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  • Emma Venables

The Killer Marketing Brief

Guest post by Wendy Fenney at Clear Goal Marketing

A ‘killer brief’ is a brief for a marketing campaign or concept that is clear, precise and, above all, logical. The brief is a document that explains exactly what you want to create to achieve a part of your marketing plan, which is formulated from your overall business strategy. Writing a brief without doing the legwork is a recipe for disaster.

Clear Goal Marketing explains how development of a ‘killer brief’ can save you time and money, as well as disappointment, when using graphic design services.

Before you embark on creating your brief it’s best to consider the ABC process which considers your overall business strategy, how the piece of creative fits within your marketing plan and how you plan to execute the campaign or whatever it is you’re creating.

The ABC Process


a) Business strategy – I would like to gain X number of new clients, X amount of sales of product Y

b) Marketing plan – to achieve (a) I need to have an attractive website, a sales brochure, lead generation services, attend a customer event or exhibition, send out a direct mail or email campaign, be active on social media etc. Timeline – what should I do first, second, third. Available budget and resources.

c) Campaign brief – take an element of the plan (b) and explain exactly what you want to achieve. This is a guide for the designer which will include: corporate guidelines to follow, package of files (logos, images) and type of document you wish to produce and any sizing constraints, wording (it’s called copy).

Why is the brief so important?

The brief is the foundation of the project. Without the campaign brief the project or designer cannot really move forward. If a brief is unclear a good designer will jump on the phone to clarify anything they are unsure about but, by this point, it’s often too late.

It's too late because you are then being guided and influenced by the designer and your thought process has not been completed. With luck on your side, you might end up with a brilliant piece of work, but is it exactly what you wanted and how will it be used?

Do you have a clear strategy?

Strategy is the fundamental process that must be in place before any marketing activity is even considered, let alone attempted.

  • Who exactly are you targeting? (target audience)

  • What would you like to achieve? (objectives)

  • What is your competition up to? (competition)

  • What makes your product or service different (competitive edge)

  • What media does your target audience consume? (media)

  • What is it that your customer needs? What is their thought process? What would entice them to buy from you? Pains/gains (research)

  • What are the best ways of reaching your target audience? (marketing tools)

  • How much budget do you have to spend? (budget)

Here is some further reading if you wish to delve deeper into strategy:

Pulling it all together

Once you’ve really thought hard about all the above points and carried out all the necessary research – feel that you know your target audience inside and out; you know what approach your competitors are taking; have an appreciation of how you can stand out from the crowd - only then can you decide upon exactly what you need and craft the perfect message that will really get your campaign noticed.

Does it sound like too much hard work?

It may sound like an arduous task but getting the brief right is so important because, at the end of the day, your graphic designer will work from your instructions and is sure to create something amazing with the information that you provide. However, with that said, your campaign will only be successful if you’re thorough with your pre-planning and campaign execution.

If you need any help with planning your next campaign, Wendy Fenney at Clear Goal Marketing would be happy to advise you further, contact

Photo credit: Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels


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