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Any digital marketing agency worth its sass will tell you that there is nothing as sacred as the creative brief. No matter what size the project may be, there can be no truly successful campaign without a solid foundation.

A good creative brief makes life easier for everyone by outlining your client’s vision and makes sure everyone on your team is on the same wavelength from the get-go. Whether you’re new to the creative industry or are just looking for new ways to organise your workload, this blog will give you all the info you need to write a killer brief that gets shit done and saves you (and your team) from marketing chaos.

First things first: Create a template

“Well, duh,” is what you’re probably thinking.

Trust us, as obvious as this may seem, it often ends up being an after-thought. At Systemato, we have a standard template to help us structure our briefs for any given task. This aims to give the person handling it (the assignee) a clear and complete understanding of what the task involves.

On a basic level, any template should cover these three key sections:

  1. The client brief
  2. Project background
  3. Useful resources and further notes

So far, so good. You could pretty much take these three sections and run with them, adapting each part according to the specific needs of your team.


The Rules of the Game

To improve the effectiveness of our briefs, we follow three golden rule:

Rule #1: Clarity is key.

Assignees should never have to research themselves anything that helps them understand what the brief is about. Any research time should be spent towards completing their work, not trying to understand it. Time is money, people.

Key benefit: The second you get the green light, work can begin and time wasted is minimized.

Rule #2: Give the people what they need.

Assignees should be given all the materials they need to begin researching and working on their task. Point people in the right direction and let them sprint to the goal; this isn’t some competition where they need to figure out everything by themselves.

Key benefit: We pay our talented people for their ability to understand words (research) and make their words understandable (copywriting). We want them to be directly engaged with their core skills, so we’re definitely not above “setting the table” for them. They’re still doing all the creative work and making better use of their skills and time!

Rule #3: Communication is king.

Assignees need to have a direct and constant line of communication to the Task Owner (usually the person who created the task). Our management style is basically to give customer support to our team members: if they have a question or an issue, we’ll try to respond to them right away with a solution, and make sure we log everything in a project management tool like Asana.

Key benefit: Briefs aren’t just an inventory of requirements but an invitation for collaboration between writer and editor. While the brief remains open, we remain in close contact.

Fancy a free template?

We’ve done some of the legwork for you so you can start killing the organisation game ASAP.
Download the Systemato
creative brief template free and get down to business.

Kelly Dent

Author Kelly Dent

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