One of the skills needed in any creative marketing role is to be able to see the world from the client’s point of view so that you can produce work that achieves their vision.
Last week Simon and I were discussing various briefs – the specifications for a copywriting or other creative project – provided by clients and how minimal some can be. Often a client can want something, but not know what that something is. Our response is to ask questions to identify what they want to help us create it.
Now, we wouldn’t expect everyone to specify a precise word count for an article or list technical production details, but what is important in a brief is to have a reason for the project. Even before any creative aspects are considered, what is the business aim of the project: to sell an identified product, to increase company awareness, to advertise an event, to attract visitors to a web site?
Identifying this reason, the target audience and required result is the starting point for any creative activity. From there we can establish the best way to achieve what the client requires. Whenever starting a project, we always ask what the client is looking to achieve: some can tell us precisely, while others have to be helped to define it.
We include it as part of our service to ask these questions so that we fully understand the client, their needs and the projects they commission us to complete, but it makes good sense for any business to know what it’s looking to achieve at all times.
Doing this doesn’t just mean we receive fewer flimsy briefs, but ensures businesses focus sharply on their commercial objectives. And if their commercial objectives are clearly defined, we think they’re more likely to achieve them.