If you are a marketing manager … copywriter … ad agency …
creative director … or content marketer …
… the marketing you produce is only as good as the information
you are able to gain on your target market and your product — and
your understanding of it.
Therefore, in the profession of marketing, we ad writers are
extremely dependent on our clients.
The better the briefing and research they provide us, the better
our copy will be.
Conversely, when we copywriters lack either enough information on
the product and the market – or worse, have wrong information —
it’s extremely unlikely the promotion will be a home run.
Computer programmers call this GIGO, which stands for “garbage
in, garbage out.”
So we need good background information — and not garbage — to
write the best ad we can.
Yet it is our responsibility as ad creators to help our clients
and guide them so they get the right information to us … and
enough of it to write a kick-butt promotion!
Some people call the transfer of product and market knowledge
from the client to the marketing creator the “discovery process.”
I find it useful to post my own discovery process on my web site
and refer clients to it — so they can see the kind of
information we need to gather and share to create winners:
Getting the right information from the client is so important, I
outline the responsibilities of both me, the copywriter, and the
client, in my standard agreement as follows:
CLIENT AND COPYWRITER RESPONSIBILITIES
As your freelance copywriter, Bob Bly is responsible for:
–Requesting all the information he needs to write your
–Writing the strongest copy possible.
–Making any revisions you ask for within the terms of the
–Always telling you the absolute truth about any of your ideas,
edits, or plans — even if it’s something you may not want to
hear and could even possibly upset you.
–Keeping the client’s project confidential.
As the client, you are responsible for:
–Providing Bob with the information about your product, offer,
and market he requests for the writing of your copy.
–Being as specific as possible about any edits, revisions, or
changes you want Bob to make to his copy draft.
I can’t force the client to comply, and of course I always do the
best job possible with whatever materials I have to work with.
But by taking on the responsibility of assisting your clients in
providing what you need in the discovery process, you greatly
increase the odds of having a winning promotion.
Which is good for both you and your client.
I also think guiding the discovery process proactively means you
are meeting your fiduciary responsibility to the client by doing
due diligence to the best possible level.