How to Write a Marketing Brief

Learn the 10 things you must include

Creative professionals working in a meeting
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Marketing briefs lay the framework and foundation for marketing initiatives by giving creative directors and copywriters what they need to know to carry out campaigns for public relations, advertising, websites, communications, and more. They provide a “control” function, enabling you to verify marketing results at the end of a campaign and determine whether or not it was successful. They also ensure that your campaigns are launched on time or verify delays if they occur. 

Good marketing briefs can be the difference between success and failure. They can be used internally or shared with outside resources such as ad agencies, copywriters, or graphic designers. Marketing briefs take time to create, but they get everyone involved, clarify roles and objectives, and eliminate confusion.

Constructing a Marketing Brief

Effective marketing briefs streamline the process and paint a clear picture of your marketing objectives and goals. The process of writing the brief helps walk you through the campaign in your mind and identify problems or opportunities. When completed, a marketing brief should:

  • Explain and communicate the purpose of a marketing initiative.
  • Identify and set goals for a marketing initiative.
  • Set a tone and identify targeted segments.
  • Establish measurements for success in a campaign.

Write and design marketing briefs so they are factual, relevant, engaging, and easy to follow. Set clear requirements to end up with a result that you can be happy with, and stay away from acronyms, industry lingo, or jargon that might not be familiar to everyone reading the brief.

A well-written marketing brief addresses 10 key elements:

  1. A brief background of the company, product or service: If your marketing brief has been created specifically for outside resources, don’t make assumptions. Share some information about who you are and what you do.
  2. Reasons and objectives: Define exactly what you intend to accomplish with the marketing campaign.
  3. Communication objectives: Clarify your desired message and identify the problems—or pain points—you intend to address.
  4. Target market: Provide a breakdown of the demographics you are trying to reach. If there are multiple segments, explain how to balance the message among them.
  5. Execution plan: If you have specific marketing vehicles in mind, list them and explain why they are good options for the campaign. If you are open to multiple approaches, state as much. 
  6. Marketing deliverable: Identify deliverables, such as email copy, postcards, or perhaps one-page flyers? Don’t limit yourself, but be clear about the deliverables you expect.
  7. Mandatories: Clearly list what must be included in the campaign. Mandatories might include a call to action, disclaimers, logos, telephone numbers, web addresses, or social media links. 
  8. Timeline considerations: Provide an overall deadline, but also include other key time elements, such as when deliverables must be ready, when the campaign will launch, and when it will conclude. 
  9. Tracking and goals: Define clearly how success will be measured. Whether the objective is to increase inquiries or sales or something else, explain the mechanism for how and when it will be measured. Be specific. This is what you will determine whether the initiative worked or not. 
  10. Budget: Take into account how much money you have to spend. This will determine marketing vehicles that are considered for execution.