Step-by-Step Brief Process

September 20, 2004

Step 1

Client reviews the proposed project to ensure that it is covered by the approved Scope of Work document

Step 2

Client creates the Agency Brief and submits its to the Agency after it has been signed off by all key stakeholders

Step 3

Client meets with Agency to review the Agency Brief

Step 4

Agency drafts its own internal briefs, usually including a Creative Brief

Step 5

Client reviews the Agency's Creative Brief to confirm understanding and agree on direction

Step 6

Client approves the Creative Brief and the project is executed    

Briefing Tips to Keep in Mind    

  • Clearly identify the primary decision makers and stakeholders for the project.
  • Be sure to familiarize management and other stakeholders with the project and gain their approval before it is executed.
  • Allow yourself enough time to think through the Brief. Although you leverage existing client information assets, relying on "copy and paste" does not produce an effective brief.
  • Place yourself in the target audience's mindset, rather than a client mindset. What is compelling to the target audience about the client offering? What are their needs? Why would they respond?
  • If possible, brief the agency in person. If you cannot do this, schedule a conference call. Briefing by e-mail alone is not sufficient.
  • Involve key client people in the agency briefing. In addition to execution resources, include offering specialists, Market Intelligence, or Marketing Management. They often provide additional insight and clarity.
  • Keep the brief to a single focused objective and message. Trying to communicate all things to all people detracts from what you are attempting to achieve.
  • If there is information missing in the Agency Brief, use the agency's expertise to help you complete it. For example, the agency can help you to define the target audience segments or to create a compelling offer that encourages response.

"Events Agency Relationship Management." Robert P. Quinn, Director, Agency Operations, IBM Corporation and Steve Waugh, Manager, Global Customer Events, IBM Corporation. ANA Sponsorship and Event Marketing Conference, 09/20/04.