← Briefing 101
Deep dives
Finishing touches

How to start writing a marketing brief 🏃‍♂️

Ewan Patel
Co-founder & CSO

You’ve got a campaign coming up. Maybe your business is about to launch a new product. Maybe you need to respond to something that’s happened “out there” in the real world. Maybe this is just a business-as-usual piece of marketing.

In any case, you’re finally sitting down to write a marketing brief.

What to do before you start writing

Before you start relentlessly filling boxes, it’s important to take a moment to grab everything you need. Like a painter getting all the paint colours they’ll need on their palette, take some time to consider the ingredients of this brief.

To help you get started, we’ve put together a checklist of questions and an example for a fictional, up-and-coming sports tailoring brand.

In short, if you can jot down a quick answer to each question, you’ll be in a good place to start writing your marketing brief.

How to get started checklist

  1. What is this brief?
    Write one simple sentence that says what this brief is for and why you’re writing it. Imagine you’re trying to tell your grandma about what you did at work today - if she read this sentence, would she understand it?
  2. Who is this brief for?
    Consider who you are briefing. Is this brief for your creative agency? Your media agency? Both?
  3. How big is this project?
    Think about the budget you have for this project, and what your expectations and ambitions might be for that amount of money.
  4. What kind of campaign do I want?
    You might want a campaign that makes your brand famous. Or you might want something that is voraciously focused on driving sales. Yes, in an ideal world you’d want this campaign to do a bit of everything. But put on your Reasonableness Cap, and think about what you really think this project should be aiming for.This can also be a good time to research campaigns from other brands. Did they do something similar? Can you steal any tactics or pieces of messaging?
  5. What do I want to achieve?
    When the dust settles on this campaign and you’re analysing the results, what is the perfect headline you’d love to report back to your manager and the rest of your team? Again, do so with your Reasonableness Cap firmly on your head.
  6. What do I know?
    Get together your research and key documents. This might include brand guidelines, audience research, analysis of previous similar campaigns. Anything that might be useful to you or to whoever is receiving this brief.
  7. How will I write this brief?
    Finally, get your marketing brief template ready. If you don’t already have a brief template, create your own (if you’re brave) or choose one of our free, expertly crafted ones (if you’re smart).

How to get started example

This is what you might get to if you were writing a brief at our sports tailoring brand.

What is this brief?
This is a brief for a campaign to launch our new range of sports tuxedos.

Who is this brief for?
This brief is for our creative and media agencies.

How big is this project?
We have £50k to spend on media, and about half that for production. So this campaign is on the smaller end.

What kind of campaign do I want?
I want a tactical campaign. Something that is focused on converting a tightly defined, in-market audience.

What do I want to achieve?
I want to be able to say that this was our most successful product launch of the year. £20k revenue within one month of the campaign.

What do I know?
We have some learnings from last year's sports ties launch.

How will I write this brief?
I've downloaded a campaign brief template from Briefly.

Note - Briefly owns no patents for sophisticated formalwear that's ready for the court and the courthouse. But we have big plans.

If you can sketch answers to each of those questions, you're ready to start writing your marketing brief. Grab a template and then head to our guide on 'How to write the perfect marketing brief'.

Of course, if you want to make writing a great brief easy, you can always try Briefly 🌱