The 5 Deadly Sins of Brief Writing

The brief is the cornerstone of any customer-centric B2B or B2C marketing effort. It’s where objectives, messaging, target audience, customer insights, metrics and channel approach come together in one key document that will keep everyone on track.

But let’s be honest. Writing a brief isn’t always easy! And writing a brief brief (pun intended) is even harder.

It takes some time and strategic thinking to know what is important to include…and what is not. Since the brief needs to be something your team will actually read, it should be clear, insightful and succinct. After reading it, every person should be on the same page about what the marketing effort needs to achieve.

In our experience there are several pitfalls that trip marketers up when they write briefs. We call these the “5 Deadly Sins of Brief Writing.” On your path to a powerful, succinct and motivating brief, here are the “sins” that you should steer clear of:

  • Gluttony: Are you putting too much in the brief? Are you “kitchen-sinking,” so you don’t have to decide what is important…and what isn’t? Could you be more focused and single minded in how you communicate?
  • Sloth: Are you crafting the brief as quickly as possible just to get through it and meet a deadline? Are you putting as much strategic thought into it as you need to?
  • Hubris: Are you crafting the brief single handedly, without consulting or collaborating with key partners?
  • Pride: Have you received feedback from key partners, but aren’t acting on it to improve the brief? Are you thinking that you know best?
  • Envy: Are you wishing you could work on a more exciting project? Are you focusing more on what you’d rather be doing than on what you need to do?

Spot the sin, correct it and create a brief your team will embrace. Because the stronger the brief, the stronger the marketing effort. And with that comes a stronger emotional connection your customer will make with your brand.

Noetic is a marketing consultancy specializing
in brand strategy, research & training.

We are built upon an avid curiosity about varied businesses and their unique strategic challenges. We provide a fresh perspective and intelligent thinking without a rigid agenda that requires starting from scratch.

Our “I.D.E.A.” approach always starts with the vision our senior executive clients set. And our mission is to help our clients release their team’s full potential to achieve that vision.