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Hello, Kevin Namaky here, and today we’re going to talk about how to write the target statement in our creative briefs. This is an early video in our series on how to write creative briefs and give creative feedback.
When you’re writing a creative brief and you get to the target statement, the key question that we want to answer is “To whom are we speaking”—to what audience? That’s the number one thing that we need to answer, but it’s easier said than done.
Things to Consider When Writing a Target Statement
Here are a few things to consider when writing the target statement. These are questions that you can pose to yourself and answer, and they provide the fodder and information that you need to write a target statement.
Current vs. Competitive User
Are we speaking to current users or are we speaking to competitive users that aren’t using our products/services today? You can also consider in-category versus out-of-category. Basically, you want to figure out where the opportunity is and with whom that opportunity exists.
Three Most Important Things
Ask yourself, “What are the three most important things that I would tell someone about this person in order for them to understand who they are?”
This includes attitudes toward the category, attitudes towards your brand or product, and attitudes towards life in general. Attitudes create a mental picture and help us get inside their head.
Things to Do in a Target Statement
Now I want to talk about dos and don’ts. These are things that we shouldn’t just consider. We actually need to do them in our brief — and then I’ll also touch on some things that we want to watch out for.
Create a Mental Picture
You want to create a mental picture of the target audience so that someone reading the brief can actually picture that person in their head.
Use Psychographics & Behaviors
This helps us get into the mindset and into the life of what these people are experiencing so that we can relate to them and understand them. That goes well beyond mere demographics.
Describe a Single Person
When you’re writing a statement like this, write it as if you’re describing a single person and it will make it easier to add the kind of color and detail you need in order to then give this to a creative team and give them something to work with.
Things Not to Do in a Target Statement
So if these are our dos, then there are a few key don’ts that they imply.
Lengthy Bullet Lists
If we do want to create a mental picture, then we don’t want a lengthy list of bullet points because they are not nearly as helpful.
If we do want to use psychographics and behaviors to describe our target, then what we don’t want to do is stick to demographics only.
If we do want to describe a single person, then we want to avoid being vague. Honestly, when you have a vague target statement, you could probably plug it in for just about any brand and it might fit. That’s not a good thing in a creative brief.
Examples of Target Statements
Our first example is s lengthy bullet-point list of demographics:
Adults 30 to 55, income, 60% female, they have children, and they are millennial moms.
This type of target statement could be any number of brands and it’s not very useful from a creative perspective. It doesn’t help us develop creative ideas that are going to resonate with our audience.
In contrast, imagine a target statement like the one on the right:
“CEO mom” that serves as head of household and the breadwinner. She wears a power suit, she likes things in order and sticks to a routine, and it makes her feel good when things run like clockwork.
That creates a much clearer and stronger mental picture. It gives us an idea of who this person is, what their behaviors and mindset are, and it’s something that’s incredibly useful in coming up with creative ideas that we can share with this audience.
If you use these tips to write your next target statement, I guarantee you’ll have a much stronger creative brief, and your creatives will be able to produce stronger work.
TEACH YOUR BRAND TEAM HOW TO WRITE AN EFFECTIVE CREATIVE BRIEF
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Kevin Namaky is CEO at the Gurulocity Brand Management Institute, a marketing education company that trains and consults for notable brand teams including Kimberly-Clark, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Bolthouse Farms and Gorilla Brands. Kevin is a featured instructor for the American Marketing Association, lectures at the IU Kelley School of business, and has been featured in Ad Age, Forbes, Fast Company and the CMO Council. Previously Kevin worked for 20 years in the corporate and agency world growing notable brands. Follow Kevin on LinkedIn.