Actually Use the Product or Service
After squeezing every last drop of information from the client, the best advertising creatives will continue their research by actually using the product or service, as well as the product or service of 1 or 2 competitors. The purpose is to get an idea for what the customer experience is like, and how it is differentiated in the market. What about the experience makes it better than the rest, and how can you communicate that to a broad audience?
Get It All On Paper
Now that you have a ton of information, strive to put it all down on paper or in a digital copy. Condense your notes from your client meetings and product tests, and be sure to capture your first thoughts about the direction of the campaign, or any leads you may have identified. Include the client’s goals, the budget and deadline, and any potential obstacles you may face. This is your brainstorming session before condensing it into a well-written and formal brief.
Now that you have all of the information you need in one place, start working it into something useful. Try to categorize information or find general themes or structure it into a logical sequence. Every client’s brief will be different, however most share a few common traits.
Be sure to include the client’s background, target market, and objectives. It should also capture the benefits of the product, its key proposition, and what the audience should take away from the ads. Finally, include basics like the budget, schedule, and identified deliverables.