How to make an excellent brief for your next pitch
After setting the general framework, the details for the brief follow – fill in the template with the two parts: description of the activity and target audience. The deployment of the activity gives a rather broad context not only for the general business picture “on the market” but also for the organization itself, as well as for the brand. Therefore, all fields are important, although not marked as mandatory. The more specific information you provide to the service provider, the more time they will be able to devote to the actual proposal – a creative concept that best fits the goal, a better solution to the specific case.
The description of the activity seems like the easiest field, but you can slip there, too. You provide details about the activity, as well as what you want the service provider to consider. If it is clear and fixed what has to happen – for example, you have already approved open-air client events in five major cities in the country, write it down. However, if the activity can take different forms, do not give too many details here, because you may miss an innovative opportunity. After all, in addition to the performance itself, providers add value by offering you a different angle to see your services and products, your target market, and propose different ways to reach it. The generic framework will still guide the performers so that you look in the same direction.
The business context refers to the market situation and competitors. What is significant for your business segment, who are the most active “players”, how does your brand differentiate from them, is there a compelling dynamic that can be used, or that the brand should oppose? Market researches are often difficult for external organizations to access, but you – on the other side – are very likely to have some. As valuable as they are, the most important thing is to use them to achieve the brand’s goals – as quickly as possible and with fewer resources. So don’t hesitate to share them.
Of course, if the specific activity is part of a bigger brand campaign, it makes sense to note this in the special box and describe the whole puzzle where this particular activity should fit in.
Objectives and communication objectives are undoubtedly two of the key fields to fill in – that’s why we want to elaborate about them! It is not enough to say that they must be filled in as clearly and precisely as possible. Here are some additional tips.
- First of all, what is the difference between them? Communication objectives are those outcomes you expect as a result of the communication activity. For example, to increase brand awareness. However, if the description is left generic like that, it’s just as going to a hairdresser and ordering “something done with my hair”. You’ll need to keep your fingers crossed that it will be ok – because it will certainly not be as you’ve imagined or expected it.
- Describe your advertising objectives also precisely. Follow the four main characteristics rule by answering the questions: “What communication action do I want to accomplish (for example, to increase the brand awareness), among which target groups (the usual demographic segments – for example, women between 25 and 34 years old), at what extent or range (for example by 10%, or to increase recognizability with 30%) and in what period (lucky you – you have already specified the timing of the activity above).
- There could be different communication objectives but watch out! They have to supplement each other and can’t be more than three. You should write down just one, two as a maximum – because the more complicated the message, the fuzzier the results. Literally.
- The objectives (marketing, but not limited to) of the particular activity have to be measured so that you know exactly what you are doing and you can find out if you have achieved them. They support the larger targets – business and organizational development goals. To efficiently combine both, you need to have them in front of your eyes – described as objectives (what it is exactly) and as a measure of success, KPIs (how do you understand if you have achieved them). For marketing purposes, for example, clear enough performance criteria can be specified: an increase in market share is usually measured in percentages; becoming a market leader in terms of turnover from end customers can be estimated in natural units or monetary units, etc.
Share if there are some preferred communication channels. And if any channels cannot be applied, regardless of the reason. For example, a total ban from the headquarter or proven inefficiency during the years. It is the same with the mandatories and constraints – they can vary quite widely – from legal and legislative restrictions specific to the industry or activity to internal rules in the organization or specifics of the concrete situation. Here again, you have the opportunity to prevent the creative nature of service providers from developing an idea that does not apply to the business.
Regarding the target group – it traditionally is under a microscope, so it is not surprising that there is not only a brief version of what this group is but also its description. The clearer it is, the easier it is to direct the planned activity to achieve the desired effects. Targeting – this choice of target groups from all possible, should take into account which (for example, two groups, do not specify more) have the greatest potential to ensure the best success of your organization and brand. If all people eat bread, but only some of them would buy a truffle fan on a plate of bread from ancient seeds, on which three virgins sang for 32 leva, it is better to focus on those three people who would do it.
All those groups that you wanted to put as primary can be added as secondary. Usually, your actions affect them, they can also become your customers, but the chance is lower. You will not exclude them, but the focus should be on the most attractive segments of the market that would bring the greatest benefits to achieve the goals of the activity.
To have a quality design for your planned activity, list all the factors that influence decision-making. If you can rank them, it will be perfect, but it would be valuable even if you just list them. This information will be an extra that your brand and research have increased over time. Why would we repeat like crazy to someone that our hat packaging is green, if only the price matters to him, or whether it will be able to protect him from heavy rain…