The Marketing Brief: Blueprints, Examples, and Templates

TL;DR: Why and how should you have a marketing brief? We break it down here, including how to write a marketing brief, its purpose, and must-have components. Also, our AI Marketing Brief Generator will create a pretty good marketing brief for you in just a few minutes.

So What? For companies that are working on their marketing (and who isn’t?), a well-written marketing brief can get everyone aligned.

Why does your marketing campaign need a marketing brief? Because the brief is your plan of attack. It comprises all your outreach work, meaning a smoother rollout, better team collaboration, and a greater return on investment.

How to Use Our Marketing Brief Generator

Just answer a few questions about your marketing campaign, your business or product, and your target audience, and our AI Marketing Brief Generator will draft a marketing brief for you.

Remember: the more information you give it, the better your marketing brief will get. You can keep refining the brief until you’re happy with the results — then have it emailed to you, instantly and free.

Transform this chat into finished marketing materials: click for a

What’s a Marketing Brief?

A marketing brief is a short written document that provides a comprehensive overview of a specific marketing project, campaign, or initiative. 

It serves as a guide for all your stakeholders, ensuring that everyone is aligned on the objectives, strategies, and deliverables. With a good marketing brief, your campaign can run smoothly from concept to completion. 

A marketing brief is essential because it:

  • Provides clarity and direction for the marketing team, and any external partners or agencies.
  • Ensures alignment among all stakeholders.
  • Acts as a reference point throughout the campaign, helping to keep the project on track.

What’s the difference between a marketing brief and a marketing plan? 

  • A marketing plan is a larger document that tackles the marketing team’s strategies, tactics, and resources to achieve its desired marketing goals.
  • A marketing brief is a shorter document (hence the name), typically focused on a specific campaign. But the brief should always align with the plan. Easier said than done!

A 2021 survey by BetterBriefs shows that 80% of marketers believe they have a handle on writing briefs–but only 10% of agencies agree with that self-assessment. This same survey shows that 95% of marketers have failed to provide strategic direction to their agencies, with one-third of budgets lost to poor briefs that provide no direction.

This is a wake-up call for marketers. Marketing briefs are critical for marketing success – but only when done well.

Marketer’s Takeaway: Your brand needs a marketing plan and brief for every campaign. These help ensure you meet your goals, target the right audience(s), and convey the most persuasive messages. Don’t believe it? See compelling data here and here.

What to Include in a Marketing Brief

A well-written marketing brief – which often lays the foundation of a larger content marketing plan – will give everyone a complete picture of why you’re launching the marketing campaign and what you intend to gain from them.  

Here are the key components typically found in a marketing brief (though yours may vary)::

  1. Background/Introduction: This section provides context about your company, product, or service. It might include a brief history, current market position, and any relevant past marketing efforts.
  2. Objectives: Clearly defined goals that your marketing initiative aims to achieve. These could be related to brand awareness, sales targets, lead generation, etc.
  3. Target Audience: A description of the primary and secondary audiences the campaign is targeting. This might include demographics, psychographics, and any other relevant details about the target consumers.
  4. Key Messages: The main points or messages that the campaign should convey to the target audience.
  5. Budget: An outline of the available budget for the campaign.
  6. Timeline: A schedule or timeline for the campaign, including key milestones and deadlines.
  7. Deliverables: A list of expected outputs from the campaign, such as advertisements, content pieces, events, etc.
  8. Tone and Branding Guidelines: Direction on the voice, style, and branding elements to be used in the campaign.
  9. Measurement and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators): Metrics that will be used to evaluate the success of the campaign.
  10. Supporting Materials: This could include market research, customer insights, previous campaign results, or any other relevant data.

Marketer’s Takeaway: Your marketing brief may look different from the above, but it should touch on all these basic points. Visit Smart Insights for a deeper dive into marketing brief components, and Rocket Content for excellent tools to gauge a campaign’s success. 

Why You Need Research

man working on his marketing brief

The secret ingredient that turns a good brief into a great one? Research.

