How Creative Briefs Help Your Agency
Agency managementProject ManagementRetainers
Read time: 4 minutes
Life’s too short to churn out projects that miss the mark. For a creative brief to be the most effective, it should be completed at the beginning of a project so that it’s streamlining the timeline and not interfering with it. A good creative brief helps set you up for a great rhythm by outlining:what you’re makingwhen it’s neededwho it’s forwhy you’re doing ithow it’s going to get done
After reading this blog, you’ll understand how creative briefs help your agency and improve the quality of your work.
Why You Need Creative Briefs
Creative briefs, when properly used, bring order to projects. They can be valuable over the entire course of the project, constantly being referred to as a source of truth and a guide. Whenever scope begins to creep, or questions are raised regarding deliverables or timelines, the creative brief can be referred to. As we’ve covered before, over servicing hurts you and your clients. Creative briefs can put a stop to that.
A complete, well-written creative brief gives your team clarity on your client’s expectations, goals, and resources. It also defines your project in a way that gives everyone a clear understanding of the vision and strategy, allowing everyone to move forward in unison.
Creative Briefs Create Order
Your agency designed a creative workflow to create efficiency, clarity, and order. When you’ve invested the time and energy into designing these processes, not sticking to them seems silly.
By saving themselves the 10 minutes it would take to write a simple brief, project managers risk due dates slipping through the cracks, untracked time, uncoordinated billing, and a bunch of admin work later on down the line.
Taking the time to write and share a basic brief shows a genuine investment in agency processes, and sets a solid example for both creatives and junior staff. Your creative brief should always kick-start your project, no matter how small.
Creative Briefs Produce Better Work
It’s tempting, for smaller projects, to throw together a half-hearted brief for a familiar client. Maybe the last 4 campaigns you’ve run have been fairly successful, your team knows your clients well enough to just run with it, and the end result will be fine. But nobody goes into creative industries because they want to produce work that is “fine.”
Even taking 10 minutes to write a basic creative brief provides you with the time to consider your client’s overall situation. It’s a time to reflect on your last few projects, from what went well to what could have been a little bit better. With your whole agency getting in the habit of taking these quick check-ins, you’ll find you’re avoiding the autopilot traps that can occur when working with long-term clients.
How To Use Your Creative Briefs
Complete the brief with your client—trust us, it will save you time. During this meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to clarify what is and is not within the scope of your capabilities. Sometimes clients have odd or unrealistic requests that you won’t want to commit to. Take the time to explain your team’s process, discuss the possibilities, and negotiate a middle ground.
After the creative brief has been finalized, providing a copy to both your team and your client will make the brief a useful reference when answering questions that have already been resolved.
A creative brief can sometimes be the difference between keeping a project on track and a project that goes off the rails. When executed properly, briefs outline the scope of work, plan the deadline of deliverables, and state the budget. For more information, check out our latest webinar on how to write a compelling creative brief.