Creative briefs are a widely used tool for advertising agencies to ensure that both the creative team and client are all on the same page when it comes to developing ads and marketing campaigns. It provides clarity and focus to the creative process. If you’re planning to run any advertising, whether you’re doing it yourself or working with an agency, developing a creative brief can help you get more relevant and effective advertising for your business. While formats vary from agency to agency. The following questions provide the basic framework Objective: What are you trying to accomplish? Too many companies advertise, simply because they think they need to. Having a clear objective helps you to narrow in on exactly what the ad should be about and how you can determine if it was successful. Example: Increase data plan contracts by 10% in the 1st quarter. Audience: Who are you trying to reach? Everyone is not a good answer. Does a 12-year old boy like the same things as a 50-year old mother of three? Probably not. They also usually don’t respond the same way to ads either. Knowing what kind of customer you’re trying to attract will help you to create more relevant ads. Example: Tech savvy professionals, age 25-34 Message: In one simple sentence, what are you trying to say with this ad? It’s important to have the discipline to keep the key message you’re trying to communicate down to 1 sentence. This keeps you focused. In today’s media saturated world, people simply can’t remember much more than that. Make sure the message is also something your audience would care about. Example: Our network has the widest data coverage, so you can stay connected all over the island. Support: Why should the audience believe that? What support points do you have? This information may or may not be used in the actual ad. But it’s important information to know so the ad can be crafted in a believable way. Example: Coverage includes 90% of the island. Other competitors vary between 80-90%. Mandatories: What absolutely needs to be in the ad? Your logo? Phone number and/or website? Certain colors? Legal disclaimer? Providing this information to whoever is developing your ad will ensure that they incorporate it into the ad overall, rather than adding it at the last minute.