The Creative Brief Doesn’t Have to Suck


The creative brief sucks because it is too general for the modern customer journey. Here’s a pragmatic solution: Revise our templates so they reflect the advanced targeting capabilities of programmatic advertising and the fragmented consumer landscape they represent.

But today ads can be readily targeted and optimized based on factors like:

  • Demographics
  • Channels
  • Devices
  • Behavioral data
  • CRM/customer journey data

A generalized, generic creative brief is likely to lead to average campaign performance, so it doesn’t invite scrutiny. But if you neglect these details you neglect the most powerful advances in ad tech. Embrace them and your campaign is golden.

To get there, the creative brief must evolve from a flat document to a matrixed one. In addition to the broad strokes of general information, address the subsegments of a target audience and their nuances.

The creative brief needs a grid, a spreadsheet, a chart: a creative matrix.

On one axis, it should be noted in practical terms what specific groups will be targeted with the campaign. How is their relationship with the brand different? What benefits resonate with them in particular?

On the other axis, break it down further by where these audiences are in the buying journey. What offers are most appealing? How will the message change?

The creative matrix lets you use the creative to drive performance in your digital ad campaign. Your creative brief sucks without one.