Briefs, briefs and briefs! When you’re working in the marketing industry, briefing an agency or a team is a daily practice. There are many different methods and each business must determine their own style. However there are some big no-no’s when it comes to writing an effective marketing brief. Here are 5 common mistakes made when writing a marketing brief.

Writing one paragraph

Sometimes a project can seem small and easy, so it can be tempting to just write an email or explain it briefly as you wait for the kettle to boil… but it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve and why. This will avoid last minute alterations that can cause a delay in delivery and late night work, e.g: is the site going to be responsive, who is hosting it or what device does it need to work on (IE6 and blackberry can come as big surprises).

Writing a novel

Some people prefer to write 50+ with very long paragraphs, but there is a reason why it’s called a “brief”… Just get to the point!

The purpose of a brief is to give some clear facts about what the project is about so that it can be read and understood quickly. If you feel you can’t write a 2 page brief because there is too much information, it’s likely that you’re not doing it right and it may be too complex to understand. The best method is to summarise all key info in your brief, organise a meeting to go through the granular details.

 Not giving any background

This section of your brief is to give context, this is not the place to list what you want to create. The purpose of this section is that anyone can pick up your document and can fully understand the project. The worst thing is for it to feel like you’re interrupting a work colleague who has no idea what you’re talking about. Having clear, concise wording and history available will offer best results.

Suggesting the solution in the objectives

This section is key for anyone to understand what you’re trying to achieve from a business perspective and how success can be measured, it is not about stating what you want to create.

This will ensure that accurate KPIs are set for the project and make sure that we arrive at the correct solution.

If you struggle for this section, think about asking yourself “what for”, “to achieve what.”

Forgetting the timings or budget indication

Always remember the golden triangle “fast, cheap, quality” you can only have two!

We all want our projects to be implemented ASAP and be low-priced, but you have to think, “how urgent is this” and “how important is this?” When you’re able to answer these questions, it will help prioritising and avoid time wasting.

You also have to consider your other projects on the go; do other projects take priority over this? If there is a specific deadline is it linked to an event/launch/offer?

Also do add any additional indication that could impact timings: holiday season, multiple stakeholders to feedback, etc.
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