Research is important for a few reasons:

  • Understanding Your Target Audience: Research can help you understand the needs, preferences, and pain points of your target customer.
  • Identifying Market Trends: Research helps you ensure your campaigns are relevant and timely.
  • Analyzing Competitors: Research helps you understand what competitors are doing right (or wrong), and better differentiate your campaign.
  • Setting Realistic Objectives: Research provides data. And data-driven objectives are not only clear and specific, but also measurable. You can set realistic goals, and track them.
  • Optimizing Budget: Every marketing campaign has budget constraints. Research helps you to understand which channels and strategies offer the best ROI.
  • Crafting a Great Narrative: Research helps you understand what stories will resonate with your  audience, ensuring the campaign “story” is both compelling and effective.

Marketer’s Takeaway: Data can be a marketer’s best friend, and research provides this data for you. Some reputable places to start are: 

Getting Buy-In on the Brief

One person generally takes the lead in drafting the marketing brief (or it will never get done), but ideally you have thoughtful input from multiple departments and individuals. Why?

  • Different Roles, Different Views: Each member of your organization has a unique perspective on the business and industry. Take advantage of these viewpoints by seeking multiple opinions. It will make your brief better.
  • Building Buy-In: Getting early buy-in will enhance your final campaign and promote unity across the company. Including all team members will ensure that everybody feels invested in running a successful marketing campaign. 

Marketer’s Takeaway: Organizations that work together stay together. Encourage a community where everyone’s opinion is valued and recognize that good ideas can come from anywhere. Diversity of input will get you a better marketing brief – and a better marketing campaign.

Examples of Marketing Brief Templates

Here are a few sample marketing briefs. We’ve also provided a sample brief showcasing our own best practices.

PureJuice Marketing Brief

As an example, here’s a sample brief for a fictional brand, PureJuice, a purveyor of organic, natural juices targeting healthy consumers who want an alternative to sugar-filled drinks. It uses this brand positioning for this targeted social media campaign. 

Note that there is little in the way of tactical engagement here. The idea is to refine the direction and messaging of the content and ads. Following this, marketers can build specific campaign strategies for each channel within the budget provided. 

Objective: PureJuice is poised to make a splash in the organic beverage market. As a fresh entrant, our range of cold-pressed juices, made from 100% organic fruits and vegetables, taps into the rising demand from health-conscious consumers seeking clean, natural beverages.

Consumers need an alternative that stands out from the noise of so-called “healthy” food and drink. This campaign will position PureJuice as the only brand that speaks specifically to them, regardless of age, as live, active individuals who want something healthy, clean, and simple.

This campaign will push brand awareness of our product into the digital space with heavy social media advertising and influencer marketing.

Creative:  This campaign will position PureJuice as a clean, healthy, organic alternative to sugar-filled drinks (including other health products). Our emphasis is on life, vibrancy, and joy.

Key messaging will involve phrases (and variations):

  • “100% organic, 100% delicious.”
  • “Elevate your health with every sip.”

Imagery: Vibrant visuals of fresh fruits and vegetables. Healthy, happy individuals handling and enjoying these fruits and vegetables.

Messaging: Focus on words associated with health, organic food, refreshment, and happiness.

Influencer Marketing: We will only associate with influencers in the health and wellness vertical, especially those focused on active lifestyles, the outdoors, and daily health practices. 

Media Channels
Assets will include a full social media campaign across 

  • Facebook: Static and animated paid social
  • Instagram: Reels, static posts, and search posts
  • TikTok: Video paid social 
  • Pinterest: Static and animated paid social
  • YouTube: Targeted banner and video paid advertising
Target Consumer Description:
  • Demographics: Health-conscious individuals aged 25-45.
  • Socio-economic Profile: Urban residents with a median income of $50,000 and above.
  • Lifestyle: Regular gym-goers, followers of clean eating lifestyles.
Target Consumer Challenges / Pain Points: Our audience is middle-class, healthy, and health-conscious. They aren’t interested in overspending on groceries but aren’t shy about buying products that taste good and provide peace of mind.
Budget: Total Budget: $150,000

  • Digital Advertising: $100,000
  • Influencer Collaborations: $50,000
Timeline We will run our campaign over the summer months of June, July, and August, with ongoing advertising assessed and adjusted weekly based on data and customer response.

