What Is A Creative Brief? With Template, Components And Tips

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 4 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When pursuing a leadership role in marketing, advertising or a creative field, it is important to understand of how to effectively manage a team. Many professionals create briefs so their teams can ensure their work aligns with a client's requirements. Knowing how to write an effective brief can help your team meet your clients' goals and objectives. In this article, we explain what a creative brief is, share what to include in a brief, explain how to write one and provide some tips and a template to guide your writing process.

Related: Creating Thinking: Definition, Development And Advantages

What Is A Creative Brief?

A creative brief is a document used by marketing agencies to outline information about a client and their requirements. It also includes specific information about the project's goal(s), which the creative team can use to monitor their work and measure their progress. Marketing agencies may use these briefs to outline the requirements for a client marketing campaign, brand relaunch, business launch or product promotion. Before projects start, marketing professionals send the briefs to the client for approval.

Related: The Importance Of Creative Writing Courses (With Types)

How To Write A Creative Brief

There is a variety of ways you can write a brief. Follow these steps to write a standard brief:

1. Define the client's background

The background section of a brief allows you to describe the client you are working with. This gives your team some context ahead of the project. It helps your team learn about the client and what to expect from them during the project.

Related: 7 Stages Of The Filmmaking Process: A Comprehensive Guide

2. Highlight the client's brand identity

Next, clarify your client's brand image. In this section, also highlight the tone of the content or marketing initiatives you want your teams to create. You might also include the client's mission statement, vision statement or logo in this section.

Related: How To Think Out Of The Box In 7 Steps (With Tips)

3. Outline the client's target audience

Depending on the client's requirements, a project might cater to one or more target audiences. This section helps your creative team understand the types of people the client wants to connect with through their content or campaigns. This is very important for the creative teams to be able to create suitable marketing material.

4. State the project's key objectives

Now that the team has better understanding of the client, you can share the primary project objective. Project objectives may include increasing brand awareness, enhancing sales numbers or improving customer retention. Here, you can also explain the team's requirements and the purpose behind the project.

Related: List Of 15 Art Therapy Types (With Definition And FAQs)

5. List the client's social media channels and additional platforms

It is important to share with your team the marketing platforms or advertising strategies that a client uses. It helps them to develop appropriate advertising materials. This information also allows your team to understand which new platforms they may want to use and which existing ones can they improve upon.

6. Outline the tasks you plan to complete and their deadlines

In this section, highlight the specific tasks it is necessary for your teams to complete to achieve the project's key objective(s). For each task, include the time frame and deadline. Having well-defined deadlines ensures that the project remains on schedule and that the client is aware of the overall time frame.

Related: Top Jobs In The Arts (With Duties And Earning Potential)

7. Include the project leaders' and creative team members' names and duties

Next, list the project leaders' roles, and highlight the project teams and their roles. This enhances communication and clarity among your team members. It provides them with a clear understanding of their roles and who to report to.

Related: What Is Creative Design? Skills And Popular Careers

8. Define the project's budget and its distribution

Including the project budget in your brief helps team leads determine how to use their own resources. This also helps them establish which areas to prioritise to meet the client's goals. It ensures that the project remains within budget.

Related: 13 Interesting Creative Jobs (With Duties And Salaries)

What To Include In A Brief

Here are a few important components to include in a brief:

  • Project objective(s): This section highlights one or more of a client's final goals.

  • Company background information: This refers to standard information about when and how a company started and what types of products or services a company offers. You can also include information about product markets or competitors.

  • Target audience(s): These are consumer groups who can benefit the most from a company's products or services.

  • Services you are going to offer: A clear outline of how you plan to achieve the objective(s) of a project provides both your team and the client with important information about what to accomplish and expect during a project.

  • Current marketing or advertising mediums: Include information about social media platforms, websites and other mediums a client uses. This helps creative teams determine what types of advertising mediums they can access or expand from and which materials to create for a client.

  • Brand identity and voice: This information helps creative teams create content and marketing materials that align with the client's brand image.

Related: 11 Creative Interview Questions And Their Sample Answers

Creative Brief Template

Here is a template that shows one way to organise a brief:

Client company background

[A brief statement outlining the client's company, founding year, products or services is offers and its industries].

Target audience

  • [An outline of one target audience + age, demographics and product requirements]

  • [An outline of one target audience + age, demographics and product requirements]

  • [An outline of one target audience + age, demographics and product requirements]

Brand identity and tone

[A statement that highlights the client's brand identity, their company slogan and the tone of their business (formal, friendly, comedic, compassionate, etc.)].

Current marketing and advertising platforms

  • [Client's social media platforms]

  • [Client's website details]

  • [Client's print or digital advertisements]

Project objective

[A statement that outlines the key objective of the project and how the creative team is going to accomplish the objective].

Project details:

[Task one]:

  • [An outline of the first project task].

  • [How it coincides with the main objective].

  • [Deadline details].

Project budget and distribution

[The budget for [project name here] is [Rs. amount].

[Rs. amount] for [task one]

[Rs. amount] for [task two]

[Company] may redistribute budget funds depending on revised requirements.

Project roles and responsibilities

[Task one]

[Project lead or manager]

[Team role]: [Team member name]

Related: What Are Creativity Skills? (With Examples And Benefits)

Tips For Writing A Brief

Here are some tips for writing an effective brief:

  • Set achievable deadlines. When setting deadlines for tasks, take time to consider realistic time frames for marketing campaigns, advertisements or content creation. This influences the quality of what you create for your client, and it also ensures that you uphold client satisfaction.

  • Hold an in-person meeting to review the brief in-depth. Reviewing the details of the brief with your team gives them the opportunity to ask you questions and gain clarification on specific components.

  • Collaborate with your creative leads when creating the brief. Including input from project managers and senior marketing professionals involves them in the process and ensures they understand the brief well before relaying it to their teams.

  • Determine if you can clarify any aspects of the brief. Your team uses the brief to guide their daily tasks, which means it is important that they understand it clearly. This also influences how aligned their activities or content creation are with the client's requirements.

  • Decide how to track your team's progress. In a brief, you typically include figures or percentage points to outline the project's goals. To ensure you meet those goals, consider investing in marketing campaign software or other technologies that can help you record data and measure your success.

  • Compare the finished brief to the original client notes. After you finish drafting a brief, review original client emails, your notes and other information about the client's requirements. This can help you determine whether your brief offers the solutions they require from the company.

Explore more articles