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Key Takeaways:

  • As an account person, you empower the work
  • As a creative, it’s your job to make sure you have the info you need
  • A great creative brief sets everyone up with the right information and the right perspective

Use this checklist to make sure you have the info you need to produce work that moves people to act.

I’ve seen a metric ton of briefs. But as every agency and every client has their own unique format, the great ones all have one thing in common: they enable winning work.

So wherever you are in the chain—the account person collaborating with the client on the brief, or the creative eager to put pixel to page—make sure your document contains answers the following questions at kickoff:

Do we understand what makes the product or service unique, important, and of meaningful help/value to the customer?
Do we understand the features, and how to translate them clearly and succinctly into consumer/user benefits?
Do we understand who the prospects/segments are, demographically and psychographically?
Do we have insight into the problem the product/service solves for the prospect, obviously and emotionally?    
Do we know how to reach prospects emotionally—from their POV—so they are compelled to both open the piece and take action?  
Do we understand how the prospect makes the purchase decision? 
What is the clear, simple, and direct way to present the offer and CTA?
Do we understand the barriers to action, and why haven’t they done this already?  
Do we know how to present the offer as the reason to do it now?   
Do we understand the competition and what they are saying—and what we can say that’s better/different?
Do we know our KPIs?
Do we have data insights (personalization, segmentation, variable content, etc.), and do we know how to leverage this info to inspire and develop our creative?
Do we have insights as far as past performance, as well as what’s working (or not) in other channels?

Having the right answers today will help you do right by the client—and their customers—tomorrow. Happy concepting! 

Wanna talk about Direct Mail, and how it can propel your marketing efforts forward? We’re standing by to answer any questions you might have—and most importantly—to help you get your mail opened. It’s as easy as dropping us a line.

By combining strategy and data-driven insights with empathy and human understanding, VP and Creative Director Jeremy Hainline has spent the last 15+ years driving engaging and actionable creative for top brands like Google, eBay, Dell, and 24-Hour Fitness.

A winner of multiple advertising industry awards—Gold in the Summit Creative Awards, Platinum in the Hermes Creative Awards, and Platinum in the MarCom Awards—he is also a dedicated father, passionate musician, and avid road-tripper.