  • Kickoff: June 1, 2024
  • Influencer Partnerships: July 1, 2024
  • Social Media Campaign Launch: July 1, 2024
  • Conclusion: August 30, 2024

EcoWear Marketing Brief

This additional sample focuses on EcoWear, a fictional purveyor of sustainable and fashionable clothing. The brief is more in-depth than the PureJuice, with a discussion of specific assets and specific marketing goals. It also boasts an expanded discussion of the brand and the creative, tactical approach of the campaign.

Objective: EcoWear is a leader in sustainable fashion, merging style with ethics. As the fashion industry grapples with its environmental footprint, EcoWear stands as a beacon of change, offering consumers a choice that looks good and feels right.

While EcoWear has made significant strides, a vast audience remains wedded to fast fashion due to its affordability and accessibility. The challenge is to shift perceptions, showing that sustainable fashion is not just an elite choice but an accessible and necessary one. 

This campaign is an attempt to boost sales and engagement. EcoWear wants to increase their engagement on social media by 20% and online sales by 15%. 

Creative:  This campaign is more than just a promotional endeavor; it’s a movement. “Fashion with a Future” seeks to educate, inspire, and empower consumers to make informed choices, aligning their fashion decisions with their values. Through this campaign, we aim to showcase that with EcoWear, style, and sustainability go hand in hand.

Key messaging will involve phrases (and variations):

  • “Fashion with a conscience, style with a purpose.”
  • “Every thread tells a story of sustainability.”
  • “Dress for the future. Explore EcoWear’s new collection.”
  • “Make a statement without saying a word. Choose EcoWear.”

Imagery: Showcase diverse models wearing EcoWear collections in urban and natural settings.

Storytelling: Share behind-the-scenes glimpses of the sustainable production process.

Materials Highlight: Emphasize sustainable materials, such as recycled fabrics, organic cotton, etc.

Existing Assets
  • Behind-the-scenes footage of production.
  • Testimonials from sustainable fashion advocates.
  • Research on the environmental impact of fast fashion vs. sustainable fashion.
Media Channels + Assets Assets will include a full social media campaign across

  • Facebook: Static and animated paid social
  • Instagram: Reels, static posts, and search posts
  • Pinterest: Static and animated paid social
  • YouTube: Targeted banner and video paid advertising

Developed assets will include static and video ads across these channels and a 15-20 minute YouTube video covering our fashion intercut with behind-the-scenes footage. 

Finally, we’ll create a 20-30 page visual guide covering all our fashion, with feature-length articles on outfits that cover their creation and  sustainability. This guide will be a downloadable PDF and an optional, high-quality print version for high-value customers. 

Target Consumer Description:
  • Demographics: Individuals aged 18-40.
  • Socio-economic Profile: Urban and suburban residents with a median income of $40,000 and above.
  • Lifestyle: Environmentally-conscious consumers, those interested in sustainable living, and fashion enthusiasts.
Target Consumer Challenges / Pain Points: Our audience is hip and fashionable but conscious about their footprint. They want a company with transparency and affordability without sacrificing their ethical concerns or the quality of the clothing.

Their challenge is that more providers of quality, sustainability, and transparency must be needed. EcoWear fills that gap while maintaining a high sense of fashion. 

Budget: Total Budget: $300,000

  • Social Media Advertising: $80,000
  • Influencer Collaborations: $70,000
  • Fashion Video and Guide: $150,000
Timeline We will run our campaign over the summer months of June, July, and August, with ongoing advertising assessed and adjusted weekly based on data and customer response.

  • Social Media Kickoff: March 1, 2023
  • Influencer Features: March 15 – April 15, 2023
  • Video and Fashion Boom Launch: April 15, 2023
  • Conclusion: April 30, 2023

Marketer’s Takeaway

Marketing briefs are critical to the success of your marketing campaigns. A well-executed marketing brief comprises campaign goals, information about your target audiences, your key messages, a budget breakdown, a detailed schedule, and metrics for evaluating campaign achievements. 

Additionally, the brief provides a way to include people from different departments and perspectives to understand and contribute to your vision. 

Need more support on marketing briefs (or your marketing efforts in general)? Meet your master plan–our Content Marketing Plan template, that is–free to download.

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