The Missing Link to Successful Direct Mail — the Creative Brief
But undisciplined creative brilliance often depends upon anecdotal assumptions that are often wrong. It's like paying a skilled bricklayer to build a house without an architectural plan or an architect to design an office building without detailed input on how the customer intends to use it.
The creative team should have the facts that relate to the customer's target market, competitive environment as well as other knowledge that may not appear to relate directly to the problem at hand.
I have found that it is out of the abundance of such knowledge that creative teams are able to generate the highest possible response rates from their creative work.
As such, the marketer does the homework needed to write the creative strategy and the creative team spends at least 50% of its time learning about the client's product, customers and past creative efforts based primarily on the Creative Brief.
I see the Creative Brief as a melding of the marketing plan with the creative strategy. Let's look at the characteristics of strong direct response Creative Briefs.
- Quantify the objective
- Organize the information accurately
- Reveal emotional insights that might lift response
- Respect the overall brand
- Summarize information about the client, the client's customer and the competitive environment
- Include samples of past winners and losers
- Supplies any available competitive samples
- Lack an offer or guidance for developing a strong offer
- Focus on the client's needs rather than those of the target audience
- Do not provide essential information as needed for the project
- Omit concrete and factual support for the claimed product benefits
- Disregard basic target market information such as mailing list descriptions, demographics and any other pertinent customer information
How about the organization of the final document?
Creative Briefs can take on many different and useful formats. But here are the seven essentials of the effective Direct Marketing Creative Brief.