1. Narrow your audience.
A broad audience can be a reality, especially for businesses with a wide range of offerings, but remember that everyone in your audience doesn’t think and behave exactly the same. Defining and segmenting multiple audiences is a better approach, but make sure you prioritize who you want to engage with–it’ll make your job and your agency’s a little bit easier to do. Need different strategies for different audiences? Write multiple briefs to speak to each of them more effectively.
the all-too-common audience of “everyone” can be a huge waste of marketing dollars.
Write with your reader in mind.
Remember that a person or team will need to read your brief to understand what you want them to know, understand and do. They are your real audience. A great brief should be written for them and should include content they will find valuable to know. It shouldn’t just be a brain dump of background info, research and mandatories–it’s probably going to, but that won’t inspire your reader at the end of the day.
Engage with your teams and make it your goal to convince them that the problem at hand is something they want to invest themselves in. Inspire them–immerse them in the mindset of your target market and demonstrate key product features, functional benefits and emotional benefits. Leverage a brand’s purpose where you can and bring it into the brief. Win your team over. Then give them the tools and resources to get the job done.
Give them an insight.
Arguably the hardest thing to write in a brief, the insight is probably one of the main things your team will take away from it. During a strategy mega-class I attended last year world-renowned strategist, Mark Pollard, defined it perfectly, “Insights give better words to hunches and new words to things we have never contemplated.” It’s something novel and noteworthy. A thought that seems obvious. But then your reader thinks “that's so true and I haven’t heard it like that before.” It can provide that lightbulb moment for creatives or spark an innovative communications strategy that developed because they saw the challenge from a different angle.
“Insights give better words to hunches and new words to things we have never contemplated.” - Mark Pollard
Insights can come from many different places–competitive research, audience motivations, sales and website data–you name it. Here’s a few things I learned from the mega-class to try as you start to develop an insight:
- They can develop as a beautiful irony.
- Example: COVID-19 has brought together so many people forced to physically and socially distance.
- Start stupid or start offensive, then try to make sense or find the truth in it.
- Example: I yell at myself for not being good enough but I could use that energy to improve myself.
- People believe X, but Y is actually true.
- Example: Millennials often adhere to Alberta’s low-risk drinking guidelines, but will still participate in binge drinking activities when the occasion calls for it.
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