on it — who we will refer to as the campaign team: photographer, creative director, writer, graphic designer, models, social media manager, media buyer, public relations personnel or copywriter; and this is not an extensive list. Usually, to achieve the best results, a debrief session is necessary after a brief is sent. This session is to discuss all that was in the brief, provide clarity, or maybe bring it to life for whoever is on the team.
A brief will typically contain the following basic elements:
- Background information about the brand
- The objective (or reason) for the campaign
- A description of the target audience
- The campaign scope and timeline
- The campaign ethos (or vibe)
- Specific information and criteria for the campaign
- A list of team members
- KPIs & milestones
- An inspiration board
When your campaign team is not on the same page as you, and cannot picture exactly what you see for your campaign, you end up with results that are a far cry from what you envisioned. Provided you have the right team of people who are great at what they do, this happens because either there was no brief or the brief provided was not sharp or inspiring enough. This brings to light the fact that it is possible to have a brief that is fully filled but is ineffective in delivering the required vision.
As highlighted earlier, a brief not only provides information about the campaign, it ought to act as a creative springboard. A brief should not only be filled with information but inspiration. Effective campaigns are very much about the emotions they evoke in the target audience, and for this to translate to the end audience, it must first flow from the brand to its campaign team. You cannot get the intended feeling from a campaign if the photographer, artist, graphic designer, writer or whoever else is on the team does not feel it too. Therein lies the biggest bottleneck for creative and emotional flow. A brief needs to be written as if the author is in fact an artist, painting a picture.
On a final note, some people may ask: do I need a document to share emotion? Not necessarily — some people give verbal briefs; however, there are loopholes in this method. The reason for the document is accountability as well as clarity and unity of thought. Not only does it help a brand owner and the team have a reference document to ensure they are always on the same page, but it also outlines KPIs and anticipated outcomes: measurable performance indicators that say whether the campaign was successful or not. This is why the debrief session together with a brief is most beneficial.
One of our key services at The Y Brand is helping brands create effective campaign strategy and structuring to deliver effective communication, and ensure that Return on Investment (ROI) is positive. We have created a sharp briefing template, with detailed guidelines for filling it out. Send us an email today at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on your journey to effective Marketing.